After a much needed short sabbatical from my Eastern Edge articles (thanks Dobber!), I’m back and can’t wait for the season to finally get going. I’ve been lucky enough to participate in four Yahoo drafts already, with three more to go!!


I’ve scoured the players list in Yahoo for guys that are not ranked where I expected them to be. If guys in your pool pay attention to the Yahoo rankings, you might be able to forecast some potential steals in your draft. Conversely, there are also guys that Yahoo has ranked way too high. I’ll give you those as well.


Potential Steals


RW-Claude Giroux, Philadelphia

O-Rank in Yahoo: 464

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 148.1

Dobber Experts Draft: 131


Arguably the biggest mistake in the Yahoo O-Rankings, although his average pick in Yahoo is close. Giroux’s ranking is sandwiched between third string goaltender, Dany Sabourin and eight year veteran Darcy Hordichuk, whose career high is 13 points. Giroux is a lock to play an offensive role on one of the Flyers top lines this season.


D-Alex Goligoski, Pittsburgh

O-Rank in Yahoo: 571

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 155.1

Dobber Experts Draft: 202


Sure Goligoski is solidly behind both Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang on the offensive defenseman depth chart, but come on Yahoo, 571? Way out to lunch on that one. It looks like they forgot about him during the first cut and then just added him at the end when someone mentioned that he had 20 points in 45 games last year. He may get an audition on the top power play unit as Gonchar is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Goligoski won’t break out until Gonchar is out of the picture


D-Tomas Kaberle, Toronto

O-Rank in Yahoo: 334

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 143.8

Dobber Experts Draft: 152


Even though Kaberle is far down the list, I think he is an obvious rebound candidate after missing 25 games to hand injuries last season. Kaberle had averaged 59 points over the three previous seasons and at 31 years of age; he is far from over the hill.


D-Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh

O-Rank in Yahoo: 273

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 100.1

Dobber Experts Draft: 50


Prior to last season, the venerable Russian had been money over the previous three years, averaging 63 points a season.  Don’t let last years 19 points last year (in only 25 games) mislead you, even at 35 years of age, Gonchar can still bring it.


C-Daniel Briere, Philadelphia

O-Rank in Yahoo: 323

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 144.5

Dobber Experts Draft: 143


On the surface it looks like Briere went exactly where he should have, but judging by the comments of my fellow drafters in the Dobber Experts Draft, Briere was sought after by several teams at that point in the draft and might qualify as a steal here. He had 25 points in 29 games last year after recording two previous seasons of 72 and 95 points. There is an element of risk here due to Briere’s penchant for getting hurt, but this gamble could pay off handsomely.


RW-Bryan Little, Atlanta

O-Rank in Yahoo: 173

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 159.1

Dobber Experts Draft: 92


It looks like Little might wind up playing on the first line with Kovalchuk and Antropov. He could end up having a breakout season if he can stick with that duo. Not a bad gig and certainly worthy of a pick higher than 159th overall. Last year, Little scored 31 goals and 51 points, but he fell apart over the second half recording only 19 points over his last 41 games after scoring 32 points in his first 38 games.


RW-Mike Cammalleri, Montreal

O-Rank in Yahoo: 34

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 39.5

Dobber Experts Draft: 58


While Cammalleri will still record plenty of points, it’s hard to see him hitting 80 points while on a Jacques Martin coached squad. Cammalleri may succumb to what many other top notch players get after they sign the big long term contract, they often press too hard and stop doing the things that got them the dough.


LW-Alex Tanguay, Tampa Bay

O-Rank in Yahoo: 108

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 133.5

Dobber Experts Draft: 90 (Dobber)


In 50 games last season, Tanguay had 41 points, good for a 67 point pace. In his previous five seasons, Tanguay averaged 76 games and 73 points per year. He’ll most likely line up beside Vincent Lecavalier (superstar linemate), get as many minutes as he can handle (opportunity) and when you add in the fact that he’s on a one year contract (motivation), he’s in a very good situation.


C/RW-Nathan Horton, Florida

O-Rank in Yahoo: 122

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 163.0

Dobber Experts Draft: 122


On the surface, the 45 points Horton recorded last season weren’t as bad as it seems because he missed 15 games to injuries. If you pro-rate his numbers, Horton would have had 55 points last year. In the preceding two seasons, he recorded identical 62 points and 82 games. The 24-year-old reportedly lost 10-15 pounds in a bid to get quicker. You can use the fact that he’s not getting much respect in Yahoo drafts to your advantage.


C-Patrice Bergeron, Boston

O-Rank in Yahoo: 319

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 149.7

Dobber Experts Draft: 287


With David Krejci close, but not quite ready to start the season, Bergeron will inherit a larger offensive role, at least in the early going. That might jump start Bergeron’s season. He finished last year with 14 points in 18 games and prior to his concussion he recorded back-to-back 70 point seasons. Here is his opportunity to get back to near that level.


G-Carey Price, Montreal

O-Rank in Yahoo: 105

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 90.0

Dobber Experts Draft: 39


Judging by his 39th overall selection in Dobber’s Experts draft, I’m not the only one that thinks Price will rebound nicely this year. Barely 22-years-old, Price is one of the most decorated goalies ever for his age. Prior to sustaining an injury last season, Price was cruising along after 25 games with 16 wins, a 2.30 goals-against-average and 0.921 save percentage. Following his return from injury (too soon?), Price recorded only seven wins, a 3.36 goals-against-average and a 0.891 save percentage in 24 games. His first half statistics from last season are very similar to those from his rookie season; so it is very reasonable to conclude that with the help of a new defensive focus, Price is in store for his best season yet.


G-Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers

O-Rank in Yahoo: 32

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 29.9

Dobber Experts Draft: 18 (Dobber)


Way too low in Yahoo, heck he was taken way too low in the Dobber Experts draft; Lundqvist was the seventh goaltender taken. He should only be ranked after Luongo and maybe Brodeur in most one year pools. Lundqvist is the lone NHL goalie to start his career with four straight 30 win seasons.


G-Pascal Leclaire, Ottawa

O-Rank in Yahoo: 175

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 161.2

Dobber Experts Draft: 117


The brittle Leclaire is a boom or bust pick. If you think the Senators will turn it around this season, then it’s very likely Leclaire will be an instrumental part of that journey. As long as he can stay out of the trainer’s room, the 26-year-old Leclaire could be a steal, but it won’t be a comfortable ride.


D-Matt Gilroy, NY Rangers

O-Rank in Yahoo: 1158

Dobber Experts Draft: Not Drafted


Last year’s big free agent signing, Gilroy won college hockey’s biggest individual honour, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top U.S. collegiate player. Gilroy has looked good during the pre-season games and if he does stick with the Rangers, he may well be the most offensively-gifted defenseman on the roster. He would be a great sleeper pick late in a deep pool where you need defensemen.


Too High


RW-Bill Guerin, Pittsburgh

O-Rank in Yahoo: 62

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 74.3

Dobber Experts Draft: 139


Yes, Bill Guerin will likely play with Sidney Crosby, but he will also blow out 39 candles in November. In spite of his advanced age, Guerin has averaged 77.6 games per year over the last five seasons. He posted a combined 27 points in 41 regular season and playoff games with the Pens. Guerin isn’t a bad pick, it’s just that there are plenty of other players that would be better choices at pick number 75…or 100… or even 125.


LW-Zach Parise, New Jersey

O-Rank in Yahoo: 4

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 4.9

Dobber Experts Draft: 4


Parise broke out in a big way last year going from 65 to 94 points. Unfortunately, the departure of Head Coach Brent Sutter and the return of Jacques Lemaire may cut into whatever gains Parise and the rest of the Devils made offensively last season. The Dobber Experts pick was made on autopick, so it’s a bit misleading as the only comments that were made when Parise was taken were that it was too early.


LW-Patrik Elias, New Jersey

O-Rank in Yahoo: 37

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 43.1

Dobber Experts Draft: 76


See above paragraph and add in the fact that he had surgery in mid-September to clean up some scar tissue in his groin region. He is scheduled to be out for three to six weeks.


LW-Brendan Shanahan, New Jersey

O-Rank in Yahoo: 395

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 140.9

Dobber Experts Draft: Not Drafted


Not one of us in the Dobber Experts Draft thought enough of the 64-year-old Shanahan to spend one measly pick out of 300 on him. I have heard Jacques Lemaire speak about Shanahan and the coach hopes he can contribute more than what is expected from a fourth liner. He may yet get a chance to put up some decent numbers… for a last round pick in a deep draft.


LW-Evander Kane, Atlanta

O-Rank in Yahoo: 1219

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 148.4

Dobber Experts Draft: Not Drafted


Given the Thrashers lack of quality forwards, Kane may stick on the roster, but there are loads of better (read safer) options with pick number 148 in your draft.


C-Jonathan Tavares, NY Islanders

O-Rank in Yahoo: 102

Avg Pick in Yahoo: 113.8

Dobber Experts Draft: 174


As usual, there is way too much hype for the first overall selection in this year’s entry draft. I have no doubt that Tavares is the real deal, but let’s be realistic, he’s playing for the Islanders. What did they do to improve on last season’s NHL worst record? All they did was sign two starting goaltenders and an 83-year-old Doug Weight. Let someone else take a chance on Tavares in your one year league.


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Comments (11)add comment

Russ said:

The Comish
... Ian, No one should be taking Zherdev at this point. Hopefully he will be back in the NHL one day.
September 25, 2009
Votes: +0

Ian said:

September 25, 2009
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

... RE: Western Conference

I did the Western Conference one last week...

September 24, 2009
Votes: +0

Russ said:

The Comish
... I should have mentioned that this is only for Eastern Conference players, hence no Ribeiro, Setoguchi or St.Louis players in the article. Sorry guys!

I hope the Rangers pair Gilroy with Marc Staal and let him take some chances in the offensive zone. From what I've seen in the pre-season, Gilroy likes to jump up into the play and has the wheels to get back into the play in the defensive zone. I didn't see that style of play from Del Zotto.
September 24, 2009
Votes: +0

gregory churchill said:

... today in a draft w 18 teams and
with pick #7
i got heatley second round
and thornton 3rd round

i'm finding those two forwards dropping too low in most of my drafts.

another interesting pair going late in drafts, kariya and mcdonald

also, there seems to be lots and lots of 40-50 pt d-men falling very late.
look for barker, quincey, suter, burns, letang, enstrom, whitney, and timonen at the tail end of the draft.
September 24, 2009
Votes: +0

barneyg said:

Ribeiro Ribeiro's pretty close to Gomez in fantasy value with the Yahoo standard categories -- he does bring in points but that's through assists (easiest category to fill), no goals, no +/-, no PIM, no SOG.. agree that he should be drafted before M.Koivu, Stamkos and Krejci though..
September 24, 2009
Votes: +0

Mackie said:

... Mike Ribeiro has been falling way to low in every draft I've been in. The guy is a near lock for 80 pts yet he continuously gets drafted after the likes of Krejci, Stamkos, M. Koivu and Scott Gomez. Undervalued to the max!
September 24, 2009
Votes: +0

Jayson said:

... What about Setoguchi at 45th overall? I feel like that's high for him (in a one-year league).
September 24, 2009 | url
Votes: +0

rticinelli said:

... Gilroy will stick, but he'll have some serious competition for the most offensively-gifted defenseman honor on the Rangers roster by... Michael Del Zotto. I wouldn't be surprised to see Del Zotto average over 20 minutes per game, and man the point on the top power play with Kotalik. Nice article Russ!
September 24, 2009
Votes: +0

Ryan Lenethen said:

... "83-year-old Doug Weight" --> nearly spit coffee. lol

Matt Gilroy eh? Any idea on where about on the depth chart he would land, or prediction on pts which would likely require a prediction on actual ice time?
September 24, 2009
Votes: +0

Dan Vena said:

Sack Lunch
... I feel like Cammalleri should be in the too high category... mostly cuz thats exactly where i picked him.
September 24, 2009
Votes: +0
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