Corey Abbott

Premium Content

Standard Mock Draft

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We hosted our first mock draft of the year last week with members of the Rotoworld staff taking part.  Each team was tasked with selecting two centers, two left wingers, two right wingers, four defensemen, two goalies and four bench players in a snake order.  The categories for this format include goals, assists, plus-minus, power-play points, shots on goal, blocks as well as wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts for netminders.

 

Round 1


1. Connor McDavid (Edm - C) - Ryan Dadoun
2. Sidney Crosby (Pit - C) - Michael Finewax
3. Auston Matthews (Tor - C) - Mitch Goldenberg
4. Patrick Kane (Chi - RW) - Corey Abbott
5. Carey Price (Mon - G) - Brian Rosenbaum
6. Vladimir Tarasenko (StL - RW) - James O’Brien
7. Brent Burns (SJ - D) - Macaulay S. Renner
8. Jamie Benn (Dal - LW) - Jeff Alfieri
9. Nikita Kucherov (TB - RW) - Joey Alfieri
10. Alex Ovechkin (Was - LW) - Gus Katsaros

The top-two picks were not surprising, but Matthews going third overall was a bit of a shocker.  The talented Toronto pivot had an outstanding rookie season, but I figured he would be chosen later in the first round or early in the second.  I was happy to take Kane with the third pick.  Price was the only netminder selected in the opening round and it’s debatable whether or not he is still the top fantasy goalie.  I am not sure I would take him over Braden Holtby, Sergei Bobrovsky or Devan Dubnyk.  Kucherov’s stock has risen dramatically from a year ago and for good reason.  Last year in our first mock draft he didn’t get selected until the fourth round.  Still, I think he could have gone earlier.    

Round 2

1. (11) Evgeni Malkin (Pit - C)
2. (12) Erik Karlsson (Ott - D)
3. (13) Nicklas Backstrom (Was - C)
4. (14) Joe Pavelski (SJ - C, RW)
5. (15) Braden Holtby (Was - G)
6. (16) Jack Eichel (Buf - C)
7. (17) Mark Scheifele (Wpg - C)
8. (18) John Tavares (NYI - C)
9. (19) Victor Hedman (TB - D)
10. (20) Brad Marchand (Bos - LW)

Karlsson’s troublesome foot issue could be a concern before the start of the season, but he only slipped to the second round in our draft.  We should get a clearer picture of his status once training camp opens, but he could still easily be a first-round choice in most standard leagues.  Most pundits have high expectations for Tavares in 2017-18 during his contract year, but I would still hesitate to take him ahead of Tyler Seguin or Steven Stamkos, who were both chosen in the third round.    

 

Round 3

1. (21) Matt Murray (Pit - G)
2. (22) Devan Dubnyk (Min - G)
3. (23) Steven Stamkos (TB - C)
4. (24) Tyler Seguin (Dal - C, RW)
5. (25) Kris Letang (Pit - D)
6. (26) Max Pacioretty (Mon - LW)
7. (27) Leon Draisaitl (Edm - C, RW)
8. (28) Dustin Byfuglien (Wpg - D)
9. (29) Sergei Bobrovsky (Cls - G)
10. (30) Patrik Laine (Wpg - RW)

There was plenty of talent removed from the board in the third round and some of the top goaltenders were snatched up here. I wouldn’t be surprised if Laine went earlier in most drafts because of his goal-scoring flair.  Letang’s injury woes and offensive ability make him a high-risk, high-reward defender, but choosing him at this point is justifiable if you believe he can stay relatively healthy.    

Round 4

1. (31) Cam Talbot (Edm - G)
2. (32) Johnny Gaudreau (Cgy - LW)
3. (33) Mitch Marner (Tor - C, RW)
4. (34) Frederik Andersen (Tor - G)
5. (35) Phil Kessel (Pit - RW)
6. (36) Artemi Panarin (Cls - C, LW)
7. (37) Jake Allen (StL - G)
8. (38) P.K. Subban (Nsh - G)
9. (39) David Pastrnak (Bos - RW)
10. (40) Roman Josi (Nsh - D)

I was hoping to choose Talbot here, but after he was taken off the board early, so I ended up choosing Allen as my first goalie.  He had some struggles last season, but his outstanding numbers after the All-Star break and his performance in the playoffs proved to me he is more than capable of holding the No. 1 job on any fantasy team.     

Round 5

1. (41) John Gibson (Anh - G)
2. (42) Zach Werenski (Cls - D)
3. (43) Blake Wheeler (Wpg - RW)
4. (44) Tuukka Rask (Bos - G)
5. (45) Kevin Shattenkirk (NYR - D)
6. (46) Henrik Lundqvist (NYR - G)
7. (47) Shea Weber (Mon - D)
8. (48) Filip Forsberg (Nsh - LW)
9. (49) Evgeny Kuznetsov (Was - C)
10. (50) Mike Hoffman (Ott - LW, RW)

Wheeler was a great pickup here.  He has been a consistent and underrated producer with the Jets.  He has surpassed 70 points in each of the last two seasons and he has potted 26 goals for three straight years.  Forsberg, Hoffman and Kuznetsov all have the potential to crack 60 points this campaign.  

Round 6

1. (51) Alexander Radulov (Dal - RW)
2. (52) Duncan Keith (Chi - D)
3. (53) Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB - G)
4. (54) Jeff Skinner (Car - LW)
5. (55) Patrice Bergeron (Bos - C)
6. (56) Corey Perry (Anh - RW)
7. (57) Jonathan Huberdeau (Fla - LW)
8. (58) Corey Crawford (Chi - G)
9. (59) Jonathan Quick (LA - G)
10. (60) Wayne Simmonds (RW)

Don’t forget about Jonathan Huberdeau this year.  He missed most of the 2016-17 season because of an Achilles tendon injury, but looked good once he returned to the lineup with 26 points in 31 games.  I was also surprised by how long it took before Quick was selected.  He also sat out most of the 2016-17 campaign due to injury and started only 17 games, but he will be ready to go this year.  Look for Quick to enjoy a solid bounce-back effort.   

Round 7

1. (61) Drew Doughty (LA - D)
2. (62) Dougie Hamilton (Cgy - D)
3. (63) William Nylander (Tor - C, RW)
4. (64) Jake Guentzel (Pit - C, LW)
5. (65) Ben Bishop (Dal - G)
6. (66) Ryan Getzlaf (Anh - C)
7. (67) Cam Atkinson (Cls - RW)
8. (68) Claude Giroux (Phi - C)
9. (69) Pekka Rinne (Nsh - G)
10. (70) Justin Schultz (Pit - D)

I will admit that I may have reached when I took Guentzel, but I was looking for a left winger and I am very high on him this season.  It is expected that he will play alongside Sidney Crosby after they had plenty of success as a duo last season.  Getzlaf’s goal production has been lacking over the last couple of years, but he can still rack up points and he was a strong pick at this stage of the draft.  

Round 8

1. (71) Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Ari - D)
2. (72) Nikolaj Ehlers (Wpg - LW)
3. (73) Rasmus Ristolainen (Buf -D)
4. (74) Mark Giordano (Cgy - D)
5. (75) Justin Faulk (Car - D)
6. (76) Jordan Eberle (NYI - RW)
7. (77) Torey Krug (Bos - D)
8. (78) Anze Kopitar (LA - C)
9. (79) Mikael Granlund (Min - C, RW)
10. (80) Alex Pietrangelo (StL -D)

Six of the 10 picks in this round were spent on defensemen.  It was a difficult choice for me to take Krug over Pietrangelo.  I really like the Blues’ captain going into this campaign now that Kevin Shattenkirk is out of the picture, but the sleeper potential of St. Louis rearguard Colton Parayko guided me towards Krug.  The selections of forwards Eberle and Kopitar also stand out.  Eberle will have a great opportunity to bounce back with the Islanders alongside Tavares and Kopitar should be able to get back on track after his disappointing 2016-17 performance.     

Round 9

1. (81) Brandon Saad (Chi - LW)
2. (82) John Carlson (Was - D)
3. (83) Ryan Johansen (Nas - C)
4. (84) Brayden Schenn (StL - C, LW)
5. (85) Seth Jones (Cls - D)
6. (86) Taylor Hall (NJ - LW)
7. (87) James van Riemsdyk (Tor - LW)
8. (88) Martin Jones (SJ - G)
9. (89) Aleksander Barkov (Fla - C)
10. (90) Mike Smith (Cgy - G)

Barkov has had his share of injury concerns since entering the league, but when he plays he is an offensive force for the Panthers.  Smith is also an interesting netminder going into the 2017-18 campaign.  His fantasy value could get a significant boost with the Flames.    

Round 10

1. (91) Scott Darling (Car - G)
2. (92) Jonathan Drouin (Mon - LW, RW)
3. (93) T.J. Oshie (Was - RW)
4. (94) Jakub Voracek (Phi - RW)
5. (95) John Klingberg (Dal - D)
6. (96) Alex Galchenyuk (Mon - C, LW)
7. (97) Viktor Arvidsson (Nsh - LW, RW)
8. (98) Ryan Suter (Min - D)
9. (99) Sebastian Aho (Car - LW, RW)
10. (100) Jake Gardiner (Tor - D)

Darling is another puck stopper who has sleeper value going into the year.  He is projected to be Carolina’s No. 1 keeper after he was acquired from Chicago during the offseason.  I also like the scoring potential of Aho, who impressed in his rookie year with the Hurricanes.

Round 11

1. (101) Sean Monahan (Cgy - C)
2. (102) Matthew Tkachuk (Cgy - LW)
3. (103) Cory Schneider (NJ - G)
4. (104) Jeff Carter (LA - C)
5. (105) Jonathan Toews (Chi - C)
6. (106) Shayne Gostisbehere (Phi - D)
7. (107) Mats Zuccarello (NYR - RW)
8. (108) Ryan McDonagh (NYR - D)
9. (109) Alexander Wennberg (Cls - C)
10. (110) Nino Niederreiter (Min - LW, RW)

There are usually quality centers who fall through the cracks in drafts and nearly a handful of them were chosen here when Monahan, Carter, Toews and Wennberg were removed from the board.  Wennberg is an intriguing player going into the year because he is slated to skate alongside big offseason acquisition Artemi Panarin.  

Round 12

1. (111) Oscar Klefbom (Edm - D)
2. (112) Cam Fowler (Anh - D)
3. (113) Rickard Rakell (Anh - C, LW)
4. (114) Morgan Rielly (Tor - D)
5. (115) Nathan MacKinnon (Col - C)
6. (116) Jaden Schwartz (StL - LW)
7. (117) Aaron Ekblad (Fla - D)
8. (118) James Neal (VGK - LW, RW)
9. (119) Sam Reinhart (Buf - C, RW)
10. (120) Conor Sheary (Pit - LW, RW)

I believe Aaron Ekblad is being overlooked going into this year.  He was impressive in his first two NHL seasons, but struggled in 2016-17 because of injuries.  I expect him to get back on track and he could be a 40-point blueliner.  Schwartz and Reinhart were superb selections at this stage, as they both have the potential for big years offensively.  

Round 13

1. (121) Jason Spezza (Dal, C, RW)
2. (122) Patrick Sharp (Chi - LW, RW)
3. (123) Evander Kane (Buf - LW)
4. (124) Colton Parayko (StL - D)
5. (125) Keith Yandle (Fla - D)
6. (126) Tyler Toffoli (LA - C, RW)
7. (127) Chris Kreider (NYR - LW)
8. (128) Ryan Ellis (Nsh - D)
9. (129) Logan Couture (SJ - C)
10. (130) Nazem Kadri (Tor - C)

Sharp and Toffoli dealt with injuries in 2016-17 and both have the ability to be potential steals this campaign if they can bounce back.  Ellis dropped considerably because a knee injury could sideline him until at least January.  If he goes on injured reserve, then he could be worth stashing away, but it would also be understandable if you steered clear of him.         

Round 14

1. (131) T.J. Brodie (Cgy - D)
2. (132) Ivan Provorov (Phi - D)
3. (133) Andre Burakovsky (Was - D)
4. (134) Jakob Silfverberg (Anh - RW)
5. (135) Brent Seabrook (Chi - D)
6. (136) Craig Anderson (Ott - G)
7. (137) Jacob Trouba (Wpg - D)
8. (138) Tyson Barrie (Col - D)
9. (139) Brian Elliott (Phi - G)
10. (140) Milan Lucic (Edm - LW)

Burakovsky is a popular breakout candidate for the 2017-18 campaign.  He is projected to occupy a top-six forward spot on the Capitals and this was the right time to take a chance on him.  Barrie’s plus-minus was a major issue last year, but he could be worth gambling on if his offensive touch returns.  

Round 15

1. (141) Nico Hischier (NJ - C)
2. (142) Matt Niskanen (Was - D)
3. (143) Jared Spurgeon (Min - D)
4. (144) Kyle Okposo (Buf - RW)
5. (145) Mark Stone (Ott - RW)
6. (146) Matt Duchene (Col - C, RW)
7. (147) Kyle Palmieri (NJ - RW)
8. (148) Charlie McAvoy (Bos - D)
9. (149) Brady Skjei (NYR - D)
10. (150) Ryan O’Reilly (Buf - C)

Hischier was the first rookie selected and he will probably be a top contender for the Calder Trophy.  First-year defender McAvoy was also selected in this round.  I was surprised that no one took a chance on highly-touted rookies Clayton Keller or Joshua Ho-Sang, but there were more pressing concerns for some to complete their rosters and plenty of experienced scorers still available.  Stone and O’Reilly stick out as solid pickups, while Duchene is in desperate need of a bounce back effort and a change of scenery could help if it happens.     

Round 16

1. (151) Vincent Trocheck (Fla - C)
2. (152) Robin Lehner (Buf - G)
3. (153) Tyler Johnson (TB - C)
4. (154) Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK - G)
5. (155) Henrik Zetterberg (Det - C, LW)
6. (156) Nick Leddy (NYI - D)
7. (157) Matt Dumba (Min - D)
8. (158) Jaroslav Halak (NYI - G)
9. (159) Zach Parise (Min - LW)
10. (160) Patrick Marleau (Tor - C, LW)

There were some great value picks in the last round.  Trocheck, Leddy, Parise and Marleau were great additions.  Zetterberg was a reliable producer for a Detroit team that struggled to generate offense last year.  Johnson still possesses great offensive ability, but injuries have slowed him for the past two seasons.  Fleury was just the second member of the Golden Knights to be chosen after James Neal was taken in the 12th round.




Corey Abbott is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him Twitter @CoreAbbott.
Email :Corey Abbott