Fantasy: 10-team mock draft with analysis

Jeff Curry / USA Today Sports

This is a standard scoring, head-to-head league made up of the following categories:

Skater Goalie
Goals Wins
Assists Goals against average
Plus/Minus Save percentage
Penalty minutes Shutouts
Power play points
Shots on goal

The roster positions go as follows: C, C, LW, LW, RW, RW, D, D, D, D, G, G, BN, BN, BN, BN, IR, IR

Draft Participants:

  • Navin Vaswani, NHL Supervising Editor
  • Esten McLaren, Football News Editor
  • Craig Hagerman, NHL News Editor
  • Josh Gold-Smith, Senior NHL News Editor
  • Bryan Mcwilliam, MLB News Editor
  • Josh Wegman, NHL News Editor
  • Michael Bradburn, MLB News Editor
  • Michael Amato, Senior Football News Editor
  • Caitlyn Holroyd, Social News Editor
  • Lanny Foster, Senior Social Media Editor

Round 1

Pick Player Owner
1 C Connor McDavid (EDM) Vaswani
2 C Sidney Crosby (PIT) McLaren
3 D Erik Karlsson (OTT) Hagerman
4 RW Patrick Kane (CHI) Gold-Smith
5 RW Vladimir Tarasenko (STL) Mcwilliam
6 D Brent Burns (SJ) Wegman
7 RW Nikita Kucherov (TB) Bradburn
8 LW Alex Ovechkin (WAS) Amato
9 C Auston Matthews (TOR) Holroyd
10 LW Brad Marchand (BOS) Foster

The biggest shocker of the first round was Team Hagerman taking Karlsson at No. 3. If he's healthy, he's certainly worth a top three selection, but it's unclear how long he will be out to begin the season. Nonetheless, the fact that he was out skating Saturday is certainly a good sign.

Round 2

Pick Player Owner
11 C Steven Stamkos (TB) Foster
12 LW Jamie Benn (DAL) Holroyd
13 C Evgeni Malkin (PIT) Amato
14 C Jack Eichel (BUF) Bradburn
15 C/RW Tyler Seguin (DAL) Wegman
16 C John Tavares (NYI) Mcwilliam
17 D Victor Hedman (TB) Gold-Smith
18 C/RW Leon Draisaitl (EDM) Hagerman
19 C Nicklas Backstrom (WAS) McLaren
20 RW Patrik Laine (WPG) Vaswani

Team Gold-Smith made Hedman the only defenseman taken in the second round, and given that he is coming off a career-high 72 points, there's an argument to be made he should of went much higher.

Round 3

Pick Player Team
21 G Devan Dubnyk (MIN) Vaswani
22 G Braden Holtby (WAS) McLaren
23 G Carey Price (MTL) Hagerman
24 G Sergei Bobrovsky (CLB) Gold-Smith
25 D Dustin Byfuglien (WPG) Mcwilliam
26 G Matt Murray (PIT) Wegman
27 D Roman Josi (NAS) Bradburn
28 C Mark Scheifele (WPG) Amato
29 D P.K. Subban (NAS) Holroyd
30 G Cam Talbot (EDM) Foster

Team Vaswani opted to select Dubnyk as the first goalie of the draft. Dubnyk isn't the top goalie on too many draft boards, but considering his .924 SV% and 2.17 GAA since joining the Wild, it's hard to argue the selection.

This pick created a massive run on goalies, as nine of the next 15 players taken were netminders.

Round 4

Pick Player Owner
31 G Tuukka Rask (BOS) Foster
32 G Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) Holroyd
33 G Henrik Lundqvist (NYR) Amato
34 D Zach Werenski (CLB) Bradburn
35 D Kris Letang (PIT) Wegman
36 G Pekka Rinne (NAS) Mcwilliam
37 LW Johnny Gaudreau (CGY) Gold-Smith
38 C/LW Artemi Panarin (CLB) Hagerman
39 RW Cam Atkinson (CLB) McLaren
40 RW David Pastrnak (BOS) Vaswani

Team Holroyd took Vasilevskiy higher than most anticipated, but the Russian netminder sported a 2.27 GAA and a .930 SV% once Ben Bishop was traded, signaling that he's ready to be 'the guy' in the Lightning crease. Furthermore, many have the Lightning as Stanley Cup favorites.

Round 5

Pick Player Owner
41 LW Max Pacioretty (MTL) Vaswani
42 D Shea Weber (MTL) McLaren
43 C Jeff Carter (LA) Hagerman
44 RW Phil Kessel (PIT) Gold-Smith
45 G Frederik Andersen (TOR) Mcwilliam
46 RW Blake Wheeler (WPG) Wegman
47 G Martin Jones (SJ) Bradburn
48 LW Filip Forsberg (NAS) Amato
49 RW Wayne Simmonds (PHI) Holroyd
50 D John Klingberg (DAL) Foster

Simmonds is much more valuable in leagues that record hits and blocks, but four straight seasons of 28 goals or more can't be overlooked. Plus, he has racked up 100 PIMs five times, providing value to a category many seem to overlook in standard leagues.

Round 6

Pick Player Owner
51 LW/RW Sebastian Aho (CAR) Foster
52 G Jon Gibson (ANA) Holroyd
53 D Duncan Keith (CHI) Amato
54 LW/RW Viktor Arvidsson (NAS) Bradburn
55 C Ryan Getzlaf (ANA) Wegman
56 LW Jeff Skinner (CAR) Mcwilliam
57 C Evgeny Kuznetsov (WAS) Gold-Smith
58 LW Nikolaj Ehlers (WPG) Hagerman
59 C/RW Joe Pavelski (SJ) McLaren
60 C/RW Mitch Marner (TOR) Vaswani

Aho had a stellar rookie season, scoring 24 goals with 25 assists, but this might have been a slight reach by Team Foster. His dual-winger eligibility is very valuable, but fellow youngsters Ehlers, Marner, and William Nylander come with higher ceilings and floors.

Round 7

Pick Player Owner
61 D Kevin Shattenkirk (NYR) Vaswani
62 G Ben Bishop (DAL) McLaren
63 G Jake Allen (STL) Hagerman
64 C Aleksander Barkov (FLA) Gold-Smith
65 D Dougie Hamilton (CGY) Mcwilliam
66 G Corey Crawford (CHI) Wegman
67 C/RW William Nylander (TOR) Bradburn
68 RW Corey Perry (ANA) Amato
69 LW/RW Jonathan Drouin (MTL) Holroyd
70 C Sean Monahan (CGY) Foster

Drouin is projected to start the season at center, meaning he could be the only player in fantasy eligible at all three forward positions.

Team Amato is banking on a bounce-back year from Perry, and given that his shooting percentage from a year ago tied a career low, it seems likely.

Round 8

Pick Player Owner
71 RW T.J. Oshie (WAS) Foster
72 C Ryan Johansen (NAS) Holroyd
73 C Claude Giroux (PHI) Amato
74 C/LW Jake Guentzel (PIT) Bradburn
75 D Rasmus Ristolainen (BUF) Wegman
76 C Patrice Bergeron (BOS) Mcwilliam
77 D Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI) Gold-Smith
78 D Alex Pietrangelo (STL) Hagerman
79 LW Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA) McLaren
80 LW Brandon Saad (CHI) Vaswani

Pietrangelo recorded 18 points in 20 games once Shattenkirk's departure opened up some power-play time. A full season without Shattenkirk could result in multiple career highs for Pietrangelo, making this a very savvy pick by Team Hagerman.

Round 9

Pick Player Owner
81 D Drew Doughty (LA) Vaswani
82 RW Alexander Radulov (DAL) McLaren
83 C Jonathan Toews (CHI) Hagerman
84 LW/RW Mike Hoffman (OTT) Gold-Smith
85 LW James van Riemsdyk (TOR) Mcwilliam
86 LW Taylor Hall (NJ) Wegman
87 D Oscar Klefbom (EDM) Bradburn
88 D Justin Faulk (CAR) Amato
89 D Ryan Suter (MIN) Holroyd
90 D Torey Krug (BOS) Foster

Hall isn't in the best of situations in New Jersey, but he has too much talent to pass up in the ninth round. If Nico Hischier is the real deal, Hall could easily regain his point-per-game form. It may feel like he's been around forever, but he's still remarkably only 25 years old.

Round 10

Pick Player Owner
91 C Anze Kopitar (LA) Foster
92 C/LW Rickard Rakell (ANA) Holroyd
93 LW/RW Conor Sheary (PIT) Amato
94 RW Jordan Eberle (NYI) Bradburn
95 C Nazem Kadri (TOR) Wegman
96 D Cam Fowler (ANA) Mcwilliam
97 G Scott Darling (CAR) Gold-Smith
98 C/RW Mikael Granlund (MIN) Hagerman
99 D Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) McLaren
100 G Roberto Luongo (FLA) Vaswani

With Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm sidelined to begin the year, Fowler should see lots of ice time both at five-on-five and on the power play, making this a very astute pick by Team Mcwilliam. Moreover, the Ducks have a very favorable schedule for fantasy owners.

Eberle and Tavares have shown great chemistry together in international play. If that translates into the regular season, Team Bradburn could have himself a steal.

Round 11

Pick Player Owner
101 D Jake Gardiner (TOR) Vaswani
102 D John Carlson (WAS) McLaren
103 C Logan Couture (SJ) Hagerman
104 C Nolan Patrick (PHI) Gold-Smith
105 RW Jakob Silfverberg (ANA) Mcwilliam
106 D Justin Schultz (PIT) Wegman
107 D Colton Parayko (STL) Bradburn
108 D Seth Jones (CLB) Amato
109 LW Anders Lee (NYI) Holroyd
110 D Ryan McDonagh (NYR) Foster

After Team Wegman made a risky selection with the oft-injured Letang in the fourth round, he bought some insurance with Schultz in Round 11. If Letang goes down, Schultz will assume his role as the team's No. 1 defenseman and power-play specialist.

Round 12

Pick Player Owner
111 LW Ondrej Palat (TB) Foster
112 D Aaron Ekblad (FLA) Holroyd
113 G Mike Smith (CGY) Amato
114 C/LW Alex Galchenyuk (MTL) Bradburn
115 LW/RW Nino Niederreiter (MIN) Wegman
116 D Keith Yandle (FLA) Mcwilliam
117 LW Evander Kane (BUF) Gold-Smith
118 D Mark Giordano (CGY) Hagerman
119 RW Mark Stone (OTT) McLaren
120 RW Jakub Voracek (PHI) Vaswani

Multiple players taken in this round could turn out to be the steal of the draft, but most notably Ekblad, Smith, and Voracek. Ekblad was very unlucky a year ago, Smith will play behind one of the league's best defense corps, and Voracek is a potential point-per-game player.

Round 13

Pick Player Owner
121 LW/RW Andre Burakovsky (WAS) Vaswani
122 C/LW Boone Jenner (CLB) McLaren
123 LW Milan Lucic (EDM) Hagerman
124 D Ivan Provorov (PHI) Gold-Smith
125 C/LW Patrick Marleau (TOR) Mcwilliam
126 G Robin Lehner (BUF) Wegman
127 LW Matthew Tkachuk (CGY) Bradburn
128 D Jacob Trouba (WPG) Amato
129 RW Kyle Palmieri (NJ) Holroyd
130 C Nathan MacKinnon (COL) Foster

Taking a player with the talent of MacKinnon at this point in the draft is a smart move by Team Foster, even though he's stuck in a fantasy wasteland in Colorado. The upside that comes with drafting him far outweighs the risk.

Round 14

Pick Player Owner
131 D Charlie McAvoy (BOS) Foster
132 LW Jaden Schwartz (STL) Holroyd
133 LW Chris Kreider (NYR) Amato
134 D Nick Leddy (NYI) Bradburn
135 D Morgan Rielly (TOR) Wegman
136 RW Mats Zuccarello (NYR) Mcwilliam
137 LW/RW J.T. Miller (NYR) Gold-Smith
138 D Brady Skjei (NYR) Hagerman
139 G Craig Anderson (OTT) McLaren
140 D Jaccob Slavin (CAR) Vaswani

The Rangers are a good offensive team, but lack that one dynamic forward who would be taken early in fantasy drafts. Team Amato, Mcwiliam, Gold-Smith, and Hagerman get a slice of that Rangers pie here in Round 14.

Round 15

Pick Player Owner
141 C Nico Hischier (NJ) Vaswani
142 D Tyson Barrie (COL) McLaren
143 RW Patrick Eaves (ANA) Hagerman
144 D Dmitry Orlov (WAS) Gold-Smith
145 LW/RW Nick Foligno (CLB) Mcwilliam
146 C/RW Elias Lindholm (CAR) Wegman
147 C Ryan O'Reilly (BUF) Bradburn
148 C/LW Henrik Zetterberg (DET) Amato
149 D Jared Spurgeon (MIN) Holroyd
150 C/RW Tyler Toffoli (LA) Foster

Team McLaren takes advantage of a talented player on a bad team late in the draft, choosing Barrie with the 142nd pick. He won the green jacket last year, sporting a league-worst minus-34, but if he can return to his 50-point form, fantasy owners can swallow the ugly plus/minus in exchange for the points.

Round 16

Pick Player Owner
151 LW/RW James Neal (VGK) Foster
152 RW Kyle Okposo (BUF) Holroyd
153 LW Max Domi (ARI) Amato
154 G Cory Schneider (NJ) Bradburn
155 C/LW Brayden Schenn (STL) Wegman
156 D Dion Phaneuf (OTT) Mcwilliam
157 D Matthew Dumba (MIN) Gold-Smith
158 D Brent Seabrook (CHI) Hagerman
159 C/RW Ryan Strome (EDM) McLaren
160 C Eric Staal (MIN) Vaswani

Team Vaswani's selection of Staal as the draft's Mr. Irrelevant provides further proof for how deep the position of center is in fantasy. Unless an elite one falls and the value is too good to pass up, you can really afford to wait on centers.

Fantasy: 10-team mock draft with analysis
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