The Steemit Fantasy Hockey League had its draft Wednesday night. It was a very successful draft, with 11 out of 12 team managers present for the live draft. The remaining manager notified us before hand that he was not going to make it... fortunately for him, he autodrafted a great team with his pre-rankings!
We're looking forward to a very fun season! Here's @shenanigator's breakdown of the first three picks of each team:
- Alex Ovechkin (Was - LW)
- Aaron Ekblad (Fla - D)
- Dustin Byfuglien (Wpg - D)
Alex Ovechkin claimed the honor of #1 fantasy draft pick. He’s a proven all-star who knows how to find the back of the net. Defensemen finished off the next two picks. Ekblad is a controversial 2nd round pick due to relatively low output and injuries. He missed four games last year with a concussion, and recently sustained a neck injury in the world cup of hockey. Will the risk pay off?
- Patrick Kane (Chi - RW)
- Kris Letang (Pit - D)
- Henrik Lundqvist (NYR - G)
Patrick Kane led the league in points last year, eclipsing the elusive 100 pt mark. Letang racked up nearly 70 points as a defenseman last year, putting him amongst the top defensive producers. @heroic15397 chose to go a well-rounded route choosing a forward, defenseman, and a goalie as the top three picks.
- Sidney Crosby (Pit - C)
- Artemi Panarin (Chi - LW)
- Corey Perry (Anh - RW)
If you know of only one active hockey player, it’s probably Sidney Crosby. Well...unless you know “That one guy who’s married to Carrie Underwood.” coughMikeFishercough. In typical “PartyLikeARockstar go-big-or-go-home” fashion, it’s all forwards in the first three rounds.
- Connor McDavid (Edm - C)
- Taylor Hall (NJ - LW)
- Corey Crawford (Chi - G)
Wayne Gretzky is known as “The Great One.” At one point, Gretzky called Sidney Crosby “The Next One.” That was until Connor McDavid came around. Wayne Gretzky called Connor McDavid the best prospect he has seen in 30 years. Unfortunately, in his rookie year, we didn’t get to see much of McDavid since he broke his collarbone in the beginning of the season. He came back with a vengeance, though, and tore up the ice after recovering. Can he stay injury-free this year?
- Vladimir Tarasenko (StL - RW)
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Ari - D)
- Filip Forsberg (Nsh - LW)
We see an offensive-heavy top three picks here. Tarasenko eclipsed the 70 point mark last year. OEL, despite being a defenseman, led his team in points scored last year - A rare feat for a D-Man.
- Johnny Gaudreau (Cgy - LW)
- Phil Kessel (Pit - RW)
- Roberto Luongo (Fla - G)
Gaudreau is one of the NHL’s smallest players at 5’9”, 157 pounds. But that didn’t stop him from notching huge numbers. Only 5 players in the league scored more points than him last year. Gaudreau is a restricted free agent, but will probably extend his contract with Calgary.
- Jamie Benn (Dal - LW)
- Ben Bishop (TB - G)
- Claude Giroux (Phi - C)
Jamie Benn is recovering from an off-season injury. If he can stay healthy, this should be a great 7th-overall pick. Only Patrick Kane scored more points than Benn last season. In goal, Ben Bishop had one of the league’s highest save percentage last year and has notched at least 35 wins in each of the last three seasons. But will he have the opportunity to play 60 games this year? It’s questionable, because the Lightning signed Andrei Vasilevskiy to a high-valued three year contract - thus will likely see a good amount of playing time.
- Steven Stamkos (TB - C)
- P.K. Subban (Nsh - D)
- Evgeni Malkin (Pit - C)
Beginning in 2009, Stamkos has three 90+ points seasons in a row. Can he produce those kind of numbers again? We’ll see. P.K. Subban is one of the best defensive players in the league and should be a solid pick.
- Braden Holtby (Was - G)
- Tyler Seguin (Dal - C)
- Evgeny Kuznetsov (Was - C)
Braden Holtby notched an unreal 48 wins last year! To put this in perspective, the league’s next best was 40 wins. If Tyler Seguin can remain healthy, he should prove to be an excellent round two pick. Seguin racked up 73 points last year, despite playing only 72 games.
Dicks out 4 Harambe (@will-zewe)
- John Tavares (NYI - C)
- Anze Kopitar (LA - C)
- Blake Wheeler (Wpg - RW)
Tavares, Kopitar, and Wheeler were all near the top in last year’s point leaders, scoring 70, 74, and 78 pts, respectively. This team certainly won’t be lacking on the offensive front, but will the defensemen and goalies be able to perform?
- Brent Burns (SJ - D)
- Erik Karlsson (Ott - D)
- Jonathan Quick (LA - G)
@Shenanigator’s top draft picks focused on defense. Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson were the league’s two highest-scoring defensemen last year with 75 and 82 points, respectively. He then snagged a goalie, Jonathan Quick, in the 3rd round. He doesn’t compare to Holtby, but Quick claimed the 2nd most wins last year at 40. Will the lack of any all-star forwards hurt this team? Time will tell. @shenanigator’s strategy write-up. Note that @shenanigator donated his reward from this post to the league! Thanks!
- Carey Price (Mon - G)
- Joe Pavelski (SJ - C,RW)
- Martin Jones (SJ - G)
@Full-measure decided quality goalies were of the utmost importance for his team, taking Carey Price and Martin Jones in rounds one and three, respectively. Pavelski scored 38 goals and had 40 assists last year. With 78 points and the C/RW flexibility, it’s difficult to argue that he wasn’t a good 2nd round pick.
As with every post that I make regarding the Steemit Fantasy Hockey League, 100% of all author rewards for this post will be added to the prize pool that will be awarded to participants in the league. That means that I will be powering down to liquidate the SP portion of rewards.