Our very first list is also the one we're probably the most proud of. If you're new to FHS you may not know that we're all about the Breakouts here (which we define as topping 50 points for a forward, 30 points for a d-man and 20 wins for a goalie). In the majority of leagues, when a player breaks out... he becomes fantasy relevant.
Follow the jump for the ten players we think have the best chance of breaking out this season.
#10 Michael Frolik – With Horton gone, Frolik now has a permanent spot on the #1 line. He didn't see an increase in his point total last year (43 & 45 the past two years) but he saw a nice increase in his shot total (from 158 to 219). If he continues to shoot the puck like that and he improves on the PP (he only had 10 PPP) then we think he could jump up to around 60 points.
#9 John Carlson – The Caps only had one offensive weapon on D (Green)… now they have two. Carlson could step in and score 30-40 pts as a rookie... he's one of the best dman prospects out there.
#8 Sam Gagner - Gagner is going to explode one year... it could be this year. Three 40+ point NHL seasons, monster junior numbers, he'll have some quality linemates and he's only 21... get on board people.
#7 Victor Hedman – Many were disappointed with Hedman's 20 pt rookie season... talk about high expectations but teenaged dmen just don't have breakout seasons (well, outside of LA & Buffalo). We like him for a big increase this year but he's going to need a lot more than 1:21 on the PP to really breakout. They may start him off slow but look for him to gather steam and his upside is huge.
#6 Claude Giroux – Ideally Giroux would be centering a scoring line… but playing wing for Richards is a nice consolation. One of these years he's going to have a massive breakout... we think it could be this year.
#5 Jamie Benn – Hard to believe this breakout depends a lot on Tom Wandell. If Wandell proves he can handle the #3C job, Benn should move up to a scoring line (over Ott) and be prime breakout material.
#4 P.K. Subban – He's been pretty dominant in the OHL, AHL and during his stint in the playoffs last year (1+7=8 in 14 gms). There will be a few bumps in the road but if he gets the ice-time he could hit 40 points this year.
#3 T.J. Oshie – We're big fans of Oshie's. A 50 pt breakout season is a lock but we think he could top 70. Why? He'll get 1st line and 1st unit PP duty and he played at a 60 pt pace under Payne.
#2 Semyon Varlamov – Bit of risk with Michal Neuvirth around, but we think Varlamov will get the nod and should probably see about 55 games this year and on the powerhouse Caps and that’s a recipe for a huge breakout… we like him for 34-38 wins.
#1 Erik Karlsson – 8 pts in his first 37 gms and then 18 in his last 23. Wow. We're really excited to see what he can do as a sophomore paired up with Gonchar on the top PP unit... 50 points isn't out of the question.