Filatov has been promised a top six spot? I think/hope something was lost in translation...
The big news in the hockey world yesterday was Viktor Tihkonov agreeing to a one-year, two-way contract with the Coyotes. Needless to say this is the dog days of summer. Today's ramblings will cover some odds and ends from various tweets and emails I have received lately.
Regarding the question of positions in limited keepers (a limited keeper is one where you can only keep a portion of your roster, say five or six out of 20, that sort of thing). Do I weigh positions? 100% yes I do. I may take a slightly inferior defenseman over a forward if I lack defensemen, the league puts extra value on defensemen, or I know not many defensemen will be available. The best player available strategy that teams use at the draft in real hockey doesn't lend itself to fantasy hockey as well.
Another thing regarding positions and keeping certain players over others - if you are in contention, try and get a feel for who the other contending teams in your league will keep. You can do this one of two ways - solicit them for trade advice and use your wit to see if you can get a read on who they value, or by simply guessing.
By seeing what the other teams have, you can see what they will be after at the draft. If most of your competition has starting goalies already, and you are debating between keeping a veteran goalie or a defenseman/forward, maybe opt for the skater. The odds that the goalie will fall in the draft are higher than the forward/defenseman (assuming none of your competition wants to handcuff you, something I have been known to do from time to time).
Do I avoid Russian players? In most cases, yes I do. The threat of the KHL is too large to invest time/assets in talented Russians. This unfortunately includes both Evgeni Kuzentsov and Vladimir Tarasenko. Would I avoid them completely? Not a chance, but I'd prefer a less talented North American forward any day. One exception looks to be 2012 draft-eligible Nail Yakupov. Look out.
I'm really high on Los Angeles prospect Andrei Loktionov, but I'm also worried a bit. The Kings are stacked up the middle, and he is a center and prefers playing there. Does he think about a KHL return of he doesn't see ice time this season?
Where do I pick goalies? In a keeper, I'd gladly take one in round one or two - a tier one goalie, preferably - Price/Luongo/Lundqvist/Bryzgalov/Miller/Rinne. You can usually wait a bit to take another goalie if you are able to land one of those six.
In one year leagues, I'll usually wait a bit (depending on scoring categories). Goalies fluctuate from year to year quite a bit and there is a lot of value to be found if you read Justin Goldman a lot. He's helped me discover the likes of Quick and Reimer over the past few years. I personally would rather invest in a sure thing forward and take a risk on a goalie in a one year league than vice versa. The potential reward for risky goalies is usually way higher than for risky forwards. Look at Tim Thomas last season, as an example.
Detroit prospect Calle Jarnkrok excites me a lot. He's probably NHL ready now, but of course the Wings won't rush him. Tatar, Nyqvist, Mursak, and Pulkkinen are all good prospects, but Jarnkrok has the highest upside of the group. Detroit hasn't drafted/developed an elite forward since Franzen in 2004 (if you consider him elite, definitely in the playoffs). I am hoping to nab him with one of my picks at my draf this summer in Vegas, but I know most of my competition reads this site so I may be out of luck (looking at you, Rhys).
Speaking of this draft - I am very excited for it. Most of my H2H keeper is meeting in Vegas for our annual dispersal draft. I'm going to post a column a week or two before to introduce the league and the members in it, and hopefully build some excitement from our readers regarding the draft. I've made several blockbusters in this league, both good and bad (Stamkos, Stamkos, Stamkos). I'm sure the draft is going to be busy for trades, especially with so many of us in one place.
Drew Doughty - do the contract negotiations affect his season? Probably not. How is that for a vague answer? Doughty needs to bounce back from last season, but the dip in production shouldn't be surprising. Young players (forwards, defensemen, goalies) usually struggle with consistency - the NHL is a demanding league to play in, especially bringining the A effort for 82 (or more) games.
Some Jarnkork highlights: