Thought I'd post this here as well
Pick by pick review of Colorado Avalanche's draft:
1st round (#24) - Jonathan Quick
- Since there was a goalie run in the 1st round before my pick and most of the skaters I hoped to get (Kesler, Toews, Duchene and Giroux) were gone I had no choice but to take the best available goalie. Quick's got arguably the best contract amongst all starting goalies which is a huge asset to the team. With this pick the goaltending situation was settled and I could concentrate on skaters from here on.
2nd round (#25) - Bobby Ryan (Franchise player)
- Ryan was the guy I was targeting all along and I am very happy to have him as my franchise player. I expect Ryan to have a similar breakout season next year as Perry had this year.
3rd round (#72) - Jordan Eberle
- All the guys I was targeting at this point went in the 3rd round before my pick but surprisingly Eberle fell to me. Didn't expect that to happen, especially after seeing Skinner and Couture to go in the 2nd round. But since that happened I was happy to take Eberle off the board. Loving the cheap rookie contract of Eberle's.
4th round (#73) - Jarome Iginla
- Iginla was the BPA at this point and couldn't let him slip any further. Still plenty of miles left in Iggy.
4th round (BUF) (#90) - Alex Pietrangelo
- With the pick acquired from Buffalo in January I took AP. Very happy with the trade as I'm sure Pietrangelo wouldn't have lasted all the way to #120. Pietrangelo will be the cornerstone of my D for years to come.
6th round (#121) - Jordan Staal
- Staal was another guy I was targeting all along and am very happy to have him on my team. I expect big things from Staal next year as hopefully he'll be playing with Geno on the 2nd line.
7th round (#168) - Blake Wheeler
- Wheeler was great with the Thrashers and I'm banking on that to continue next year as he'll be playing on the 1st line with Ladd and Little. Hopefully Dudley won't get too wild with the contract extension to Wheeler.
8th round (#169) - Devin Setoguchi
- With the other b2b pick I took yet another RW at this point and with that my RW was pretty much set. Setoguchi finished the season on a high note (29 points in the last 33 games) and I'm hoping that to carry on to next year and Setoguchi to bounce back to being a 60+ point guy.
9th round (#216) - Matt Calvert
- Lots of cheap young guys were taken right before my pick but suprisingly Calvert slipped through the cracks. Couldn't let this top-10 keeper league prospect according to Jeff Angus slip any further. Loving the cheap rookie contract of Calvert's too.
11th round (BUF) (#247) - Mike Fisher
- I had my eyes on Fisher a long time before this pick. Fisher was the BPA at this point as far as I'm concerned. Fisher is player who's made for this kind of league. Great production to every category. Very happy to have him on my team.
11th round (#264) - Chris Kunitz
- With the b2b picks I decided to strengthen my LW at this point. Since Kunitz was still on the board I had to take him. Physical LW who has good chemistry with the best player in the world. I'll take it.
12th round (#265) - David Booth
- Along with Kunitz I took Booth at this point. 30 goal, 250+ SOG and 100+ hits upside was something I just couldn't pass.
13th round (#312) - Fedor Tyutin
- I had waited long enough to take my second D-man and Tyutin was the best affordable option left.
14th round (#313) - Bryan McCabe
- I'm counting on McCabe to sign a cheap contract in the summer which is why I took him. McCabe still offers great multi-cat production.
15th round (NJD) (#341) - Joffrey Lupul
- I traded up to get this pick as I wanted to get either of Lupul or M.Michalek to bolster my LW. Ended up taking Lupul as I think he can have a great season next year while playing with Kessel. That is if he stays healthy. I've got my fingers crossed.
17th round (#408) - Saku Koivu
- I had been looking at Koivu for since the 13th round and was happy to see him fell to me at this late in the draft. S.Koivu was the best C available at this point and is a very solid choice to be the 3rd C in this deep league. Koivu will get the honor to serve as my captain also.
18th round (#409) - Derek Joslin
- Had to take a cheap depth D-man at this point and there was nothing better left than the guy who's ranked as 30th best D-man prospect by no other than Darryl Dobbs.
19th round (NJD) (#437) - Jonas Gustavsson
- Monster had the highest upside of remaining players and wanted to give him a chance. Just a year ago he would have went a lot higher in this draft. Hopefully he'll be able to get his game together next year - either with the Leafs or somewhere else if the Leafs decide to trade him.
19th round (#456) - Nate Thompson
- Thompson's been top-3 in blocked shots by forward the past two season and offers solid contribution to hits, GV/TK % and to FO% too. Even had a 25 point and 100+ SOG season this year. Very, very solid depth guy on a cheap contract.
20th round (#457) - Nick Spaling
- Spaling's had a very good rookie season (technically it was his sophomore season though) and has some upside to develop into a great depth guy. Spaling is very good at faceoffs which is a big bonus.
21st round (#504) - Patrick Kaleta
- Had to have one pest on my team. Kaleta will give the team some PIM, lots of hits and an occasional goal or assist here and there. All the more known pests in fantasy hockey were long gone but Kaleta can be just as effective as they are. Kaleta is a solid #5 RW for my team.
22nd round (#505) - Jared Spurgeon
- Young D-man with some offensive upside and a very, very cheap contract.
23rd round (#552) - Brian Lee
- With the last pick of the draft I took Lee as my 6th D-man. Former top-10 pick who solidified himself as an NHL D-man in the 2nd half of this year. Maybe he still finds some offensive game but if not atleast he brings some hits and blocked shots with a cheap salary.
Overall look of the team:
Ryan - Fisher - Iginla
Booth - J.Staal - Eberle
Lupul - S.Koivu - Wheeler
Kunitz - Thompson - Setoguchi
Calvert - Spaling - Kaleta
Pietrangelo - Tyutin
McCabe - Joslin
Lee - Spurgeon
Position by position outlook:
LW (Ryan, Booth, Lupul, Kunitz, Calvert)
- Very deep pool of LW'ers led by my franchise player Bobby Ryan.
C (Fisher, J.Staal, S.Koivu, Thompson, Spaling)
- Missing a true #1 C but still solid group of guys in this big of a league.
RW (Iginla, Eberle, Wheeler, Setoguchi, Kaleta)
- Very good group of RW's. I'd go even as far saying it's the best anyone has to offer in this league.
D (Pietrangelo, Tuytin, McCabe, Joslin, Lee, Spurgeon)
- Clearly a work in progress.
G (Quick, Gustavsson)
- Quick makes sure I've got nothing to be worried about with my goalies.
- Ownership has given me the green light to spend to the cap and I am planning on making good use of every dollar I've got at my disposal. Getting under the cap won't be a problem but I'm hoping for the cap to rise to $62 million next year. Team has no bad contracts so nothing to get worried about in the long-term either. Only two players are locked up for more than two years so lots of flexibility in the future.
Outlook for 2011-12 season
- The team is built to compete next year and has only one thing in mind: to be the 1st champion of the UHL. I'm confident this team has what it takes to be atleast a serious contender next year.
Some final remarks:
- The team doesn't exactly look like how I envisioned it to be before the draft had started but still I'm very happy with the outcome. Got many players I wanted to have on my team. Salary situation is under control and I achieved one my goals: not to take any bad contracts. There's a good mix of younger and older players so the team should be ready to compete not only next year but in the future too. Having solid wingers was something I wanted and I think I managed to achieve that goal pretty well. Goaltending should be strong and the centers are solid enough. Defense was all along going to be a work in progress but still got a great piece to build it around.
Overall the draft was very competitive as expected with lots of knowledgeable GM's so there were not many steals to be made. So taking that into account I'm very pleased with how my team shaped up to be.
Feel free to let me know if you think I made any bad picks or I've got too optimistic view while thinking I can compete with this team.