Boba Fenwick Mock Draft number 1

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.

Round 1

1 Sidney Crosby
2 Steven Stamkos
3 Alex Ovechkin
4 Claude Giroux
5 John Tavares
6 Nicklas Backstrom
7 Corey Perry
8 Evgeni Malkin
9 Tuukka Rask
10 Henrik Zetterberg

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.

Round 2

11 Tyler Seguin
12 Patrick Sharp
13 Joe Pavelski
14 Jonathan Quick
15 Carey Price
16 Ryan Getzlaf
17 Jamie Benn
18 Patrick Kane
19 Anze Kopitar
20 Erik Karlsson

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.

Round 3

21 Chris Kunitz
22 Shea Weber
23 Phil Kessel
24 Nathan MacKinnon
25 Henrik Lundqvist
26 David Backes
27 Zach Parise
28 Thomas Vanek
29 Marc-Andre Fleury
30 Pekka Rinne

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.

Round 4

31 Taylor Hall
32 Daniel Sedin
33 Jonathan Toews
34 Matt Duchene
35 P.K. Subban
36 Kris Letang
37 Ben Bishop
38 Semyon Varlamov
39 Corey Crawford
40 Max Pacioretty

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.

Round 5

41 Duncan Keith
42 Patrick Marleau
43 Logan Couture
44 Gabriel Landeskog
45 Oliver Ekman-Larsson
46 Alexander Steen
47 Victor Hedman
48 Pavel Datsyuk
49 Henrik Sedin
50 Mark Giordano

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.

Round 6

51 James Wisniewski
52 Jarome Iginla
53 Sergei Bobrovsky
54 Marian Hossa
55 Keith Yandle
56 Cory Schneider
57 Alex Pietrangelo
58 Kevin Shattenkirk
59 David Krejci
60 Dustin Byfuglien

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.

Round 7

61 Drew Doughty
62 Patrice Bergeron
63 Blake Wheeler
64 Jakub Voracek
65 James Neal
66 Kyle Okposo
67 Zdeno Chara
68 Jeff Skinner
69 Niklas Kronwall
70 Ryan Miller

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.

Round 8

71 Jeff Carter
72 Scott Hartnell
73 Jaroslav Halak
74 Jason Spezza
75 Eric Staal
76 James van Riemsdyk
77 Torey Krug
78 Kari Lehtonen
79 Antti Niemi
80 Roberto Luongo

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.

Round 9

81 Jordan Eberle
82 Ryan Suter
83 Ryan O’Reilly
84 Mike Green
85 Jonathan Drouin
86 Gustav Nyquist
87 Joe Thornton
88 Alexander Semin
89 Jaromir Jagr
90 Brandon Dubinsky

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.

Round 10

91 Milan Lucic
92 Johan Franzen
93 Wayne Simmonds
94 Brian Elliott
95 Jonathan Bernier
96 Rick Nash
97 Steve Mason
98 Ryan Johansen
99 Mike Smith
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)

Round 11

101 Paul Stastny
102 Dion Phaneuf
103 Evgeny Kuznetsov
104 Bryan Little
105 Patric Hornqvist
106 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
107 Marian Gaborik
108 Brent Burns
109 David Perron
110 T.J. Oshie

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.

Round 12

111 Tyson Barrie
112 Radim Vrbata
113 Chris Kreider
114 Alex Goligoski
115 Roman Josi
116 Ryan McDonagh
117 Valtteri Filppula
118 Jimmy Howard
119 Brent Seabrook
120 Mikko Koivu

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.

Round 13

121 Lubomir Visnovsky
122 Brad Marchand
123 Ryan Kesler
124 John Carlson
125 Jacob Trouba
126 Andrej Sekera
127 Mats Zuccarello
128 Andrei Markov
129 Kimmo Timonen
130 Derek Stepan

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.

Round 14

131 Aleksander Barkov
132 Cam Fowler
133 Brad Richards
134 Christian Ehrhoff
135 Ryan Callahan
136 Jake Allen
137 Jason Garrison
138 Dan Boyle
139 Jason Pominville
140 Justin Williams

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.

Round 15

141 Erik Johnson
142 Jay Bouwmeester
143 Marek Zidlicky
144 Jaden Schwartz
145 Evander Kane
146 Martin Hanzal
147 Kyle Turris
148 Matt Niskanen
149 Tyler Johnson
150 Mike Cammalleri

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!

Wild 13 14 usage chart

Beginner’s guide to #MNWild analytics pt. 2 – Who Charted!?

“Seeing is believing.” Humans are incredibly visual, we rely on our eyesight more than any other sense, and we tend to understand information a lot more easily if we see it presented visually as opposed to text or numbers. Plus, a lot more information can be packed into charts, making them very efficient when we want to look at a lot of different variables at the same time. Today I am continuing my “analytics for beginners” series by talking about two different charts–one that has been around seemingly forever, and one that has just recently been developed. Continue reading

Hashtag Hockey Podcast ep. 29 with Dan Ginter 9/11/14


The Hashtag Hockey Podcast kicks off season 3! Dan and I discuss a variety of topics, including:

  • A remembrance of September 11th
  • Nino Niederreiter’s contact extension
  • Which craft beers we are enjoying
  • NHL 15, is it worth it?
  • Must-watch TV shows to Netflix binge, including Bojack Horseman and Married at First Sight
  • Hockey Hats

Damned Lies and Statistics: Erik Haula vs Boba Fenwick

For longer than any Minnesota Wild fan cares to remember, the team has had a real problem assembling a capable second line to provide depth and secondary scoring. The second line has recently been occupied by players like Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Guillaume Latendresse, Martin Havlat, Devin Setoguchi, Matt Cullen, and Cal Clutterbuck–a group of solid players who played fairly consistently and maybe individually heated up for a couple weeks, but nothing resembling a high level NHL second unit.

With Vanek joining veterans Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, and Jason Pominville, the Wild top six suddenly looks very different than just a couple years ago, and in fact, it’s a bit crowded. Add in the young guns who have impressed lately in Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreider, and Mikael Granlund, and someone is going to be the odd-man-out.

Also, consider that the third and fourth lines have seen the likes of Mike Rupp, Zenon Konopka, Torrey Mitchell, and yeah, Dany Heatley recently. Minnesota could have a completely rebuilt bottom six this year, and whoever misses the top six could end up on a surprisingly productive third line that is very likely to be centered by the tuhlaajapoika, the Adopted Finn Erik Haula.

Continue reading

The beginner’s guide to #MNWild analytics part 1: Christopher Walken presents Corsi and WOWY

The 2014 NHL offseason will go down as the Summer of Analytics after a number of high profile bloggers and stats guys got hired by NHL teams. It’s clear that fancy stats are not going away, and I am seeing a lot more people who are interested in learning about them, so I decided to write up this handy dandy introduction to Fancy Stats for those of you  who may be getting into analytics for the first time, or if you have dabbled and want to beef up your chops. I’m not going to get too deep into the maths here, but if you would like to really dive into the underlying research, I’ll provide some resources at the end of this post. I will start with two stats that have funny names, ones that I think Christopher Walken would enjoy talking about, Corsi and WOWY! Continue reading

Wild Game Notes: 4-8-14 vs Bruins plus individual Corsi and win expectancy

  • A nice come-from-behind victory for the Wild tonight, in the second game of a back to back against the best team in the Eastern Conference.
  • It was the third game in four nights for the Wild, and I thought they looked generally overmatched tonight but they still won the possession game.
  • Koivu and Parise +9 Corsi, Coyle +5. Even or -1 zone starts too. #DoWorkSon
  • Minnesota was down to 5.5% chance to win the game late in the third but they pulled it out. I’d have to do a little bit of checking but they have had a number of games lately where their expected win percent was way down there in the single digits. Not sure if that’s indicative of some team skill or not but it’s hard to argue there isn’t something there, that wasn’t there in previous seasons. And this is coming from a stat guy!

Read on…

Wild Game Notes: 4-5-14 vs Penguins plus individual Corsi and win expectancy

  • Minnesota wins one-nil against Winnipeg, who was motivated to get a win for Hutch (though they still got shut out.)
  • Clearly a defensive gameplan from Mike Yeo tonight, this was a classic Minnesota Wild game. Shades of 2011
  • Case in point, 19 Fenwick events tonight. The Wild were going for controlled entries but not getting a lot of pressure. Lots of one-and-done
  • Read on…

Wild Game Notes: 4-5-14 vs Penguins plus individual Corsi and win expectancy

  • A nice win by the Wild tonight, came out very strong. Good forecheck, kept Pittsburgh bottled in their own zone for long stretches at a time.
  • Need to see them play this style in the playoffs to get deeper into series.
  • Penguins have been pretty much decimated by injuries this year but always nice to beat another playoff team late in the season for a nice confidence boost.
  • Speaking of which, two of the Wild’s remaining four games are against the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins and West Conference-leading Blues. So they’ll have to be on top of their game down the stretch, which I think will be helpful for their first round chances.

Read on…

Wild Game Notes: 4-3-14 at Blackhawks plus individual Corsi and win expectancy

  • Talk about your late game heroics from Erik Haula. Early in the season it was Fontaine with the unexpected scoring, late in the year let’s see if Haula can keep it up with more ice time
  • Haula 15:30 ES TOI, +20/-12 with one more DZ start than OZ (-1). Solid
  • For a spell the Wild looked not to be trying to win, but to not lose. Of course, Haula changed the narrative late in the game, but the Wild were down to <5% to win the game by the ExtraSkater win expectancy formula (which I will admit I don’t know much about other than it seems to be primarily goal and time-based) Read on…