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NHL Mini Draft Kit Part Two

September 17, 2006 | By Mike Chen | comment on this post

Part Two of the mini draft kit finds us looking at the ever-elusive goaltender position, along with a few special categories, such as hidden gems and buyer beware picks.

Goalies

With parity the way it is in today’s NHL, it’s almost impossible to judge what a goalie’s record is going to be. If you knew Marty Gerber was going to be awesome on a kick-ass Carolina team way back in September 2005, well, you should be writing for RotoRob! The best way to predict fantasy success is (a) if the team was good last season and wasn’t dismantled; and (b) how many games the goalie played last season. This holds especially true if your league gives points for saves, not just wins. That’s why my top 10 list may appear a little different from most fantasy lists.

1. Miikka Kiprusoff
2. Martin Brodeur
3. Roberto Luongo
4. Tomas Vokoun
5. Marty Gerber
6. Marty Turco
7. Ryan Miller
8. Henrik Lundquist
9. Cam Ward
10. Marc Denis

Notice I’m staying away from Evgeni Nabokov/Vesa Toskala and J.S. Giguere/Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov and Toskala won the starting positions late in the season (or in Anaheim’s case, in the playoffs), and could lose it just as easily. I’d stay away from all four unless you still need goaltending in the late rounds of your draft. To a lesser extent, Alex Auld/Ed Belfour are the same story, as are Antero Niitymaki/Robert Esche and Tim Thomas/Hannu Toivonen.

Under the Radar

These players will probably fall to the mid-late rounds in your draft simply because their names aren’t that recognized.

1. Andy MacDonald — Did you know he got 85 points last season? A repeat may be difficult, but 70 is not out of the question.
2. Ladislav Nagy — No one knows about how good Nagy really is because he’s always injured. His points per game put him on par with Simon Gagne and Henrik Zetterberg last season.
3. Marc Denis — Trust me, he’s much better than John Grahame.
4. Dainius Zubrus — Someone has to centre Alexander Ovechkin, right?
5. David Vyborny — Guess who plays with Rick Nash most of the time?

Rookies

These fellows will most likely contend for the Calder Trophy and are worth a gamble in the late rounds.

1. Evgeni Malkin
2. Alex Radulov
3. Wojtek Wolski
4. Phil Kessel
5. Gilbert Brule

Buyer Beware

1/2. The Sedin Twins — I could be wrong, but I get the sense that last season’s breakout was lightning in a bottle with Anson Carter’s chemistry.
3. Martin Havlat — Fantastic points per game…in Ottawa…when healthy…or not suspended for kicking people. Good luck in Chicago with, um, no one else.
4. Pavel Kubina — No number one power play unit for you in Toronto! Kubina’s lost his PP role behind Bryan McCabe and Tomas Kaberle.
5. Kim Johnsson — Moving from Philly’s power play to Minnesota’s is a prime example of penthouse-to-outhouse.

Reclamation Projects

Who knows if these “last kick at the can” signings will amount to anything? They’ve got a better upside than your typical $1 million player. Presenting All-Stars from the late ’90s…

1. Bill Guerin
2. Jeremy Roenick
3. Owen Nolan
4. Dominik Hasek
5. Mark Recchi

For hockey analysis, rants, and random music references, visit Mike Chen’s Hockey Blog.

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