It's hard to believe, but the last time the mailbag was emptied the NHL had yet to resume play! The return of NHL games doesn't change the mission of the mailbag though, which is to answer your fantasy hockey questions while also giving advice that should be useful to all poolies even if they don't own the specific players being discussed As a reminder, if you want your fantasy hockey question answered in the next mailbag, be sure to check out the end of the column, where I explain the ways to get it to me. The earlier you send a question the more likely it is to be included, and the deeper dive I can provide with my reply.
Question #1 (from Francois)
I'm in an eight-team keeper league (keep 15) with 30 players rostered (+ 2 IR spots) and 12F, 6D, 2G starting each week. For skaters, it's points only, while for goalies it's two points for a win, one for an OTL, and 3 extra for a SO. The wrinkle with our league is each team cannot keep its two top forwards, top defenseman, and top goalie from the prior season, in each case based on fantasy points. With 32 top players up for grabs, the early draft rounds are, accordingly, very important.
Last year, I traded away most of my assets for drafts picks, with the intention of going all in to win the league this coming season. As such, I currently hold nine picks (3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 19, 22, 27, 30) in the first four rounds of the draft.
After subtracting my four players that I'm forced to toss back into the draft pool, here are those from last year's rosters whom I can keep:
Alex DeBrincat, Cody Glass, Barrett Hayton, Jack Hughes, Nazem Kadri, Dominik Kubalik, Jordan Kyrou, Timo Meier, Martin Necas, Brady Tkachuk, Jakub Vrana, Noah Dobson, Matt Dumba, Matt Grzelcyk, Filip Hronek, Josh Morrissey, Rasmus Ristolainen, Pavel Buchnevich, Evgenii Dadonov, Nikita Gusev, Elias Lindholm, Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan Pulock, Cam Atkinson, Jake Guentzel, Juuse Saros, Igor Shesterkin, Tuukka Rask.
Because I'm going all in, I want to take players most likely to help me win next year, even if I might lose ones with longer term