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Expert Analysis

Experts Draft Analysis

by Ryan Dadoun
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

I recently participated in the draft for the Y! Friends and Family league, which is a non-keeper league that renews each season.  It's made up of a lot of fantasy/hockey writers, so the results of the draft might be of particular interest to those getting ready for their own league.


Before we dive into that though, it's important to establish the rules of the league because it deviates from the standard in terms of depth.  We each have 3C, 3LW, 3RW, 1F, 5D, and 5BN slots.  There are 11 of us in the league, which means that 242 total players were picked.


I've provided commentary for the first 10 rounds, but I transcribed all 242 picks, so you can see the full draft below.


If you are interested in reading more draft analysis, we've been doing mock drafts for various formats and have included the results as well as commentary as part of the draft guide.


Round 1

1.1 Alex Ovechkin (Was - LW,RW) - Dan Pennucci

1.2 Sidney Crosby (Pit - C) - Janet Eagleson

1.3 John Tavares (NYI - C) - Pete Jensen

1.4 Steven Stamkos (TB - C) - Evan Berofsky

1.5 Carey Price (Mon - G) - Michael Finewax

1.6 Tyler Seguin (Dal - C,RW) - Peter Maingot

1.7 Jamie Benn (Dal - LW) - Scott Pianowski

1.8 Henrik Lundqvist (NYR - G) - Mike Clay

1.9 Erik Karlsson (Ott - D) - Dallas Guzzwell

1.10 Claude Giroux (Phi - C,RW) - Ryan Dadoun

1.11 Evgeni Malkin (Pit - C,RW) - Andrew Mak


I got to say that the top of the NHL's talent pool has condensed to the point where I don't feel the 11th overall pick - Malkin - is that far off from Ovechkin in terms of potential fantasy value.  That's not to say that I would have just as easily picked Malkin with the first overall pick because I wouldn't have.  Ovechkin has proven himself to be far more durable and he's the best goal scorer in the game.  But can you say with confidence that Ovechkin will have a better campaign?  No.  The difference is there, but it's not so great that if Malkin has the better season people will be shocked by it.


Round 2

2.12 Corey Perry (Anh - RW)

2.13 Phil Kessel (Pit - RW)

2.14 Vladimir Tarasenko (StL - RW)

2.15 P.K. Subban (Mon - D)

2.16 Joe Pavelski (SJ - C,LW)

2.17 Pekka Rinne (Nsh - G)

2.18 Patrick Kane (Chi - C,RW)

2.19 Tuukka Rask (Bos - G)

2.20 Ryan Getzlaf (Anh - C)

2.21 Jakub Voracek (Phi - RW)

2.22 Jonathan Quick (LA - G)


So going into the draft, I wanted to get Henrik Lundqvist with my first pick.  I knew Carey Price wouldn't last because Michael had told me ahead of time that he was going to grab Price if he was available, but Lundqvist would have been a great fallback option for me.  When he was taken I was forced to adjust and I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't take a goaltender early.  Instead I grabbed Giroux with my first pick and Kessel shortly after that.  I, like many people, like Kessel a lot this season given that he's going to be paired with Sidney Crosby.  I'm not at all concerned by the fact that his final campaign with the slumping Toronto Maple Leafs left something to be desired.


Round 3

3.23 Braden Holtby (Was - G)

3.24 Ben Bishop (TB - G)

3.25 Max Pacioretty (Mon - LW)

3.26 Jonathan Toews (Chi - C)

3.27 Nathan MacKinnon (Col - C,RW)

3.28 Ryan Johansen (Cls - C,RW)

3.29 Logan Couture (SJ - C,LW)

3.30 Filip Forsberg (Nsh - C,RW)

3.31 Devan Dubnyk (Min - G)

3.32 Rick Nash (NYR - LW,RW)

3.33 Marc-Andre Fleury (Pit - G)


At this point I was pretty well locked into my wait-on-goaltending strategy because most of the ones I would have entertained taking with an early pick were gone.  I will say that Devan Dubnyk struck me as a gamble though for the 31st overall selection.  He was so good with Minnesota last season, but he has a shaky track record.  I think perhaps people are putting a bit too much emphasis on his run with the Wild.


Round 4

4.34 Corey Crawford (Chi - G)

4.35 Kevin Shattenkirk (StL - D)

4.36 Sergei Bobrovsky (Cls - G)

4.37 Cory Schneider (NJ - G)

4.38 Jordan Eberle (Edm - RW)

4.39 Zach Parise (Min - LW)

4.40 Taylor Hall (Edm - C,LW)

4.41 Gabriel Landeskog (Col - LW)

4.42 Nicklas Backstrom (Was - C)

4.43 Mark Giordano (Cgy - D)

4.44 Shea Weber (Nsh - D)


It's worth emphasizing at this point that this draft took place before Eberle suffered a shoulder injury that will sideline him for the next four-to-six weeks.  Missing essentially the first month of the season isn't crippling, but that information might have caused Eberle to drop a round or two.  But of course, injuries are a reality of the game and sometimes you'll unfortunately get unlucky with your picks.


Round 5

5.45 Tyler Johnson (TB - C)

5.46 Roberto Luongo (Fla - G)

5.47 Dustin Byfuglien (Wpg - RW,D)

5.48 Brent Burns (SJ - RW,D)

5.49 Connor McDavid (Edm - C)

5.50 Kris Letang (Pit - D)

5.51 Jaroslav Halak (NYI - G)

5.52 Patrice Bergeron (Bos - C)

5.53 Nikita Kucherov (TB - RW)

5.54 Nick Foligno (Cls - C,LW)

5.55 Anze Kopitar (LA - C)


By virtue of being a rookie, McDavid is a risk with the 49th overall pick, but he's one I would have taken at that spot had I been given the opportunity.  In fact, I was hoping that McDavid would slip to 54th to me.  His potential is immense, to the point where he might become that consensus number one pick in a few years that makes people actually hope for that top draft position and even in the short-term, he might have one of the best rookie seasons we've seen in a while.


As an aside, I was in a keeper league poll yesterday and I was lucky enough to have the first overall pick and I took McDavid.  It was for an existing four-player keeper league so my decision was made easier by the fact that many top players were already taken.  Even still, I took him over Pekka Rinne and some other big options and I don't regret that decision.  His potential is just too high to resist owning him in a keeper format.


Round 6

6.56 David Backes (StL - C,RW)

6.57 Drew Doughty (LA - D)

6.58 Blake Wheeler (Wpg - RW)

6.59 Wayne Simmonds (Phi - LW,RW)

6.60 Tomas Tatar (Det - LW,RW)

6.61 Frederik Andersen (Anh - G)

6.62 Victor Hedman (TB - D)

6.63 Semyon Varlamov (Col - G)

6.64 Henrik Zetterberg (Det - C,LW)

6.65 Johnny Gaudreau (Cgy - LW)

6.66 James van Riemsdyk (Tor - LW)


In Backes, Wheeler, and Simmonds, we had a bit of a run on the fantasy definition of a power forward (that is simply a forward that is both noteworthy in terms of points and penalty minutes).  I think one of the biggest flaws in my team is that I really struggled to draft any player of that build and that will make finding PIM a chore as I'll likely have to resort to grabbing someone who doesn't really contribute in any category but penalty minutes at some point during the season.


Round 7

7.67 Sean Monahan (Cgy - C)

7.68 Duncan Keith (Chi - D)

7.69 Daniel Sedin (Van - LW)

7.70 John Carlson (Was - D)

7.71 Alex Pietrangelo (StL - D)

7.72 Keith Yandle (NYR - D)

7.73 Alexander Steen (StL - C,LW)

7.74 Chris Kreider (NYR - LW)

7.75 Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Ari - D)

7.76 Roman Josi (Nsh - D)

7.77 Matt Duchene (Col - C,LW)


There were plenty of great defensemen taken in this round, but I think Yandle is probably the most interesting one.  He's surpassed the 50-point mark in back-to-back campaigns and his plus/minus rating should no longer be a concern now that he's with the New York Rangers.  I think an argument could have been made for him going higher than 72nd overall.


Round 8

8.78 James Neal (Nsh - LW,RW)

8.79 T.J. Oshie (Was - C,RW)

8.80 Pavel Datsyuk (Det - C,LW)

8.81 Patrick Sharp (Dal - C,LW)

8.82 Craig Anderson (Ott - G)

8.83 Andrew Ladd (Wpg - LW)

8.84 Tyson Barrie (Col - D)

8.85 Jack Eichel (Buf - C)

8.86 Jonas Hiller (Cgy - G)

8.87 Jaden Schwartz (StL - LW)

8.88 Aaron Ekblad (Fla - D)


James Neal is a significant gamble in my mind.  He struggled in his first season outside of Pittsburgh, which only reinforces the concern that his success was significantly influenced by the talent around him.  If he bounces back then he'll be a steal as an eighth round selection.


Round 9

9.89 John Klingberg (Dal - D)

9.90 Kyle Okposo (NYI - RW)

9.91 Martin Jones (SJ - G)

9.92 Scott Hartnell (Cls - LW)

9.93 Milan Lucic (LA - LW)

9.94 Evander Kane (Buf - LW)

9.95 Brian Elliott (StL - G)

9.96 Dougie Hamilton (Cgy - D)

9.97 Patrick Marleau (SJ - C,LW)

9.98 Ryan Miller (Van - G)

9.99 Ryan McDonagh (NYR - D)


Speaking of gambles, I don't think I need to convince people that Evander Kane is the textbook definition.  He showed such promise in 2011-12 when he scored 30 goals and 57 points in 74 contests, but he hasn't lived up to the promise of that season.  He's still just 24 years old though and has been granted a change of scenery by being acquired by the Buffalo Sabres.  His selection with the 94th overall pick is a bit higher than his average draft position (103.8), but I think there's enough potential there to warrant taking him a bit higher than the norm just to ensure that you get him.


Round 10

10.100 Ryan Kesler (Anh - C,RW)

10.101 Jiri Hudler (Cgy - C,LW,RW)

10.102 Gustav Nyquist (Det - C,LW,RW)

10.103 Chris Kunitz (Pit - LW)

10.104 Jake Allen (StL - G)

10.105 Eric Staal (Car - C)

10.106 Steve Mason (Phi - G)

10.107 Brayden Schenn (Phi - C,LW)

10.108 Brandon Saad (Cls - LW,RW)

10.109 Jonathan Huberdeau (Fla - C,LW)

10.110 Jeff Carter (LA - C,RW)


There are two reasons I took Hudler with the 101st overall pick.  One was that he had 31 goals and 76 points last season and while that's a major leap above what he's done in the past, for the cost of a pick in the triple-digits, I'm willing to roll the dice on the idea that he'll once again play in that range.  The other reason is because he's eligible for all three positions.


I have a huge basis when it comes to forwards that can play multiple positions, to the point where I only drafted three that don't fit to the point where I only had three players that are limited to just one position (Phil Kessel, Henrik Sedin, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins).  That will give me so much more flexibility when building my lineup throughout the season.


Round 11

11.111 Sami Vatanen (Anh - D)

11.112 Torey Krug (Bos - D)

11.113 Mike Green (Det - D)

11.114 Ryan O'Reilly (Buf - C,LW,RW)

11.115 Patric Hornqvist (Pit - RW)

11.116 Jimmy Howard (Det - G)

11.117 Marian Hossa (Chi - RW)

11.118 Kyle Turris (Ott - C)

11.119 Bobby Ryan (Ott - LW,RW)

11.120 Henrik Sedin (Van - C)

11.121 Justin Faulk (Car - D)


Round 12

12.122 Ondrej Palat (TB - LW)

12.123 Dennis Wideman (Cgy - D)

12.124 Andrei Markov (Mon - D)

12.125 Brad Marchand (Bos - LW)

12.126 Niklas Kronwall (Det - D)

12.127 Mark Streit (Phi - D)

12.128 Jason Spezza (Dal - C)

12.129 Tyler Toffoli (LA - C,LW,RW)

12.130 Radim Vrbata (Van - RW)

12.131 Derek Stepan (NYR - C)

12.132 Alex Galchenyuk (Mon - C,LW)



Round 13

13.133 Nick Bjugstad (Fla - C)

13.134 Mark Stone (Ott - RW)

13.135 Ryan Strome (NYI - C)

13.136 Jake Muzzin (LA - D)

13.137 Jarome Iginla (Col - RW)

13.138 Marian Gaborik (LA - RW)

13.139 Jeff Skinner (Car - LW,RW)

13.140 Dion Phaneuf (Tor - D)

13.141 Joe Thornton (SJ - C)

13.142 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edm - C)

13.143 Brent Seabrook (Chi - D)


Round 14

14.144 Johnny Boychuk (NYI - D)

14.145 Ondrej Pavelec (Wpg - G)

14.146 Kari Lehtonen (Dal - G)

14.147 Ryan Callahan (TB - RW)

14.148 Craig Smith (Nsh - C,RW)

14.149 Derick Brassard (NYR - C)

14.150 Thomas Vanek (Min - LW,RW)

14.151 Tyler Ennis (Buf - C,LW)

14.152 Nick Leddy (NYI - D)

14.153 Jonathan Drouin (TB - LW)

14.154 Ryan Suter (Min - D)


Round 15

15.155 Antti Niemi (Dal - G)

15.156 Cam Talbot (Edm - G)

15.157 Evgeny Kuznetsov (Was - C,LW)

15.158 Jacob Trouba (Wpg - D)

15.159 David Krejci (Bos - C)

15.160 Petr Mrazek (Det - G)

15.161 Bryan Little (Wpg - C,RW)

15.162 Max Domi (Ari - C)

15.163 Tomas Plekanec (Mon - C)

15.164 Nail Yakupov (Edm - LW,RW)

15.165 Brendan Gallagher (Mon - RW)


Round 16

16.166 Olli Maatta (Pit - D)

16.167 Jonathan Bernier (Tor - G)

16.168 David Perron (Pit - LW,RW)

16.169 Mark Scheifele (Wpg - C)

16.170 Steve Downie (Ari - LW,RW)

16.171 Paul Stastny (StL - C)

16.172 Hampus Lindholm (Anh - D)

16.173 Justin Schultz (Edm - D)

16.174 Jack Johnson (Cls - D)

16.175 Tyler Myers (Wpg - D)

16.176 Anders Lee (NYI - C)


Round 17

17.177 David Pastrnak (Bos - LW,RW)

17.178 Matt Niskanen (Was - D)

17.179 Valeri Nichushkin (Dal - RW)

17.180 Mike Smith (Ari - G)

17.181 Antoine Roussel (Dal - LW)

17.182 Anton Stralman (TB - D)

17.183 Morgan Rielly (Tor - D)

17.184 T.J. Brodie (Cgy - D)

17.185 Zdeno Chara (Bos - D)

17.186 Brandon Dubinsky (Cls - C,LW)

17.187 Jason Pominville (Min - RW)


Round 18

18.188 Cam Fowler (Anh - D)

18.189 Erik Johnson (Col - D)

18.190 Alexander Edler (Van - D)

18.191 Robin Lehner (Buf - G)

18.192 Marek Zidlicky (NYI - D)

18.193 David Savard (Cls - D)

18.194 Mats Zuccarello (NYR - LW,RW)

18.195 Teuvo Teravainen (Chi - LW)

18.196 Alex Stalock (SJ - G)

18.197 Colin Wilson (Nsh - C,LW)

18.198 Adam Henrique (NJ - C)


Round 19

19.199 Cam Atkinson (Cls - RW)

19.200 Alex Killorn (TB - C,LW)

19.201 Matt Dumba (Min - D)

19.202 Seth Jones (Nsh - D)

19.203 Adam Larsson (NJ - D)

19.204 Mikko Koivu (Min - C)

19.205 Christian Ehrhoff (LA - D)

19.206 Travis Hamonic (NYI - D)

19.207 Mike Hoffman (Ott - C,LW)

19.208 Andrew Hammond (Ott - G)

19.209 Tomas Hertl (SJ - C,LW)


Round 20

20.210 Sam Bennett (Cgy - C)

20.211 Joffrey Lupul (Tor - LW,RW)

20.212 Jakob Silfverberg (Anh - LW,RW)

20.213 Carl Hagelin (Anh - LW)

20.214 Kevin Hayes (NYR - RW)

20.215 Jaromir Jagr (Fla - RW)

20.216 Eddie Lack (Car - G)

20.217 Justin Abdelkader (Det - LW,RW)

20.218 Cody Franson (Buf - D)

20.219 Nazem Kadri (Tor - C)

20.220 James Wisniewski (Car - D)


Round 21

21.221 Brandon Pirri (Fla - C,LW,RW)

21.222 Alex Goligoski (Dal - D)

21.223 Karri Ramo (Cgy - G)

21.224 Aleksander Barkov (Fla - C)

21.225 Michal Neuvirth (Phi - G)

21.226 Johan Franzen (Det - LW,RW)

21.227 Mikkel Boedker (Ari - LW,RW)

21.228 Troy Brouwer (StL - RW)

21.229 Mike Cammalleri (NJ - C,LW)

21.230 Alexander Semin (Mon - LW,RW)

21.231 Cam Ward (Car - G)


Round 22

22.232 Marko Dano (Chi - C)

22.233 Loui Eriksson (Bos - LW,RW)

22.234 Andrej Sekera (Edm - D)

22.235 Elias Lindholm (Car - C)

22.236 Trevor Daley (Chi - D)

22.237 Kevin Bieksa (Anh - D)

22.238 Radko Gudas (Phi - D)

22.239 Justin Williams (Was - RW)

22.240 Valtteri Filppula (TB - C,LW)

22.241 Nino Niederreiter (Min - RW)

22.242 Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB - G)

Ryan Dadoun
Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.