Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Draft day arrived last Saturday and was well attended. This was my first draft where I came in with my electronic list and while that should make things easier having the constant pings of the next MSN post go off was more distracting than I might care to admit. Truth be told, however, it was a blast and hopefully was successful.
If you are a non-FunHL visitor, a few quick facts about this 17-year old fantasy league. The FunHL is a basic 12 team points pool, with a couple of twists. You draft by position, set at the start of the year by the Hockey News Guidebook, and play three lines every week (3 LW, 3 C, 3 RW, 6 D) and one goalie. In addition to pts for goals and assists, every week you designate two "tough guys" who get an additional 1/4pt for every penalty minute they receive. If you want, you can designate a player as a "+/-" player and, instead of goals and assists, get twice their +/- value for the week but this can be a negative number. Goalies pts are calculated by a formula involving minutes played and goals against average but essentially a 60 minute shutout is worth 3.75pts.
We have a big draft every year but we do have some keeper elements to out pool. Each team has two Franchise Players (FPs) whose rights will only expire if released or traded. Players selected in the first 8 rounds of the draft will be free agents in next year's draft. Players selected in the last 12 rounds of the draft have Restricted Free Agent (RFA) status for the following season's draft allowing the rights-holding GM to match, with their next pick, any bid on they during the following year's entry draft. There is no compensation if you choose not to match. Once the main draft is done we hold a prospect draft. Each team starts the year with 8 prospects whose rights expire four years after drafting them. Prospects can be promoted up to the active squad without losing their prospect status. We have two Waiver Drafts during the year but the Waiver Wire is limited to players dropped by other teams that week and once passed over are no longer available. Two paragraphs, not bad. Now, back to the Highlanders' draft...
With the need to promote Crosby as a new FP, I was going to be behind the pack until the rfa rounds and, given that I was drafting 10th, fully aware that I would have only one shot at a top-flight goaltender. That would probably tie up my first two picks. My rfa crop included three potential matchs: rw B.Boyes in STL, d B.Coburn in PHI and d D.Wideman in BOS. I had three P4s who could, potentially, be promoted to rfa status: lw R.Olesz FLA, c S.Weiss FLA and g R.Dipieto NYI. Also influencing the main draft were three promotable P3 prospects: lw P.Mueller PHO, rw K.Okposo NYI (the most risky of the three), and d M.Green WAS. I was only intending to select one more prospect come the prospect rounds.
SEVERED HEADS Lecavalier C TB
P.VENDETTA Datsyuk LW DET
WOLVES Alfredson RW OTT
BLADERUNNERS Gonchar D PIT
RAMAPITHICINES Getzlaf C ANA
SHADOWMEN St.Louis RW TB FP
EDGE Nabakov G SJ
LOST BOYS Nash LW CLB FP
SCOURGE Campbell D CHI
HIGHLANDERS Crosby C PIT FP (match sh)
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Markov D MTL
GREAT WHITES E.Staal C Car FP (match lb)
As per my prediction, Cam takes Lecavalier after bidding on Crosby, which is matched. No real surprises (save for Rob NOT surprising with Alfredson) until Corey selects Getzlaf - whom Bob was intending to take with the next pick. St.Louis is a fine selection but I still think Nash was the call here. Collin is thrilled to get Nabakov, Richard mikes a prefunctory jump at Staal, which is matched, and then goes for Nash. The d-man rush, a late first round tradition from way-back, begins with Chris and Campbell and Mike and Markov.
CROSBY C PIT FP - No need to go into any great detail here. Hopefully this pick will be a Highlander until his retirement in 2030 with multiple scoring titles and Predator Cups to his credit.
Round 2: (note draft goes up in the snake draft format)
SEVERED HEADS Satan RW PIT
P. VENDETTA Hemsky RW EDM
WOLVES D.Sedin LW VAN
BLADERUNNERS Briere C PHI
RAMAPITHICINES Niedermayer D ANA
SHADOWMEN Savard C BOS
EDGE Jokinen C PHO
LOST BOYS Giguere G ANA
SCOURGE Boyle D SJ
HIGHLANDERS Kiprusoff G CGY
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Rafalski D DET
GREAT WHITES Doan RW PHO
Dan sneaks in one pick before his anticipated rfa matches, and a good one at that now that he has an elite pivot to work with, while three more d-men are taken in the round. Hemsky is the steal of the round, IMO, and Cam's pick of Satan is a reach.
KIPRUSOFF G CGY - I didn't expect to have a choice of goalies with my second pick and felt I couldn't risk waiting another round so I took Kipper's huge minutes and will hope for a more defensive posture by the Flames and a rebound by the Finn. The obvious "woulda-shoulda-coulda" comparison will be with Giguere, who Richard takes two picks later.
SEVERED HEADS Osgood G DET
P. VENDETTA T.Kaberle D TOR
WOLVES H.Sedin C VAN
BLADERUNNERS Morrow LW DAL
RAMAPITHICINES Redden D NYR
SHADOWMEN Roy C BUF
EDGE Frolov RW LA
LOST BOYS P.M.Bouchard RW MIN (poach ram)
SCOURGE Selanne RW ANA
HIGHLANDERS Corvo D CAR
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Ribeiro C DAL (match wlv)
GREAT WHITES Semin LW WAS (match shad)
I like the Morrow pick here and think that the Frolov pick could prove to be fantastic. Bouchard was an interesting poach here that would not have been let go had Corey not been so flush with right wing prospects. The bid on Ribero was expected, the one on Semin was not but ultimately Dan decided - correctly, IMO - that at this point rfa matching was merely a question of order and not a question of legitimacy.
CORVO D CAR - Really took off last year when given a chance to anchor the Carolina PP, his ppg post-trade was unreal 21/23 after going 27/51 before the trade. Still, there may have been a tactical value in bidding on Knights rfa d-man B.Burns which, if matched by Mike (and Burns was certainly a legit potential match at this point) would have given a free ride to my rfas for another round. Still, on my lists - Corvo was the guy to take and it would have been a real drop off to have been stuck with Burns.
Round 4: (again, read from bottom of round up)
SEVERED HEADS Kronwall D DET (match shad)
P. VENDETTA Cammalleri LW CGY (match edge)
WOLVES Kovalev RW MON (match edge)
BLADERUNNERS Avery LW DAL
RAMAPITHICINES McCabe D FLA
SHADOWMEN Jovanovski D PHO
EDGE Kariya LW STL
LOST BOYS Langkow C CGY
SCOURGE M.Richards C PHI
HIGHLANDERS Boyes RW STL (match kt)
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Zherdev RW NYR (poach sh)
GREAT WHITES Parise LW NJ (match shad)
The rfa rounds won't officially start until round 11, but they are in full swing at this point. Zherdev was a suspect bid and Kronwall a suspect match given what was still out there. I like the Avery pick at this point a lot.
BOYES RW STL - Would have loved to have gone one more round before having to match on him but this is about right. He's entering his fourth season but probably had his breakout season last year. If he can maintain his early season pace all year he could hit over 70pts but even if he just maintains a steady 65pt pace he will be ok. When the season is done a comparison to P.Sykora's totals will be instructive.
SEVERED HEADS Timonen D PHI
P. VENDETTA Backstrom G MIN
WOLVES Dumont LW NSH (match edge)
BLADERUNNERS Visnovsky D EDM
RAMAPITHICINES Carcillo LW PHO
SHADOWMEN Sykora RW PIT
EDGE Gomez C NYR
LOST BOYS Sakic C COL
SCOURGE Sharp LW CHI
HIGHLANDERS Bouwmeester D FLA
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Burns D MIN (match shad)
GREAT WHITES Horton RW FLA (match lb)
Visnovsky is another steal by the Bladerunners, IMO. Carcillo is a great pick by the Ramapithicines though I expect he will not rack up the same number of misconduct penalties but should get more pts with the puck. I have concerns about Backstrom but he was the best of the rest and, save for last year, Darrell is always strong when it comes to his masked men.
BOUWMEESTER D FLA - Two seasons ago I matched on Bouwmeester with some guides pegging him for 60pts. I am not expecting that he'll hit 60pts but given that only 5 d-men scored more than his 15 goals last season, his contract year and the fact that Florida will want to showcase him for a potential trade - he should be in for a career year.
Round 6: (you have figured out the wrap-around thing now, right?)
SEVERED HEADS Letang D PIT (match bl)
P. VENDETTA Huselius RW CLB
WOLVES Streit D NYI
BLADERUNNERS Pitkanen D CAR
RAMAPITHICINES Liles D COL
SHADOWMEN Meszaros D TB
EDGE Zubov D DAL
LOST BOYS Gionta RW NJ
SCOURGE Cheechoo RW SJ
HIGHLANDERS Gagne LW PHI
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Arnott C NSH (match ram)
GREAT WHITES Souray D EDM
Ok, this is the round of question marks. Souray and Gagne are big injury risks while Zubov is currently hurt. Cheechoo may be a shadow of his former self and Streit may have been a mirage last year. Liles, Pitkanen and Huselius have histories of being less than advertised while Letang needs to be better than advertised, at least for today, to justify the pick (that said, post-draft S.Gonchar went down hurt so, along with R.Whitney's injury, Letang may get his chance to justify his early match. I like the Meszaros pick here but that may simply be by process of elimination.
GAGNE LW PHI - Last season I really wanted Gagne but he was taken by the Bladerunners one pick before I could nab him. Turned out that was a good thing as he went down hurt and his concussion risk remains very high. The talent, however, is just too much to ignore. Last year I had him as a possible ppg winger and while I'm not banking on that many pts, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility. If he can exceed 65pts then this is a clear win for me. The comparison will be with A.Kostitsyn a safer pick but with less upside, IMO.
SEVERED HEADS Niel RW OTT
P. VENDETTA Zidlicky D MIN
WOLVES Plekanec C MTL
BLADERUNNERS Wolski LW COL
RAMAPITHICINES Rolston C NJ
SHADOWMEN A.Kostitsyn LW MTL
EDGE Stillman LW FLA
LOST BOYS Nylander C WAS
SCOURGE Enstrom D ATL
HIGHLANDERS Marleau C SJ
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Cole LW EDM
GREAT WHITES Demitra C VAN
Niel is a good grab here by Cam with the weakenss out there on RW. I really like both the Zidlicky and Enstrom picks here and Nylander lasted way, way too long.
MARLEAU C SJ - I have to believe that last season was a low-water mark for Marleau. He has a new coach, will probably get a chance to play more with Thornton (as he is adjusting to the wing role) and his playoff, particularly against Calgary, was good. He's only a year removed from back-to-back point per game seasons so 70+pts would certainly be within his grasp. Another sub-50 season really seems hard to envision. Demitra and Drury are the next two centers taken so they are the natural post-season comparisons.
Round 8: (up is down, snake draft thing again)
SEVERED HEADS Bieksa D VAN
P. VENDETTA Keith D CHI (match gw)
WOLVES Wideman D BOS (poach hl)
BLADERUNNERS Drury C NYR
RAMAPITHICINES Erat LW NSH (match hl)
SHADOWMEN Naslund LW NYR
EDGE Cogliano RW EDM
LOST BOYS Higgins RW MTL (match hl)
SCOURGE Bertuzzi RW CGY
HIGHLANDERS Whitney LW CAR
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Kunitz LW ANA
GREAT WHITES Schneider D ANA
Scheider is a great pick by Dan as evidenced by the d-men who go at the back-end of the round. Bertuzzi is a solid pick here and probably earns Cam a Coke bet win if we can find the e-mail wherein I may have said that he would last to the rfa rounds.
WHITNEY LW CAR - Whitney is 36 years old so he is clearly on the downward slope of his carear but he's only two years removed from an 83pt season and was on pace last year for 76. He can't be expected to be an elite left winger - but anything close to a ppg with 65+ games will look pretty good for an 8th round pick.
SEVERED HEADS Elias LW NJ FP
P. VENDETTA Zetterberg LW DET FP
WOLVES Gaborik RW MIN FP
BLADERUNNERS Iginla RW CGY FP
RAMAPITHICINES Chara D BOS FP
SHADOWMEN Prospal LW TB
EDGE Ovechkin LW WAS FP
LOST BOYS Brunette LW MIN
SCOURGE Spezza C OTT FP
HIGHLANDERS Coburn D PHI (match wlv)
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Tanguay LW MON FP
GREAT WHITES Rozsival D NYR (match wlv)
The FP rounds start here but with four GMs swapping out their FPs we have a couple of picks and couple of Wolves rfa d-man bids that are matched (he ends up poaching Wideman near the end of the previous round). Full marks to Bob for managing to get Prospal as late as he did - whatever the "cycle" he is on, he is well worth a 9th round selection.
COBURN D PHI - Certainly would love to have had him as an rfa but think I did well by holding on to him. Obviously the quick comparison will be with Wideman, who Rob successfully poaches instead. The question of whether I should have matched on him is still open as well.
Round 10: (ALL FPs)
SEVERED HEADS L D.Heatley OTT
P. VENDETTA D N.Lidstrom DET
WOLVES G M.Brodeur NJ
BLADERUNNERS R M.Hossa DET
RAMAPITHICINES G M.Turco DAL
SHADOWMEN G R.Luongo VAN
EDGE C J.Thornton SJ
LOST BOYS L I.Kovalchuk ATL
SCOURGE C B.Richards DAL
HIGHLANDERS D C.Pronger ANA
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR R M.Hejduk COL
GREAT WHITES G Lundqvist NYR
PRONGER D ANA - Yah, he'll do. Solid pts from the back-end and toughness to boot - on a Highlander team that is looking very, very creampuff. He is probably one more brain-cramp from a serious suspension but hopefully he can keep his stomps on the corect side of the line this season and I think having Niedermayer around all year will help.
Round 11: (the RFA rounds open)
SEVERED HEADS Havlat RW CHI
P. VENDETTA Suter D NSH (match kt)
WOLVES Whitney D PIT
BLADERUNNERS Ryder RW BOS
RAMAPITHICINES Lupul RW PHI(match hl)
SHADOWMEN S.Kostitsyn RW MTL
EDGE Tucker RW COL
LOST BOYS Blake D SJ
SCOURGE Smyth LW COL
HIGHLANDERS Vrbata RW TB (poach KT)
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Stortini RW EDM
GREAT WHITES Oduya D NJ
Rob is giddy at the thought of getting Whitney as an rfa, an early return could be a great steal for the Wolves and an early ED slot next year could result in a steal next year as well. Havlat is, well Havlat. Cam will get a chance to repeat the movie for at least one more season.
VRBATA RW TB - I was hoping that Ryder would have slipped, but it didn't happen. Had Mike matched then I would have gone and got Afinogenov - whom Cam gets at the end of the next round - but I'm not disappointed with Vrbata. Currently he looks to be riding shotgun for Stamkos and he will NOT be pushing St.Louis off the first line in TB but if the Lightning go for a firewagon gameplan, then he'll be in the thick of the mix. At 27, he's hitting the prime production years and coming off a carear year there may be more than the 50pts I'm counting on.
Round 12: (really, do we need to go over the odd-even/down-up thing again)
SEVERED HEADS Afinogenov RW BUF
P. VENDETTA Martin D NJ (match wlv)
WOLVES Hecht LW BUF (poach lb)
BLADERUNNERS Gilbert D EDM
RAMAPITHICINES Horcoff C EDM(match gw)
SHADOWMEN Ranger D TB (match edge)
EDGE Priessing D LA
LOST BOYS Carle D TB
SCOURGE Fleury G PIT
HIGHLANDERS Bergeron C BOS
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Lucic LW BOS
GREAT WHITES Franzen LW DET
More matches than poaches at this point in the draft, some from earlier rounds. Franzen will be one pick to watch - is he another playoff supernova or was he really emerging as a legit force the last few months of last season - I'm betting that he's legit. Carle snuck around much longer than I would have thought and Richard should be pleased. I like Gilbert and, at this stage, I like the Fleury pick by Chris. The defensive hits the Pens have taken will make this even riskier now but I still think it was a good call based on how Fleury picked it up last season after coming back from injury.
BERGERON C BOS - Risk and reward. If he's hurt again, he could be gone good. That is pretty high in the risk department but just last season we were all looking at him as a possible +ppg center. Yes it is the pre-season but his first game got him 4pts so the talent is there. If he comes through, this could be a very important pick for the Highlanders - one bad shot to the head and...
SEVERED HEADS Hartnell LW PHI
P. VENDETTA McDonald C STL
WOLVES Malone LW TB
BLADERUNNERS Leclaire G CLB
RAMAPITHICINES Connolly C BUF
SHADOWMEN Sturm LW BOS (match wlv)
EDGE Seabrook D CHI
LOST BOYS Kubina D TOR (match edge)
SCOURGE Umberger C CLB
HIGHLANDERS Clarkson RW NJ
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Bryzgalov G PHO (poach edge)
GREAT WHITES S.Koivu C MTL
I really like the Hartnell pick here, in fact Cam takes both Afinogenov and Hartnell and spikes the two names I had highlighted in hopes of their possible return down to my selection. With Hartnell gone, Malone was a good reply. Umberger will be very interesting to watch - he was on my "interesting but let someone else get him" list. Bryzgalov is a great second goalie pick by Mike...oh, that's his first...good luck with that.
CLARKSON RW NJ - A poor man's Chris Neil, at least I hope so. If last year's stats are anything to go by he may be more of a Costco version of Neil - same great PIM production for rounds less than you would pay somewhere else. At least that is the hope. In fact, that will probably be the comparison (along with Stortini and Boll).
Round 14: (I'm just going to assume you have got it figured out now.)
SEVERED HEADS Brind'Amour C CAR
P. VENDETTA Walker RW CAR
WOLVES Murray D SJ
BLADERUNNERS Salo D VAN (poach br)
RAMAPITHICINES Tkachuk LW STL (poach edge)
SHADOWMEN Boucher D DAL
EDGE Ohlund D VAN
LOST BOYS Rivet D BUF
SCOURGE Poti D WAS
HIGHLANDERS Yandle D PHO
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Antropov C TOR
GREAT WHITES Boll RW CLB
Seven d-men go in the 14th but at this point it is more of a cull than a run. Antropov and Brind'Amour are the non-defensive ones to look at now.
YANDLE D PHO - A reach or a shrewd call, we'll probably know soon enough. If Phoenix is for real than Jovo-cop will need a pp partner - Yandle may be the guy given that they sent the other d-man options away in the Jokinen trade with Florida. Could be a boom, a bust or a bit too soon.
SEVERED HEADS Kuba D OTT (poach kt)
P. VENDETTA Blake LW TOR
WOLVES O'Brien D TB (match sh)
BLADERUNNERS Edler D VAN
RAMAPITHICINES Berard D PHI (poach gw)
SHADOWMEN Hainsey D ATL (match br)
EDGE Aucoin D CGY
LOST BOYS Stafford RW BUF
SCOURGE Robidas D DAL
HIGHLANDERS Stralman D TOR
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Salei D COL (match pv)
GREAT WHITES Niskanen D DAL
We are really scraping the bottom of the barrel here on d-men which is why Stafford and even Blake look so good here.
STRALMAN D TO - Ok, another swing for the fences but unlike some of the other names taken before him I think there is some reasonable hope of upside - and soon.
Round 16: (are you reading top to bottom again? I thought I could trust you)
SEVERED HEADS Johnsson D MIN
P. VENDETTA Spacek D BUF (match br)
WOLVES Modano C DAL (poach kt)
BLADERUNNERS Girardi D NYR
RAMAPITHICINES Van Ryn D TOR
SHADOWMEN Backes RW STL
EDGE V.Kozlov RW WAS (poach shad)
LOST BOYS Gerber G OTT
SCOURGE Boynton D FLA
HIGHLANDERS Clowe LW SJ
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Knuble RW PHI
GREAT WHITES Ballard D FLA
CLOWE LW SJ - Great coming out party last year during the playoffs, can he do it over a whole season? I sure hope so.
SEVERED HEADS Stuart D DET (poach kt)
P. VENDETTA Legwand C NSH (match wlv)
WOLVES Bernier RW VAN
BLADERUNNERS S.Kozlov LW ATL
RAMAPITHICINES Hamhuis D NSH (match sh)
SHADOWMEN Morris D PHO
EDGE Hamrlik D MTL (match shad)
LOST BOYS Clark D COL
SCOURGE Holmstrom RW DET (match shad)
HIGHLANDERS Harrold D LA
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Lang C MTL (poach sc)
GREAT WHITES Langenbrunner RW NJ
Really wanted Bernier, this is what prompts me to look at Corey's list and make a pitch, successfully, to trade for Penner EDM off his rfa list. It's not a great coup but it does give me some security that I will have a choice back there.
HARROLD D LA - This is a pick that got a lot of raised eyebrows and outright guffaws from the assembled masses but the thought here is that with Blake and Visnovsky gone, someone is going to be quarterbacking the powerplay. The fear was that it might be Schneider but as I write this he's been traded to Atlanta so that risk has now abated. I really only need one of my d-man gambles to hit hard (when combined with my top 5) to give me an awsome defense so I think I'm onto a better option here that what else was available. Gologoski PIT and Koistinen NSH are the two that may have been the better calls but my list was really hyping Harrold so I couldn't risk losing him.
Round 18: (if you don't get it at this point...)
SEVERED HEADS M.A.Bergeron D MIN
P. VENDETTA Comrie C NYI (match wlv)
WOLVES Beauchemin D ANA
BLADERUNNERS Goligoski D PIT
RAMAPITHICINES Lehtinen RW DAL
SHADOWMEN Sekeras D BUF
EDGE Burrows LW VAN
LOST BOYS Phillips D OTT (match gw)
SCOURGE Legace G STL
HIGHLANDERS Sundin C UFA
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Koistinen D NSH
GREAT WHITES Ehrhoff D SJ
Burrows is a great late pick here, I like Beauchemin for being safe and Bergeron for being a legit risk at this point (not for me, but completely justifiable - I just feel his act is getting old faster and faster as he goes from team to team now).
SUNDIN C UFA - As a fourth center, this could be a great pick or a real waste. With no legit center prospect, I had best hope he makes up his mind quickly because there isn't much security should one of my top three need injury protection.
SEVERED HEADS Vokoun G FLA (poach kt)
P. VENDETTA Komisarek D MTL (match lb)
WOLVES Theodore G WAS
BLADERUNNERS Kotalik RW BUF (poach kt)
RAMAPITHICINES Huet G CHI
SHADOWMEN Schubert D OTT
EDGE Ward G CAR (match shad)
LOST BOYS Zajac LW NJ
SCOURGE O'Sullivan LW LA - promoted
HIGHLANDERS Picard D OTT
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Lehtinen G ATL (poach edge)
GREAT WHITES Steen LW TOR
But for his contract dispute, O'Sullivan would have been seen as a better promotion than he was viewed on draft day. Expect him to be signed by LA before the puck drops. Mike will have to see whether letting Vokoun go to the Severed Heads so he could poach Lehtinen was the right call - my vote is that this was the wrong call.
PICARD D OTT - My guess at this point is that Picard will be waived so I can bring up Green for the start of the season but if he shows some of his potential in the preseason, he may displace Harrold, Yandle or Stralman. Currently day-to-day, I don't think he'll get the chance to wow me.
SEVERED HEADS Rutuu LW CAR
P. VENDETTA Toskala G TOR (match hl)
WOLVES Huskins D ANA
BLADERUNNERS Fisher C OTT (poach lb)
RAMAPITHICINES Nilsson LW EDM - promoted
SHADOWMEN Fernandez G BOS
EDGE Brewer D STL (match kt)
LOST BOYS Leopold D COL
SCOURGE Vanek LW BUF - promoted
HIGHLANDERS Ellis G NSH
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Klesla D CLB
GREAT WHITES Pavelski C SJ
Looking over the desperate d-man dreck that are being selected here I'm even more pleased with my gambles in the previous rounds. Sure my picks may turn out to be flops, but its not like they are the perenial flops that Klesla and Brewer have been. Toskala, obviouly is a prize I valued - good match by Darrell.
ELLIS G NSH - Here's hoping he can be what Mason proved he couldn't be last year - a solid back-up to Kipper and maybe even trade-bait before the Waiver Draft.
SEVERED HEADS Forsberg C UFA
P. VENDETTA Svatos RW COL - promoted
WOLVES J.Williams C ATL
BLADERUNNERS Fillpula C DET - promoted
RAMAPITHICINES Brown RW LA - promoted
SHADOWMEN Krejci C BOS
EDGE Gleason D CAR
LOST BOYS Staios D EDM
SCOURGE Barker D CHI - promoted
HIGHLANDERS Laich RW WAS
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Kraijcek D VAN
GREAT WHITES Ericsson D DET
Forsberg. Nelson says, "Ha ha." Williams may prove inspired if he gets the spot everyone is hoping to get in Atlanta alongside Kovalchuk.
LAICH RW WAS - Same thinking as Williams, if he suits up with Ovechkin - and he went on a tear to end last season - then he sheds the checker-tag that was slapped on him before last season and I win a big sleeper gamble. If not, he's Bantha fodder come the waiver draft - no real middle ground here.
Round 22: (bringing it all home)
SEVERED HEADS Malkin C PIT - promoted
P. VENDETTA M.Michalek LW SJ - promoted
WOLVES Phaneuf D CGY - promoted
BLADERUNNERS Miller G BUF - promoted
RAMAPITHICINES Perry RW ANA - promoted
SHADOWMEN J.Carter C PHI - promoted
EDGE Cullen C CAR
LOST BOYS M.Koivu C MIN - promoted
SCOURGE Tyutin D CLB
HIGHLANDERS Penner LW EDM
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR Weber D NSH - promoted
GREAT WHITES Valiquete G NYR
Malkin could turn into something :-) Seriously, this is a great crop of graduating prospects. I drafted Crosby last season with the second last pick but Malkin ranks as the best final pick in any FunHL draft.
PENNER LW EDM - I went out and got Penner during the draft for a later round prospect pick in next year's draft. He's security but ironically without him I wouldn't have the debate I'm having about who to dump - Penner or Clowe - when I promote Mueller. Hopefully one of them can create some trade buzz before I have to pull the trigger.
End of the Entry Draft
I won't do a full recap of the Prospect Draft but I go in with the following:
Mueller-L PHX (P3)
Okposo-R NYI (P3)
Green-D WSH (P3)
Little-C ATL (P2)
Setoguchi-R SJ (P2)
Franson-D NSH (P2)
Bernier-G LA (P2)
I only need one pick and had, earlier in the summer, felt that I couldn't hope to snag Filatov, my #1, with Chris' pick (fourth overall) so I made a trade to get Okposo. I'm happy with Okposo, and with my flat RW he may actually make the squad if he exceeds expectations, but you can imagine my dismay when the prospect draft gets going:
Prospect Draft, Round 1:
J.Williams RW CAR [Ram]
D.Doughty LA D [GW]
Brunstrum LW DAL [Scourge]
Filatov C CLB [Blade]
Boedker RW PHO [LB]
P.Berglund STL C [Blade]
Bogosian D ATL [PV]
Matthias C FLA [Ram]
V.Hedman D SWE [HL]
J.Pesonen LW PIT [Shad]
Svenson-Paajarvi LW SWE [Blade]
Hornqvist RW NSH [Scourge]
Williams is a very interesting pick if you think he can overcome his horrible injury luck, but I simply still can't believe that Filatov slipped that far. Am pleased with Hedman and know all the downsides in terms of his 4 year prospect term: only 17, defenseman, European. Even so, he's a once in a generation player and if he makes an NHL team before he's 20 (unlikely but possible) than he might just justify the pick.
Now to hit those trade lines...