Today I would like to share with you my thought process on fantasy hockey off-season drafting in a dynasty keeper league.
So your fantasy hockey season is over. Perhaps it ended a long time ago, even before your fantasy season ended.
We have all been there, and even though the 2019-20 season still seems so far away you are already in preparation mode for the coming season.
The NHL Draft Lottery recently helped fuel that fire by shedding some light on the draft order. Hopefully you had some good fortune with your leagues draft lottery and that you own your own first round pick as well.
While there are plenty of sources to find great draft rankings out there, don’t overlook the option of adding some older and more seasoned players in your off season via draft or free agents. Great sources of older players coming into the NHL include a variety of leagues, but primarily NCAA, and European leagues such as KHL, SHL, and Liiga.
Before I go delving into potential players for you to target, first lets look at some perspective.
If your league rules are like mine, that means that players signing NHL contracts that have previously not had their NHL playing rights owned are eligible for my leagues fantasy draft, along with all the NHL Draft eligible prospects.
There are two main factors to consider when raking all these players into your comprehensive draft list for you coming fantasy draft.
First is long term upside and potential
Second is short-term dividends and quicker ROI.
With most NHL entry draft players, especially higher draft picks, the long term potential and upside is typically as high as you can get, and your top priority. Sure there are some outliers; first round busts such as Nail Yakupov or homerun free agents like Artemi Panerin, but those are the exception.
Regardless of your teams situation (rebuild, competitive or contender) I highly suggest targeting entry draft players with high fantasy upside and offensive potential. These players are the statistical drivers and future core to your team. In short you need to be looking to add these players to your teams prospect cupboard to remain or become competitive.
In later rounds, the offensive upside starts to become a little less impressive. Sure you can take a swing at some boom or bust players, but this is where I suggest looking at some older players, that can make an impact sooner rather than later.
One big advantage to this is you quickly find out in about a year or so exactly what you have. Perhaps you get lucky and find a legit top six NHL point producing fantasy relevant asset. Maybe its more of a bottom six guy. Maybe it’s only a AHL at best player or maybe they flame out like Vadim Shipachoyv. The point is, they do not need to sit on your prospect bench for five years, just to be discarded after they never make it.
That pretty much sums up the plan or the strategy. Now lets look at some potential players.
As I mentioned, there are plenty of great NHL Entry Draft outlets you should use to research your fantasy draft. First and foremost are our own Cam Robinson and Jokke Nevalainen. Find their draft coverage here.
Assuming you have your NHL Entry Draft prospects scouted, which is the easy part, the hard part is finding who the free agent signings are, and they any good!
I am here to help with that. Now, to be totally clear, I have not seen most of these players play and am simply relying on scouting reports and insight from other sources and