Prospect Ramblings: The DobberProspects Writers Draft

Hayden Soboleski




For those of you who follow us regularly, you may have heard of the DPFHL – the fantasy league that many of the team writers here at DobberProspects take part in. Yesterday was our annual summer draft and I want to share the results to give readers a bit of insight into the fantasy priorities of our resident prospect junkies.


But first – the rules:


This is a 14-team league using the NHL salary cap and authentic player AAVs. Rosters comprise of 3RW, 3C, 3LW, 3F, 6D, 1G, 3 reserve, plus a 30-player minors system to store our prospects in until they start producing enough to warrant a call-up. The scoring is weekly head-to-head rotisserie scoring, counting G, A, PPP, SHP, PIM, +/-, SOG, FOW, H, B, W, SV%, GAA, S, and SO.


Because owe follow the authentic salary cap but contain a fewer number of teams that the NHL (we will slowly expand until we match the real thing), several high-priced players are unowned. Names like Drew Doughty and Carey Price are not picked up because honoring their real-life contracts would put any team in too much of a cap crunch to be competitive. This is why you’ll see some big name NHLers spinkled into the draft below (some intentional, some due to technical difficulties and poor operation of the auto-pick system by certain owners).


Without further ado, here are the results:


A few notes to keep in mind for your upcoming drafts:

  • The top names are obvious. Hughes, Kakko, Byram will go early and this isn’t exactly expert-level analysis. 


  • The Bob pick was the first instance of auto-queue gone wrong. So were Price and Fleury. Such is the price you pay when you aren’t online in time! Luckily we are a generous bunch and allowed some after-the-fact corrections. Thanks to this, Shalagin and Afanasyev became replacement picks.


  • Podkolzin was drafted much higher in this league than in the NHL. The multi-category scoring certainly helps his case in leagues like this. Caufield was also drafted earlier in fantasy than he was in real life, but you can blame the NHL for that discrepancy. He’s a goal-scoring machine.


  • Names like Grimaldi, Spezza, Glendening, Lowry and De Leo are surprises at first glance, but are picks made by extremely cap-tight teams in need of depth scoring for pennies. Knowing when to make these picks would have been difficult, and requires careful understanding of your opponents’ financial situations.


  • This is also the reason Huberdeau appears in Round 2. I personally expected him to be gone in the first round, since his contract is fantastic for what he brings to the table, and he only happened to be available thanks to a perfect storm of contract messes. But, because so few teams were in a position to afford him, he slipped to the 2nd. Boston knew this, and was able to draft Dach with his first-rounder as a result and still get his man in the 2nd. Scouting the opposition always pays off!


  • Rounds 2-3 is when we start seeing major discrepancies between the NHL draft and the fantasy world. High upside names like Suzuki, Kaliyev, and Hoglander were picked before players such as Broberg, Leason, and Thompson. Gotta swing for the fences and try and hit home runs, especially in depper leagues were high-end talent is usually only found on high-priced contracts. This wasn’t always the case though – draft day surprise Seider was still selected fairly high in this draft. This just shows that if you are truly impressed with a player and like their outlook, trust your gut. Just make sure its calibrated…


  • Another key element in play is the positioning of NCAA and international free agent signings. Any undrafted player who signed after the trade deadline was draft-eligible. Hirose was the first off the board, appearing in Round 2. Then in Round 3, Leafs newcomer Mikheyev was selected. Veronneau and Kubalik went in the fourth and Sturm and Schuldt in the fifth. These are not the highest-upside names compared to some of the other talent in the draft (lots and lots of talent was selected in between these selections), but their jump-started pro careers give them an advantage over players that have a longer ways to go before becoming options for the respective clubs.


  • One owner in particular had a clear goal in mind when drafting Marleau, Thornton, and Gardiner – pray for a league minimum deal that brings you good value. Not a long-term strategy, but this is the reigning champion looking to repeat. 


It’s too early to pick draft day winners, but I’ll give it a shot:

  • In hard to argue against BOS being a big winner after adding Dach, Huberdeau, Boldy, Harley, and Kubalik. Outstanding value throughout.


  • In terms of purely stocking the cupboards, I think PIT did a good job ending up with Cozens, Soderstrom, McMichael, Thompson, and Lavoie. Just a real solid haul.


  • Other than that, there is a wide variety of good picks for everyone. Obviously adding Hughes or Kakko makes you a winner. I thought Prokhorkin was a sneaky good gamble in the 4th round by TBL, as was Kochetkov by CGY. I may be biased as the Colorado writer here at DobberProspects, but I think the steal of the first round may have been FLA selecting Newhook.



We would like to thank Fantrax for hosting this crazy league full of fantasy nutjobs. They treat us well and allow for the level of customization we need!



Reminder that the 2019-20 Fantasy Hockey Guide is available now, and if you’re serious about being competitive in your pools no matter how deep, it is an absolute must-read:



Hayden Soboleski



Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Cole Brady 4.0 4.0
Jeff Malott 4.5 5.0
Kristian Reichel 4.0 4.5
Pavel Kraskovsky 3.0 3.0
Dmitri Rashevsky 7.0 5.0
Parker Ford 4.0 6.0
Danny Zhilkin 6.0 7.5
Bobby McMann 5.0 9.0
Alexander Suzdalev 7.5 7.0
Ryan Leonard 9.0 9.5