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Boston Bruins fantasy hockey outlook

by Matt Cubeta / NHL.com

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: Tuukka Rask

Rask had a bit of a disappointing season last year after winning the Vezina Trophy in 2013-14. His win total fell from 36 to 34 despite starting nine more games. His goals against average went from 2.04 to 2.30, his save percentage decreased from .930 to .922, and his shutout total dipped from seven to three. Despite the decreases in each category, Rask was still the 11th best fantasy goalie in Yahoo leagues last season and was the 74th best player overall. Since the 2012-13 season when Rask became Boston's full-time starting goalie, he has the best save percentage (.926), second best goals against average (2.14), fourth most shutouts (15) and fourth most wins (89) among goalies who have appeared in at least 100 games. Despite the Bruins trading defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Milan Lucic this offseason, Rask remains a Vezina Trophy candidate in 2015-16.

BRUINS' FANTASY-RELEVANT PLAYERS

Below is a list of the fantasy-relevant players in the Boston Bruins organization. These players have been arranged by NHL.com's fantasy staff based on projected value and by position. These players range from top-tier assets to deep sleepers and should be on your radar in standard Yahoo leagues.

FORWARDS

Patrice Bergeron
David Krejci
Brad Marchand
Loui Eriksson
David Pastrnak
Jimmy Hayes
Matt Beleskey

Brett Connolly

DEFENSEMEN

Torey Krug
Zdeno Chara

GOALIES

Tuukka Rask

* Red indicates newcomer to team

Undervalued: Torey Krug

With Zdeno Chara's role decreasing and Hamilton on the Calgary Flames, Krug should be viewed as Boston's No. 1 offensive defenseman. He certainly performed that way last season, finishing as the 20th best fantasy defenseman in Yahoo leagues, right behind Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks. Krug led Bruins defensemen with 12 goals and was second with 39 points. He was also a plus-13, had 14 power play points and was one of only 10 defensemen to finish with at least 200 shots on goal (205). Krug has been remarkably consistent during the past two seasons and is an excellent No. 2 fantasy defenseman on any roster.

Overvalued: David Krejci

After scoring 69 points with a plus-39 rating in 2013-14, Krejci struggled last season with injuries and finished with seven goals and 31 points in 47 games. For the majority of the last five seasons, Krejci has always found Milan Lucic on his wing, but that won't be the case this season as Lucic was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. One has to wonder if that will impact Krejci's production. Either way, he'll have to find chemistry with new players. Krejci is a tremendous playmaker and should contribute in the assists, plus/minus and power play points categories, but he doesn't score a lot of goals, he won't get many penalty minutes, and he doesn't shoot the puck much (averages 17 goals, 31 PIMs, and 150 SOG per 82-game season over his career). He's certainly worth a roster spot in fantasy leagues, but don't be surprised if he doesn't live up to his name value.

Deep sleeper: David Pastrnak

Pastrnak completely exceeded expectations as an 18-year-old rookie last season after getting promoted to the Bruins on Nov. 24. He finished with 10 goals and 17 assists in 46 games. If his stats were extrapolated over the course of a full 82-game season, he would have finished with 18 goals, 30 assists, a plus-12 rating, 14 penalty minutes, five power play points and 166 shots on goal. Pastrnak could see his role expand with the Bruins this season, including on the power play. And if he can stick somewhere on the team's top two lines, he has the potential to finish with 25 goals and 50-plus points. Make sure he's on your radar late in the draft.

Goalie outlook: Tuukka Rask and Jeremy Smith/Malcolm Subban

Rask ranks sixth among goalies in my offseason fantasy rankings and 36th overall, but as stated earlier, it wouldn't shock me if he turned in a Vezina-caliber season. He's one of the few everyday starters in the League. The Bruins signed Smith to a one-year, two-way deal and he certainly has the chance of earning the backup gig this season. But Subban is the team's top goaltending prospect. I would think the Bruins want Subban to continue to get plenty of game action, therefore a backup role in the NHL might not be the ideal situation. Right now, the only goalie worth drafting from Boston is Rask. However, if an injury were to occur, Subban is the guy to jump on.

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