10 Tips for your Fantasy Hockey Draft

Normally, we’d go silly for this post, like listing the best Team Names to consider (I’m a big fan of Shut Yer 5 Hole).

In all seriousness, some people have struggled in years past, and given up before the All-Star/Olympic break. So follow these tips and do a tiny bit of research. It will go a long way.

B's hope to end offensive woes with skilled youngster Tyler Seguin

#10 – Don’t fear the big name rookies. Last year, first round picks Tavares and Duchene both tallied 50+ points, while Hedman and Kane quickly moved up the depth charts. That makes youngsters like Seguin, Hall, and Gudbranson all viable options if available in the later rounds.

#9 – No Oldie but Goodies. Sometimes the veterans in their late 30s and beyond are not good options. Modano was great in 1994, but when a dude’s point totals start to take a turn for the worse… it’s time to jump ship and simply remember the good old days from afar.

#8 – Draft Ovechkin #1 overall. I know this is probably the biggest gimme in the NHL, but that’s why we have this bullet down here at #8 (quite fitting eh?). Ovie has scored less than 106 pts just once in his career, and now has a powerhouse offense around him. Lock it up!

Anzer Kopitar tallied 38 PPP last season

#7 – Mind the PPP. While most top 10 guys at each position are almost always on the Power Play, there’s still 20 or 30 guys out there grabbing points on the PP, sometimes subtly. Teemu Selanne totaled just 48 pts last year, over half came on the man-advantage. A savvy researcher could gain a big advantage in a secondary offensive category.

#6 – No Goons. While Colton Orr racks up 200+ Penalty Minutes each year, he also averages about 5 pts… PER SEASON! Instead do a little digging and sniff out guys like Downie, Hartnell, and Clowe.

#5 – Stock up on goalies. If your league allows it, grab 2 additional goalies and throw ’em on the bench. With goaltender carousels and injury histories, it’s a solid move. Hiller, Anderson, Theodore, and Quick were all consistently drafted after Round 14 last year; each ended up with 30+ wins.

#4 – Try to grab a Winger early. So you end up with Malkin, Luongo, and then Thornton, but now you’re looking for wingers and the best available options are Marian Hossa and Bobby Ryan… hardly a powerhouse offense. Spread it out, there’s much more depth at Center than Left and Right Wing.

#3 – Draft a top-tier Goalie early. With inevitable injuries and many teams lacking a sure-fire #1 tender, it’s a good idea to grab a dependable Brodeur, Kipper, or Henk early, before you’re left with a platoon of Pekka Rinne and Steve Mason in net.

#2 – BALANCE – why just load up with a slew of guys who score 30 goals a year? A little oversight could cost you points in other categories like Power Play Points, PIM, and +/-, Martin St. Louis may be a great source of goals and assists, but at -2 and just 22PIM… try and see if he’s necessarily your best option.

Mike Green: Defensive Liability? or Fantasy Stud?

#1 – Stock up on defense, just don’t go crazy. While Mike Green is a monster with 69 points, other top tier blue-liners are going a little high for their production in mock drafts. On the other hand, you’ll want to select Erik Johnson or Andrei Markov, over a middle of the road Center. While Doughty, Chara, and Keith may not be second round worthy, you may want to grab ’em before they’re gone.

So that’s all folks. Boot up the computers, pull up your stat sheets, and go to town. Always put together a strategy beforehand, and then let things play out. Most importantly… don’t forget to have fun!

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