Top 10 draft tips for fantasy hockey newcomers

Tom Collins



One thing I’ve been noticing on Twitter quite a bit recently are tweets from people mentioning they are gearing up for their first ever hockey pool this year. Anything that gets more people involved in fantasy hockey is a good thing and it could get them hooked. It worked for my wife. When we first met, she joined her first ever hockey pool, a straight-forward, points-only playoff pool that I had run for a few years. She loved it. She would check the pool six times a day even though the standings didn’t change, and whenever I asked her what she wanted to do that night, all she wanted to do was watch hockey and cheer for the players she had chosen.

Not everyone who reads this site is a pool veteran nor in eight fantasy hockey leagues per year. For those who are newbies/casual fans, here are 10 pieces of advice for your draft. Any fantasy hockey veterans who want to add to the list, feel free to do so in the comments.


10. Take advantage of the injured reserve list

One of my favourite strategies in Yahoo pools is to draft an injured player and stash them on my injured reserve list as soon as the draft is done, and then pick another player off the waiver wire to fill that slot. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Last year, I drafted Ryan Kesler in one league with this strategy. It didn’t work. In another league, I drafted Ryan Ellis. That one worked. This year I would be focused on drafting Shea Weber with the same idea.


9. Handcuff some of your goalies

This is a common practice in fantasy football when it comes to running backs and quarterbacks, but doesn’t really occur too much in fantasy hockey. You should look into it for goaltenders who are frequently injured or have a capable backup behind them. If you decide to draft Carey Price, Pekka Rinne, Matt Murray, Jake Allen and a couple of others, then you’d be smart to grab Antti Niemi, Jusse Saros, Tristan Jarry and Chad Johnson in later rounds.


8. Don’t overrate rookies/prospects in a one-year league

Sure, some of them — such as Mathew Barzal – pay off, but more often than not, they’ll be underwhelming compared to non-rookie players you could have had in that spot. In one of my 12-team Yahoo leagues last year, the only rookie who was drafted was Nico Hischier, and he was taken in the 14th round. In another 12-team Yahoo league made up off Dobber forum memb