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Analysis of NHL.com's fantasy hockey mock draft

Thursday, 09.19.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

By Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

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Analysis of NHL.com's fantasy hockey mock draft
Fantasy insider Pete Jensen breaks down a 16-round mock draft conducted by NHL.com employees.

You've seen our fantasy hockey player rankings, sleepers and bounce-back candidates over the past few weeks. Now we're putting it all together for NHL.com's first preseason mock draft.

MOCK DRAFT LEAGUE INFORMATION

  • Roster size: 2 C, 2 LW, 2 RW, 4 D, 2 G, 4 BN
  • Skater categories: G, A, +/-, PIMs, PPP, SOG
  • Goalie categories: W, GAA, SV%, SO

Rankings provide fantasy owners with a look at the strength and depth at each position, but everything changes once you're on the clock. Positional and category needs, league rules and your instincts need to be taken into account when making selections. Also, owners must always be conscious of the best player available.

We gathered 12 NHL.com employees, ranging from fantasy insiders to staff writers to web producers, to each draft a 16-player team based on standard Yahoo! league settings.

Here are the results of NHL.com's Mock Draft, complete with commentary pertaining to each round. Fantasy owners should use this analysis as a guideline for draft-day decisions.

ROUND 1

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
1 Chris Foster Sidney Crosby (C)
2 Matt Sitkoff Steven Stamkos (C)
3 Frank Marrone Alex Ovechkin (RW)
4 Thomas Imperato Henrik Lundqvist (G)
5 Corey Masisak John Tavares (C)
6 Brian Metzer Evgeni Malkin (C, RW)
7 Brian Schiazza Tuukka Rask (G)
8 Matt Cubeta Jonathan Toews (C)
9 Darryl Haberman Claude Giroux (C, RW)
10 Pete Jensen Patrick Kane (C, RW)
11 Sergei Feldman Pekka Rinne (G)
12 Justin Goldman Jonathan Quick (G)

Best Pick: Alex Ovechkin - Steven Stamkos is the safest pick among the top three, but owners should be well aware that the fantasy ceilings of Sidney Crosby and Ovechkin are at another level.

Worst Pick: Pekka Rinne - Nashville's offense (2.27 goals/game in 2012-13, T-last in NHL) has improved, but tough to justify taking Rinne this early, especially coming off hip surgery.

My Pick: Patrick Kane - My top-ranked goalie (Jonathan Quick) was still available, but dual-eligible Kane was too tempting at this spot. Plenty of goalie alternatives down the road.

ROUND 2

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
13 Justin Goldman Martin St. Louis (RW)
14 Sergei Feldman Anze Kopitar (C)
15 Pete Jensen P.K. Subban (D)
16 Darryl Haberman Phil Kessel (RW)
17 Matt Cubeta Corey Perry (RW)
18 Brian Schiazza Ryan Getzlaf (C)
19 Brian Metzer Taylor Hall (LW)
20 Corey Masisak Eric Staal (C)
21 Thomas Imperato Pavel Datsyuk (C, LW)
22 Frank Marrone Erik Karlsson (D)
23 Matt Sitkoff Daniel Sedin (LW)
24 Chris Foster Henrik Zetterberg (C, LW)

Best Pick: Erik Karlsson - Only defenseman who can feasibly score 80 points in this day and age. No-brainer to take him in the 20s, especially when taking position scarcity into account.

Worst Pick: Phil Kessel - Racks up points, shots and power-play points, but other wings in this range flank elite-level centers. More appropriate to take Kessel on later side of Round 2.

My Pick: P.K. Subban - Led all D-men in power-play points (26) last season and has 60-point, 100-PIM potential. Should go in first two rounds in leagues that count penalty minutes.

ROUND 3

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
25 Chris Foster Henrik Sedin (C)
26 Matt Sitkoff Antti Niemi (G)
27 Frank Marrone Rick Nash (LW, RW)
28 Thomas Imperato James Neal (LW, RW)
29 Corey Masisak Zach Parise (LW)
30 Brian Metzer Thomas Vanek (LW, RW)
31 Brian Schiazza Bobby Ryan (LW, RW)
32 Matt Cubeta Matt Duchene (C, LW)
33 Darryl Haberman Tyler Seguin (C, RW)
34 Pete Jensen Jason Spezza (C)
35 Sergei Feldman Kris Letang (D)
36 Justin Goldman Mike Smith (G)

Best Pick: James Neal - My top-ranked fantasy left wing fell way too far in this draft. He had 81 points, 87 PIMs and 329 shots in 2011-12, and plays with Evgeni Malkin. I rest my case.

Worst Pick: Thomas Vanek - Vanek has touched on multiple fantasy categories for years, but no longer has experienced players around him in Buffalo. Trade rumors continue to swirl.

My Pick: Jason Spezza - With Bobby Ryan in town, Spezza should return to form after an injury-plagued season. Don't underestimate this four-time 80-point scorer.

ROUND 4

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
37 Justin Goldman Nicklas Backstrom (C)
38 Sergei Feldman Jamie Benn (LW)
39 Pete Jensen Logan Couture (C, LW)
40 Darryl Haberman Jimmy Howard (G)
41 Matt Cubeta Evander Kane (LW)
42 Brian Schiazza Chris Kunitz (LW)
43 Brian Metzer Corey Crawford (G)
44 Corey Masisak Sergei Bobrovsky (G)
45 Thomas Imperato Marian Hossa (RW)
46 Frank Marrone Craig Anderson (G)
47 Matt Sitkoff Jordan Eberle (RW)
48 Chris Foster Carey Price (G)

Best Pick: Chris Kunitz - Logged the third-most power-play ice time last season among forwards and finished with top-10 totals in goals, points, rating and power-play goals. Crosby deserves a lot of credit for Kunitz's rise.

Worst Pick: Jamie Benn - His shift from center to left wing to accommodate Tyler Seguin is promising, but I wouldn't recommend him over Kunitz, Patrick Sharp, Evander Kane or Matt Moulson.

My Pick: Logan Couture - Could've taken Jimmy Howard in hindsight, but Couture sees more power-play TOI with each passing season. He's the present and future in San Jose.

ROUND 5

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
49 Chris Foster Alexander Semin (LW, RW)
50 Matt Sitkoff Roberto Luongo (G)
51 Frank Marrone Shea Weber (D)
52 Thomas Imperato Dustin Byfuglien (RW, D)
53 Corey Masisak Matt Moulson (LW)
54 Brian Metzer Ryan Suter (D)
55 Brian Schiazza Kari Lehtonen (G)
56 Matt Cubeta Marian Gaborik (RW)
57 Darryl Haberman Zdeno Chara (D)
58 Pete Jensen Marc-Andre Fleury (G)
59 Sergei Feldman David Backes (C, RW)
60 Justin Goldman Patrick Sharp (C, LW)

Best Pick: Patrick Sharp - It's remarkable that a proven player of Sharp's caliber could fall to No. 60 in a draft, especially after a League-leading 10 playoff goals.

Worst Pick: Kari Lehtonen - Lehtonen (2.71 career goals-against average) has been a fantasy enigma in recent years. Borderline top-100 overall player selected too early during a goalie binge.

My Pick: Marc-Andre Fleury - Fleury usually records strong regular-season win totals to follow up postseason woes. If this season is the exception, take Tomas Vokoun later for insurance.

ROUND 6

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
61 Justin Goldman Duncan Keith (D)
62 Sergei Feldman Niklas Backstrom (G)
63 Pete Jensen Joffrey Lupul (LW, RW)
64 Darryl Haberman Keith Yandle (D)
65 Matt Cubeta Alex Pietrangelo (D)
66 Brian Schiazza Joe Pavelski (C, RW)
67 Brian Metzer Loui Eriksson (LW, RW)
68 Corey Masisak Braden Holtby (G)
69 Thomas Imperato Jonas Hiller (G)
70 Frank Marrone Max Pacioretty (LW)
71 Matt Sitkoff Jakub Voracek (RW)
72 Chris Foster Nail Yakupov (RW)

Best Pick: Jakub Voracek - If he sticks with Claude Giroux again, this 24-year-old could build off his breakout season with 70-point, 200-shot totals over 82 games.

Worst Pick: Jonas Hiller - Someone had to eventually break the ice on the timeshare goalies, but waiting for Cory Schneider, Jaroslav Halak or Jonathan Bernier would have been a better strategy.

My Pick: Joffrey Lupul – Lupul's point production last season, despite his injury history, was compelling enough for me to take the risk on him over dual-eligible Loui Eriksson.

ROUND 7

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
73 Chris Foster Ryan Miller (G)
74 Matt Sitkoff Justin Schultz (D)
75 Frank Marrone Cory Schneider (G)
76 Thomas Imperato Joe Thornton (C)
77 Corey Masisak Dustin Brown (LW, RW)
78 Brian Metzer PA Parenteau (RW)
79 Brian Schiazza Wayne Simmonds (RW)
80 Matt Cubeta Devan Dubnyk (G)
81 Darryl Haberman Andrew Ladd (LW)
82 Pete Jensen Brent Burns (RW, D)
83 Sergei Feldman Patrick Marleau (C, LW)
84 Justin Goldman Gabriel Landeskog (LW)

Best Pick: Joe Thornton - Thornton's goal-scoring has dwindled in recent years, but he's still an assist machine. There's no question this dynamic forward remains a top-60 asset.

Worst Pick: Devan Dubnyk - His goals-against average has improved of late and Edmonton added Andrew Ference, but Dubnyk has still never finished with a record above .500.

My Pick: Brent Burns - Burns notched nine goals in 24 games last season after shifting to right wing alongside Thornton. Could post 25-plus goals as a D-eligible player and should be on everyone's radar.

ROUND 8

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
85 Justin Goldman Mike Green (D)
86 Sergei Feldman Drew Doughty (D)
87 Pete Jensen Cam Ward (G)
88 Darryl Haberman Jonathan Huberdeau (C, LW)
89 Matt Cubeta Dion Phaneuf (D)
90 Brian Schiazza Niklas Kronwall (D)
91 Brian Metzer David Krejci (C)
92 Corey Masisak Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D)
93 Thomas Imperato Milan Lucic (LW)
94 Frank Marrone Derek Stepan (C)
95 Matt Sitkoff James van Riemsdyk (LW)
96 Chris Foster Mark Streit (D)

Best Pick: Mike Green - Derek Stepan (RFA) was also a strong pick in this round, but if Green (led D-men with 12 goals in 2012-13) plays anything close to a full season, he'll re-establish himself as a top-five fantasy blueliner.

Worst Pick: Mark Streit - Streit joins a strong offensive team with defensive inefficiencies in Philly, meaning his rating is not guaranteed to improve. He was the power-play quarterback on Long Island, but now will share time with Kimmo Timonen.

My Pick: Cam Ward - Ward has played 60-plus games with 30-plus wins five times in his career. He's in great position to bounce back from injury and rediscover his workhorse goalie form.

ROUND 9

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
97 Chris Foster Blake Wheeler (RW)
98 Matt Sitkoff Mike Ribeiro (C)
99 Frank Marrone Patrice Bergeron (C)
100 Thomas Imperato Ryan McDonagh (D)
101 Corey Masisak Alexander Edler (D)
102 Brian Metzer Kevin Shattenkirk (D)
103 Brian Schiazza Jeff Carter (C/LW/RW)
104 Matt Cubeta Jaroslav Halak (G)
105 Darryl Haberman Nazem Kadri (C)
106 Pete Jensen Pascal Dupuis (LW, RW)
107 Sergei Feldman Alexandre Burrows (LW, RW)
108 Justin Goldman Vladimir Tarasenko (RW)

Best Pick: Nazem Kadri - Based on average draft position (150.8) and final ownership (81 percent) in 2012-13, Kadri was a monumental steal. Don't get fooled again.

Worst Pick: Ryan McDonagh - There's no doubt McDonagh could thrive in Alain Vigneault's offense in all situations, but he could have easily been obtained a few rounds later.

My Pick: Pascal Dupuis - Call it the Crosby effect, but Dupuis enjoyed a career-best goal-scoring pace last season, led the NHL with a plus-31 and managed a point per game over the 12 contests Crosby missed due to injury.

ROUND 10

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
109 Justin Goldman Andrei Markov (D)
110 Sergei Feldman Ryan Callahan (RW)
111 Pete Jensen Tobias Enstrom (D)
112 Darryl Haberman Johan Franzen (LW, RW)
113 Matt Cubeta Brad Marchand (LW)
114 Brian Schiazza Kimmo Timonen (D)
115 Brian Metzer Slava Voynov (D)
116 Corey Masisak Dan Boyle (D)
117 Thomas Imperato Cody Franson (D)
118 Frank Marrone Jarome Iginla (RW)
119 Matt Sitkoff Jack Johnson (D)
120 Chris Foster Tomas Plekanec (C)

Best Pick: Brad Marchand - Marchand's playoff goal-scoring numbers were not reassuring (four in 22 games), but he's a gritty forward more than capable of 50-plus points, 150-plus shots and close to 100 PIMs.

Worst Pick: Jack Johnson - Johnson leads an underrated 'D' corps in Columbus, but is severely overvalued if taken among the top 120 overall. Better fantasy blueliners were available.

My Pick: Tobias Enstrom - Will play with Dustin Byfuglien again on the power play. Missed a chunk of time due to injuries but sported the fourth-best points-per-game average (.68) among defensemen with 20-plus games played.

ROUND 11

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
121 Chris Foster John Carlson (D)
122 Matt Sitkoff Alex Goligoski (D)
123 Frank Marrone Chris Stewart (RW)
124 Thomas Imperato Brent Seabrook (D)
125 Corey Masisak Jeff Skinner (C, RW)
126 Brian Metzer Jason Pominville (RW)
127 Brian Schiazza Patrik Elias (C, LW)
128 Matt Cubeta Michael Del Zotto (D)
129 Darryl Haberman Viktor Fasth (G)
130 Pete Jensen Jonathan Drouin (LW)
131 Sergei Feldman Sam Gagner (C, RW)
132 Justin Goldman Nathan MacKinnon (C)
ROUND 12

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
133 Justin Goldman Dany Heatley (LW, RW)
134 Sergei Feldman Justin Williams (RW)
135 Pete Jensen Christian Ehrhoff (D)
136 Darryl Haberman Jason Garrison (D)
137 Matt Cubeta Justin Faulk (D)
138 Brian Schiazza Scott Hartnell (LW)
139 Brian Metzer Alex Galchenyuk (C, LW)
140 Corey Masisak Seth Jones (D)
141 Thomas Imperato Nick Leddy (D)
142 Frank Marrone James Reimer (G)
143 Matt Sitkoff Jakob Silfverberg (LW, RW)
144 Chris Foster Teddy Purcell (RW)
ROUND 13

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
145 Chris Foster Brian Campbell (D)
146 Matt Sitkoff Ryan O'Reilly (C, LW)
147 Frank Marrone Lubomir Visnovsky (D)
148 Thomas Imperato Shane Doan (LW, RW)
149 Corey Masisak Semyon Varlamov (G)
150 Brian Metzer Sergei Gonchar (D)
151 Brian Schiazza Francois Beauchemin (D)
152 Matt Cubeta Brian Elliott (G)
153 Darryl Haberman Jonathan Bernier (G)
154 Pete Jensen Vincent Lecavalier (C)
155 Sergei Feldman Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (C)
156 Justin Goldman Tyson Barrie (D)
ROUND 14

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
157 Justin Goldman T.J. Oshie (C, RW)
158 Sergei Feldman Martin Brodeur (G)
159 Pete Jensen Ray Whitney (LW)
160 Darryl Haberman Dougie Hamilton (D)
161 Matt Cubeta Ryan Kesler (C)
162 Brian Schiazza Mike Richards (C, LW)
163 Brian Metzer Ondrej Pavelec (G)
164 Corey Masisak David Clarkson (RW)
165 Thomas Imperato Radim Vrbata (RW)
166 Frank Marrone Patrick Wiercioch (D)
167 Matt Sitkoff Ben Bishop (G)
168 Chris Foster Victor Hedman (D)
ROUND 15

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
169 Chris Foster Evgeni Nabokov (G)
170 Matt Sitkoff Mikkel Boedker (LW)
171 Frank Marrone Cody Hodgson (C, RW)
172 Thomas Imperato Jaromir Jagr (RW)
173 Corey Masisak David Perron (LW)
174 Brian Metzer Brad Richards (C)
175 Brian Schiazza Roman Josi (D)
176 Matt Cubeta Brandon Dubinsky (C, LW)
177 Darryl Haberman Jake Gardiner (D)
178 Pete Jensen Kevin Bieksa (D)
179 Sergei Feldman Jordan Staal (C, LW)
180 Justin Goldman Tim Thomas (G)
ROUND 16

OVERALL PICK
TEAM OWNER PLAYER (POSITION)
181 Justin Goldman Reto Berra (G)
182 Sergei Feldman Jake Muzzin (D)
183 Pete Jensen Tomas Vokoun (G)
184 Darryl Haberman Stephen Weiss (C)
185 Matt Cubeta Justin Abdelkader (LW, RW)
186 Brian Schiazza Brandon Saad (LW)
187 Brian Metzer Ray Emery (G)
188 Corey Masisak Jacob Trouba (D)
189 Thomas Imperato Dan Girardi (D)
190 Frank Marrone Dan Hamhuis (D)
191 Matt Sitkoff Raphael Diaz (D)
192 Chris Foster Tyler Ennis (C, LW)
LATE-ROUND RECAP (11-16)

Potential Steals: C. Stewart, S. Hartnell, V. Lecavalier, R. Kesler, D. Clarkson, R. Josi, J. Staal, S. Weiss.

Sleeper Picks: J. Drouin, J. Silfverberg, D. Hamilton, M. Boedker, P. Wiercioch, J. Abdelkader, J. Muzzin.

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