List of fantasy drafts 2022; Vezina Finalists; Marleau retires (May 11) – DobberHockey
We’re well into the first round now, and that means there aren’t many fantastic decisions left for the 2021-22 season, while the 2022 offseason hasn’t really started yet. Things are starting to roll a bit with the draft lottery, which we saw last night where the Montreal Canadiens clinched the first overall pick. New Jersey dropped to second overall, while Arizona fell to third. It will be a fun show with Montreal hosting the repechage and selecting first overall.
One of my fantasy leagues ties our non-playoff teams to the respective NHL teams for our own draft lottery. This means that our draft order is now established, and I have the 10and and 21st global selections. Therefore, I try to be as at the top as possible and make sure I know what I want to do with each selection. Throughout the year, I keep tabs on prospect rankings, prospect opinions, and notable production (both positive and negative).
I don’t claim to be a scout or someone who knows NHL prospects intimately, let alone those who aren’t even drafted. However, after years of playing in dynasty leagues where up to 1300 players are held and then we recruit 120 prospects on top of that, you’re getting to the point of finding a system that works. For me, I’ve found a knack for merging the work of many scouts in the public sphere and refining it into a fantasy hockey draft roster.
One of the biggest weightings goes to the DobberProspects Fantasy Draft Leaderboard, which is an incredible resource every year. On top of that you find the rest of the Dobber scouts and the guys they bounce off, expanding the network from there. My list starts with about 25 names around the World Juniors and slowly grows until the end of the season. Players are periodically moved when I come across a new scouting report that is particularly damning or gives more praise than usual. The overall result is a weighted opinion on my part based on what all the scouts are saying about each player, and how I think it will play out in terms of fantasy, their likelihood of reaching both the NHL and that advantage, everything taking into account possible arrival time. In this year’s case, I might drop the Russians down a level, but no lower than that. Value is value in the end, and players like Kirill Kaprizov have been too overlooked simply because of the KHL/Russia risk.
Level 1 (1):
Wright is still in his own class here. His numbers as an outstanding rookie in the OHL were better than McDavid’s and he did so with the majority of his point totals being goals. After the lost season due to Covid, it looks like Wright needed time to adjust to how the game was going. In the second half of his pre-draft year (D-1 season), everything seemed to be in sync and he was averaging two points per game.
Corey Pronman had an article yesterday behind the Athletic paywall that outlined the Wright debate and whether he should still be considered a shoemaker for first overall. There he posted a table of the CHL’s top overall picks since 2005 and their pre-draft productions. Wright was second to last on the list, nestled below Nico Hischier and Nail Yakupov, and ahead of only Rick Nash. However, if we use his second half of the season and give him some headroom for the developmental year lost last year, Wright’s numbers would instead put him fifth on the list, behind only Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Patrick Kane and Alexis. Lafreniere. The advantage is there, and one thing everyone seems to agree on in the public sphere of scouting is that the floor is also high because of Wright’s intelligence and responsibility as a player.
Wright is your first choice in fantasy drafts, and don’t overthink it.
Level 2 (2-5):
The top three in this tier seem like the easy consensus, and you can put them in any order without anyone getting too upset about it. Slafkovsky has been better against men in the Olympics and European game however some see Cooley and Nazar as higher games so when we have more upside in a similar level it goes higher on my board. Bottom of that tier goes to Brad Lambert, whose production in Finland is extremely divisive. He didn’t put up the numbers expected of someone who was considered a top forward contender in the draft as recently as last season, but the edge is still there. It’s a dicey pick so if it’s not to your liking you can drop it for a bit, especially once we see where he lands in the NHL, but Lambert is simply the last player in this draft with an advantage to match the other four to come. from him.
Level 3 (6-10):
Matt Savoie may be the most dynamic striker in the class, but he’s not as complete as those in the front rows, so he drops a bit because of throwing ability. Yurov isn’t left out here because he’s Russian, maybe he’s more of a responsible player and despite having a high floor and good potential, he could be a bit more of a valuable NHL player rather than a player outstanding fantastic.
Kemell I’ve been playing since last year when someone mentioned he might be a Brady Tkachuk level shooter. This kind of volume can be huge in fantasy leagues, but it seems to be more one-dimensional than some other options. The Swedish duo sandwiching him are both very positive, although it looks like Lekkerimakki is higher on most public boards due to his high-end shooting. However, reading Ohgren, I feel like his skills are perhaps a bit more transferable, and as a result, I’ve put him higher on my list.
Level 4 (11-16)
Connor the geek
Defenders fall in my ranking for fantasy because they take longer to develop, are less projectable than forwards, and seem to have smaller peak windows in their careers even when productive. All in all, it’s hard to use a first-round pick on one, and I haven’t in years (no regrets). That being said, Jiricek and Nemec are the top five talents in this draft, so I can’t push them any further.
After them, Denton Mateychuk. There are a few other top defenders in this class, and they will show up in the next tier, but Mateychuk is the only one who seems to have that dynamic cap we hope for when drafting defenders.
Sandwich in the middle is one of my draft favorites in Noah Ostlund. Some like it, and others have it firmly outside the first round. The floor may be a little lower for him, but others are convinced there is real, projectable upside with him. As for Geekie, there are also red flags to go with a lower floor, but the upside is still quite high.
Level 5 (17-23)
This group includes a few upside plays, a few big mobile defenders, and a player who should have been in the top 10 of conversations were it not for extenuating circumstances. Ivan Miroshnichenko was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and although he is now apparently in remission, he missed a key developmental time, along with the uncertainty of his full recovery. It’s a risky swing here, but if it’s still on the board for you at this point, no one has nearly the same advantage.
After this point, we enter the range where I would be very comfortable trading 10-20 picks and being certain that I could catch a similar or even better player.
Level 6 (24-42)
Luca Del Bel Belluz
The Vézina nominees were also announced yesterday, with Juuse Saros, Jacob Markstrom and Igor Shesterkin as the three finalists. This is Shesterkin’s price to lose, and it would be shocking if he went anywhere else. He had one of the best seasons, if not the best, since the 2005 lockout.
The nominees all deserved this year, even if it feels a bit like Ilya Sorokin was robbed. He was one of the top three goalkeepers this year, and there’s an argument to be made that he was second best overall.
The Leafs started slowly again, and it seemed certain by the end of the first that the game (and the series) were not going to go as planned. They managed to come back though with some huge saves from Jack Campbell and some big goals from their stars.
It seems, however, that we will see some changes this summer. If they win the cup there will be an exodus of free agents looking for a raise, while in the most likely situation they don’t it looks like William Nylander is one of the best bets at move. Playing elsewhere as a top winger, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him achieve career heights.
The Hurricanes bounced back at home and won Game 5. The Bruins had Charlie McAvoy back in the lineup, so don’t count them out in Game 6.
Without McAvoy in the lineup for Game 4, Matt Grzelcyk played nearly 20 minutes, including seven on the power play, and made his only three shots in the playoffs this year. He’s someone to watch as the second-best offensive option on the Bruins’ blue line, and he’s only one season off a 44-point pace.
We’re in the double digits with the number of playoff teams that have used at least two goaltenders, but I wouldn’t have guessed that Minnesota would be one of the last not to. They are rolling on the acquisition of Marc-André Fleury, while their all-season starter, Cam Talbot, is surfing the pine tree. Talbot also finished the season incredibly strong, but despite a few bad games, the Wild couldn’t find the time to bring him in.
Talbot still has a year to go and is paid less than $4 million. He will be 35 at the start of the 2022-23 season, but he could still be one of the best goalkeepers of the year. He should be a volume starter for a better team in the league, and probably won’t be one of the top eight or so goaltenders in redraft leagues.
A future Hall of Famer and all-time playing leader officially announced his retirement yesterday as Patrick Marleau hung up his skates.