Don't be afraid to grab some of these Eastern Conference under-achieving veterans from last season. Many of them were simply injured and could be seriously undervalued heading into your draft this year.
Marco Sturm Bos
The 31-year-old left winger scored 13 points in 19 games before suffering a season-ending injury early last year. In the last four seasons, all with the Bruins, Sturm played 226 games and scored 156 points. That's 57 points for every 82 games. He'll play on one of the top two lines on last years second most prolific scoring team in the NHL.
Patrice Bergeron Bos
I consider last year's 39 points in 64 games (50 point pace) like a second rookie season for Bergeron. One thing that I found promising was that he finished the season with 14 points in 18 games (64 point pace). Before the concussion, Bergeron was coming off of back-to-back 70 point seasons. I don't think 65 points is unrealistic this year.
Tim Connolly Buf
It's a case of buyer beware here as Crystal Connolly already has his ticket punched for entry to the Dobber Hockey Band-Aid Boy Hall of Fame. Ironically, in Connolly's first four NHL seasons, he played 325 games while missing only three contests. In his next four seasons, he played in only 161 games. As long as he's healthy, he'll continue to get top power play and regular strength ice time. This guy had 47 points in 48 games last season and 40 in 48 the year before. He's due for a break, isn't he?
Tomas Plekanec Mtl
Along with many other Canadiens players, Plekanec's 39 points in 80 games was a big disappointment. Plekanec recorded 69 points the previous season, so he should rebound nicely, even on a Jacques Martin coached team. On the positive side, Plekanec has missed only four games over the last three seasons.
Brian Rolston NJ
Much more was expected last year from Rolston after recording back to back 30 goal seasons in a similarly stifling system with Minnesota. The change from Lemaire to Sutter to Lemaire might spark this oldie but goodie. Don't expect a return to the 30 goal plateau, but 25 goals and 50 points is defensible.
Chris Higgins NYR
Higgins recorded 23 points in 57 games last season with the Habs. Now that he's out of the party atmosphere of Montreal, there will be no distractions, oops, never mind. He can always look to the veteran presence of Avery and Redden to straighten him out…oops. All