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2014-15 THN office fantasy draft results

Matt Larkin
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John Tavares (Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

News

2014-15 THN office fantasy draft results

Matt Larkin
By:

The best way to learn about fantasy drafts is to study other drafts. Here's a look at how the THN expert pool played out.

What's best way to prepare for your fantasy draft? Checking out player rankings is a smart idea. But there's something especially useful about studying other drafts. When poolies are on the clock, they make slightly different decisions. Gut feelings and biases steer them in unexpected directions. It happened often during THN's 2014-15 office draft, which spanned 15 rounds in a snake format and included 150 NHL players.

It's a points-only league, meaning no goalies and a lopsided forward-to-defenseman ratio. Here's a look at the "experts," in draft order:

1. Ryan Kennedy, associate senior writer
2. Ronnie Shuker, associate editor
3. Jason Kay, editor in chief
4. Dominik 'The Hammer' Luszczyszyn, intern
5. Ken Campbell, senior writer
6. Matt Larkin, associate editor, a.k.a. me, a.k.a. the defending champion
7. Adam Proteau, columnist
8. Brian Costello, senior editor
9. Shea Berencsi, graphic designer
10. Edward Fraser, managing editor

I'm not gonna lie -- I made up Dom the intern's nickname. Like, right now, on the spot. He doesn't even know it's his nickname...yet.

Here's a look at how the draft played out, round by round, pick by pick.

ROUND 1

1. Sidney Crosby (RK)
2. John Tavares (RS)
3. Steven Stamkos (JK)
4. Alex Ovechkin (DL)
5. Ryan Getzlaf (KC)
6. Corey Perry (ML)
7. Evgeni Malkin (AP)
8. Taylor Hall (BC)
9. Patrick Kane (SB)
10. Phil Kessel (EF)

The fastest way to lose your pool is to pick a first-round bust. This is not the place to reach or take chances. This is where you make your safest possible choice. That's probably why Malkin fell to seventh. Adam simply couldn't pass 'Geno' up there, but the Penguins superstar is already nursing a mysterious injury.

ROUND 2

11. Claude Giroux (EF)
12. Jonathan Toews (SB)
13. Nicklas Backstrom (BC)
14. Nathan MacKinnon (AP)
15. Tyler Seguin (ML)
16. Jamie Benn (KC)
17. Matt Duchene (DL)
18. Zach Parise (JK)
19. Erik Karlsson (RS)
20. Chris Kunitz (RK)

Shea is the goat of round 2. Jonathan Toews is a phenomenal real-life player, but most or all of the guys taken after him in this round should score more points, maybe even Karlsson. Edward makes out like a bandit getting Kessel and Giroux with consecutive picks.

ROUND 3

21. Joe Pavelski (RK)
22. Anze Kopitar (RS)
23. Ryan Johansen (JK)
24. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (DL)
25. Joe Thornton (KC)
26. Gabriel Landeskog (ML)
27. Patrick Sharp (AP)
28. Jordan Eberle (BC)
29. James van Riemdsyk (SB)
30. Eric Staal (EF)

The big boss man, Jason, must've been filled with euphoria after Monday's news that Johansen had re-signed with Columbus, as he grabbed the budding power forward a tad early. Players taken after him -- the Sharps and Eberles of the world -- offer higher floors. I was thrilled to nab the high ceiling of Landeskog.

ROUND 4

31. Kyle Okposo (EF)
32. Patrice Bergeron (SB)
33. Martin St-Louis (BC)
34. Patrick Marleau (AP)
35. Thomas Vanek (ML)
36. Jason Spezza (KC)
37. Max Pacioretty (DL)
38. Henrik Sedin (JK)
39. Logan Couture (RS)
40. Blake Wheeler (RK)

It was refreshing to see Okposo go this high. He isn't just John Tavares' linemate -- Okposo was a first-rounder. He was always supposed to be good. In this round we see a mixture of safe, boring picks (Marleau, Vanek) and reclamation projects (Henrik Sedin, Spezza). Maybe wily vets Ken and Jason will make us look silly by year's end.

ROUND 5

41. Henrik Zetterberg (RK)
42. Ryan O'Reilly (RS)
43. Jakub Voracek (JK)
44. Daniel Sedin (DL)
45. James Neal (KC)
46. Gustav Nyquist (ML)
47. Pavel Datsyuk (AP)
48. Jason Pominville (BC)
49. T.J. Oshie (SB)
50. David Krejci (EF)

How did Zetterberg last that long? Ryan caught us napping with that pick. Adam apparently sees the glass as half or three-quarters full with Datsyuk's shoulder injury. Ken may have reached on Neal, who I still like, but who gets a gargantuan linemate downgrade.

ROUND 6

51. Jarome Iginla (EF)
52. Ryan Kesler (SB)
53. Patric Hornqvist (BC)
54. Kyle Turris (AP)
55. Marian Hossa (ML)
56. Paul Stastny (KC)
57. Brandon Saad (DL)
58. Bobby Ryan (JK)
59. Marian Gaborik (RS)
60. Milan Lucic (RK)

This was my favorite round, in that it offered a great fantasy draft lesson, and my least favorite in that I was the one learning it. I didn't stick to my guns. I was so high on Saad and Granlund, but I got greedy when it was my pick. I let my bias take over and grabbed the veteran Hossa, thinking I could get Saad or Granlund in the next round. Both were gone by my next turn. Granlund is ready to explode. My blunder may have handed Ryan the title.

ROUND 7

61. Mikael Granlund (RK)
62. Radim Vrbata (RS)
63. Evander Kane (JK)
64. David Backes (DL)
65. Drew Doughty (KC)
66. Alexander Steen (ML)
67. Brad Richards (AP)
68. P.K. Subban (BC)
69. Jeff Carter (SB)
70. Bryan Little (EF)

Doughty and Subban are just the second and third D-men off the board, and that's how it should be in this league format. In a points-only setup, a good-but-not-great forward like Little scores as many points as a Norris-caliber blueliner. Doughty, an all-world player who flirts with about 40 points a season, shouldn't have even been drafted in this league. Sorry, Ken. You're still The Man.

ROUND 8

71. Jaromir Jagr (EF)
72. Chris Kreider (SB)
73. Valtteri Filppula (BC)
74. Nazem Kadri (AP)
75. Rick Nash (ML)
76. Mikhail Grabovski (KC)
77. Vladimir Tarasenko (DL)
78. Travis Zajac (JK)
79. Jonathan Huberdeau (RS)
80. Alex Galchenyuk (RK)

What a world we live in when Rick Nash goes after Kadri, and even after Nash's teammate, Chris Kreider, who'd be thrilled to match Nash's production. I was happy to land Nash here. He still has plenty left in the tank. Dom the intern scored the round's sexiest pick with sniper-in-training Tarasenko.

ROUND 9

81. Tyler Johnson (RK)
82. Mike Cammalleri (RS)
83. Jaden Schwartz (JK)
84. Wayne Simmonds (DL)
85. Valeri Nichushkin (KC)
86. Evgeni Kuznetsov (ML)
87. Tomas Tatar (AP)
88. Tyler Bozak (BC)
89. Joffrey Lupul (SB)
90. Andrew Ladd (EF)

The deeper we go, the greater the discrepancies in how each GM values each available player. It was mind-boggling to see Ronnie take Cammalleri over Schwartz. And Edward might argue it was mind-boggling for Ken and me to take Russian prospects Nichushkin and Kuznetsov over Andrew Ladd, who is money in the bank for 60 points. He'd have a point.

ROUND 10

91. Jiri Hudler (EF)
92. Mats Zuccarello (SB)
93. Tyler Toffoli (BC)
94. Nick Bjugstad (AP)
95. Aleksander Barkov (ML)
96. Tomas Hertl (KC)
97. Ales Hemsky (DL)
98. Brayden Schenn (JK)
99. Tanner Pearson (RS)
100. Loui Eriksson (RK)

Ryan continued what may have been the strongest overall draft here. Half the room was enamored with young sleepers and, in the meantime, he swooped in and snagged Eriksson, who has a strong chance to be a productive scorer again if and when he takes over Jarome Iginla's spot on Boston's first line.

ROUND 11

101. Leon Draisaitl (RK)
102. Adam Henrique (RS)
103. Nail Yakupov (JK)
104. Patrik Elias (DL)
105. Jonathan Drouin (KC)
106. Ondrej Palat (ML)
107. Brad Marchand (AP)
108. Johnny Gaudreau (BC)
109. Justin Williams (SB)
110. Niklas Kronwall (EF)

Brian comes out the big winner with Johnny Hockey here. Banking on big pre-seasons can be foolish, but most of us at THN were high on Gaudreau long before he lit it up this September. All he does is win everywhere he goes.

ROUND 12

111. Clarke MacArthur (EF)
112. Tyler Ennis (SB)
113. P-A Parenteau (BC)
114. Cody Hodgson (AP)
115. Mikko Koivu (ML)
116. Duncan Keith (KC)
117. Alex Pietrangelo (DL)
118. David Perron (JK)
119. Nino Niederreiter (RS)
120. Victor Hedman (RK)

We see a few more D-men fly off the board, and it's closer to the right time, as Keith, Pietrangelo and Hedman are all capable of matching the other forwards taken in this round.

ROUND 13

121. Keith Yandle (RK)
122. Alexander Semin (RS)
123. Matt Moulson (JK)
124. Shea Weber (DL)
125. Christian Ehrhoff (KC)
126. Mark Scheifele (ML)
127. Ryan Callahan (AP)
128. David Desharnais (BC)
129. Pascal Dupuis (SB)
130. David Legwand (EF)

A lot of steal potential in this round, as nearly every guy taken projects as a top-line player on his own team. Carolina sure needs 'Good Semin' to show up this season, as does Team Ronnie. Scheifele and Desharnais have boom potential centering their teams' first units.

ROUND 14

131. Mike Green (EF)
132. Vincent Lecavalier (SB)
133. Kris Letang (BC)
134. Johan Franzen (AP)
135. Sean Monahan (ML)
136. Andrei Markov (KC)
137. Oliver Ekman-Larsson (DL)
138. Ryan Strome (JK)
139. Dustin Byfuglien (RS)
140. Tomas Plekanec (RK)

Jason almost had egg on his face, with Strome rumored to be a last-day Islanders cut, but injuries gave Strome a stay of execution. Suddenly, Jason has a major sleeper on his hands at a bargain-basement price.

ROUND 15

141. Andre Burakovsky (RK)
142. Sam Gagner (RS)
143. Olli Jokinen (JK)
144. Derek Stepan (DL)
145. Jeff Skinner (KC)
146. Mike Ribeiro (ML)
147. Nikita Kucherov (AP)
148. Brendan Gallagher (BC)
149. Milan Michalek (SB)
150. Chris Stewart (EF)

Lots of fun to be had in the final round. Ryan and Adam went with deep, talented sleepers who could pay off massively or end up irrelevant this season (Burakovsky, Kucherov). Ronnie and I banked on Gagner and Ribeiro finding their scoring touch with new teams and big opportunities. Dom and Ken hope Stepan and Skinner return from injury soon enough to contribute. There's no wrong way to pick in round 15, and you never know when you'll find a crucial contributor. My final selection last year: Jaromir Jagr.

Good luck in your pools this season, everyone. Happy drafting.

Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blogFor more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazineFollow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin

 

 

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2014-15 THN office fantasy draft results