I had my experts league draft on Tuesday. I drafted ninth overall.
I have 4 league titles in eight years using several salient points from my draft manifesto.
Here’s my Yahoo! Friends & Family Experts League Draft using my draft manifesto. It is a 13-team roto league with 3 C, 3 LW, 3 RW, 1 F, 5 D, 2 G and 4 bench spots…
1) Draft 1 of Tuuka Rask, Henrik Lundqvist, Jonathan Quick, Carey Price, Sergei Bobrovsky, Corey Crawford, Ben Bishop, Pekka Rinne, Cory Schneider, Marc-Andre Fleury in rounds 1-3.
I took Carey Price in the second round, 18th overall
2) Draft a LW in first 3-4 rounds (Jamie Benn, Taylor Hall, Henrik Zetterberg, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Sharp, Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau). Not James Neal.
I drafted Patrick Sharp in round 3 and Patrick Marleau in round 4.
3) Draft a RW in first 5 rounds (Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Corey Perry, Claude Giroux, Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, Martin St. Louis, David Backes, Jarome Iginla, Marian Gaborik (injury prone), Nathan Mackinnon). Not Rick Nash.
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I drafted Jarome Iginla in round 7 (87th overall).
4) Draft a potential 50-point D-man by end of rd. 6 and another by rd. 9-10. If possible, take a pass on the Big 4 (Erik Karlsson, PK Subban, Shea Weber, Duncan Keith) in the early rounds (1-3) and go for guys like Zdeno Chara, Kris Letang, Alex Pietrangelo, James Wisniewski, Victor Hedman, Keith Yandle, Niklas Kronwall, Kevin Shattenkirk, or Brent Burns starting in rounds 4-5. Brent Seabrook is another guy that’s been getting drafted too early in mocks, likely due to the high plus-minus premium he offers – “Biscuit” is a plus-56 over his last 207 NHL games.
I drafted Kris Letang and Zdeno Chara in rounds 5 and 6.
5) Draft a second goalie by round 8 (Jimmy Howard, Kari Lehtonen, Brian Elliot, Semyon Varlamov, Frederik Andersen, Ryan Miller, Braden Holtby, Jonathan Bernier, Jaroslav Halak)
I drafted Frederik Andersen in round 8 (96th overall).
6) Draft a C by rd 8. (Matt Duchene, Jason Spezza, David Krejci, Jeff Carter, Patrice Bergeron, Joe Thornton, Henrik Sedin, Paul Stastny, Mikko Koivu, Henrik Sedin). Avoid Ryan Johansen until rd. 7.
I took Getzlaf ninth overall. My third and fourth round picks – Sharp and Marleau – are center eligible and I also drafted Derek Stepan (13th round) and Kyle Turris (11th round).
7) Draft at least one of Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds, Milan Lucic, Brandon Dubinsky, Radko Gudas, Chris Stewart, Steve Ott, Antoine Roussel or Steve Downie for PIMs. Ideally grab one of the first five mentioned.
I took Chris Stewart late (16th round) in addition to Ryane Clowe very late (22nd round) for PIMs. I have since added Alexandre Burrows as a free agent pick up for more PIMs support.
8) Draft a backup goalie on a top team by rd. 11 or 12 (Backups in Anaheim, Boston, Los Angeles, Manhattan (NYR), Minnesota, San Jose, St Louis, and Pittsburgh).
Martin Jones of L.A. has been going really late in drafts and could see 30+ starts on the best team in hockey with Jonathan Quick still not fully recovered from offseason wrist surgery in late June. Anaheim’s John Gibson is a blue chip prospect on a very good team who should also see 30+ starts.
Alex Stalock of San Jose outplayed Antti Niemi last season and could even steal the top job. Minimum, Stalock sees 25 starts. Minnesota’s Darcy Kuemper has vaulted past the injured/suspended Josh Harding and could easily overtake oft-injured 36-year-old No. 1 goalie Niklas Backstrom. The Blues’ Jake Allen is another elite prospect who’s already seen NHL action, albeit 15 appearances (2.46 GAA). The Blues are an upper echelon team that plays defensive hockey for taskmaster Ken Hitchcock and projected No. 1 goalie Brian Elliot has never played more than 55 games in an NHL season. You can piecemeal a second goalie position with a combination of backups from elite teams like I did last season with Stalock (12-5-2 with a 1.87 GAA and .932 SV %), the Rangers’ Cam Talbot (12-6-1 with a 1.64 GAA and .941 SV %) and last season’s Bruins backup Chad Johnson (17-4-3 with a 2.10 GAA and .925 SV %). Yes, I was fortuitous with their ridiculous combined stats but the strategy works time and again. The key is to draft really good forwards that can play at least two different positions, thereby reducing your need for forwards on your bench.
I drafted both Alex Stalock (9th round) and Martin Jones (15th round), missing out on Darcy Kuemper (8th round, taken 92nd overall).
9) Target D-men in late rounds: Alex Edler, Christian Ehrhoff, Mark Streit, Alex Goligoski, Roman Josi, Tyson Barrie, Dan Boyle, Justin Schultz, Kevin Bieksa, Marek Zidlicky, Andrej Sekera, Erik Johnson, Jacob Trouba, Jason Garrison. Not Jack Johnson.
I took Boyle in round 12. Sadly he has since broken his hand.
10) Target these wingers late in drafts (Ryan O’Reilly, Mats Zuccarello, Michael Cammalleri, Chris Kreider, Patrick Elias, David Perron, P.A. Parenteau, Joffrey Lupul, Jussi Jokinen, Ales Hemsky, Valeri Nichushkin, Tyler Toffoli). For some strange reason Gustav Nyquist is being drafted around 100 overall in many mock drafts and Jason Pominville has also been taken far past his merited target point. Put these guys on your queue and be ready to pounce after the first 85-90 picks. Kyle Okposo is another guy that has been lingering longer than he should be in several mock drafts. Ditto Radim Vrbata. Injury prone “Mule” Johan Franzen has been held responsible it seems by many previous owners who tire of the many injuries and also remember his horrible late season slump. If you can stomach the drama he’s going pretty late for a guy that can produce 25+ goals, 50+ points with 50 PIMs and 15-17 power play points.
I drafted three of these guys – Jason Pominville (10th round), Joffrey Lupul (14th round) and Patrick Elias (17th round).