Unlike fantasy football, where it’s advantageous to get a stud running back with your first pick, there is no single specific way to draft a successful fantasy hockey team. In a 12 team draft, expect there to be 10 or 11 forwards drafted in the first round, and maybe 1 or 2 goalies.
Here is the strategy that has been successful for me over the years. With your first pick or two, draft scoring forwards. If Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo are gone at this point, sit back and wait, putting aside goalies until the mid to late rounds . The 3rd best goalie right now could be any of a number of names, and the 11th or 12th goalie drafted in your pool could end up with better numbers at the end of the season than the 3rd goalie selected. For some reason, defensemen seem to be neglected in most pools until the middle to late rounds. This is where you can make up serious ground on your opponents. An offensive defensemen will put up similar numbers to a late forward pick. The catch is that there are only about 15 defensemen in this elite category. I like to use three or four picks in rounds 2-8 on defensemen as it ensures me a top tier core of defensemen. When my opponents are sifting through unproven, young defensemen in the later rounds, I am comfortably looking through the many talented forwards and goalies that remain.
Above and beyond, the MOST important thing to do when preparing for a hockey pool draft is to analyze the scoring rules. Scoring can vary dramatically from pool to pool. While many pools are offensively oriented, focusing solely on goals and assists, other pools value everything from plus/minus to penalty minutes.
Simply put, if you want to win your pool, grab as many of the guys from the following list as possible, my Top 30 in terms of fantasy value:
|1. Alexander Ovechkin||11. Marian Gaborik||21. Marian Hossa|
|2. Sidney Crosby||12. Jarome Iginla||22. Anze Kopitar|
|3. Evgeni Malkin||13. Roberto Luongo||23. Andrei Markov|
|4. Dany Heatley||14. Nicklas Lidstrom||24. Chris Pronger|
|5. Vincent Lecavalier||15. Ilya Kovalchuk||25. Rick Nash|
|6. Martin Brodeur||16. Joe Thornton||26. Daniel Alfredsson|
|7. Henrik Zetterberg||17. Pavel Datsyuk||27. Marc-Andre Fleury|
|8. Dion Phaneuf||18. Ryan Getzlaf||28. Dan Boyle|
|9. Mike Green||19. Brian Campbell||29. Zdeno Chara|
|10. Jason Spezza||20. Eric Staal||30. Tomas Vanek|