Draft-day Duds

by Eric Maltais on December 5, 2007
Jonathan Cheechoo


Pretty much a third of the season has gone by, so for those who drafted the likes of Miikka Kiprusoff and Jonathan Cheechoo, hope that they’ll turn it around is about on par with the hope that Britney Spears will become a model citizen. So what do you do with players you can’t stand to see on your roster anymore, but who are too talented to drop to the waiver wire?



My advice is to trade them for similar ilk, players who are also struggling, but who’ll provide you with a change of face that’ll be much easier on your nerves since you didn’t draft them. So here is a list of potential trade partners (in one-year leagues) to look at if you can’t stand your draft day dud anymore.

Thomas Vanek-Ryan Smyth The two are coming off seasons of 43 and 36 goals respectively. Both are on pace to score in the neighborhood of 25 this season. Both are natural goalscorers who could bust out big time soon.

Jonathan Cheechoo-Alexander Semin
One is struggling mightily while the other can’t seem to stay healthy on his feet, or his ankle I should say. I wouldn’t be surprised if neither of them scored 20 goals this season, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they scored 30.

Maxim Afinogenov-Patrick Elias They each have scored four goals this season and I’m starting to lose hope in both players. However, they still play an important role on their respective teams so keep your fingers crossed for a quick turnaround.

Patrick Marleau-Martin Straka Marleau’s playing time has actually gone up lately despite his poor play. Straka has missed half the season to injury, but is also getting twenty minutes of ice time per game now that he’s back at full strength.

Milan Michalek-Shane Doan
Doan is actually having a decent season points wise, but he has scored only six goals, so he should start putting the puck in the net soon. Michalek started off the season nicely, cooled off like he was in Antarctica and has picked it up again lately. Both have encouraging outlooks.

Mikka Kiprusoff-Marc-Andre Fleury Looks crazy, doesn’t it? Who would ever consider trading Kiprusoff for Fleury. But would anyone who owns Fleury trade him for Kiprusoff right now considering that Fleury has given up a mere two goals in the past three games?

Andy McDonald-Tuomo Ruutu Yeah, I know, those two guys are most probably on your waiver wire unless you play in a very deep league. But if you do play in a deep league, it’s like trading a nickel for five pennies and trading is always fun to do.

Rob Blake-Matt Carle Blake is starting to show his age while the young Carle has regressed following a 42-point rookie season. However, Blake is playing a lot more minutes than Carle whose playing time has been cut dramatically lately.

Michael Ryder-Bill Guerin
Ryder has lost his spot on the top line in Montreal and has been the subject of numerous rumors. Guerin looks like the player he was two season ago when he scored a measly 13 goals.

Industry Experts league


I currently sit in second place in the experts’ league. Kiprusoff’s awful numbers are keeping me out of first place. However, I’m confident to see Ray Emery take over the number job in Ottawa allowing me to play Emery and Chris Osgood while Kiprusoff’s keeps struggling.

Left wing rookie Aaron Voros who has been playing very well in Minnesota, was a nice pick up this week by DobberHockey’s Burnsy. Voros will provide some offense and put up a load of penalty minutes. His four goals in 11 games thus far are way too high considering his AHL best in three seasons is 16 goals, but he can provide Daniel Carcillo like production.

Questions for the Frog

Boucher is 0 for November. Did I miss something in trading for him?? G/A = 1 point. no other stats. Also, I dumped Labarbera and picked up Thomas. Emery, Roloson, Osgood and Ellis are available. I have 6 moves left. 2 for a W and 3 more for a SO. Is Thomas worth staying with? – Ken.

FROG: Boucher isn't doing much this season, but he now has a three-game point streak so don't despair. Considering you scoring format, your best bet is Emery who stands a good shot at earning the number one job in Ottawa now. However he remains very risky. Osgood remains at risk of losing his playing time to Hasek and Roloson's job is in danger. Forget about Elis, Mason has been very solid the past few weeks posting a 5-2-2 record in November. Frankly, Thomas is the safest way to go right now.

I first want to say that I really like your input on roster situations! I’m looking to pick up a player in a league that scores 2 points per goal and 1 point per assist. This is what’s available, who do you think will finish with the best point total (keeping my format in mind)?

Matt Cullen
Patrick Sharp
Dustin Brown
Nikolai Zherdev
Tomas Plekanec
Chuck Kobasew
Jussi Jokinen
If you can think of someone else to take a chance on, please throw out a few names as well.
– Karim

FROG: Let’s start by eliminating Cullen and Sharp who can’t possibly keep up the pace they have set thus far. They just don’t have the talent to even come close to it. Plekanec can be expected to reach 25 goals, but it’ll be hard for him to top that. All four of Brown, Zherdev, Kobasew and Jokinen have been expected to become 30 goalscorers since they entered the NHL so their production this season is not surprising. All the players available should finish between 55 and 65 points this season. Considering that goals are worth the most, here is my order of preference; Brown, Zherdev, Kobasew, Jokinen, Plekanec, Sharp, Cullen.

Wondering who to pick-up? Who to trade? Who to keep? Write to the Fantasy Frog at [email protected] and you could see your fantasy hockey question answered in Croaks from the Fantasy Frog.

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