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Analysis of NHL.com's fantasy hockey mock draft

by Pete Jensen / NHL.com

Over the course of the offseason, we've broken down the fantasy hockey implications of the biggest moves and identified players worth keeping an eye on for a variety of reasons.

Now it's time to put it all together in dissecting NHL.com's annual fantasy mock draft.

MOCK DRAFT LEAGUE INFORMATION

  • Roster: 16 (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

Having a strategy entering your draft is important, but improvising is just as essential to strong decision-making. You should always consider the best player available, fill positional and category needs when possible and be mindful of which players will be attainable in later rounds. Hitting home runs on the waiver wire can bring home fantasy championships, but the bottom line is that how you execute each round of your draft will shape your fortunes this season -- for better or worse.

NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff of Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Matt Sitkoff, Brian Metzer and Justin Goldman joined forces with NHL.com colleagues Dan Rosen, Corey Masisak, Mike Morreale, Adam Kimelman, Brian Compton, Tal Pinchevsky and Darryl Haberman to participate in this 12-team mock draft. This league has standard Yahoo scoring with 16 players on each roster (192 total draftees).

Below are the results of this simulation, complete with in-depth commentary pertaining to the first eight rounds and important observations for later rounds. Fantasy owners can't expect every trend of this mock draft to translate directly to your league format, so we highly recommend using NHL.com's top 275 rankings and the results of this exercise to shape your draft-day decisions.

ROUND 1
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
1 Sidney Crosby, C Matt Cubeta
2 Steven Stamkos, C Tal Pinchevsky
3 Evgeni Malkin, C/RW Mike Morreale
4 Ryan Getzlaf, C Adam Kimelman
5 Alex Ovechkin, RW Brian Metzer
6 Corey Perry, RW Darryl Haberman
7 Claude Giroux, C/RW Dan Rosen
8 John Tavares, C Corey Masisak
9 Tuukka Rask, G Justin Goldman
10 Patrick Kane, C/RW Matt Sitkoff
11 Henrik Lundqvist, G Brian Compton
12 Jonathan Quick, G Pete Jensen

Best pick: Tavares -- The New York Islanders' star was on pace for 90-plus points last season prior to injury and will have more secondary scoring around him than ever before in 2014-15. If he eclipses that plateau, expect one-third of his production to come on the power play. He established chemistry with Kyle Okposo last season and has a number of candidates (Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Anders Lee) to fill the void on his left side. He will drop to No. 8 in many leagues but could turn out to be a grand slam for fantasy owners.

Worst pick: Ovechkin -- If this was a hits league, you could justify Ovechkin in the three-to-five pick range. But his plus-minus woes and the feeling-out period between him and new Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz make him risky to take so early in standard formats. Ovechkin is almost a given to be near the top of the League in goals, shots on goal and power-play points, but Perry, a durable, six-category specialist, would've been a safer bet at No. 5.

My pick: Quick -- With the final pick in the first round, I was faced with choosing between a tier-I goalie/defenseman or the next-best dual-eligible forward (Seguin). I opted for Quick, who should start 60-plus games for an elite possession team that didn't change much after winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons. He's a machine in terms of shutouts and goals-against average and has a strong backup in Martin Jones, whom every Quick owner should grab in the later rounds in case the starter misses time in his recovery from wrist surgery.

Observations: Six of the first eight picks were centers. … No left wings or defensemen were taken in the opening round. … Morreale drafted dual-eligible Malkin at No. 3 overall, who brings injury risk and will operate alongside new linemates but still carries MVP potential entering any given season.

ROUND 2
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
13 P.K. Subban, D Pete Jensen
14 Tyler Seguin, C/RW Brian Compton
15 Carey Price, G Matt Sitkoff
16 Phil Kessel, RW Justin Goldman
17 Jamie Benn, LW Corey Masisak
18 Taylor Hall, C/LW Dan Rosen
19 Erik Karlsson, D Darryl Haberman
20 Anze Kopitar, C Brian Metzer
21 Jonathan Toews, C Adam Kimelman
22 Zach Parise, LW Mike Morreale
23 Logan Couture, C/LW Tal Pinchevsky
24 Matt Duchene, C/LW Matt Cubeta

Best pick: Kopitar -- Kopitar and Toews fell in this mock draft in favor of young guns Seguin and Hall, but that won't happen in every league. The middle of the second round is an opportune time to jump on Kopitar considering he was the only player to post 70-plus points, a plus-30 rating, 200-plus shots on goal and 20-plus power-play points last season. He could be even better this season with Marian Gaborik on his line full-time.

Worst pick: Parise -- Parise is a balanced point producer who pounds out shots at a high rate, but there are more explosive options at this stage. He's always a candidate to finish among the top-five fantasy left wings if healthy, but is better-suited as a third- or fourth-round pick in standard drafts. Price was also taken too early, but owners are sometimes forced to act fast once they suspect a goalie binge because of that position's scarcity.

My pick: Subban -- After scooping up Quick late in the first round, I drafted my top-ranked defenseman on the wraparound of this snake draft. Subban has more power-play points than any player at his position during the past two seasons. He has a chance to eventually put it all together for 60-plus points, 100-plus penalty minutes and 200-plus shots on goal, numbers that would be uncharted territory in this day and age at his position.

Observations: Rosen was the lone fantasy owner lucky enough to land dual-eligible assets in each of the first two rounds. … My rankings have Joe Pavelski and Nathan MacKinnon as the top-ranked players for the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche, respectively, but Pinchevsky and Cubeta thought otherwise with second-round picks Couture and Duchene.

ROUND 3
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
25 David Backes, C/RW Matt Cubeta
26 Chris Kunitz, LW Tal Pinchevsky
27 Patrice Bergeron, C Mike Morreale
28 Shea Weber, D Adam Kimelman
29 Semyon Varlamov, G Brian Metzer
30 Joe Pavelski, C/LW Darryl Haberman
31 Nathan MacKinnon, C/RW Dan Rosen
32 James Neal, LW/RW Corey Masisak
33 Kari Lehtonen, G Justin Goldman
34 Ben Bishop, G Matt Sitkoff
35 Sergei Bobrovsky, G Brian Compton
36 Patrick Sharp, C/LW Pete Jensen

Best pick: MacKinnon -- Would anyone be surprised if the 19-year-old topped 80 points as an encore to his Calder Trophy-winning season? MacKinnon reportedly has built up muscle and strength this offseason and will have a chance to shift to his natural position (center) and coexist with either a healthy Alex Tanguay or one of the most acclaimed goal-scorers since the turn of the century, Jarome Iginla. With such a scary combination of size and speed, the dual-eligible MacKinnon warrants consideration among the top 20 overall players.

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Worst pick: Neal -- Neal was a borderline point-per-game asset who touched on all six standard categories with the Penguins alongside Malkin, but those days are over. Now with the Predators, Neal is out to prove he can do it without one of the game's top playmakers by his side; it will be a difficult task to replicate those numbers. It's a stretch to expect Neal to be among the top 50 fantasy assets by season's end.

My pick: Sharp -- The Blackhawks had four forwards with 60-plus points last season, each of whom had strong ratings to go along with steady shots-on-goal totals and power-play production. Sharp finished 12th in scoring and was second in the League behind Ovechkin in shots on goal. Snagging a left wing of this caliber late in the third round was too good to pass up.

Observations: It was strange to see Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg still around after the first three rounds of a fantasy draft, but injuries do that to one's stock. … In addition to Neal, Lehtonen went unusually high at No. 33 -- especially considering Bishop and Bobrovsky were still on the board. … Pavelski, who shot 18.2 percent (T-5th in NHL) last season en route to the League's third-highest goal total (41), could be highway robbery at No. 30.

ROUND 4
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
37 Pavel Datsyuk, C/LW Pete Jensen
38 Patrick Marleau, C/LW Brian Compton
39 Max Pacioretty, LW Matt Sitkoff
40 Henrik Zetterberg, C/LW Justin Goldman
41 Marc-Andre Fleury, G Corey Masisak
42 Duncan Keith, D Dan Rosen
43 Corey Crawford, G Darryl Haberman
44 James van Riemsdyk, LW Brian Metzer
45 Drew Doughty, D Adam Kimelman
46 Cory Schneider, G Mike Morreale
47 Wayne Simmonds, RW Tal Pinchevsky
48 Nicklas Backstrom, C Matt Cubeta

Best pick: Backstrom -- Backstrom's poor rating last season likely caused this slip, but it was a no-brainer for Cubeta to take him with the No. 48 pick. The Capitals center led the League with 44 power-play points last season and finished third in assists and tied for eighth in points in forming one of the League's top point pairs with Ovechkin. If you draft Ovechkin early, Backstrom is a more than adequate No. 1 center who will be around in the third or fourth round of standard drafts.

Worst pick: van Riemsdyk -- JVR has clear value playing alongside Kessel, as evidenced by his career-best goal, assist and shots-on-goal totals last season. That said, Metzer could have waited at least another round or two to nab the Toronto Maple Leafs wing. If you want to fill a need at left wing in this round, multicategory beast Gabriel Landeskog or bounce-back candidate Daniel Sedin would be more appropriate.

My pick: Datsyuk -- Datsyuk can be a risky investment if taken among the top 30, but he's a glaring injury bounce-back hopeful who has produced 212 points in 218 games during the past four seasons. He may be 36, but you're kidding yourself if you don't think this dynamic forward is capable of 70-plus points if he plays 70-plus games.

Observations: Cubeta drafted center-eligible players in each of the first four rounds, with Duchene and Backes providing lineup flexibility. … Schneider will get a chance to be a No. 1 goalie and could be a steal for Morreale at No. 46. … After four rounds, 11 goalies were selected, so owners should make sure to draft at least one by this point. … All but five defensemen (Subban, Karlsson, Weber, Keith, Doughty) remain available with 12 rounds to go.

ROUND 5
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
49 Pekka Rinne, G Matt Cubeta
50 Antti Niemi, G Tal Pinchevsky
51 Alex Pietrangelo, D Mike Morreale
52 Ryan Miller, G Adam Kimelman
53 Jason Spezza, C Brian Metzer
54 Daniel Sedin, LW Darryl Haberman
55 Keith Yandle, D Dan Rosen
56 Eric Staal, C Corey Masisak
57 Gabriel Landeskog, LW Justin Goldman
58 Bobby Ryan, LW/RW Matt Sitkoff
59 Jeff Skinner, LW/RW Brian Compton
60 Ryan Johansen, C/RW Pete Jensen

Best pick: Spezza -- Spezza and Ales Hemsky thrived as a point pair late in the season and are now with the Dallas Stars, where they have a chance to play together on the team's second line. Even if Hemsky plays top-line minutes, Spezza could find himself next to sleeper candidate Valeri Nichushkin. The veteran power-play specialist overcame a slow start to reach 60 points last season and has a chance to boost a unit that already features Seguin and Benn. It's not crazy to consider him in the third or fourth round of your draft, so kudos to Metzer for taking the best player available.

Worst pick: Miller -- You can blame the run on goalies for premature picks like Miller, an established goalie who likely will start 60-plus games for the Vancouver Canucks. However, it's tough to justify taking a 34-year-old whose best years are behind him over rising stars at the position (e.g. John Gibson) or more reliable veterans (e.g. Mike Smith, Roberto Luongo). Miller's new team traded Ryan Kesler and Jason Garrison this offseason, moves that won't help his cause in 2014-15.

My pick: Johansen -- Contract talks between the restricted free agent and the Columbus Blue Jackets are at a standstill, but fantasy owners shouldn't lose sight that Johansen is a Grade-A talent who broke out for 63 points in 2013-14. Johansen could center one of the bigger lines in the game if he ends up with Scott Hartnell and Nathan Horton. As long as this contract impasse doesn't carry over to the regular season, Johansen can build off his success and compile 70-plus points, 250 shots on goal and 25-plus power-play points with added value in hits leagues.

Observations: Ryan, who enters a contract year, went 22 spots higher than his NHL.com aggregate rank, while Skinner went 38 spots higher than his standing. Skinner is young with goal-scoring potential and Ryan's value would spike with a trade, but these players went too early for my comfort level. … We've gotten used to seeing Staal taken among the top 30 or 40 players overall in recent seasons, but his decline in power-play production (one PPG in 79 games last season) and his team's struggles are reasons why his value has taken a hit.

ROUND 6
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
61 Marian Gaborik, RW Pete Jensen
62 Kyle Okposo, RW Brian Compton
63 Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D Matt Sitkoff
64 Marian Hossa, RW Justin Goldman
65 Brian Elliott, G Corey Masisak
66 Thomas Vanek, LW/RW Dan Rosen
67 Zdeno Chara, D Darryl Haberman
68 Kris Letang, D Brian Metzer
69 Ryan McDonagh, D Adam Kimelman
70 Jimmy Howard, G Mike Morreale
71 Mike Smith, G Tal Pinchevsky
72 Rick Nash, LW/RW Matt Cubeta

Best pick: Letang -- Letang was the No. 3 fantasy defenseman entering last season and is still my No. 5 at the position despite injury concerns. There are only a handful of defensemen League-wide capable of 60-plus points, and Letang is one of them. He will work with either Pittsburgh newcomer Christian Ehrhoff, veteran Paul Martin or second-year player Olli Maatta -- a promising scenario no matter how you slice it. Letang had a career-high 11 goals in 37 games last season and I highly recommend taking him once the fifth or sixth round rolls around in your draft. Believe it or not, he's falling that far in many formats.

Worst pick: Vanek -- Vanek has been a top-50 asset for much of the past decade and is among an underrated top-six forward group in Minnesota, but I'd be hesitant to reach for him after an underwhelming postseason that included low shots-on-goal outputs and a demotion to the Montreal Canadiens' fourth line. He carries the allure that comes with LW/RW eligibility and certainly has a chance to redeem himself, but productive wings with equal position flexibility will be available later on (i.e. Loui Eriksson, Brandon Saad, David Perron). Nash, whom Cubeta drafted later in the round, would've been a better pick at this spot.

My pick: Gaborik -- Gaborik's upside is clear. He settled into a complementary role alongside Kopitar during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and his results were off the charts. As I said in my injury bounce-back piece, fantasy owners can expect 35-plus goals, 275-plus shots and a stellar rating from Gaborik if he plays 75 to 80 games next to Kopitar.

Observations: After five defensemen went off the board in the first four rounds combined, the next six players at the position (Pietrangelo, Yandle, Ekman-Larsson, Chara, Letang and McDonagh) were taken in the next two rounds. … Chara, 37, was a questionable pick with upstart defensemen Letang, Hedman, McDonagh and Giordano still available, but you can justify that selection because of how well the veteran covers categories, year after year.

ROUND 7
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
73 Jeff Carter, C/RW Matt Cubeta
74 Victor Hedman, D Tal Pinchevsky
75 Milan Lucic, LW Mike Morreale
76 Jakub Voracek, RW Adam Kimelman
77 Ryan Suter, D Brian Metzer
78 Joe Thornton, C Darryl Haberman
79 Jaroslav Halak, G Dan Rosen
80 Blake Wheeler, RW Corey Masisak
81 Ryan Kesler, C/RW Justin Goldman
82 Patric Hornqvist, RW Matt Sitkoff
83 Mark Giordano, D Brian Compton
84 Jonathan Drouin, LW Pete Jensen

Best pick: Thornton - With so many dual-eligible centers out there, Thornton fell to Haberman at No. 78. Things working against Thornton: he's 35, fresh off an offseason of trade rumors following a monumental collapse by the San Jose Sharks, and had low outputs in goals and shots on goal last season. Things working in his favor: he finished second in assists (65) last season behind only Crosby, had 19 power-play points and a plus-20 rating, and could put up mammoth numbers again if centers a line with Tomas Hertl and Pavelski.

Worst pick: Suter -- Last season, Suter logged the most ice time in a single season since Brian Leetch in 1998-99. The only issue: The value of workhorse defensemen doesn't always translate to the same level of fantasy prowess. The 29-year-old put forth a plus-15 rating and strong totals in assists and power-play points and remains a top-15 fantasy defenseman, but Giordano has better point potential and category coverage while Shattenkirk is a more potent power-play threat. Each was available at this pick. A more opportune time to draft Suter is in the eighth or ninth round.

My pick: Drouin -- He has yet to play an NHL game, but NHL.com's top-rated prospect could land on Stamkos' line as a rookie. If that doesn't get you excited as a fantasy owner, I'm not sure what will. Depending on how quickly the QMJHL phenom gets acclimated to the NHL level, he could produce anywhere from 50 to 65 points in year one for the Tampa Bay Lightning alongside a player who could very well lead the NHL in goals this season.

Observations: Kesler, who is dual eligible and a borderline top-50 fantasy asset after joining an elite Western Conference team, slipped to Goldman at No. 81. … Considering Tampa Bay's young core and offseason improvements, Hedman is an excellent value pick for Pinchevsky early in the seventh round. … Two of NHL.com's top sleeper picks, Hornqvist and Drouin, went off the board in this round.

ROUND 8
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
85 Christian Ehrhoff, D Pete Jensen
86 Kevin Shattenkirk, D Brian Compton
87 T.J. Oshie, C/RW Matt Sitkoff
88 Alexander Steen, C/LW Justin Goldman
89 Jordan Eberle, RW Corey Masisak
90 Martin St. Louis, RW Dan Rosen
91 Dustin Byfuglien, RW/D Darryl Haberman
92 Braden Holtby, G Brian Metzer
93 Brent Burns, RW/D Adam Kimelman
94 Niklas Kronwall, D Mike Morreale
95 Jarome Iginla, RW Tal Pinchevsky
96 Roberto Luongo, G Matt Cubeta

Best pick: Iginla -- Fantasy owners are aware of the deep right wing landscape, so it's only natural that Iginla, 37, tends to slip in drafts (Yahoo average draft position: 89.5). But while his rating won't be the same after leaving the Boston Bruins, he has a chance to score 30-plus goals again and rack up 15-plus power-play points and 200-plus shots on goal if he plays alongside Duchene or MacKinnon. Pinchevsky wasted no time in filling his roster need with a reliable producer for a contending team.

Worst pick: Burns -- Despite their coveted eligibility, Burns and Byfuglien are risky picks this early. Burns posted 22 goals, a plus-26 rating and 245 shots on goal as a D-eligible wing, but will no longer be lining up next to Thornton. The team hopes Burns' big body can address its need on the back end, but the only area of production that could spike as a result of his move back to defense is his power-play production. Byfuglien, meanwhile, will play forward but is not a lock to crack the top six for the Winnipeg Jets with Blake Wheeler and Michael Frolik in the mix. Byfuglien is a slightly better pick than Burns because he'll actually be playing forward and racking up shots and hits (for such league formats). Similar to Burns last year, Byfuglien can accumulate bloated stats on the front line, helping owners who can start him as a defenseman.

My pick: Ehrhoff -- The injury concerns that surround Letang are why Ehrhoff's fantasy ceiling is so high after signing a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Even if Letang is healthy, Ehrhoff will have an opportunity to produce plenty of points on the power play and hit 10-plus goals and 200-plus shots on goal for the first time since 2010-11. If injuries mount for the Penguins and Ehrhoff is manning the team's top power-play unit alongside Crosby, Malkin and Kunitz, fantasy owners can really cash in on drafting Ehrhoff anywhere from the eighth to 10th round of fantasy drafts.

Observations: There was a run on St. Louis Blues players, with Shattenkirk, Oshie and Steen being drafted on consecutive picks. … Six of the 12 players taken this round were RW-eligible, including the two RW/D eligible fantasy players on the market. … Masisak picked the perfect time (No. 89) to select Eberle, a player who should continue to pay dividends on a line with Hall.

ROUND 9
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
97 James Wisniewski, D Matt Cubeta
98 David Krejci, C Tal Pinchevsky
99 Brent Seabrook, D Mike Morreale
100 John Gibson, G Adam Kimelman
101 Gustav Nyquist, C/RW Brian Metzer
102 Steve Mason, G Darryl Haberman
103 Jonathan Bernier, G Dan Rosen
104 Mike Green, D Corey Masisak
105 Tyson Barrie, D Justin Goldman
106 Evgeny Kuznetsov, C/LW Matt Sitkoff
107 Torey Krug, D Brian Compton
108 Loui Eriksson, LW/RW Pete Jensen

Observations: Gibson and Mason each warrant earlier consideration if there's a run on goalies in your draft. ... Kuznetsov, a popular sleeper pick, could have been obtained a round or two later. Anyone who remembers Nyquist's run during the second half of last season knows what potential he brings if he falls outside of the top 100. ... Eriksson's dual eligibility is key; he has a chance to play top-line minutes for the Bruins. 

ROUND 10
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
109 Anton Khudobin, G Pete Jensen
110 Ryan O'Reilly, C/LW Brian Compton
111 Cam Fowler, D Matt Sitkoff
112 Alex Goligoski, D Justin Goldman
113 Dion Phaneuf, D Corey Masisak
114 Matt Niskanen, D Dan Rosen
115 Evander Kane, LW Darryl Haberman
116 Andrew Ladd, LW Brian Metzer
117 Matt Moulson, LW Adam Kimelman
118 Valeri Nichushkin, RW Mike Morreale
119 Scott Hartnell, LW Tal Pinchevsky
120 Dan Boyle, D Matt Cubeta

Observations: O'Reilly, Goligoski and Kane have a chance to be potential steals for Compton, Goldman and Haberman. ... Nice move by Masisak recognizing Phaneuf's PIMs prowess just in time. ... Nichushkin has a chance to thrive on either of Dallas' top two lines and warrants consideration anywhere from the 10th to 13th round depending on the players available.

ROUND 11
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
121 Jacob Trouba, D Matt Cubeta
122 Brian Campbell, D Tal Pinchevsky
123 Jaromir Jagr, RW Mike Morreale
124 Tomas Hertl, LW Adam Kimelman
125 Mark Streit, D Brian Metzer
126 Brandon Dubinsky, C/LW Darryl Haberman
127 Kyle Turris, C Dan Rosen
128 Andrei Markov, D Corey Masisak
129 John Carlson, D Justin Goldman
130 Radim Vrbata, RW Matt Sitkoff
131 Jason Pominville, RW Brian Compton
132 Henrik Sedin, C Pete Jensen

Observations: Apparently, the fantasy world didn't learn how dangerous Jagr can be at this stage of his career. Maybe we'll finally get the drift if the 42-year-old reels off 67 points again for the Devils. ... Markov is by no means a category hog, but few defensemen bring it in the power-play points department like he does. ... How Henrik Sedin could ever fall this far in a fantasy draft is beyond me. ... Trouba, Hertl and Vrbata were under-the-radar selections.

ROUND 12
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
133 Dougie Hamilton, D Pete Jensen
134 Jason Garrison, D Brian Compton
135 Justin Schultz, D Matt Sitkoff
136 Jay Bouwmeester, D Justin Goldman
137 Seth Jones, D Corey Masisak
138 Jake Muzzin, D Dan Rosen
139 Mikko Koivu, C Darryl Haberman
140 Brandon Saad, LW/RW Brian Metzer
141 Hampus Lindholm, D Adam Kimelman
142 Slava Voynov, D Mike Morreale
143 Chris Kreider, LW Tal Pinchevsky
144 Roman Josi, D Matt Cubeta

Observations: Hamilton, Saad and Kreider are clear breakout candidates. ... Things really started to heat up on the blue line in this round, where nine of the 12 picks were defensemen. ... Sprinkled in among this talented group is old reliable Koivu, whose value should never be underestimated.

ROUND 13
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
145 David Perron, LW/RW Matt Cubeta
146 Frederik Andersen, G Tal Pinchevsky
147 Craig Anderson, G Mike Morreale
148 Jake Allen, G Adam Kimelman
149 Alec Martinez, D Brian Metzer
150 Jonathan Huberdeau, C/LW Darryl Haberman
151 Bryan Little, C/RW Dan Rosen
152 Alexander Semin, LW/RW Corey Masisak
153 Jakob Silfverberg, LW/RW Justin Goldman
154 Josh Harding, G Matt Sitkoff
155 Ben Scrivens, G Brian Compton
156 Jonas Hiller, G Pete Jensen

Observations: Gibson has so much potential, but there's no question Andersen is a threat for playing time in both the short term and long term. ... Martinez is the first player not ranked among NHL.com's top 275 to be taken in this mock draft. ... Harding (injury) is a major question mark entering the season, so Darcy Kuemper should be the first Wild goalie off the board in drafts after agreeing to terms on a two-year contract. ... Little continues to be vastly underrated on the fantasy landscape despite topping 60 points last season. ... Fantasy owners are down on Semin, but he's still a top-line player who could bounce back if his standout center regains form in Carolina.

ROUND 14
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
157 Vladimir Tarasenko, RW Pete Jensen
158 Brock Nelson, C Brian Compton
159 Justin Faulk, D Matt Sitkoff
160 Martin Jones, G Justin Goldman
161 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C Corey Masisak
162 Jake Gardiner, D Dan Rosen
163 Andrej Sekera, D Darryl Haberman
164 Paul Stastny, C Brian Metzer
165 Valtteri Filppula, C/LW Adam Kimelman
166 Johan Franzen, LW/RW Mike Morreale
167 Erik Johnson, D Tal Pinchevsky
168 Jaden Schwartz, LW Matt Cubeta

Observations: Schwartz (RFA) can be an absolute steal by Cubeta at No. 168. ... After backup goalies Andersen and Allen went in the 13th round, Goldman took a flyer on Jones, who filled in admirably when  Quick was injured last season. ... In similar fashion to how Thornton and Henrik Sedin plummeted, less-proven options Nugent-Hopkins and Stastny fell even deeper in this mock draft.

ROUND 15
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
169 Nathan Horton, RW Matt Cubeta
170 Radko Gudas, D Tal Pinchevsky
171 Alex Galchenyuk, C/LW Mike Morreale
172 Nick Leddy, D Adam Kimelman
173 Brad Marchand, LW Brian Metzer
174 Lubomir Visnovsky, D Darryl Haberman
175 Ondrej Palat, LW Dan Rosen
176 Tyler Toffoli, RW Corey Masisak
177 Cam Talbot, G Justin Goldman
178 Craig Smith, C/RW Matt Sitkoff
179 Joffrey Lupul, LW/RW Brian Compton
180 Alexander Edler, D Pete Jensen

Observations: Horton's injury history is a concern, but that risk comes with high reward. ... Gudas is a PIMs specialist who needs to be taken in standard drafts as a fourth defenseman. ... Marchand and Palat are plus-minus specialists. ... Toffoli and Smith are sleepers, while Lupul, Visnovsky and Edler are injury bounce-back hopefuls.

ROUND 16
PICK PLAYER (POSITION) TEAM OWNER
181 Brayden Schenn, C/LW Pete Jensen
182 Olli Maatta, D Brian Compton
183 Jori Lehtera, C Matt Sitkoff
184 Michal Neuvirth, G Justin Goldman
185 Johnny Gaudreau, LW Corey Masisak
186 Mike Cammalleri, C/LW Dan Rosen
187 Nazem Kadri, C Darryl Haberman
188 Dany Heatley, LW/RW Brian Metzer
189 Derek Stepan, C Adam Kimelman
190 Marc-Edouard Vlasic, D Mike Morreale
191 Nail Yakupov, RW Tal Pinchevsky
192 Aleksander Barkov, C Matt Cubeta

Observations: In the final round of your draft, you need to look at potential, and these NHL.com staffers made their picks count with Schenn, Cammalleri, Kadri, Stepan and Barkov coming off the board. ... Lehtera, a Finnish prospect, brings that "unknown factor" into play and can really amount to something if he's the second-line center for the Blues. ... Neuvirth is Goldman's fifth goalie, which is way too many for a standard league. ... Heatley and Yakupov are shots in the dark, but that's what fantasy hockey is all about.


Highest-ranked players to go undrafted: Mats Zuccarello (LW, NYR), Pascal Dupuis (LW/RW, PIT), Mikael Granlund (C, MIN), Ales Hemsky (RW, DAL), Mark Scheifele (C, WPG), Clarke MacArthur (LW, OTT), Cody Hodgson (C/RW, BUF), Shane Doan (LW/RW, ARI), Reilly Smith (RW, BOS), Patrik Elias (C/LW, NJD)

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