So we had our points only keeper pool draft the other night.
As defending champion, I had traded away a lot of my draft picks to secure the title. In a 74-player draft, I had only three picks, and my first one wasn’t until #41. But I think I have a good chance to repeat.
That said, I did make a few trades, and ended up with a few extra picks, which was much needed.
This was my team going into the draft:
Forwards: Malkin, Stamkos, Getzlaf, Hall, Kunitz, St. Louis, Spezza, Gaborik, Brown, Weiss
Defence: Letang, Enstrom, Schultz, Markov, Keith, Carle
Goalies: Price, Niemi
Our top eight forwards, five defencemen and two goalies count. I was fine with my defence, and wanted a goalie and the rest in forwards.
Anyways, here are my picks and the reasoning behind each one.
Round 3, Pick #30 overall
I had to make a trade to get the next two picks. Anyways, I went with Ryan Kesler. He had back-to-back 70-point seasons before having a bad year and then an injury year. However, he was still on pace for 63 points last season. He’s not a Band-Aid boy (take away last season, and he’s only missed seven games in the previous five years). I think he’ll do well with the new coach.
Round 3, Pick #35
Again, I wanted offence, so I went with Ray Whitney. I love this pick. Whitney had 72 points two years ago. On a bad Dallas team last season, he had 29 in 32 games, a 74-point pace. Like Kesler, he’s not usually injury prone. And he has a lot more help in Dallas this year and a lot more youth around him.
Round 4, pick #41
I originally took Derick Brassard in the 10th round of the inaugural draft in 2009. He was then part of my first ever deal. Since then, he’s pretty much done nothing in the NHL nor in fantasy hockey. But I think this year will be different. He had 11 points in 13 games with the Rangers last year after the trade. Let’s hope he continues that.
Round 5, #57
I normally don’t like to take St. Louis Blues players, but David Backes was still there. The Blues spread around their scoring a lot, so I try to shy away from teams that do that. But it was such a late pick, I had to take the chance on the #1 line guy.
Round 6, #70
I don’t expect him to finish in my top eight, but Michael Ryder will still be a top-six player and get top PP minutes. Someone needs to score in New Jersey, so I expect the team to lean heavily on the Newfoundland native. He’s hit 60 points a couple of times (and was on pace for that last year), so I’d be happy if he got that again.
Round 6, #72
As I said at the beginning, I wanted a goalie. But Nabokov, Halak and Thomas were gone before my first pick. The only guys left were in tandems (Reimer was just taken, Bishop in the fourth round, Mason and Emery weren’t selected). But Kari Ramo was still there, so I took him. Now, I know he’s not going to do better than Price and Niemi this season. But Ramo is the clear-cut #1 goalie. And if he plays well enough, he could be worth keeping at the end of the year. Worst case: he sucks and I wasted a 72nd pick on him. Low risk, high reward.
Overall, I’m pleased with my draft. I have a chance at a couple of home runs. The forwards round out my team nicely. I picked up a #1 goalie really late.
Now it’s time to try and repeat.