Every year there are players who I end up ranking so low on my one year draft lists that I know almost for a certainty that they will not be on my team.  It could be because there is so much hype on a player that someone will surely take them long before they enter my draft radar.


Perhaps a recent addition or subtraction to a player’s team will reduce my projection for that player. I will mark down a player if they spent their summer rehabbing a serious injury or are going to start the season nursing an injury that could nag them all year.


I am also very reluctant to draft rookies in one year pools. They are unproven and are just as likely to disappoint as they are to equal their sometimes lofty first year projections.


Here is my list of players from the Eastern Conference I will likely not draft this season:


Todd White & Slava Kozlov Atl

The 34-year-old White just had a career year, recording 73 points. Kozlov is 39-years young and coming off a 76 point season. While it is possible that they can both come close to repeating those numbers again this season, it’s a risk better left to your competitors.


Phil Kessel & David Krejci Bos

These two special K’s are coming off of serious surgeries and will have spent an entire summer rehabilitating their respective injuries. Both were slated to require four to six months recovery time and that puts their return sometime in November and that’s providing there are no set backs. That’s no way to start a season or build upon the numbers they recorded last season.


Tim Connolly Buf

He is one of the more frustrating fantasy players to own due to his penchant for missing games, yet still posting near point per game numbers. Over the last five seasons, Connolly has missed 249 games, an average of 50 games per season! I believe if he plays more than 60 games this season, the Sabres training and medical staff will receive a Nobel nomination in the field of medicine.


Mike Cammalleri Mtl

The perfect storm of a career year, the signing of a long term contract and heading to a team with a notoriously defensive-minded coach, all equal one huge flashing neon sign… DON’T DRAFT ME SO HIGH…DON’T DRAFT ME SO HIGH!!


Zach Parise NJ

The departure of Brent Sutter and the arrival of Jacques Lemaire may seem like a push, but the style employed by Sutter was more of a responsible one than the purely defensive scheme like the one employed by Lemaire. Parise is supremely talented, as evidenced by his fifth place finish in league scoring last season, but I would be shocked if he ends up with anywhere near the 94 points he recorded last year.


John Tavares NYI

As with most first overall selections, someone will listen to all the hype and confuse keeper league potential with one year league performance. Would I want Tavares in my keeper league? You bet! Will he fall in a one year draft to where I think he should be taken this year?  Nope.


Mike Richards Phi

During the off-season, Richards had surgery on both shoulders and with the arrival of Chris Pronger, he may lose some valuable first unit power play time. Richards is one of those players whose real life value exceeds his fantasy value. I could see a slight decrease in power play production with Pronger now in the fold.


Alex Goligoski Pit

Touted for his offensive abilities, Goligoski is still stuck behind Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang for top power play ice time. He may get an audition this year because Gonchar is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent following the season. Goligoski won’t break out until Gonchar has left the building.


Jason Blake Tor

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate owning players whose coach questions their work ethic. Somehow Blake managed to record 61 points in that negative environment. When the coach uses benchings and decreased ice time as motivators, I’ll look elsewhere for my points, thank you.


Avoid These Murky Goaltending Situations:


The Dwayne Roloson, Martin Biron and Rick DiPietro triumvirate is something EVERYONE should avoid like the plague. Not only is there a possibility for a three-headed monster in net, but the Isles were and might be again this season, the worst team in the league.


Vesa Toskala & Jonas Gustavsson Tor

Toronto was the easiest team in the NHL to score on, but the Maple Leafs markedly improved their defence over the summer. As a result of Toronto’s summer upgrades, whoever plays in goal will likely have serviceable fantasy numbers. The problem is that they could split enough games to minimize both their contributions.


Jose Theodore & Simeon Varlamov Wsh

After Varlamov’s playoff performance, he’s earned an extended look at playing full-time with the Caps. Considering Theodore’s pending unrestricted free agency following this season, Washington is going to want to be sure Varlamov can handle being the man. Unfortunately, Theodore’s $4.5M salary begs to be played, so a 50-50 split is a distinct possibility.

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Rube said:

... Good piece Russ. It's nice to read who NOT to take rather than who to take.
August 14, 2009
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

... Great article Russ - dead wrong on Connolly but I figure everyone is allowed an error once in a while.

It's interesting that you and I have such identical views on the players in this article - thought I was reading my own thoughts, but they were written better than I think, so knew that couldn't be.

Connolly will rise from the ashes - mark my words - but I would give the same advice you have on him.

August 14, 2009
Votes: -1

The Comish said:

The Comish
... Thanks for the Richards update RP. I kind of thought that Richards might slide up on the PP. With how hard he plays, makes me worry about His health.

Hilarious comment about Parise/Cammalleri outlasting their coaches cracked me up!

No worries about Sid the Hip Kid, did you see the way he rappeled out of that helicopter with the Stanley Cup onto the deck of that ship in Halifax? Okay, maybe he didn't exactly rappel, but he never had surgery either!
August 13, 2009
Votes: +0

bluejays said:

... I am not concerned one bit with Varlamov. Not one bit.
August 13, 2009
Votes: +1

wizworm said:

... This does not bode well for my fantasy hockey squad!

I own 4 of the 7 goaltenders Russ mentioned plus Kessel, Cammalleri and Goligoski! Of the 18 players Russ highlighted I have seven of them on one team smilies/cry.gif
August 13, 2009
Votes: +0

Rusty Pickles said:

Rusty Pickles
... I hate this article smilies/cheesy.gif haha. BTW Mike Richards is playing already and he will still play on PP1, he will just be playing more of a down low role and taking the draws rather than manning the point, I doubt his production will drop there significantly unless he gets injured which is of course a possibility. Amazingly no concern about Crosby after he got his hip destroyed in the Cup Finals lol. I already knew my entire team would be showing up in an article like this sooner or later as I was upset with the Parise/Cammy situations as well. But as I am a keeper league player, I know they'll out last the coaches in those respective situations and will likely be holding said players.
August 13, 2009
Votes: -1
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