Forum Buzz: Draft Strategies; Cap Keepers; Goalies Galore; Hronek vs. Sergachev; Retooling vs. Rebuilding & More

Rick Roos


Welcome back to Forum Buzz, where I peruse the DobberHockey Forums and weigh in on active, heavily debated, or otherwise relevant recent threads, reminding folks just how great a resource the Forums are. Nearly anything might be covered here, other than trades and signings, which usually get their own separate write-ups on the main site and are also normally covered in the next day’s Ramblings, or questions that are specific to salary cap issues, which is the domain of the weekly Capped column. To access the specific forum thread on which a question is based, click on the “Topic” for that question.

Topic #1For someone who's been out of fantasy hockey for a while, what is a good strategy to employ at a draft? This is a brand new league which will be a 14 team H2H keeper, and the team picks tenth. Starting lineups are 9F, 5D, 2G, plus 5 bench spots. Skater categories are G (3, or 4 if by a defensemen), A (2), SHG (2), PPPt (1), HIT (0.2), BLK (0.1, or 0.2 if by a defenseman), PIM (0.2), SOG (0.1). Goalie categories are W (5), SO (3), OTL (2), SV (0.1), GA (-1), Goal scored (10), Assist (3).

The thing I focus on initially is positions. Forward position does not matter here, meaning unlike some leagues extra value is not bestowed upon wingers due to comparative scarcity of those positions versus pure centers. Instead, the best forwards can be drafted regardless of position. Beyond that, I look at starting line-ups. Here, seven of 16 are non-forwards. That is a pretty high percentage, plus, with respect to both goalies and defensemen, the very best represent a smaller percentage of the players available. As such, I'd look to grab elite players at those positions early, before the huge drop off occurs, as there will be forwards nearly as good as the top forwards as late as round five in the draft; however, the goalies and defensemen left after the first five rounds will be considerably worse than the ones already picked. This is especially the case given the defensemen premiums.

Next you want to understand the scoring categories and how they impact player values. In this case, goalies who play a lot are at a premium. As such, getting guys who are all but assured to start 50+ games is key, even if their peripherals might not be as good as goalies who will be in bona fide time shares. As for skaters, scorers are everything, as it takes 15 Hits or PIM and 30 Blocks or SOG to equal the impact of just one forward goal. Although some will see all these categories and obsess over stat stuffers, the key is to obtain proven scorers. If they also provide value in other categories all the better; but don't fall into the trap of assigning higher value to