|Jarome Iginla||Matt Duchene||Ryan Smyth||Martin Havlat||Daniel Sedin|
|Alex Tanguay||Paul Stastny||Jordan Eberle||Mikko Koivu||Henrik Sedin|
|Olli Jokinen||Milan Hejduk||Taylor Hall||Matt Cullen||Ryan Kesler|
|Marc Giordano||Erik Johnson||Ryan Whitney||Marek Zidlicky||Alex Edler|
|Jay Bouwmeester||Matt Hunwick||Tom Gilbert||Nick Schultz||Dan Hamhuis|
|Miikka Kiprusoff||Devan Dubnyk||Niklas Backstrom||Roberto Luongo|
Just so we know what we're looking at here... according to the points from last year, these are the top three forwards, two defense and goaltender signed on for each team in the division. There are going to be better players missing from this list, due to free agency, injuries last season or other miscellaneous reasons. I don't believe this is an accurate look at each team, just a snapshot for comparison purposes.
The Northwest Division had a bit of a tough year in 2011, having only one team qualify for the playoffs in the Western Conference and if the top sixes are any indication, to which they might have a small, almost insignificant indication, nothing has really changed.
There are plenty of questions about the teams in this division, most of which are focussed on making the playoffs. Is there enough heart and leadership among the top six in Calgary to qualify? The Flames have the talent. Is this the year that the youth in Edmonton start to take real strides towards the playoffs? Can the Avs find enough players this Summer to help their rebuild and jump back into the playoffs? The Wild offense will be the biggest question mark, to which they will need to support Backstrom to put wins in the standings. Finally, the Canucks don't really have a question mark about making the playoffs, rather how far will their top six take them?
If I were to project division standings from these sixes, which isn't wise, but I will anyways... Vancouver, Calgary, Minnesota, Edmonton and Colorado (see goaltending issue for Tampa Bay for being last place in the division).