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Features

Hammond, Ryan among questions facing Senators

Tuesday, 08.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators will be an interesting team this season because the elements that made them the success story of the final two months of last season also present the biggest question marks.

Their charge to the Stanley Cup Playoffs was fueled by a rookie coach, a goaltender making his NHL debut, and a group of young players who successfully handled bigger roles and more responsibility.

Here are three questions the Senators face this season:

Cameron, young players have Senators optimistic

Tuesday, 08.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators returned to the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season after going 21-3-3 in their final 27 games.

The key elements of the Senators' playoff run are back after they made few moves during the offseason.

Here are four reasons for the Senators to be optimistic:

Paul, Puempel among Senators' top five prospects

Tuesday, 08.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Young forwards Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Curtis Lazar, and defensemen Cody Ceci and Mark Borowiecki were significant parts of the Ottawa Senators' success last season, which ended in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Despite having a large number of players graduate to the NHL, the Senators have a good core of prospects thanks to recent trades and some strong drafting.

Here is a look at the Senators' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

Ottawa Senators fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Erik Karlsson

My top ranked fantasy defenseman comes in at No. 13 among all players in my offseason rankings, 10 spots ahead of the next defenseman (P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens). Karlsson was one of two defensemen to lead his team in scoring last season (Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes) and it marked the second straight season he did so on the Senators. His 21 goals and 292 shots on goal last season were career-highs. Since his breakout season in 2011-12 (19 goals and 78 points), Karlsson leads all defensemen with 232 points, 166 assists and 889 shots on goal, and his 66 goals are tied for first with Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators. More remarkable is that Karlsson accomplished all of this despite missing 31 games in 2012-13 because of injury. Simply put, there is no better defenseman in fantasy hockey than Karlsson, and it's not even close. A return to the 70-point mark seems likely for the 25-year-old.

Ducks sign forward Santorelli to one-year contract

Monday, 08.17.2015 / 2:38 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NHL.com

Forward Mike Santorelli signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.

Financial terms were not released, but ESPN.com reported the contract is worth $875,000.

Santorelli, 29, has 55 goals, 120 points and 70 penalty minutes in 336 regular-season games with the Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Hellebuyck, Ehlers among Jets' top five prospects

Monday, 08.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Solid scouting and player development are the two pillars on which the Winnipeg Jets are building their organization.

After inheriting a farm system bereft of talent in 2011, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has rebuilt the prospect base slowly and methodically.

"I don't want to see [Cheveldayoff] change the organization's draft-and-develop approach," Jets coach Paul Maurice told Jets TV on July 3. "I like the young players we've got. We're building something here."

Here is a look at the Jets' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

Maurice, young players have Jets feeling optimistic

Monday, 08.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets have to find a way to top last season.

For years, merely reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs had been a key goal for the Jets. The franchise had not reached the playoffs since 2007, when it played as the Atlanta Thrashers, and an ever-changing group of players had come and gone without a trip to the postseason.

The Jets finally reached the playoffs last season, though the good times ended quickly in a sweep by the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference First Round. Still, the Jets managed to combine the test of a late-season playoff race with further establishing MTS Centre as one of the loudest and most intimidating buildings in the NHL.

General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has patiently gone about trying to rebuild the Jets' prospect base from the bottom up. His moves began to pay off last season, and he has more prospects on the way for coach Paul Maurice.

Here are four reasons for optimism for the Jets:

Goaltending, discipline among questions for Jets

Monday, 08.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets took a big step last season by reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the franchise relocated from Atlanta for the 2011-12 season.

Though ending the franchise's playoff drought helped to validate the long-term plans of general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, the Jets have endured some challenges since. They added forward Alexander Burmistrov from the Kontinental Hockey League this summer, but capable veteran forwards Michael Frolik, Lee Stempniak and Jiri Tlusty all departed.

Here are three questions facing the Jets this season:

With big decisions on horizon, Jets quiet in offseason

Monday, 08.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

WINNIPEG -- It's been a fairly uneventful offseason for the Winnipeg Jets since they concluded a very eventful run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but key decisions are on the horizon.

The Jets' 2014-15 season included a blockbuster trade that sent forward Evander Kane to the Buffalo Sabres and a stretch drive starring goaltender Ondrej Pavelec that led to the franchise's first playoff appearance since 2007, when it was the Atlanta Thrashers. A four-game sweep by the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference First Round brought the season to an abrupt end.

Since then, the Jets have seen versatile forward Michael Frolik depart for the Calgary Flames as a free agent. Two other veteran forwards, Lee Stempniak and Jiri Tlusty, were not re-signed.

Winnipeg did re-sign forward Drew Stafford, a key piece of the Kane trade, and brought back forward Alexander Burmistrov after a two-year hiatus in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Winnipeg Jets fantasy hockey outlook

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd

The Winnipeg Jets were one of seven teams with three skaters among Yahoo's top 50 players last season. Wheeler, Ladd and Byfuglien cover many bases and also are assets in hits leagues. Wheeler, a top-10 fantasy right wing, proved again that he's a game-changer whether playing alongside Bryan Little and Ladd or Mark Scheifele and Drew Stafford. He saw an eight-point dip, but made up for it with a plus-26 (T-9th) to go along with career-highs in penalty minutes (73) and shots on goal (244).

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