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Henrik Sedin's unexpected rise to the top of the NHL scoring charts last year continued a trend that began in 2001 when Jaromir Jagr won his fourth consecutive scoring title. Since then, it has been nine different Art Ross trophy winners in nine consecutive years - Jagr, Jarome Iginla, Peter Forsberg, Martin St. Louis, Joe Thornton, Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and then Sedin.

Sedin was sensational from beginning to end, but his ascendancy was partly because Ovechkin was absent for 10 games because of injury and suspension and Malkin missed 15 because of a nagging shoulder injury.

Assuming the universe aligns logically - and that is a big assumption, given how injuries can compromise the scoring race - it is unlikely that anyone outside of the aforementioned two Russians, or Crosby, will be crowned NHL scoring champion. If anyone can pulls off a Sedin and unexpectedly jumps to the top, it would likely be Ovechkin's Capitals' teammate Nicklas Backstrom, who has developed into an exceptional player in his own right.

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Even though there is a more open style of play in the new NHL, only 30 players managed 70 points last year and injuries ruined the years of a whole bunch of above-average talents, including two who suffered serious concussions, Marc Savard and David Booth. Thus far, Booth has been okay in camp, while Savard, normally a reliable point-per-game player, is out indefinitely.

Others coming off injury-filled years - such as Ales Hemsky and Johan Franzen were far off their usual numbers last as a result, but should rebound significantly, barring no further setbacks (like the charleyhorse Franzen suffered in the opening exhibition game). Don't overlook either Jiri Hudler or Nikolai Zherdev, both back after one-year hiatuses in Russia. Hudler had 57 and Zherdev 58 in their last full NHL seasons and could probably fall into the "sleeper" class if someone is drafting strictly off last year's stats. Think too that if Matt Duchene and John Tavares had 55 and 54 points respectively as NHL rookies last year, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin should manage comparable numbers this time around.

For all the kind people who've e-mailed recently with their fantasy hockey success stories from last year, here is our annual exercise in 'hockey pools for dummies,' a projection of how the top 200 or so NHL scorers might unfold:

Alex Ovechkin, Was.

Sidney Crosby, Pit.

Evgeni Malkin, Pit.

Nicklas Backstrom, Was.

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Ryan Getzlaf, Ana.

Ilya Kovalchuk, NJ.

Zach Parise, NJ.

Joe Thornton, SJ.

Daniel Sedin, Van.

Patrick Kane, Chi

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Pavel Datysyuk, Det.

Eric Staal, Car.

Dany Heatley, SJ

Jason Spezza, Ott.

Steven Stamkos, Tpa.

Henrik Sedin, Van.

Corey Perry, Ana.

Jarome Iginla, Cgy.

Martin St. Louis, Tpa.

Brad Richards, Dal.

Vincent Lecavalier, Tpa.

Rick Nash, Clb.

Patrick Marleau, SJ.

Paul Stastny, Col.

Marian Hossa, Chi.

Marian Gaborik, NYR.

Mike Green, Was.

Henrik Zetterberg, Det.

Anze Kopitar, LA

Alexander Semin, Was.

Daniel Alfredsson, Ott.

Daniel Briere, Pha.

Jonathan Toews, Chi.

Mike Richards, Pha.

Joe Pavelski, SJ.

Tomas Vanek, Buf.

Martin Havlat, Min.

Jeff Carter, Pha.

Bobby Ryan, Ana.

Claude Giroux, Pha.

Johan Franzen, Det.

Simon Gagne, Tpa.

Travis Zajac, NJ.

Loui Eriksson, Dal.

Drew Doughty, LA.

Olli Jokinen, Cgy.

Derek Roy, Buf.

Phil Kessel, Tor.

Shane Doan, Pho.

Mike Ribeiro, Dal.

Patrick Elias, NJ

Ales Hemsky, Edm.

Mikko Koivu, Min.

Nathan Horton, Bos.

Ryan Kesler, Van.

David Krejci, Bos.

Mike Cammalleri, Mtl.

Jason Pominville, Buf.

Matt Duchene, Col.

John Tavares, NYI

Nicklas Lidstrom, Det.

Tomas Plekanec, Mtl.

Nikolai Zherdev, Pha.

Patrice Bergeron, Bos.

Dan Boyle, SJ.

Ray Whitney, Pho.

Patrick Sharp, Chi.

David Perron, StL.

Tomas Fleischman, Was.

Bryan Little, Atl.

Brad Boyes, StL.

Brenden Morrow, Dal.

Patric Hornquist, Nas.

Ryan Smyth, LA.

David Booth, Fla.

Andy McDonald, StL.

Duncan Keith, Chi.

Wojtek Wolski, Pho.

Brooks Laich, Was.

Stephen Weiss, Fla.

Alexander Steen, StL.

Brian Gionta, Mtl.

Dustin Brown, LA.

Nik Antropov, Atl.

Mason Raymond, Van.

Jussi Jokinen, Car.

Jiri Hudler, Det.

Milan Michalek, Ott.

Milan Hedjuk, Col.

Mike Comrie, Pit.

Mike Fisher, Ott.

Scott Gomez, Mtl.

T.J. Oshie, StL.

Chris Stewart, Col.

Jamie Langenbrunner, NJ.

Tim Connolly, Buf.

Jacob Voracek, Clb.

David Backes, StL.

Shea Weber, Nas.

Teemu Selanne, Ana.

Antoine Vermette, Clb.

Alexander Frolov, NYR.

Sergei Gonchar, Ott.

Taylor Hall, Edm.

Tyler Bozak, Tor.

Tyler Myers, Buf.

Tyler Seguin, Bos.

Lubomir Visnovsky, Ana.

Brian Campbell, Chi.

Brian Rafalski, Det.

Kris Versteeg, Tor.

Brandon Sutter, Car.

Erik Johnson, StL.

Chris Pronger, Pha.

Shawn Horcoff, Edm.

Zdeno Chara, Bos.

Tomas Kaberle, Tor.

James Neal, Dal.

Sam Gagner, Edm.

Kristian Huselius, Clb.

Mikael Samuelsson, Van.

Martin Erat, Nas.

Chris Kunitz, Pit.

Ryan Malone, Tpa.

Derek Brassard, Clb.

Dustin Penner, Edm.

Alex Tanguay, Cgy.

Michael Frolik, Fla.

Ryan Clowe, SJ.

Valterri Filppula, Det.

Nikolai Kulemin, Tor.

Devin Setoguchi, SJ.

Alex Kovalev, Ott.

J.P. Dumont, Nas.

Mike Knuble, Was.

Jason Arnott, NJ.

Matthew Lombardi, Nas.

R.J. Umberger, Clb.

Joni Pitkanen, Car.

Andrew Brunette, Min.

Steve Sullivan, Nas.

Rene Bourque, Cgy.

Alex Burrows, Van.

Dion Phaneuf, Tor.

Milan Lucic, Bos.

Jordan Eberle, Edm.

Jordan Staal, Pit.

Ville Leino, Pha.

Wayne Simmonds, LA.

Niclas Bergfors, Atl.

Tobias Enstrom, Atl.

Alexei Ponikarovsky, LA.

Rich Peverley, Atl.

Justin Williams, LA

Andrei Kostitsyn, Mtl.

Keith Yandle, Pho.

Guillaume Latendresse, Min.

Scott Hartnell, Pha.

Lee Stempniak, Pho.

Evander Kane, Atl.

Nick Foligno, Ott.

James Wiesniewski, NYI.

Peter Regin, Ott.

Steve Downie, Tpa.

Mikhail Grabovski, Tor.

Colin Wilson, Nas.

Troy Brouwer, Chi.

Michael Del Zotto, NYR

Gil Brule, Edm.

Andrei Markov, Mtl.

Paul Martin, Pit.

Alex Goligoski, Pit.

T.J. Galiardi, Col.

Eric Fehr, Was.

John Carlson, Was.

David Bolland, Chi.

Marc Savard, Bos.

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About the Author

Eric was the winner of the Hockey Hall Of Fame's Elmer Ferguson award for "distinguished contributions to hockey writing" in 2001. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario's grad school of journalism, he began covering hockey in 1978 and after spending 20 years covering the NHL and the Calgary Flames, joined The Globe in 2000. More

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