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On Wednesday night, there was an experts mock draft that literally had more “hey my queue is busted” mentions than anything else. Twelve of the best and brightest went into this and what came out of it was rather eye opening. I humbly called it “the gathering” and in a lot of ways it was. Different styles, thought processes, and even bluffs were all seen on this night.
This will be done in a two-part format with part one focusing on the early rounds and the conclusion more on the later rounds. The ProjectRoto guide should be out soon and our own Michael Clifford has put a ton of work into it.
When starting to digest the results this morning, the main focus was keeping in mind that this is a 6×3 roto league. Literally it just has to be emphasized ad nauseum. The “Dirty Dozen” of fantasy hockey experts came into this expecting fireworks and they would come early and often. Again, the ‘you stole my pick’ or ‘hey I was going to pick him’ was heard more often than most any draft I have been apart of. It would only increase once out of the top 50.
If it felt like a broken record, then imagine being in the chat room. Though we can’t get you that fly on the wall access, we did the next best thing…sort of. We cruised back into the draft and into twelve expert minds. Here are a number of picks that caught are eye in the early rounds.
Fantasy Hockey Eye Openers (Early Rounds)
1. Sergei Bobrovsky — 45th pick overall by Chris Wassel
I have a bone to pick with ESPN after this one. Bobrovsky’s save percentage projection was dropped all the way to a .913 despite a team in front of him that could win the Metro. By the way, .913 is about league average and the Vezina winner is a good bit above average. Most pundits have him closer to 40 wins than 30 and a save percentage above .920. Strike one ESPN!
2. Zdeno Chara — 99th pick overall by Michael Clifford
This was a classic case of ‘oh he’ll be there…he’ll be there…he’ll be there.’ Before anyone knew it, Chara almost fell past 100. Though the defenseman is not the elite producer of points he once was, the 6-foot-9 behemoth still hits a ton, blocks shots, and gets 40 points a year.
3. Pascal Dupuis — 103rd pick overall by Tony Mauriello
Tony either made a heck of a reach and it worked or this one is going to fall flat on his face. This is no in between option as it comes down to whether Dupuis plays with his buddies Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby. Will he be 100 percent? That’s another question. Training camp will be an interesting battle between Dupuis and Patric Hornqvist maybe even Beau Bennett.
4. Kyle Turris — 121st pick by Chris Pacheco
A first line center, especially in Ottawa where Turris will see a good bit of ice time with Erik Karlsson and Bobby Ryan cannot hurt. He easily should be in the top 100 and has potential to rise along with Ryan provided Ryan can shake off last year’s injury plagued season. Turris could also have a nice power play points boost as well.
5. Brad Richards — 127th pick by Tony Mauriello
Richards took a bargain basement deal to end up in Chicago. If he plays well in camp, he likely will end up on the top line in key situations which means points, of course. Again he may only play 15-16 minutes a night at times but if he gets 55-60 points or more, Richards will be one of the best bargains of this draft.
6. Brandon Dubinsky — 132nd pick by Joe Bond
Joe hit a nice one at the tail end of the first half of the draft. Dubinsky is a balance category player who was a steal at 132. There are few players that can drive players nuts like him and come close to 60 points a season. Expectations are up in Columbus and he looks ready. This is one of those depth picks that will be talked about a good bit among experts.
Next up will be the eye poppers of the second half of the draft. That will be another six pack to remember fantasy hockey fans. If you have any questions about the mock, just ask away.
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