Over the course of the last few weekends, I participated in a few, (about 30), Yahoo! mock drafts to gain a better grasp of what’s been going on in the real fantasy hockey world and thought that I’d pass my findings onto you Dobberities. I participated in random drafts ranging from eight to 14 teams from H2H to Roto leagues with standard settings. This is what I have concluded.



  • Right Wings are massively deep and left wings are crazily not!

These are the examples of the typical** player you can draft at each winger position.

  • 10th RW: Daniel Alfredsson, Marian Hossa or Johan Franzen
  • 20th RW: Steve Downie, Alex Hemsky, or David Backes
  • 30th RW: Rene Bourque, Niclas Bergfors, or Jason Pominville
  • 10th LW: Michael Cammalleri, Tomas Vanek, or Alex Burrows
  • 20th LW: Mason Raymond, Scott Hartnell, or Taylor Hall
  • 30th LW: Ryane Clowe, Daniel Carcillo, or Milan Lucic
    • Advice: Don’t overreach for RW, if you have the opportunity to draft a LW ahead of a RW, DO SO! I would probably go as far as an extent to say draft your first two LW before you even make your first RW pick. As you can see the talent pool of the lower ranked RW are fairly deep that you could easily find a 55-65 point player on the WW post-draft, but I can’t say the same for LW though.



  • Center, as always, is as deep as ever!

  • 10th C: Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf, or Mike Richards
  • 20th C: Brad Richards, Marc Savard, or Paul Stastny
  • 30th C: Nik Antropov, Matt Duchene, or Olli Jokinen
    • Advice: Same situation as with the RW, if there is a LW sitting right in front of you, go after him before taking the C. If you look above, there isn’t much difference between the 30th drafted C compared to the 20th or perhaps even the top 10.



  • Much like last year, the goalie hype seems to have died down this year, as draftees are holding off on picking up goalies early and electing to wait into the mid-rounds, (rounds 4, 5 or 6), to draft their first goalie.

  • Advice: Generally speaking you probably should have two solid goalies by round nine, and a third by round 10-12. You don’t want to be left with a Brian Elliott/Kari Lehtonen/Steve Mason/Jonas Gustavsson as your number two goalie.



  • “Big named Dobber favourites” on the back end are still relatively unknown to the general public.


  • A favourite of mine, Tobias Enstrom, I’ve managed to snag in quite a few of the mock drafts with an average draft position of 108.
  • Guys like Jamie McBain, Stephane Robidas, Marek Zidlicky, Erik Karlsson, Tom Gilbert, P.K. Subban and Paul Martin have been left largely undrafted or were drafted very late in many mock drafts, so there are plenty of late round steals available.


Now onto the good stuff.


Drew Doughty – D – Los Angeles Kings

High: 10

Low: 26

Average: 19.0

Yahoo-Rank: 18


Don’t get me wrong I think this kid is definitely talented. His stat line of 59 points, plus 20 rating, 54 PIMs, 31 PPP and 142 SOG last season speaks volumes. The problem is that he’s being overreached in many drafts. There are plenty of similar alternatives being drafted 3-4 rounds later like Niklas Lidstrom who has a three-year stat line average of 59.3 points, plus 31 rating, 31.3 PIMs, 29 PPP, and 187.3 SOG or Dan Boyle’s two-year stat line of 57.5 points, plus six rating, 61 PIMs, 30.5 PPP and 196.5 SOG, (both being drafted 50 spots later). Doughty’s value is just way too inflated for me to spend my second round pick on him.



Jimmy Howard – G – Detroit Red Wings

High: 15

Low: 50

Average: 28.3

Yahoo-Rank: 27.5


I brought this topic up last week. Basically it comes down to my lack of trust in him heading into this season. There have been too many sophomore slumps in recent history to blindly enter this season thinking that Howard will be immune. According the mock draft results, he’s being drafted just behind the big four of Ryan Miller, Roberto Luongo, Martin Brodeur and Henrik Lundqvist which is a huge investment for a potential bust candidate. If I’m in a position to select a goalie in the 21-30 slots, I’d probably go with a “safer” option in Ilya Bryzgalov instead.



Alex Burrows – LW – Vancouver Canucks

High: 43

Low: 90

Average: 71.0

Yahoo-Rank: 69.7


“Torn Labrum” is the two major words that you need to remember about Burrows. I know LW is a very shallow talent pool, so grabbing a good one is a priority, but the risk attached with selecting Burrows just isn’t worth it. Vinny Lecavalier, Zdeno Chara, and Mike Richards all underwent a similar procedure and all had down seasons the year after the surgery, so I wouldn’t doubt that Burrows would follow a similar suit especially considering his dependence on physical play. I really do like Burrows’ across-the-board stats, but with the prospect of him missing out on the first two months of the season, the price tag attached just isn’t worth it. I’d much rather wait a few rounds and snag a late rounder in Brendan Morrow instead.



Erik Johnson – D- St. Louis Blues

High: 54

Low: 89

Average: 73.6

Yahoo-Rank: 72.1


On average Johnson has been selected as the 11th overall blue liner in most Yahoo! mock drafts. He does have plenty of potential, but that’s all that it really is, potential! Even last season’s stat line of 39 points, plus one rating, 79 PIMs, 15 PPP and 186 SOG isn’t exactly all that spectacular and certainly isn’t enough to justify taking him over proven veterans like Brian Rafalski, Tomas Kaberle or Brian McCabe.



Dustin Penner – LW – Edmonton Oilers

High: 62

Low: 112

Average: 86.7

Yahoo-Rank: 85


Penner started off blazing hot with 30 points in the first 27 contests of last season, but then slowed down dramatically with just 33 in the final 55. Last year he pretty much had full reigns on the number one LW slot in Edmonton. This year he has plenty of competition with the new kid duo of Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi, so definitely don’t head into 2010-11 thinking similar numbers as last season.



Patric Hornqvist – RW – Nashville Predators

High: 68

Low: 112

Average: 92.1

Yahoo-rank: 85.5

I potentially could be kicking myself at the end of the season because of this pick, but two factors have led me to this conclusion. First, is that Horny is being a tad overrated in Yahoo! mock drafts, (drafted on average 91st overall). Second, is that RW has an extremely deep talent pool that if you missed out on him, you could find 10-15 other RWers that have similar potential. I’d rather wait a bit and snag someone with similar fantasy value and use my mid-round pick in a shallower position.



Taylor Hall– LW- Edmonton Oilers

High: 33* (I think the drafter was mucking around)

Low: 179

Average: 105.7

Yahoo-Rank: 114.1


I’m just not that big into drafting rookies for one-year fantasy leagues. Malkin (85), Kane (72), Ryan (57), and Duchene (55) were the rookies that led their respective years in scoring. There is an adjustment period for youngsters to adjust to the NHL level, which prevents them from having consistent optimal production throughout the year. Hall might be an exception since the Oilers will give him plenty of opportunities to succeed, but I’m a conservative fantasy player and would much rather have a Brendan Morrow, Wojtek Wolski, or Alex Frolov in my pocket than an unknown quantity in Hall.



Nik Kronwall – D – Detroit Red Wings

High: 79

Low: 130

Average: 105.7

Yahoo-Rank: 102.8


Kronwall does have plenty of offensive upside, but the problem lies in his injury proneness. Recent news coming out of Detroit is that his injured knee is still giving him some of problems, and from what I can tell knee problems tend to linger unless rested properly. With him undergoing surgery this close to the start of the season, I just don’t think he has enough time to get it properly rested to survive the entire season. That, plus the fact that he ranks third on the depth charts buried behind Niklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski, I’d much rather pick up better alternatives like, Enstrom, Lubomir Visnovsky, and Joni Pitkanen, over the 29-year old Swede.



Mason Raymond – LW – Vancouver Canucks

High: 64

Low: 147

Average: 110.7

Yahoo-Rank: 105.3


Raymond had a big bust out year last season when he posted 53 points and 217 SOG in 82 contests. The problem for me is when it counted the most, during the playoffs, he was essentially non-existent with a mere four points in 12 post-season contests. Raymond also benefitted from Daniel Sedin’s foot injury during the regular season, as he picked up 13 points in 15 contests when Daniel was out of the line up, while registering just 40 in 67 when the twins suited up together. I know LW is a shallow talent pool, but I’d there are plenty of “safer” picks than Raymond.



Nikita Filatov – LW – Columbus BlueJackets

High: 108

Low: 173

Average: 139.2

Yahoo-Rank: 135.7


If you’ve been following my forum rants/articles during the off-season, you’ll probably realize that I’m not a big fan of offense by committee teams and that’s exactly what Columbus will be in 2010-11. With the depth that the Jackets have offensively, Rick Nash, R.J. Umberger, Antoine Vermette, Kristian Huselius, Derick Brassard, and Jakub Voracek, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for Filatov to be productive in one-year leagues. Dobber thinks 40, and I think he’s spot on with that projection.


Stay tuned next week as we do a 180, and discuss a few under-rated and undervalued players from Yahoo! mock drafts. Questions or comments? Like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below.


Write comment
Comments (20)add comment

Paul Milberry said:

Dark Cats Hey Dob,

I would like your thoughts if possible?

We have a very deep Hockey Pool with ten teams. Maximum of 43 spots(10Cen, 10LW, 10RW, 10Def)on our regular rosters including three goaltender teams each. Our Minor System is 14 spots deep, and I have five open spots to fill it up. Our 2010 rookie draft is this weekend already. I am in great shape, with picks #1, 4, 7, 14, 19 out of 40 in total. Our rookies are any players who have played less then 10 NHL games (playoffs included). All the obvious guys have been picked in previos years, with a few good ones remaining from the last couple of draft years. I also agree with the LWing position being the weekest. However I do have a few good Left Wingers in my rookie crop (J.Benn, R.Stoa, M.Tedenby, B.Wheeler), and my number 1 pick will be T.Hall. Here is where I would like your thoughts. I'm pretty sure I'll get a good d-man (Ekman Larsson, Shattenkirk, Fowler, Blum)with my number 14 or 19 pick. If the draft goes the way it should (and we all know that never happens), I will get either Niederreiter, Connolly, Nyquist, Skinner, Kuznetsov, or Tarasenko for my RW, but do I take Centre M.Granlund or C.Kreider with my number 4 pick, knowing that a couple of the above right wingers will still be there for my number 7 pick? Also, I'm hoping that T.Tatar will still be around for my other 2nd rd pick? Can you give me your thoughts?

Paul (Dark Cats)
September 09, 2010
Votes: +0

Marcus Lepkowski said:

Undervalued players in Yahoo Hey Ryan,

I have a list of players here that are undervalued by yahoo for inclusion next week:

SleepersYahoo RankDobber Rank
Brad Richards5819
Paul Stastny5333
Jordan Eberle15334
Loui Eriksson7536
D. Roy8539
Mikko Koivu10641
Taylor Hall13042
David Krejci15450
Tyler Ennis17748
Andy McDonald27451
Olli Jokinen12399
Paul Martin205150
Patrick Sharp21262
Brad Boyes229103
Jussi Jokinen18953
September 08, 2010
Votes: -1

mike hess said:

thanks Thanks for the followup, I come here for the bias it makes my thought process better and lets me challenge others...great insight and a good discussion too.... looking forward to more of the Yahoo draft sleepers...
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Mike said:

... Great article for this time of year Ryan! I haven't done a yahoo draft yet but some really good insight. In my keeper leauge I actually found RW's really hard to come by while there were some quality LW's availabe in our waiver draft. Weird.
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

... RE: Rookies

The thing is I think Crosby/Ovechkin/Malkin were honestly generational talent... I don't see the new breed of rookies being able to just enter the NHL and pot 100 points right off the bat.

2005, I think was honestly a perfect storm...
-year after the lockout and new CBA
-players more rested due to taking a year off...

-the "new" NHL was cracking down on all the obstruction/hooking penalities
-PIMS/game has taken a nosedive since 2005. (32.1, 28.1, 27.9, 27.8, 25.6 (last year))

-Goals per game has also taken a nosedive since 2005. (6.05, 5.76, 5.44, 5.76, 5.53)
-I don't think it'll go back towards the 6 mark for awhile...

So I mean it was an ideal situation for Oveckin/Malkin to just walk right in and put up the points that they did due to situation...

As for the rest, it's exactly what I wrote in the post, a lot of them had "decent" rookie years, but a lot of the seasoned vets would have had just as "decent" of a year as the rookies.

Look at Kopitar 61 points as a rookie C, if you went with a veteran in Derek Roy, you would have been "better off" since he picked up 63 points, or even Legwand...

Stamkos 46 points, not exactly mind blowing numbers... especially those that bought into the rookie "Crosby/Ovechkin/Malkin" hype... and expected bigger things.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm not saying don't draft rookies, but you need to be aware that there is a lot of hype around rookies and people expect much bigger things from them than reality. Sometimes seasoned vets will put up better numbers than a rookie will and you need to be aware of that...
September 07, 2010
Votes: -1

Ryan Ma said:

... RE: Enstrom

Relatively unknown meaning not a lot of people draft him knowing his upside... A lot of Yahoo! players basically draft him cause they see his name right there in front of him on the draft list and say hey I remember his name from last season.

If you look at all this stats, when he's been given the opportunities (and not buried), he's produced pretty decent numbers... if you count the PPP and SOG, he actually hasn't been that bad statistically and probably should be drafted a few rounds higher than now...

I guess we could use the Howard/Rask example as well, I'm pretty sure that they're 100% owned because of where they are ranked in the Yahoo! draft list, but are many people out there aware of the dreaded sophomore slump for goalies? Are they all aware of Osgood/Thomas who are backing them up and could steal the gig... Yes they are all "well known" to the general public, but it's the behind the scenes stuff that make them unknown...

or at least that's the way I'd interpret it.
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

... RE: Personal Bias

That's whats great about this site, is that you get plenty of opinions. We're not a TSN or Rotoworld/Rotowire where we report on just news, we get an opportunity to voice our opinions even if they are bias...

And to read someone's bias isn't necessarily a bad thing, you kinda get a different picture from your perspective to say hey never really thought about that before... It'd be plenty boring if we just all rowed in the same direction.
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

... RE: Positive Comments

Thanks for the positive comments guys, really appreciate it!

As for the 2nd part, you pretty much read my mind, I was gonna list off some steals like the Hudlers, Sharps, that are going late in the drafts. Stay tuned next week.
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

lanky522 said:

Drafting Rookies You don't exactly paint the full picture in your discussion of rookies here though...

1) you curiously only count back through 2006. what happened in 2005? oh that's right, alex ovechkin had 52 goals and 106 points as a rookie... oh wait.. crosby also had 102 points that year as a rookie.

2) Since 2005... numerous other players (not mentioned above) have shined as rookies (kopitar, stastny, rask, backstrom, toews, stamkos, gagner, tavares, myers).

If Taylor Hall is drafted where his average draft rank has him (105th overall), then I'd say that's a pretty good deal... he'd likely get you 50 points this year, but he has the upside of getting you 65 or more as well. Try finding a left wing that can give you that in the end of the 8th round of a twelve team fantasy draft.

Sure like every rookie, there's a risk/reward involved... but in my experience, nothing hurts more than taking the safe bet for 55-60 points instead of the rookie that ends up with 70+. You can find 45-50 point guys on waivers all year long... so is the difference of 10 points really worth playing it that safe?

I personally don't think so.
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

chris hayward said:

... It's true LW is shallow but Yahoo has questionable rankings. James Neal and Patrick Sharp both #200 and higher. A shrewd drafter can find value with these two rankings.
September 07, 2010
Votes: +1

Ian said:

Nifty Mittens
Enstrom unknown? owned in 92% of yahoo leagues
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Claudio said:

Amazing Read I too participate in a mock draft almost every day to see peoples draft strategies.

I have never not taken a LW in the first round unless I had the chance to grab Crosby and even once I passed on him for Malkin.

My tough choice is always between Parise and Sedin with 70% of the time taking Sedin.

I like to grab Perry in the top 4 rounds and then wait until 10-12 to grab Pavelski and then last round Hudler. Perry is a multi-cat stud and surprised he drops late.

For defencemen grabbing a good Tier one is important for me(Gonchar,Chara,or Boyle) and then wait until late rounds to grab Subban,Martin and Mcbain. Seems to always pan out.

Goalies depends the situation, but I've found that many times I can land Rask mid rounds, follow up with Rinne and then steal Turco or Niemi. If this happens on actual draft day id have easily the best goalie tandem.

Centers are a plenty but passing on Getzlaf in round 3-4 is tough since hes an all around beast and if healthy last year would easily be a top 10 pick for me.

Sharp,Marleau,Nash are nice guys to own who have a great all around game and already have dual eligility.
September 07, 2010
Votes: +1

Adam said:

... Here are some other notes from early mocks:
1) LW is an absolute must-draft and the LWs going below value are Heatley (LW/RW!), Cammaleri, Sharp (LW/C and a great off-day fit), Elias and Wolski.
2) Goalie seems to have less safe studs this year than usual, Ryan's note of Bryz is right-on and the other two guys I like for safety are Lundq and Kipper (yes I like Kipper)
3) D studs are always hard to find so you have to reach for them, and with RW so deep I'm finding if you completely ignore your #2-4 dmen and #2-3 RW until the very last rounds of the draft you can really build a strong team
4) almost every mock has a second run on goalies right around Round 5 and you want to be in on that run (in my opinion) so target Rinne, Halak and sometimes Rask falls to that second run
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

buffalosoldier66 said:

Good Information I can't wait to use it on Sept. 30, the day of my draft.
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

mike hess said:

Great Read - but Ryan fantastic insight...and I agree with many of your points. LW is always first in my book, goalie or Dman next...The injury reads are right on...the statistical analysis of why Raymond may not be good great..BUT...your personal bias comes through...I dont' like scoring by committee either, but I am drafting individual players who will meet their projections in most cases; they get penalized in the projection for committee scoring. I am careful with rookies, but I dont' totally avoid them..they ae my last pick or two.
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

GMGates said:

Loved it Thanks Ryan!

I too would like to see follow ups like Pengwin noted, this would make for a great series.

"*Players that are buried by their Yahoo! rank (i.e. Hudler at 625!)
*Adding value by anticipating eligibility (Malkin as future W?, Eberle as future W?, Hudler as future LW/RW?)"
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Excellent With so many leagues doing their drafts on Yahoo - this is a very helpful read.
I've probably done 15 mock drafts in a 14-team pool so far, to simulate my league.

I would add the following:
*In drafts where it seemed there were several knowledgeable people (and no computers), the goalie talent was gone as early as end of round 5 and typically by end of round 6!!!

I can't wait for the Yahoo! follow-up.
Hope you can address the following:
*Players that are buried by their Yahoo! rank (i.e. Hudler at 625!)
*Adding value by anticipating eligibility (Malkin as future W?, Eberle as future W?, Hudler as future LW/RW?)
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Rossi said:

Dean Youngblood
Great Stuff Ma, this was a great article to read for one-year pools. I especially have to agree with the strategy of picking proven vets over the unknown and often hyped up youngsters.

Good Read

Dean Youngblood
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Corey Lougheed said:

Good Read Really enjoyed reading this article and I agree with a lot of the analysis. Thanks!
September 07, 2010
Votes: -1

loco man said:

loco man
... Thanks, Ryan. Really appreciate the time and effort you put into this!!
September 07, 2010
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.