This weekend I participated in 10 Yahoo Mock Drafts to gain a better grasp of what’s been going on in fantasy hockey drafts and thought that I’d pass my findings onto you Dobberities. I participated in random drafts ranging from eight to 14 teams from H2H to Roto leagues with standard settings. This is what I found.
- Right Wings have re-established themselves as a deeper talent pool than left wings.
- These are the examples of the typical** player you can draft at each winger position.
- 10th RW: Alex Kovalev, Shane Doan, Daniel Alfredsson
- 20th RW: Brad Boyes, Joffrey Lupul, Teemu Selanne
- 30th RW: Drew Stafford, Peter Mueller, Bryan Little, Kyle Okposo
- 10th LW: Patrick Marleau, Tomas Vanek, Scott Hartnell
- 20th LW: Ryan Smyth, Kristian Huselius, Alex Tanguay
- 30th LW: Ryane Clowe, Erik Cole, Keith Tkachuk, Paul Kariya
- Advice: Don’t overreach for RW, if you have the opportunity to draft a decent LW ahead of a RW, DO SO! As you can see the talent pool of the lower ranked RW are fairly deep that you could easily find a 65-75 point player with a 30th drafted RW. Can’t say the same for LW though.
- Center, as always, is as deep as ever especially with the inclusion of the rookies for the drafts rather than inserting them during the season.
- 10th C: Marc Savard, Jason Spezza, Jonathon Toews
- 20th C: Henrik Sedin, Steve Stamkos, John Tavares
- 30th C: Nathan Horton, Jason Arnott, Shawn Horcoff, Dave Bolland
- Advice: Same situation as with the RW, if there is a LW sitting right in front of you, go after him before taking a C. If you look above, there isn’t much difference between the 30th drafted C compared to the 20th or perhaps even the top 10.
- The goalie hype seems to have died down this year, as draftees are holding off on picking up goalies early and electing to wait to the mid-rounds (rounds 4, 5 or 6) to draft their first goalie.
- In one mock draft I ended up with a trio of Niklas Backstrom, Martin Brodeur and Henrik Lundqvist.
- Draftees have indeed drank the Jonas Hiller and Semyon Varlamov Kool-Aid. Hiller is being drafted close to 150 spots ahead of J.S. Giguere, while Varly is being drafted 140 spots ahead of Jose Theodore.
- Kind of shocking considering Giggy has a career 2.49 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
- Either way if you own Hiller/Varlamov seems like you would easily be able to handcuff yourself with Giggy/Theo.
- Dark horse defensemen are easily available.
- I managed to grab Tobias Enstrom with the 174th, 191st, 184th picks in three out of my 10 mock drafts.
- Players like Keith Ballard, Stephane Robidas, Shane O’Brien, M.E. Vlasic, Wade Redden, Matt Niskanen, Kris Letang, Carlo Colaiacovo, and Chris Campoli, were mostly left undrafted in all of my mock drafts.
Now onto the good stuff.
Bobby Ryan – RW – Anaheim Ducks
I know there are a lot of Ryan fans out there who will rake me over the coals on this one, but I honestly think that he’s topped the list of the player being the most over reached in many of the mock drafts. I DO NOT doubt his offensive ability. Yes, his 57 points in 64 contests last season was remarkable, but his seven points in 13 post-season contests should ring some alarm bells for many owners. If he was scheduled for FULL-TIME duties alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, then I would certainly place such a high value on him, but the Ducks re-acquired a person named Joffrey Lupul in the off-season, who fired a whopping 296 SOG the last time he suited up in a Duck uniform. They could easily slide Ryan down to second line duties with Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne which would certainly shave a few points off his expected totals for this season. At the end of the day you have to face the fact that there isn’t going to be enough points to go around for six-80 point players in Anaheim. I can’t even remember the last team that had six players in the 80+ range. Rep point if you can name that team in the comments section below. So, why not go for a safer/more dependable option in Boyes, Kovalev, or perhaps even Doan, all of which are being drafted a few spots after Ryan, instead of gambling on someone that might experience a terrible sophomore slump like a certain Peter Mueller did last season.
Marian Hossa – RW – Chicago Blackhawks
Hossa is probably the second most over reached player in mock drafts. Granted a few of the people that I chatted with, while drafting, had no clue that he had shoulder surgery in the off-season, which will cause him to miss the first two months of the season. Well if you haven’t been following the Hossa news, this column should certainly get you up to date. Shoulder injuries tend to have a lingering affect on players during the season. Vinny Lecavalier went from a 92 point player to a 67 point player following off-season shoulder surgery just as an example. Surely you would have to think that Hossa wouldn’t be immune to that type of drop off. The latest news that I could dig up regarding Hossa’s recovery process is that he’s scheduled to return to the line up four months post-surgery which was on July 24th, so we’re looking at a return date of early December. If he returns December 1st against the Blue Jackets, he would have missed 25 contests, which means that he would really only suit up for the 57 remaining games. If he’s even remotely close to the 0.93 career point-per-game average, that would sit him at roughly 53 points. Now ask yourself this question: Is he really worth a fifth round draft pick in a 12 team league? I don’t think so!
Corey Perry – RW – Anaheim Ducks
I have no knock on Perry at all, and I truly respect his near point-per-game average along with back-to-back 100 PIM and 200 SOG seasons, but with the amount of depth that’s available at right wing this season reaching for him in the first round just seems a tad excessive. There are plenty of other positions that lack depth, so if you had the fifth overall pick would you not consider selecting a high end lefty/defenseman/goalie, say Ilya Kovalchuk, Mike Green, or Evgeni Nabokov instead of someone from a deep talent pool considering the lack of depth outside of the top 10 in each position?
Henrik Zetterberg – C- Detroit Red Wings
I have similar feelings with Zetterberg as I did with Perry. With Zetterberg only given center eligibility this season, you would have to really ponder whether he really is worth an early second round pick considering there is such a plethora of great later options out there. Certainly he will be worth that value if he is given C/LW dual eligibility, but we all know how dependable Yahoo is giving dual eligibility throughout the season. What I’m saying is that with Lecavalier (20), Nicklas Backstrom (22), Eric Staal (25), Spezza (33) and Joe Thornton (41) all ranked lower than Zetterberg, surely you could wait another round and still bag yourself someone that would be very similar stat-wises to Zetterberg.
Miikka Kiprusoff – G – Calgary Flames
If you read my column a few weeks back, you probably know about my feelings regarding Kipper heading into this season. I just don’t think he’s the same Kipper as he was pre-lockout. He now has four consecutive seasons of declining numbers (GAA and Save Percentage) and with this season being an Olympic year, the games are going to be scheduled much closer to each other, which will result in less rest time between games for Kipper. That added to the fact that he’s probably going to be minding the pipes for Team Suomi in Vancouver during the Olympics, I just think that he’s going to be completely overworked come March/April. Granted they added Jay Bouwmeester in the off-season which should help on the defensive front, but I feel that you’re going to get a better bargain waiting for Nik Backstrom (21), Martin Brodeur (28), Henrik Lundqvist (32), or perhaps even Roberto Luongo (36) instead of spending an early second round pick on Kipper.
Patrick Marleau – LW – San Jose Sharks
I’m a bit iffy about this selection because of the position scarcity amongst the left wings this season. With that said spending a fifth round pick for Marleau is a bit excessive considering his career high is only 86 points which was set four seasons ago. I’d probably wait and gamble on a Tomas Vanek (59), Scott Hartnell (61), or a Ryan Smyth (85) instead of picking up Marleau.
Devin Setoguchi – RW- San Jose Sharks
I’m not a big fan of Mr. Setoguchi as he’s in a similar situation as Ryan mentioned above. San Jose has plenty of depth for competition against Setoguchi that he could easily force him to disappear like he did in the second half of last season. With Jonathan Cheechoo, Milan Michalek, Ryane Clowe, and Marleau all competing with Setoguchi for the top-four winger spots in San Jose, you would have to think that they’re going to be in competition with each other all year long for scarce points. I also don’t think that’s he deserves to be the eighth ranked right winger, with players like Martin Havlat, Kovalev, Doan, Alfredsson, Dustin Brown, Boyes, Lupul, Selanne, and Ales Hemsky all ranked below Setoguchi. Either way my advice is to wait and get a better steal than to wasting a fifth round pick on Seto during this season’s drafts.
Dan Cleary – RW – Detroit Red Wings
I don’t quite know if you really can peg a 202nd drafted player as a player that is being over reached. Granted he shouldn’t be on any draft lists unless it’s a 14-team league with more than two players at each offensive position, but I was certainly surprised in three of my drafts that people were drafting Cleary ahead of players like Kyle Okposo, Thomas Holmstrom, Bryan Little, Trent Hunter, and Mikael Samuelsson. Cleary did have upside, but with the Wings signing Todd Bertuzzi and Jason Williams in the off-season, you would have to bid Cleary’s top-six chances adieu. Maybe people just didn’t notice the players below Cleary, or maybe they draft Cleary deliberately, either way you should now be enlightened enough that you won’t make that mistake come draft time.
Questions or comments? Like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below.