Hey party people- here’s the results of my second mock draft this year (thanks for not e-mailing me the results Yahoo!). ESPN finally has their mock draft client up and running, and though this wasn’t a full draft (6 people,) the autodrafters seemed to at least have set up some pre-rankings, so I think this is more or less representative of what would have happened if it was a full mock. I decided to stop at 150 picks, and in future mocks I’ll go deeper. I followed a bit of a different strategy, which I’ll write about as I get into the picks.
My pick: John Tavares. I purposely put myself in the fifth slot…I just laugh when I see people go for the first or second slot, because I like to see how the first few picks shake out. Crosby/Stamkos/Ovechkin went pretty much in order, though Giroux was an interesting selection given his recent groin injury. He’s set to miss the entire preseason, so why reach for him at the top of the draft? For a few years, there has basically been a “Big Four” of Crosby, Stamkos, Ovi, Malkin…but I genuinely think Tavares will make that a Big Five this year. If not for that unfortunate injury during the Olympics last year, we’d be looking at Johnny T differently. Malkin skipped to eighth overall, which was quite the bargain. Zetterberg in the top-10 is pretty gutsy too.
My pick: Ryan Getzlaf. I thought long and hard about Erik Karlsson at the 16 spot. He’s head and shoulders above the next-best defenseman. I went with Getzlaf because because of how consistently good he’s been over the years, and particularly last year. In a hits league, he’s even more valuable. Thinking back, I could have snagged Karlsson and got another good forward in the third, but I just like to have two elite forwards at the start of a draft.
Thoughts on the round: Seguin at 11 is fine by me, but Pavelski at 13 is way too much of a reach. ESPN ranks Jonathan Quick at 14 overall, which is completely, batshit crazy. You don’t get points for postseason play, and in the regular season, Quick just hasn’t been that good! Stay far, far away from Quick in the first two rounds.
My pick: Henrik Lundqvist. Kind of a no-brainer here, I’ve seen some people grab King Henrik in the first round, so when he was sitting there after guys like Quick and Price went at 14-15, I snatched him up. The guy is money in the bank, and I think goalies start to get a lot of question marks after the top tier (see: Fleury at 29) so I grabbed Hank and didn’t look back.
Thoughts on the round: I like Nathan MacKinnon as much as the next guy, but to draft him at 24 takes all the value out of the pick. He’s likely a point-per-game player this year, so in the end it’s probably okay, but if he falters even a little, the value is gone from the pick. Backes should not be going ahead of Parise and Vanek, unless it’s a hits league…and even then, I’d still go with the scorers.
My pick: Kris Letang. I really wanted Subban here, but he got sniped. I had Letang last year, and to be honest I don’t feel great about the pick. I wanted a top defenseman, and if Letang can regain any of his old form, I’ll have a tier-1 player. Although, I got some insurance in the next round, as you’ll see in a second.
Thoughts on the round: Taylor Hall at 31 could be an absolute steal. Say what you will, I smell a breakout this year. Toews at 33 is a great pick too. Ben Bishop starts a mini run on goaltenders. Bishop had a solid year last year, and I think he’d be a fine no. 1 ‘tender. Might have to look into him a little closer.
My pick: Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Yandle or OEL, OEL or Yandle…they are ranked right next to each other, and they go very near each other. Both are solid choices, and in other mocks I’ve taken Yandle. But today I felt like rolling the dice. We haven’t seen the best of Ekman-Larsson yet, and if this is the year he breaks out…watch out man. This is about the time in the draft that I think it’s fine to make some riskier picks, which is another reason I went with OEL over Yandle, because I think he has a higher ceiling.
Thoughts on the round: I like Marleau and Couture here, they still have the ability to put up beaucoup points. I was eyeing both guys but they got grabbed. I love me some Gabriel Landeskog but I’ve only owned him in a hits league, so I would like to see him put up some more points. That said, he turns 22 this year, so he could go off any time now.
My pick: Cory Schneider. I love this kid. LOVE. He’s got great stats, but thanks to ye olde Marty Brodeur, the quantity of starts wasn’t there. Schneider is on a Devils team that was surprisingly good at shot supression last year, and while his win potential may be stymied a little, I am very bullish on Schneider.
Thoughts on the round: Marian Hossa. Steal of the (mock) draft. I was praying he would drop to me but he didn’t. Yandle slips a little as well, and then there’s Pietrangelo/Shattenkirk. Quality fantasy players, but I don’t see them producing at elite fantasy levels. Plus I think the system limits their offensive upside.
My pick: James Neal. Not worried at all about the move to Smashville, I think this guy is exceptionally talented, and I think he’ll get his points. Maybe not to the extent that he did in Pittsburgh, but I like his talent. Won’t be surprised at all if he approaches 300 SOG, and don’t undervalue his 60+ PIMs.
Thoughts on the round: Look how far Chara has fallen. It’s not crazy either, his numbers have dropped off a bit but he still put up about 170 shots, 40 pts, and 60 PIMs. Could be a solid value, particularly in hits leagues.
|76||James van Riemsdyk|
My pick: James van Riemsdyk. I’ll cop to it, I don’t feel great about this pick. I would have taken Carter, Hartnell, Stall, maybe even Spezza…but they were all taken. If I could do it again, I likely would have gone with ROR, Nyquist, Thornton(!), even Semin. But when in doubt, draft shots on goal. JVR hung 279 shots last year, and he’s a 10% career shooter which is very repeatable. Plus, hey, 50 PIM. I’m trying to justify here…and ultimately this could be a decent value pick.
Thoughts on the round: Lots of value here, with the above mentioned players, plus Goalies like Lehtonen and Niemi, heck, even Luongo. I would be happy to have any one of those guys as my no. 2. Definitely some value to be had in the 8th round.
My pick: Jonathan Drouin. Go big or go home baby! If this was a live draft, I may have chosen more of a vet, but certainly in keeper leagues, Drouin is a tantalizing pick. In the middle rounds, I like to swing for the fences, hence Drouin.
Thoughts on the round: Some veteran names there in Thornton, Semin, and fantasy stud Brandon Dubinsky. Also, Ryan Suter drops way off due to his lackluster point production since joining the Wild. In a league with time on ice (which is most of them,) consider taking Suter as an ice hog, which will allow you to roll the dice on some players who produce but don’t get a lot of ice time.
|100||Martin St. Louis|
My pick: Rick Nash. Draft shots! Dude puts rubber on net in high volume. He’s not getting any younger, and his postseason performance was cringeworthy last year. But people tend to overreact to playoff production, so I think Nash could be a sneaky pickup. (I’m going to save my round thoughts for the end of the piece)
My pick: Patric Hornqvist. I love James Neal after he left the Penguins, I LOVE Hornqvist joining Pittsburgh. He’s 28 now so I suppose we’ve seen what he’s going to be, but put him alongside either Crosby or Malkin, and watch him go. Looking for a big year from Hornqvist this year.
My pick: Ryan McDonah. I wanted Roman Josi but he got sniped. Not super crazy about McDonah, but he’ll put up shots and chip in on the PP.
My pick: Jacob Trouba. I really liked what Trouba did in his first season last year, and I’m hoping he continues his growth. Draft him as a no. 4 defenseman and enjoy the value.
My pick: Jake Allen. Alright, not a lot to say here…needed a no. 3 goalie, might as well take a guy on one of the best defensive teams in the league. Allen’s final numbers weren’t jaw dropping last year but he’s shown he can be streaky.
My pick: Evander Kane. I love Evander Kane, love love love him. Granted, I’ve owned him in my hits league so perhaps I overvalue him just a scooch, but if he puts everything together this year, watch out league.
Thoughts on the late rounds. First off, Jason Pominville at 139!!?? WHAT THE WHAT? 30 goals in the bag last year, and Mikael Granlund is only getting better. He’ll get a ton of power play opportunities too. I think my overall point is, there are a lot of good forwards available late in the draft, but defensemen are thinner and thinner, and goalies are often a crapshoot. So, I tried to grab a couple elite forwards but sprinkle in other positions. I may wait a bit longer next time to grab my next number one goaltender, but if you are smart and look ahead a bit, you can get some real values in the mid- to late-rounds.
It’s always interesting to see who moves up the list and who moves down. Also the ADP lists are a great resource, and once I get a chance to sink my hooks into that data, I’ll have some more insights.
I’d love to hear what you thought of my mock, so leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter, @Bobafenwick. Thanks for reading!