Ramblings: It’s Not Too Early for a Mock Draft (Dec 20)

Ian Gooding

2020-12-20

With a longer-than-normal offseason, finding topics to write about on a daily basis hasn't been easy. Yet with the season supposed to be starting in a month, I thought why not try a mock draft? So I took a trip over to Yahoo, and lucky for me they had one ready to go in several minutes. I picked the size of league I usually play in (12 teams), and picked a league that used the same settings that I use for the Top 100 Roto Rankings. 2 C, 2 LW, 2 RW, 4 D, 2 G, 4 BN.

My own picks aren't necessarily an endorsement that you should pick that player at all cost. League settings and value (ie. what round or at what cost) should factor into your thinking. However, this might shed some light on some players that I like entering the season relative to their Yahoo pre-draft ranking. But what I want to emphasize is the thought process when you make your picks. Don't get married to a certain player, but instead focus on picking up the right player at the right time. To me, that time is when they fill a need for your team (more so later in your draft), and you don't think that player will be around when it's time for your next pick (more so earlier in your draft).

Getting the practice from a mock draft might also be worthwhile for you, as it might uncover any blind spots from your own drafting style before the big day. As well, it will allow you to factor in the unique considerations to pay attention to for the 2020-21 season.

If you wish to see the full results, go to my personal fantasy hockey blog. Note: I haven't posted anything there in a few years, as my fantasy hockey writing has been focused on this site. Don't go there expecting mountains of current information.

*

1. Alex Ovechkin (5th overall)

The first four picks were exactly who I thought they would be. They went in the following order: Nathan MacKinnon, Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid, and Leon Draisaitl. You can debate the order in which these players were selected. I hand-picked the number five pick in this draft, knowing that I wanted to grab Ovie here and that he would probably be available.

The big four are in those spots because of the sheer volume of points that they put up, and rightfully so. However, you can't forget about Ovie either, and here's why. This is a player who in 2019-20 was tied for first in goals (48), second in shots (311), and more hits (184) than anyone that finished within the top 100 in scoring. That's dominance in three of your six roto categories. Yes, the assists were light (19), but you can make that up elsewhere.

There is the age thing, as Father Time is undefeated. Yet Ovie is cut from a different cloth. We've witnessed an extended aging curve with greats like Gordie Howe and Jaromir Jagr and Tom Brady (I know, wrong sport). It's even possible that we're still talking about Ovechkin as a fantasy impact player five years from now, even though it might be a toned-down version. There's a risk in drafting a 35-year-old player this early, but hey, it's a shortened season.

2.