Analysis of NHL.com's fantasy hockey mock draft

Friday, 09.14.2012 / 12:00 PM
Matt Cubeta  - NHL.com Staff Writer

You've seen our positional fantasy rankings, our top-175 overall rankings and our sleeper projections, but now it's time to look at NHL.com's first fantasy hockey mock draft.

Ever wonder who the "experts" would take when actually put on the spot in the middle of a fantasy draft? Now you'll get the chance to see exactly what happened. From some superstars slipping late in the draft to several under-the-radar sleepers being selected, you'll get the inside look at who our experts felt they had to have on their team.

This mock draft analysis is here as a guideline for you. Just because Patrick Marleau was taken ahead of Shea Weber doesn't mean you should do exactly that in your draft. Everything changes depending on who's available, what your positional needs are, what stats you're trying to acquire in that moment, what your league rules are and many other potential factors. Fantasy drafts have a lot to do with instincts the moment you're on the clock, so often times we even surprise ourselves with some picks. We hope this mock draft helps you get a feel for where players could get selected in your drafts, but don't use it as a literal interpretation of exactly what you should do in your draft -- use your own instincts and trust your knowledge.

Here were the guidelines for this mock draft: We gathered 12 NHL employees -- from fantasy analysts to NHL.com writers, web producers and video producers -- and each person drafted a team under Yahoo's standard fantasy hockey rules. The roster consisted of two centers, two left wings, two right wings, four defensemen, two goalies and four bench spots. The statistical categories were that of a standard 6-by-4 league: goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, power play points and shots on goal for the skaters; wins, goals against average, save percentage and shutouts for the goalies.

Lastly, this mock draft analysis is my opinion only. So when I say James Neal being selected ahead of Jonathan Quick is complete madness (I ranked Quick ninth; Neal 18th), that's only how I feel. Obviously fantasy insider Sergei Feldman had his reasons for taking Neal with the ninth pick in the draft, but I just happen to disagree. This will happen often.

Without further ado, here are the results from the NHL.com fantasy hockey mock draft -- with some commentary pertaining to each round:

ROUND 1

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 1 Steven Stamkos (TBL - C) Team Lozo

2 2 Evgeni Malkin (PIT - C) Team Marrone

3 3 Sidney Crosby (PIT - C) Team Cubeta

4 4 Alex Ovechkin (WSH - LW) Team Vinciguerra

5 5 Claude Giroux (PHI - C) Team Foster

6 6 Corey Perry (ANA - RW) Team Masisak

7 7 Henrik Lundqvist (NYR - g) Team Kimelman

8 8 Daniel Sedin (VAN - LW) Team Hradek

9 9 James Neal (PIT - LW) Team Feldman

10 10 John Tavares (NYI - C) Team Haberman

11 11 Jonathan Quick (LAK - G) Team Jensen

12 12 Pekka Rinne (NSH - G) Team Metzer

Best Pick: Evgeni Malkin - You really can't go wrong with any of these players selected in the first round, but the fact that Malkin slipped to the second spot gives him the nod. Each of our fantasy experts ranked Malkin as the top fantasy player this year, yet Team Lozo chose Steven Stamkos first overall -- interesting.

Worst Pick: James Neal – Team Feldman clearly is in love with James Neal, but like I said, he has his reasons -- so he says. Neal was the third best fantasy player in Yahoo! Leagues last year, but can he repeat that type of season? I say no. He'll still be valuable, but prior to last year, he never had more than 27 goals and 55 points in any season.

My Pick: Sidney Crosby – I knew I was either getting Malkin, Stamkos or Sid, so it wasn't too tough for me in round one.

Summary: Alex Ovechkin going after the expected top three took a few of us by surprise. Lundqvist and Quick both tabbed in first round as expected, but should Rinne have been in there as well? Corey Perry was the only right wing to be drafted in the first round -- no d-men were taken.

ROUND 2

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 13 Ilya Kovalchuk (NJD - LW) Team Metzer

2 14 Patrick Sharp (CHI - LW) Team Jensen

3 15 Zach Parise (MIN - LW) Team Haberman

4 16 Jimmy Howard (DET - G) Team Feldman

5 17 Henrik Sedin (VAN - c) Team Hradek

6 18 Rick Nash (NYR - LW) Team Kimelman

7 19 Scott Hartnell (PHI - LW) Team Masisak

8 20 Erik KArlsson (OTT - D) Team Foster

9 21 Henrik Zetterberg (DET - c) Team Vinciguerra

10 22 Jonathan Toews (CHI - C) Team Cubeta

11 23 Zdeno Chara (BOS - D) Team Marrone

12 24 Anze Kopitar (LAK - c) Team Lozo

Best Pick: Anze Kopitar – Team Lozo was gloating quite a bit about this pick, and unfortunately, he was right. How Kopitar fell to 24th was a shock to me. Great value there -- I ranked him 10th among all players this year.

Worst Pick: Patrick Sharp – Sharp is a very versatile player, but being selected 14th is simply too early, especially to serve as Team Jensen's No. 1 forward (he took Quick in first round).

My Pick: I was torn between Toews vs. Kopitar, and even though I ranked Kopitar one spot higher than Toews, my instincts told me to take the Blackhawk. I love Toews this year and prior to his injury last season, he was one of the highest ranked fantasy players.

Summary: Team Hradek grabbed Daniel Sedin in the first round and somehow his other half slipped to Hradek in the second round -- that's a lot of points right there. Both myself and Team Lozo drafted centers in each of the first two rounds, but I always try to take the best available players in the early parts of a draft. Team Foster selected Erik Karlsson with the 20th pick, the first defenseman in the draft -- seems like solid value there. Team Kimelman stocking up with Rangers early on -- Lundqvist and Nash.

ROUND 3

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 25 Kris Letang (PIT - D) Team Lozo

2 26 Tyler Seguin (BOS - RW) Team Marrone

3 27 Patrick Kane (CHI - RW) Team Cubeta

4 28 Carey Price (MTL - G) Team Vinciguerra

5 29 Jason Spezza (OTT - C) Team Foster

6 30 Eric Staal (CAR - C) Team Masisak

7 31 Brad Richards (NYR - C) Team Kimelman

8 32 Phil Kessel (TOR - RW) Team Hradek

9 33 Patrick Marleau (SJS - LW) Team Feldman

10 34 Shea Weber (NSH - D) Team Haberman

11 35 Pavel Datsyuk (DET - c) Team Jensen

12 36 Dustin Byfuglien (WPG - D) Team Metzer

Best Pick: Pavel Datsyuk – After making a poor second round selection, Team Jensen luckily grabbed Datsyuk with the 35th pick to redeem himself (in my rankings, I had Datsyuk 21st – six spots better than Sharp). Datsyuk's production has steadily dipped, but if he stays healthy, he can still be an elite performer.

Worst Pick: Carey Price – Team Vinciguerra must have high hopes for Price, but taking him ahead of guys like Fleury, Miller, Smith and Halak just didn't make any sense. I expected Price to be more like a fifth- or sixth-round pick, not a third.

My Pick: Patrick Kane – Some people might question this selection, but just two years ago, Kane was discussed as one of the top-three fantasy right wings. I expect him to bounce back this year after a "disappointing" 23-goal, 66-point effort last season.

Summary: There were several debatable picks in this round – defensemen Letang and Byfuglien both could have waited – but also a couple of sneaky good picks from Team Masisak and Team Hradek with Staal and Kessel.

ROUND 4

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 37 Nicklas Backstrom (WSH - C) Team Metzer

2 38 David Backes (STL - C) Team Jensen

3 39 Marian Hossa (CHI - RW) Team Haberman

4 40 Marian GAborik (NYR - RW) Team Feldman

5 41 Alex Pietrangelo (STL - D) Team Hradek

6 42 Loui Eriksson (DAL - LW) Team Kimelman

7 43 Gabriel LAndeskog (COL - LW) Team Masisak

8 44 Jordan Eberle (EDM - RW) Team Foster

9 45 Dany Heatley (MIN - RW) Team Vinciguerra

10 46 Ryan Miller (BUF - G) Team Cubeta

11 47 Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT - G) Team Marrone

12 48 Milan Lucic (BOS - LW) Team Lozo

Best Pick: Marian Hossa – Among pure right-wing-eligible players last year, Hossa finished second behind only Gaborik. Hossa is expected to be healthy and that could mean another big year.

Worst Pick: Loui Eriksson – Several head scratchers in this round (with Gaborik's injury, he should be more of a fifth rounder; Heatley could perform better with Koivu and Parise on his line, but his value isn't what it used to be), but Eriksson just isn't the best all-around fantasy player. He's a solid goal-scorer, but his PIMs and SOG aren't enough -- better real-life player than fantasy.

My Pick: Ryan Miller – Took my first goalie here in round four. I was torn between Fleury and Miller, and again, despite my rankings having Fleury ahead of Miller, I went with the lower-ranked guy. Something about Fleury still worries me -- between Tomas Vokoun as his backup and his disastrous playoffs, I was a bit timid to take him. I could have made a big mistake though.

Summary: Nicklas Backstrom could be in line for a big bounce-back season, which would mean Team Metzer's selection of him extremely valuable. Still waiting for the goalie run...

ROUND 5

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 49 Jeff Skinner (CAR - RW) Team Lozo

2 50 Mike Smith (PHX - G) Team Marrone

3 51 Bobby Ryan (ANA - LW) Team Cubeta

4 52 Cory Schneider (VAN - G) Team Vinciguerra

5 53 Tuukka Rask (BOS - G) Team Foster

6 54 Jaroslav Halak (STL - G) Team Masisak

7 55 Keith Yandle (PHX - D) Team Kimelman

8 56 Cam Ward (CAR - G) Team Hradek

9 57 Joe Pavelski (SJS - RW) Team Feldman

10 58 Ilya Bryzgalov (PHI - G) Team Haberman

11 59 Logan Couture (SJS - C) Team Jensen

12 60 Jarome Iginla (CGY - RW) Team Metzer

Best Pick: Jarome Iginla – Team Metzer has a potential third-round caliber player here in the fifth round with Iginla. Despite a drop-off in production last year, Iginla still managed 32 goals, 67 points, 43 PIMs and 251 SOG. I think he can do that again this year.

Worst Pick: Ilya Bryzgalov – I understand he needed to select his first goalie, but Team Haberman must have been in another universe with this pick, as Bryzgalov simply shouldn't have been drafted this early -- he was selected 47 spots earlier than I ranked him (105th).

My Pick: Bobby Ryan – Having selected Crosby, Toews, Kane, Miller and now Ryan, I'm clearly expecting these known superstars to all bounce back (or be healthy) this year. I have my faith.

Summary: Finally, the goalie run occurred in round five with six netminders being drafted. A very hit or miss round, some great picks, some rough ones. I thought all the forward picks were great value, but some of the goalies were questionable -- Schneider, Rask and Ward all probably could've waited. Halak was selected exactly where I ranked him -- 54th. He should have been selected before several of the other goalies that had already gone in earlier rounds.

ROUND 6

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 61 Thomas Vanek (BUF - LW) Team Metzer

2 62 Evander Kane (WPG - LW) Team Jensen

3 63 Jonas Hiller (ANA - G) Team Haberman

4 64 Jamie Benn (DAL - C) Team Feldman

5 65 Joe Thornton (SJS - C) Team Hradek

6 66 Danny Briere (PHI - RW) Team Kimelman

7 67 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM - C) Team Masisak

8 68 Matt Duchene (COL - C) Team Foster

9 69 Dan Boyle (SJS - D) Team Vinciguerra

10 70 Drew Doughty (LAK - D) Team Cubeta

11 71 Martin St. Louis (TBL - RW) Team Marrone

12 72 Kari Lehtonen (DAL - G) Team Lozo

Best Pick: Jamie Benn – If you've been reading what I wrote over the last few seasons, most of you probably know by now that I'm a huge Jamie Benn fan for fantasy hockey. In hindsight, I wish I grabbed him in round five instead of Bobby Ryan, but I got greedy and thought I could steal him in round six because he was lower on the Yahoo! draft board. Unfortunately, Team Feldman sneaked in and took Benn six picks before I could.

Worst Pick: Danny Briere – Not to pick on the Flyers for consecutive rounds, but Briere just isn't the player he used to be. Last season was one of his worst of his career with just 16 goals and 49 points. Briere should be drafted, but the ninth or 10th round seems more reasonable.

My Pick: Drew Doughty – While I was unhappy I didn't get Benn, Doughty is a defenseman I'm very high on this year -- in fact, I ranked him sixth among all d-men this year, so to get him in round six seemed like great value to me.

Summary: Team Jensen's pick of Evander Kane drew some praise from the draft room. I also felt Team Foster and Team Vinciguerra's selections of Duchene and Boyle were both great spots to get those guys. Team Masisak took RNH here, but I think he could've waited another round to grab the soon-to-be NHL sophomore. Martin St. Louis in the sixth round? Last year, his average draft position was in the second round -- he could end up being a bargain here. Team Lozo's selection of Lehtonen meant that every team had selected at least one goalie -- Team Vinciguerra, Team Marrone and Team Haberman are the only teams to have both goalie spots filled to this point.

ROUND 7

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 73 Roberto Luongo (VAN - G) Team Lozo

2 74 Taylor Hall (EDM - LW) Team Marrone

3 75 P.K. Subban (MTL - D) Team Cubeta

4 76 Ryan Getzlaf (ANA - C) Team Vinciguerra

5 77 Braden Holtby (WSH - G) Team Foster

6 78 Dustin Brown (LAK - RW) Team Masisak

7 79 Mike Green (WSH - D) Team Kimelman

8 80 Brad Marchand (BOS - LW) Team Hradek

9 81 Alexander Edler (VAN - D) Team Feldman

10 82 Max Pacioretty (MTL - LW) Team Haberman

11 83 Miikka Kiprusoff (CGY - G) Team Jensen

12 84 Brian Campbell (FLA - D) Team Metzer

Best Pick: Ryan Getzlaf – Sure Getzlaf had a rough year last season (11 G, 57 points), but if he puts it all together one of these years, he could turn out to be a top-10 fantasy player. And that's certainly worth the risk with the 76th selection.

Worst Pick: Braden Holtby – Holtby could end up being a steal for Team Foster, but with Michal Neuvirth still looming in Washington, a potential split goalie as your No. 2 netminder isn't exactly safe. Kiprusoff, who was selected six picks later, would have been a significantly better option here.

My Pick: P.K. Subban – After taking Doughty as my first d-man in round six, I tabbed Subban in round seven. I needed some PIMs and Subban clearly addressed that concern. I think P.K. has the skills to possibly finish as a top-five fantasy defenseman this year -- he was quietly seventh last year in Yahoo! leagues.

Summary: Team Hradek added some much-needed grit on his squad with the selection of Marchand. Team Masisak took Dustin Brown, who many are pegging to have a great season following his solid playoff performance -- I actually ranked him 76th, so he was selected very close to where I was expecting.

ROUND 8

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 85 Jordan STaal (CAR - C) Team Metzer

2 86 Ryan Suter (MIN - D) Team Jensen

3 87 Mike Richards (LAK - C) Team Haberman

4 88 Alexandre Burrows (VAN - RW) Team Feldman

5 89 Anders Lindback (TBL - G) Team Hradek

6 90 Brent Burns (SJS - D) Team Kimelman

7 91 Kevin Shattenkirk (STL - D) Team Masisak

8 92 Jason Pominville (BUF - RW) Team Foster

9 93 Ryan Callahan (NYR - RW) Team Vinciguerra

10 94 Niklas Backstrom (MIN - G) Team Cubeta

11 95 Johan Franzen (DET - RW) Team Marrone

12 96 Matt Moulson (NYI - LW) Team Lozo

Best Pick: Niklas Backstrom – The fact that I got a potential No. 1 goalie as my team's No. 2 says a lot, especially considering the guys that went ahead of him. No way should Lindback, Holtby, Luongo, Hiller or Bryzgalov be selected ahead of Backstrom, who posted a 2.43 goals-against average and .919 save percentage last year on a struggling Wild team. Just imagine what he can do if the Wild improve, like they're expected to.

Worst Pick: Jordan Staal – Don't get me wrong, I like Staal. I just think he probably could've been selected a round or two later. Same goes with Lindback for Team Hradek, but a lot of managers were hustling to try and get their second goalie at this point, so it was understandable.

My Pick: Niklas Backstrom – See above.

Summary: Team Masisak's selection of Kevin Shattenkirk was his first defenseman on his roster -- now every team has at least one defenseman. I'm not sure why Team Kimelman took Burns over Shattenkirk, but Burns is a solid pick regardless – Kimelman also became the first manager to have three d-men on their roster. I liked Team Haberman's selection of Mike Richards and I think he could bounce back -- when's his buddy Jeff Carter going to get picked?

ROUND 9

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 97 Duncan Keith (CHI - D) Team Lozo

2 98 Patrice Bergeron (BOS - C) Team Marrone

3 99 Dion Phaneuf (TOR - D) Team Cubeta

4 100 Ryane Clowe (SJS - LW) Team Vinciguerra

5 101 Mark Streit (NYI - D) Team Foster

6 102 Devan Dubnyk (EDM - G) Team Masisak

7 103 Antti Niemi (SJS - G) Team Kimelman

8 104 Wayne Simmonds (PHI - LW) Team Hradek

9 105 Martin Brodeur (NJD - G) Team Feldman

10 106 T.J. Oshie (STL - RW) Team Haberman

11 107 Joffrey Lupul (TOR - LW) Team Jensen

12 108 Semyon Varlamov (COL - G) Team Metzer

Best Pick: Joffrey Lupul – Team Jensen absolutely stole Lupul this late in the draft. I know I was disappointed he didn't end up on my squad. Lupul was one of the top fantasy players prior to his injury last year. If he can produce at similar rates this year, he's clearly a steal in the ninth round.

Worst Pick: T.J. Oshie – Again, I like Oshie, but it's just too early for him. Oshie's 19 goals and 54 points last season were a career-high, but to take him ahead of players like Lupul, Semin and Selanne is just crazy.

My Pick: Dion Phaneuf – I had a game plan here. I wanted my defense to be solid players, but I also wanted them to be my PIMs contributor – and that's exactly what I have to this point. Doughty, Subban and now Phaneuf are all real solid defensemen that can contribute a healthy amount of PIMs.

Summary: By the conclusion of round nine, every team had selected two goalies -- with Teams Masisak, Kimelman, Feldman and Metzer wrapping up their No. 2 goalie selections here. I've never been a big Bergeron guy, but getting him with the 98th pick seems really good.

ROUND 10

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 109 Alexander Semin (CAR- RW) Team Metzer

2 110 Erik Cole (MTL - RW) Team Jensen

3 111 Michael Del Zotto (NYR - D) Team Haberman

4 112 Kevin Bieksa (VAN - D) Team Feldman

5 113 Niklas Kronwall (DET - d) Team Hradek

6 114 Teemu Selanne (ANA - RW) Team Kimelman

7 115 Kimmo Timonen (PHI - D) Team Masisak

8 116 Ray Whitney (DAL - LW) Team Foster

9 117 PA Parenteau (COL - RW) Team Vinciguerra

10 118 Chris Kunitz (PIT - LW) Team Cubeta

11 119 Justin Williams (LAK - LW) Team Marrone

12 120 Nail Yakupov (EDM - RW) Team Lozo

Best Pick: Teemu Selanne – Many will question drafting Selanne on their teams, but Team Kimelman didn't hesitate to add the 42-year-old veteran. And why should he, considering he posted 66 points last year and 80 the season before. At worst, he'll be good for 50-plus points with great PP production.

Worst Pick: Nail Yakupov – Team Lozo assumed he had a steal here with Yakupov, but he probably could've waited another two rounds to grab the rookie. Rookies are always extremely difficult to project, but only a handful live up to their expectations right out of the gate.

My Pick: Chris Kunitz – I desperately was hoping to land Selanne, but he went four picks before. I panicked a bit and went with Kunitz, who fills up the stat sheet pretty well and will be on the wing of either Malkin or Crosby, which certainly helps.

Summary: I know a lot of people don't think Whitney can do what he did last year again this season, but for Team Foster to get him this late is certainly worth the chance. Semin has his question marks, but he could flourish in his new city. Parenteau has sneaky-good value, but I'm guessing he could've been selected a round or two later.

ROUND 11

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 121 JAck Johnson (CBJ - D) Team Lozo

2 122 Tobias Enstrom (WPG - D) Team Marrone

3 123 Daniel Alfredsson (OTT - RW) Team Cubeta

4 124 David Clarkson (NJD - RW) Team Vinciguerra

5 125 Mikko Koivu (MIN - C) Team Foster

6 126 Oliver Ekman-Larsson (PHX - D) Team Masisak

7 127 David Krejci (BOS - C) Team Kimelman

8 128 Mike Ribeiro (WSH - c) Team Hradek

9 129 Milan Michalek (OTT - LW) Team Feldman

10 130 Jeff Carter (LAK - RW) Team Haberman

11 131 MAtt Carle (TBL - D) Team Jensen

12 132 Christian Ehrhoff (BUF - D) Team Metzer

Best Pick: Mikko Koivu – I ranked Koivu 57th overall. Team Foster drafted him with the 125th pick. Enough said.

Worst Pick: David Clarkson – Clarkson had an unreal season last year (30 G, 138 PIMs). Prior to last season he never had more than 17 goals or 32 points in any single season. I would expect more like 20 goals with his usual penalty minute production.

My Pick: Daniel Alfredsson – I don't think I've ever owned Alfredsson on my fantasy team, but he put up 27 goals, 59 points and a plus-16 on an improving Ottawa team. I like him as a No. 2 right wing.

Summary: Teams Lozo, Masisak and Metzer each added their third defensemen in round 11, while Teams Marrone and Jensen scooped up just their second blueliners. Carter is a good pick this late -- like Martin St. Louis, he was a typical second-to-third rounder for the last few seasons. Mike Ribeiro could thrive on a new team -- I like his value in the 11th round.

ROUND 12

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 133 Radim Vrbata (PHX - RW) Team Metzer

2 134 Justin Schultz (EDM - D) Team Jensen

3 135 James Wisniewski (CBJ - D) Team Haberman

4 136 Dennis Wideman (CGY - d) Team Feldman

5 137 Steve Ott (BUF - c) Team Hradek

6 138 Jakub Voracek (PHI - RW) Team Kimelman

7 139 Ryan Kesler (VAN - C) Team Masisak

8 140 Andrew Ladd (WPG - LW) Team Foster

9 141 Ian White (DET - D) Team Vinciguerra

10 142 Lubomir Visnovsky (NYI - d) Team Cubeta

11 143 Jason Garrison (VAN - D) Team Marrone

12 144 Teddy Purcell (TBL - RW) Team Lozo

Best Pick: Ryan Kesler – Yahoo! had Kesler ranked quite low, but Masisak stole him here in the 12th round. Even with his injury expecting to keep him out until around early December, he should still be drafted more like in the eighth or ninth rounds.

Worst Pick: Steve Ott – I'm sure Team Hradek was looking to add some PIMs to his squad (and Ott will definitely do that), but he could've waited a couple of more rounds to make this pick. Ott didn't crack my top-175 overall rankings; I had him at 203. I'm just not sure there will be a ton of opportunities as Buffalo's third-line center.

My Pick: Lubomir Visnovsky – I had every starting position filled except my final defenseman, so I picked up Visnovsky, who just two seasons ago led all defensemen with 68 points. With this pick, I became the first team to have all four defensemen slots filled -- which is shocking, because I usually waste my late picks on d-men.

Summary: Six total blueliners were picked in round 12, with Team Vinciguerra becoming the last owner to draft two defensemen -- his defense will be quite shaky after Dan Boyle. Team Jensen likes Schultz a lot, but I don't know if that warrants taking him ahead of guys like Wisniewski, Wideman, Visnovsky and Seabrook (next round). Vrbata scored 35 goals last year -- an impressive pick in the 12th round for Team Metzer.

ROUND 13

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 145 Cam Fowler (ANA - D) Team Lozo

2 146 Blake Wheeler (WPG - RW) Team Marrone

3 147 Vincent Lecavalier (TBL - C) Team Cubeta

4 148 Sean Couturier (PHI - C) Team Vinciguerra

5 149 Craig Anderson (OTT - G) Team Foster

6 150 Dan Hamhuis (VAN - D) Team Masisak

7 151 Ryan O'Reilly (COL - C) Team Kimelman

8 152 Brent Seabrook (CHI - D) Team Hradek

9 153 Patrik Elias (NJD - LW) Team Feldman

10 154 Drew Stafford (BUF - RW) Team Haberman

11 155 Travis Zajac (NJD - C) Team Jensen

12 156 Brian Elliott (STL - G) Team Metzer

Best Pick: Patrik Elias – Team Feldman drafted a 78-point player in round 13. Wow. Most of us don't believe Elias can have that kind of season again at age 36, but he should still post at least 60 points while seeing heavy power-play time. Elias was extremely consistent last year, recording at least one point in 59 games, behind only Stamkos and Malkin, who had 60 games with at least a point. Quite the pick here.

Worst Pick: Cam Fowler – Team Lozo will defend this pick all season long, but I will never understand taking Fowler -- who I do agree could have a bounce-back, much-improved season quarterbacking the Anaheim power play – over fellow d-men Seabrook, Hamhuis, Goligoski and others.

My Pick: Vincent Lecavalier – Remember when this guy used to be a perennial first- or second-round player? I like him as my first bench player in case someone gets hurt on my team. He did still have 22 goals and 49 points in just 64 games last year.

Summary: The NHL.com fantasy staff really cleaned up this round -- Lecavalier, Elias, Zajac and Elliott were all great values for myself and Teams Feldman, Jensen and Metzer, respectively. Team Vinciguerra was confident his sleeper pick of Couturier would pay dividends, but I'm not sure he'll see much more than third-line minutes -- I think Schenn's the Flyers youngster to grab.

ROUND 14

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 157 Valtteri Filppula (DET - LW) Team Metzer

2 158 Jaromir Jagr (DAL - RW) Team Jensen

3 159 Mark Giordano (CGY - D) Team Haberman

4 160 Dennis Seidenberg (BOS - D) Team Feldman

5 161 Tyler MYers (BUF - D) Team Hradek

6 162 Alex Goligoski (DAL - D) Team Kimelman

7 163 Martin Havlat (SJS - RW) Team Masisak

8 164 Kris Versteeg (FLA - RW) Team Foster

9 165 Paul Stastny (COL - C) Team Vinciguerra

10 166 Chris Stewart (STL - RW) Team Cubeta

11 167 Nathan Horton (BOS - RW) Team Marrone

12 168 Ryan Ellis (NSH - D) Team Lozo

Best Pick: Martin Havlat – Team Masisak was unimpressed by the early parts of his draft (admitting he didn't realize he was on the clock in round two and had to quickly just pick Scott Hartnell as his selection with only four seconds remaining on the countdown), but he cleaned up quite well in the end, including his selection of Havlat, who had 62 points two seasons before an injury-filled campaign last year.

Worst Pick: Dennis Seidenberg – Rough pick here by Team Feldman. Terrific real-life defenseman, but five goals, 23 points, 39 penalty minutes and 174 shots are just not getting it done. Only helpful category is his usual good plus/minus.

My Pick: Chris Stewart – He made my sleeper list. I think there's potential for 25 goals, 50 points and 80 PIMs.

Summary: Most teams filling their bench with who they expect to be sleepers -- including Team Lozo taking one of mine: Ryan Ellis. Filppula and Jagr can provide definite fantasy value and Nathan Horton could bounce back in a big way if he can stay healthy.

ROUND 15

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 169 Michael Cammalleri (CGY - C) Team Lozo

2 170 Justin Faulk (CAR - D) Team Marrone

3 171 Brandon Dubinsky (CBJ - C) Team Cubeta

4 172 John-Michael Liles (TOR - D) Team Vinciguerra

5 173 Andrei Markov (MTL - D) Team Foster

6 174 Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA - c) Team Masisak

7 175 Tyler Ennis (BUF - c) Team Kimelman

8 176 Pascal Dupuis (PIT - RW) Team Hradek

9 177 R.J. Umberger (CBJ - LW) Team Feldman

10 178 Brayden Schenn (PHI - C) Team Haberman

11 179 Vladimir Tarasenko (STL - RW) Team Jensen

12 180 Nikita Nikitin (CBJ - D) Team Metzer

Best Pick: Justin Faulk – Team Marrone really ruined my plans here, by selecting who I have pegged as my No. 1 sleeper this season. Faulk could produce like a No. 2 fantasy defenseman -- don't forget to draft him.

Worst Pick: Brandon Dubinsky – Expecting to take Faulk here, I panicked and grabbed Dubinsky, who had been sitting in my queue the entire draft (I planned to take him with my final pick). I took a lot of grief for this selection, but I believe Dubinsky, No. 1 center for Columbus, will return to his form from two seasons ago (24 G, 54 points, 100 PIMs).

My Pick: Brandon Dubinsky – See above. This pick will turn out to be a steal, just watch.

Summary: Three of my potential sleepers were taken in round 15: Faulk, Huberdeau and Schenn. I think all deserve to be drafted in standard fantasy leagues. Team Foster took the always-injured Markov, who if healthy could turn out to carry No. 3 d-man value. Can Cammalleri return to his 39-goal days from five seasons ago for Team Lozo? I doubt it, but not a bad bench guy to carry.

ROUND 16

PICK OVERALL PLAYER TEAM OWNER

1 181 Brian Gionta (MTL - RW) Team Metzer

2 182 Ryan McDonagh (NYR - d) Team Jensen

3 183 Roman Cervenka (CGY - C) Team Haberman

4 184 Olli Jokinen (WPG - C) Team Feldman

5 185 Patric Hornqvist (NSH - RW) Team Hradek

6 186 David Perron (STL - LW) Team Kimelman

7 187 Michael Ryder (DAL - RW) Team Masisak

8 188 Ryan Whitney (EDM - D) Team Foster

9 189 Kyle Quincey (DET - d) Team Vinciguerra

10 190 Chris Kreider (NYR - C) Team Cubeta

11 191 Sergei Gonchar (OTT - D) Team Marrone

12 192 Ondrej Pavelec (WPG - G) Team Lozo

Best Pick: Patric Hornqvist – It was either Hornqvist or Ryder, and I went with the guy that's arguably the most lethal offensive threat for Nashville. Hornqvist averages 26 goals over his first three full NHL seasons; Ryder had 35 last year, but only had 18 in each of the previous two seasons (average of 24 over three years).

Worst Pick: Brian Gionta – I know he had 29 goals two seasons ago, but he also only had 46 points. I'm not buying this comeback.

My Pick: Chris Kreider – I was debating between Perron and Kreider, but when Team Kimelman grabbed Perron four picks earlier, it made my decision easier. Kreider, who made my sleeper list, could be a complete bust this season, but he could also be the rookie of the year. I lean more toward the latter.

Summary: Most of us just filled out our rosters with a depth position player, but a couple of my sleepers got selected (Kreider and Cervenka). Team Masisak was thrilled (and a bit surprised he was still available) to get Ryder in the final round. The chirping and trash talking ended with Team Lozo's selection of Pavelec.

Back to top