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Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Fantasy Draft Results

I just finished a 3-hour long live draft and I think this is the stiffest my back has been in a while. I'll give a breakdown of my team but first, some early-breaking news from Adrian Dater: Joel Quenneville has just been arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Initially, I was going to make a few silly jokes - it is late and I get in a weird mood once the moon is out. But I decided that it wasn't right to make jokes about a man out of a job who ends up getting busted for something that is insanely stupid yet done by a million people every day. Hopefully he picks it up from here.

On to the draft. It started at 6:30 and ended at almost on the dot of 9:30. Let me tell you, that's a long and painful amount of time to be sitting there drafting players.

I ended up with what I feel is a solid team. I was worried I'd be at the bottom of the barrel given it was my first time drafting in such a deep league - 2o teams with 20 players per team - but there were some no-shows on auto-draft who have brutal teams.

The Girou-X Factor roster:
C - Joe Sakic (Round 3)
C - Brad Richards (Round 4)
C - Paul Gaustad (Round 13)
LW - Mike Cammalleri (Round 5)
LW - Kristian Huselius (Round 7)
RW - J.P. Dumont (Round 8)
RW - Marek Svatos (Round 11)
D - Dan Boyle (Round 2)
D - Ed Jovanovski (Round 6)
D - Duncan Keith (Round 9)
D - Johnny Oduya (Round 12)
F - Jere Lehtinen (Round 14)
F - Brett Mclean (Round 15)
Util -Ruslan Salei (Round 16)
G - Henrik Lundqvist (Round 1)
G - Josh Harding (Round 10)
BN - Nigel Dawes (Round 17)
BN - Ian Laperriere (Round 18)
BN - Kurtis Foster (Round 19)
BN - T.J. Oshie (Round 20)

I was picking 14th in the odd numbered rounds and 7th in the even numbers rounds which was a decent position. Sure, Crosvechkin or MalCavalier would have been nice but it's such a long wait from pick #1 to pick #40 that your depth will suffer. At least, that's what I told myself.

Two things pop out immediately from that roster. First, I have a lot of Western Conference players and second, I have a lot of Avalanche players. I've even got an ex-Avalanche for pete's sake!

"You're crazy!", you  might say. But I'll respond with: "Go with what you know." And since this was my first draft, I figured I could manage it better by not trying to speculate on players I was unfamiliar with.

Round-by-round Analysis

Round 1: Grabbing Lundqvist in the first round was a no-brainer with the 14th pick. I had him ranked in my top 10 so to have him still sitting there gave me initial hope that I was a genious. And trepidation that everybody else knew something I didn't.

Round 2: Picking Boyle in the second round as my top-D will likely raise some eyebrows. However he should flourish in San Jose. He'll turn around his +/- from last season and spend a ton of time on the powerplay. He was also high on my list but not on everyone else's. Again: genius or idiot?

Round 3: I really wanted Paul Stastny and didn't expect him to go before my 3rd-round pick but I was wrong and Mirtle snagged him two picks before me. So I improvised and snagged Sakic before anybody else could grab him. It was a long way between the third and fourth round picks for me and although Sakic was ranked low by Yahoo!, I'm sure there were others who know he will put up 80 points this year.

Round 4: the top centers were slimming out and - again - I had Richards ranked fairly high. He was there so I took him. I have my fingers crossed that he has a big year in Dallas and the -29 was due to playing for Tampa Bay.

Round 5: Mike Cammalleri was staring me in the face saying "You need left wingers". If he plays on the top line with Iginla, he could be good for 70+ points. I'm really happy with this pick.

Round 6: I believe was my first faux pas. I don't think I should have taken Jovocop as he's getting up there in years and could be a +/- liability.

Round 7: I wanted to shore up the left wing and as Smyth had gone a round earlier, Huselius was next on the list. If he ends up on a line with Nash, look out.

Round 8: Can you believe Dumont was still around after nearly 15o picks? As someone said during the draft, someone has to score for Nashville. I think Dumont will have an excellent season and getting him in the 8th round may have been my first steal.

Round 9: I wanted a solid D who puts up points and plays well in his own end as I was getting worried on my +/- projection. Keith fit that bill to a "T". The Hawks should be a solid team this year and Keith will be a stable force on their back end. He might lose a bit of production due to Campbell coming in but what can you do.

Round 10: I needed a backup goaltender and Harding was the best of what was left. It sounds like Minnesota could be leaning towards Harding for their future which could mean more starts for him. And when he does start, he tends to get results.

Addendum: I've already got a trade offer on Keith and Harding.

Round 11: what can I say? I love the Svats-machine and have my fingers crossed for an injury-free year. If he stays healthy, he'll put up 30 goals again. He was so close last year!

Round 12: Johnny Oduya. It's a 007-type name, isn't it? "Hi, I'm Johnny. Johnny Oduya." The guy puts up points (6G, 20A) and was a +27 last year. For a fourth defenceman in the 12th round, I'm happy with that pick.

Round 13: It was at this point that I noticed the West bias and thought I should try and take two East players in a row to get some balance. I needed to fill in my third center spot and Gaustad was kicking around. He's a checking line center but he can also put up points and PIMs. He was about the best of what was left for centers.

Round 14: I was surprised to find Jere Lehtinen still available and snagged him within seconds. His season was shortened last year but he put up 37 points in 48 games, 19 of those on the powerplay. Dallas should be a top team in the league this year and Lehtinen should play a big role with them.

Round 15: Brettzky! A former Avalanche makes an appearance in the crew. Again, it's on the basis that someone in Florida has to score with Jokinen gone - and Horton having been picked a half dozen rounds ago. McLean went on a roll at the end of last season and could put up 40 points if he plays on one of the top lines.

Round 16: I felt this was a steal. I had my eye on Salei for a while but for some reason I felt I could wait on him. Thankfully I took him in the 16th because as soon as I did, 3 people piped up that he was next on their list. Salei will get time on the PP - if Granato knows what's good for him! - and will be a great backup D-man. Heck, he could move into my top-4.

Round 17: I've been a Nigel Dawes fan since his time with the Canadian World Junior team and this could be his breakout year.

Round 18: I felt weak in the PIM department and as Lappy gets a ton of those while kicking in the occasional point, he felt like the perfect fit. Heck, even if he isn't, I'm still happy to have him on my team. 

Round 19: I thought Foster was ready to go. Apparently I was wrong and he won't be back until December. Oh well, once he's back, he should put up some points PP points on the backend for the Wild. And as Mirtle had once again snagged someone just before I picked them - Claude Giroux - I was flustered. I really wanted my namesake on the team!

Round 20: I figured I should take a flyer on a rookie. And as someone had snagged Okposo a couple picks before I wanted him in the middle rounds, Oshie became next on my list. He could be huge, he could be a bust or he could be mediocre. Now that's some great analysis!

Any fantasy experts care to weigh in on my choices?


Anonymous said...

I think your team is solid up the middle with sakic and richards and on the back end with jovo, keith, and boyle. It looks like a well-balanced roster. The only area you may struggle in is goals. I think the dawes and oshie picks were great late-round sleeper picks.

Shane Giroux said...

Thanks, anon. Good point on goals. I don't have any players who put up 30 goals last year.

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