Michael Finewax

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Keeper League Mock Draft

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Rotoworld Staff had its second mock draft on Tuesday September 19th and this one was a keeper pool. There were nine participants including Michael Finewax, Macauley Renner, Mitch Goldenberg, Joey Alfieri, Corey Abbott, Gus Katsaros, Ryan Dadoun, James O’Brien and Jeff Alfieri.

 We are playing the following categories: Goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, power play points and shots on goal for the skaters while goalies will contend in wins, goals-against-average, save percentage and shutouts.

 

ROUND 1

 

1.1   Connor McDavid, Oilers, (C) Michael Finewax

1.2   Patrick Kane, Blackhawks, (RW) Macauley Renner

1.3   Sidney Crosby, Penguins, (C) Mitch Goldenberg

1.4   Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs (C) Joey Alfieri

1.5   Nikita Kucherov, Lightning, (RW) Corey Abbott

1.6   Carey Price, Montreal (G), Gus Katsaros

1.7   Jack Eichel, Sabres, (C), Ryan Dadoun

1.8   Tyler Seguin, Stars, (C), James O’Brien

1.9   Jamie Benn, Stars, (LW) Jeff Alfieri

 

 

The first round was fairly predictable. Patrick Kane would not have been my second overall choice but he still deserved to go in the opening round and if you really like him then you are not getting him if you don’t take him early. Jamie Benn went higher than to my liking as well. No-brainers in selecting McDavid, Matthews and Eichel this early. Crosby will continue to perform at a top level for at least a few seasons more. Kucherov is one of the best players in the NHL.

 

ROUND 2

2.10 Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues, (RW)

2.11 Erik Karlsson, Senators, (D)

2.12 Patrik Laine, Jets (RW)

2.13 Brent Burns, Sharks (LW)

2.14 Braden Holtby, Capitals, (G)

2.15 Alex Ovechkin, Capitals (LW)

2.16 Matt Murray, Penguins, (G)

2.17 Joe Pavelski, Sharks, (C, RW)

2.18 Leon Draisaitl, Oilers (C,RW)

 

In a keeper league, Burns and Pavelski are not second round worthy due to their age and not their ability.  Love the pick of Murray as he is one of, if not the best, young goalies in the NHL. Tarasenko, Karlsson, Laine and Draisaitl are all young studs.

 

ROUND 3

 

3.19 Victor Hedman, Lightning, (D)

3.20 Evgeni Malkin, Penguins, (C)

3.21 Mark Scheifele, Jets, (C)

3.22 Brad Marchand, Bruins, (LW)

3.23 Dustin Byfuglien, Jets (D)

3.24 John Tavares, Islanders (C)

3.25 Sergei Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets, (G)

3.26 Steven Stamkos, Lightning, (C)

3.27 Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals (C)

 

I love the picks of Scheifele and Bobrovsky. Can’t believe how far Steven Stamkos has fallen. Brad Marchand has been one of the best NHLers over the last two seasons. Byfuglien is a nice defenseman but is no youngster.

 

ROUND 4

 

4.28 Johnny Gaudreau, Flames, (LW)

4.29 Cam Talbot, Oilers, (G)

4.30 Artemi Panarin, Blue Jackets, (C,LW)

4.31 Filip Forsberg, Predators, (LW)

4.32 Kris Letang, Penguins, (D)

4.33 Max Pacioretty, Canadiens, (LW)

4.34 David Pastrnak, Bruins (RW)

4.35 Phil Kessel, Penguins, (RW)

4.36 Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning, (G)

 

I don’t understand how David Pastrnak fell so far. I was thinking about taking him with the first pick of the third round and was hoping he would last another couple of picks. Letang is too injury-prone to be selected this high but if he stays healthy, he turns out to be a great pick. I like the picks of Gaudreau, Panarin and Forsberg as well.

 

ROUND 5

 

5.37 P.K. Subban, Predators, (D)

5.38 Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs, (C,RW)

5.39 Jake Allen, Blues, (G)

5.40 John Gibson, Ducks, (G)

5.41 Devan Dubnyk, Wild, (G)

5.42 Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals, (C)

5.43 Zach Werenski, Blue Jackets, (D)

5.44 Tuukka Rask, Bruins, (G)

5.45 Blake Wheeler, Jets, (RW)

 

A little run on goalies in the fifth round. I made a mistake and should have taken Werenski before Subban. I love the pick of Marner as he has a chance to be a star. Gibson and Evgeny Kuznetsov were also fine selections.

 

ROUND 6

 

6.46 Martin Jones, Sharks, (G)

6.47 Roman Josi, Predators, (D)

6.48 William Nylander, Maple Leafs, (C,RW)

6.49 Duncan Keith, Blackhawks, (D)

6.50 Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks (C)

6.51 Pekka Rinne, Predators, (G)

6.52 Drew Doughty, Kings, (D)

6.53 Shea Weber, Canadiens, (D)

6.54 Nikolaj Ehlers, Jets, (LW)

 

Only a few selections stand out in this round, namely William Nylander and Nikolaj Ehlers. The rest of the picks are solid veterans but their fantasy values are not on the rise.

 

ROUND 7

 

7.55 Aaron Ekblad, Panthers, (D)

7.56 James van Riemsdyk, Maple Leafs, (LW)

7.57 Jonathan Drouin, Canadiens, (LW, RW)

7.58 Wayne Simmonds, Flyers, (RW)

7.59 Rasmus Ristolainen, Sabres, (D)

7.60 Corey Crawford, Blackhawks, (G)

7.61 Dougie Hamilton, Flames, (D)

7.62 Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Coyotes, (D)

7.63 Kevin Shattenkirk, Rangers, (D)

 

Lots of  interesting picks in this round. I really like Drouin in Montreal (I almost picked him but decided to grab Ekblad who I think will have a comeback season) as well as Ristolainen and Hamilton. Simmonds is always a good pick as he is a nice combination of points and penalty minutes. You might be worried about the future of the Rangers as Shattenkirk was the first New Yorker selected.

 

ROUND 8

 

8.64 John Klingberg, Stars, (D)

8.65 Sean Monahan, Flames, (C)

8.66 Mike Hoffman, Senators, (LW, RW)

8.67 Jonathan Huberdeau, Panthers, (LW)

8.68 Aleksander Barkov, Panthers, (C)

8.69 Patrice Bergeron, Bruins, (C)

8.70 Ryan Johansen, Predators (C)

8.71 Jaden Schwartz, Blues, (LW)

8.72 Seth Jones, Blue Jackets, (D)

 

I love the back-to-back picks of Huberdeau and Barkov. The duo will lead the Panthers for years to come. It took a long time for someone to pick Monahan and James selected a good one in the eighth round. Schwartz and Johansen are nice picks but there are injury concerns.

 

ROUND 9

 

9.73 Jonathan Quick, Kings, (G)

9.74 Logan Couture, Sharks (C)

9.75 Alex Pietrangelo, Blues (D)

9.76 Corey Perry, Ducks, (RW)

9.77 Mikael Granlund, Wild, (C,RW)

9.78 Alexander Radulov, Stars, (RW)

9.79 Ben Bishop, Stars, (G)

9.80 Taylor Hall, Devils, (LW)

9.81 Frederik Andersen, Maple Leafs, (G)

 

There are not a lot of great keepers in this round, with the lone exception being Mikael Granlund. Three goalies were picked and I was surprised I got Quick so late. Bishop should bounce back in Dallas and Andersen is a solid NHL goalie.

 

ROUND 10

 

 10.82 Jake Guentzel, Penguins, (C,LW)

10.83 Justin Faulk, Hurricanes, (D)

10.84 Mark Giordano, Flames, (D)

10.85 Cam Atkinson, Blue Jackets, (RW)

10.86 Claude Giroux, Flyers, (C)

10.87 Ryan Suter, Wild, (D)

10.88 Brandon Saad, Blackhawks (LW)

10.89 Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers, (G)

10.90 Matthew Tkachuk, Flames, (LW)

 

I love the pick of Brandon Saad who should see top-six duty with the Blackhawks. Cam Atkinson is also under the radar and should hit 30 goals once again this season. Henrik Lundquist has slipped down the draft boards once again this season and at 35 has seen his fantasy value drop significantly in the last three seasons.

 

ROUND 11

 

11.91 Viktor Arvidsson, Predators, (LW,RW)

11.92 Jeff Skinner, Hurricanes, (LW)

11.93 T.J. Oshie, Capitals, (RW)

11.94 Justin Schultz, Penguins, (D)

11.95 Brayden Schenn, Blues, (C, LW)

11.96 Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes, (LW, RW)

11.97 Torey Krug, Bruins, (D)

11.98 Alex Galchenyuk, Canadiens, (C, LW)

11.99 Shayne Gostisbehere, Flyers, (D)

 

Justin Schultz is a nice selection at this stage as is Skinner who is only 25 but has been in the league since he was 18. I also like Aho, Galchenyuk and a comeback season from Gostisbehere.

 

ROUND 12

 

12.100 Cory Schneider, Devils, (G)

12.101 James Neal, Golden Knights, (LW, RW)

12.102 Conor Sheary, Penguins, (LW, RW)

12.103 Jeff Carter, Kings, (C)

12.104 Rickard Rakell, Ducks, (C, LW)

12.105 Ryan McDonagh, Rangers, (D)

12.106 Jake Gardiner, Maple Leafs, (D)

12.107 Colton Parayko, Blues, (D)

12.108 Oscar Klefbom, Oilers, (D)

 

I’m loading up on Oilers this season with McDavid, Draisaitl and now Klefbom. I obviously got lucky with the first pick of the draft. Neal was the first member of the Golden Knights to be taken at 101. Rakell is a 30 goal scorer and Carter was a nice pick at this stage of the pool.

 

ROUND 13

 

13.109 Mark Stone, Senators, (RW)

13.110 Scott Darling, Hurricanes, (G)

13.111 John Carlson, Capitals, (D)

13.112 Keith Yandle, Panthers, (D)

13.113 Cam Fowler, Ducks, (D)

13.114 Shea Theodore, Golden Knights, (D)

13.115 Jakub Voracek, Flyers, (RW)

13.116 Jacob Trouba, Jets, (D)

13.117 Tyson Barrie, Avalanche, (D)

 

Carlson dropped like a stone and is a lot better than 111 overall. Trouba was a sneaky pick and Voracek should perform a lot better than last season. Barrie is held back by the Avs poor performance last season and they are not likely to be a lot better this season.

 

ROUND 14

 

14.118 Jordan Eberle, Islanders, (D)

14.119 Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks, (C)

14.120 Anze Kopitar, Kings, (C)

14.121 Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche, (C)

14.122 Jason Spezza, Stars, (C,RW)

14.123 Mike Smith, Flames, (G)

14.124 Tyler Toffoli, Kings, (C, LW)

14.125 Alexander Steen, Blues, (C,LW)

14.126 Sam Reinhart, Sabres, (C,RW)

 

I like the pick of Eberle as he should click with John Tavares. MacKinnon has loads of talent but unfortunately is on the Avalanche. Kopitar’s years as being fantasy relevant, look to be behind him. Toews is a great hockey player but his fantasy value is considerably less.

 

ROUND 15

 

15.127 J.T. Miller, Rangers, (LW, RW)

15.128 Matt Niskanen, Capitals, (D)

15.129 Craig Anderson, Senators, (G)

15.130 Kyle Turris, Senators, (C)

15.131 Alexander Wennberg, Blue Jackets, (C)

15.132 Charlie McAvoy, Bruins, (D)

15.133 Milan Lucic, Oilers, (LW)

15.134 Matt Duchene, Avalanche (C,RW)

15.135 Bo Horvat, Vancouver, (C)

 

I like Wennberg, McAvoy, Lucic and Horvat in this round. Anderson is a steal at 129 but could regress. The status of Matt Duchene and whether or  not he remains in Colorado will haunt him until he is dealt.

 

ROUND 16

 

16.136 Nick Leddy, Islanders, (D)

16.137 Ryan Strome, Oilers,(C,RW)

16.138 Max Domi, Coyotes, (LW)

16.139 Jared Spurgeon, Wild, (D)

16.140 Andre Burakovsky, (LW,RW)

16.141 Kyle Palmieri, Devils, (RW)

16.142 Evander Kane. Sabres (LW)

16.143 Alec Martinez, Kings, (D)

16.144 Sam Bennett, Flames, (C,LW)

 

The final round contains some nice future keepers in Strome, Domi, Burakovsky and Bennett. We shall see who pans out.




Michael Finewax is entering his 13th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
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