Wednesday, October 7, 2009 Fantasy Hockey Challenge Draft Recap

Our SportsJudge NHL team and friends recently completed their experts fantasy draft, and now that the regular season is underway, let's take a look at the results. Check out our league preview article for a list of the SportsJudge friends involved, as well as the rules and basic structure of the league. Please keep in mind our standard head-to-head 10 category format may not be completely appropriate for the league you may be participating in. If you have specific questions, feel free to email us at info(at) or comment below.

I'll only be reviewing the first ten rounds in this recap due to space constraints, but will be covering the league on weekly basis throughout the season.

Round 1
1 Alexander Ovechkin (SJ Coslov)
2 Sidney Crosby (
3 Evgeni Malkin (
4 Dany Heatley (SJ Colligan)
5 Ryan Getzlaf (SJ Romano)
6 Joe Thornton (
7 Roberto Luongo (
8 Evgeni Nabokov (SJ Seto)
9 Miikka Kiprusoff (
10 Jarome Iginla (

Notes and Reaction: The talented Sharks duo going at #4 and #6 is risky, but if they click each could easily top 100 points next season. Keep in mind Dany Heatley is only two seasons removed from back-to-back 50 goals seasons without the NHL's best playmaker on his line.

Round 2
1 Ilya Kovalchuk (
2 Tim Thomas (
3 Martin Brodeur (SJ Seto)
4 Pavel Datsyuk (
5 Mike Green (
6 Alexander Semin (SJ Romano)
7 Rick Nash (SJ Colligan)
8 Zach Parise (
9 Henrik Zetterberg (
10 Daniel Sedin (SJ Coslov)

Notes and Reaction: To some, Romano's Semin choice might be the surprise pick in this round. However, had he been healthy last season the Russian was on pace for 104 points. Starting the season on Ovechkin's wing could mean an enormous year for Semin.

Round 3
1 Nicklas Backstrom (SJ Coslov)
2 Jeff Carter (
3 Corey Perry (
4 Vincent Lecavalier (SJ Colligan)
5 Patrick Kane (SJ Romano)
6 Tomas Vokoun (
7 Dion Phaneuf (
8 Martin St. Louis (SJ Seto)
9 Zdeno Chara (
10 Niklas Backstrom (

Notes and Reaction: Bruce took Vokoun far earlier than expected, but I think he may be on to something. Few realize that Vokoun and former understudy Craig Anderson were #2 and #3 respectively in NHL save percentage last season. With the departure of All-Star Jay Boewmeester on defense, Vokoun could be facing even more shots this season.

Round 4
1 Marc Savard (
2 Devin Setoguchi (
3 Dan Boyle (SJ Seto)
4 Bobby Ryan (
5 Jonas Hiller (
6 Henrik Lundqvist (SJ Romano)
7 Cam Ward (SJ Colligan)
8 Marian Gaborik (
9 Eric Staal (
10 Marc-Andre Fleury (SJ Coslov)

Notes and Reaction: If Fleury can find his Playoff form of last year, Coslov may have the steal of the draft with the 11th goaltender off the board. Timo Seppa also snagged a gem in Bobby Ryan, who is part of what may be the strongest line in the NHL. He had 31 goals in just 64 games last season.

Round 5
1 Henrik Sedin (SJ Coslov)
2 Patrick Marleau (
3 Mike Richards (
4 Ryan Miller (SJ Colligan)
5 Simon Gagne (SJ Romano)
6 Andrei Markov (
7 Jonathan Toews (
8 Daniel Alfredsson (SJ Seto)
9 Michael Cammalleri (
10 Jason Spezza (

Notes and Reaction: With only 73 points, last year was a down year for Jason Spezza. Losing Dany Heatley hurts, but Spezza has looked extremely fast in camp alongside newcomer Milan Michalek. On a roster that already includes Iginla, Kovalchuk, and Savard, Richard could have an offense to reckon with.

Round 6
1 Shea Weber (
2 Martin Havlat (
3 Patrik Elias (SJ Seto)
4 Thomas Vanek (
5 Nicklas Lidstrom (
6 Sergei Gonchar (SJ Romano)
7 Carey Price (SJ Colligan)
8 Chris Osgood (
9 Ray Emery (
10 Steve Mason (SJ Coslov)

Notes and Reaction: It's not too often that a potential 45-50 goal scorer falls to the sixth round, but that's exactly what Timo found in Thomas Vanek. Vanek slowed down after a jaw injury in February and still ended up hitting the back of the net 40 times. Hitting his prime at the age of 25, look out.

Round 7
1 Marian Hossa (SJ Coslov)
2 Cristobal Huet (
3 Johan Franzen (
4 Olli Jokinen (SJ Colligan)
5 Pekka Rinne (SJ Romano)
6 Semyon Varlamov (
7 Nikolai Khabibulin (
8 David Booth (SJ Seto)
9 Chris Pronger (
10 Anze Kopitar (

Notes and Reaction: Hossa and Huet are great value this late in the draft. Huet stumbled towards the end of last season but he has a nice cushion as the starter for one of the best team's in the Western Conference. Some may think this is early to take Hossa, but in a league like this, your team is only as good as your playoff roster. Hossa should be back by mid-November and in prime shape by the time fantasy playoffs roll around.

Round 8
1 Duncan Keith (
2 Scott Hartnell (
3 Brian Rafalski (SJ Seto)
4 Sheldon Souray (
5 Derick Brassard (
6 Brenden Morrow (SJ Romano)
7 Scott Niedermayer (SJ Colligan)
8 Marty Turco (
9 Teemu Selanne (
10 Scott Gomez (SJ Coslov)

Notes and Reaction: Getting a 60-point defenseman this late in the draft like Manson Seto did, shows it sometimes makes sense not to overpay for the big names like Chara or Phaneuf in the initial rounds. With this possibly being Lidstrom's final season in Detroit, expect Rafalski to take the reigns as the go-to guy in Hockey Town.

Round 9
1 David Krejci (SJ Coslov)
2 Shane Doan (
3 Jason Blake (
4 Mike Knuble (SJ Colligan)
5 Steven Stamkos (SJ Romano)
6 Patrice Bergeron (
7 Milan Lucic (
8 Mikko Koivu (SJ Seto)
9 Jay Bouwmeester (
10 Niklas Kronwall (

Notes and Reaction: Shane Doan was a nice pick here by Declan as a complement to his already potent offense. Doan is a perfect example of a steady scoring forward that goes completely unnoticed playing the Arizona desert.

Round 10
1 David Backes (
2 Mark Streit (
3 Bill Guerin (SJ Seto)
4 Dennis Wideman (
5 Alex Tanguay (
6 Mike Ribeiro (SJ Romano)
7 Alex Kovalev (SJ Colligan)
8 Joe Pavelski (
9 Ales Hemsky (
10 Phil Kessel (SJ Coslov)

Notes and Reaction: While we're on the subject of under appreciated players, Schrembs snagged Mark Streit at a great spot in the 10th round. In a perfect world, Streit should have been up for the Norris Trophy last season, his first on Long Island. Not only did he put up 56 points in only 74 games, he also managed to finish the season at +6. On the surface, this wouldn't blow away the casual hockey fan, but as the leading defenseman on the worst team in the league and almost half his points coming on the powerplay, I think this was an outstanding accomplishment. Adding John Tavares and legitimate starting goalies to the Islanders will only help Streit's cause.

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