In 2016, the (then) DobberProspects writers team held a prospects draft in a dynasty league. The league continues to evolve but it remains a cap league where every penny counts, making prospects on ELCs incredibly valuable. For this reason, there was lots of variation on draft day. Some of us wanted players already cracking the league to fill some cheap roster spots, while some of us preferred high-upside projects that did or didn’t turn out. Looking back a few years later, let’s try and learn from certain writers’ successes and mistakes.
Full disclosure – I am Colorado in this draft. I won’t tell which current writers were involved at the time, but feel free to ask them 😉
|1: New Jersey Devils – Auston Matthews||13: Buffalo Sabres – Matt Murray|
|2: Montreal Canadiens – Jesse Puljujarvi||14: Arizona Coyotes – Christian Dvorak|
|3: WInnipeg Jets – Patrick Laine||15: Chicago Blackhawks – Matt Barzal|
|4: LA Kings – Mitch Marner||16: Columbus Blue Jackets – Zach Werenski|
|5: Florida Panthers – William Nylander||17: Colorado Avalanche (via CGY) – Thatcher Demko|
|6: Washington Capitals – Dylan Strome||18: Ottawa Senators – Nick Ritchie|
|7: San Jose Sharks – Matthew Tkachuk||19: Calgary Flames (via COL) – Jon Gillies|
|8: Tampa Bay – Sebatian Aho||20: Toronto Maple Leafs – Shea Theodore|
|9: Dallas Stars – Kyle Connor||21: St. Louis Blues – Stephen Johns|
|10: Pittsburgh Penguins – Mikko Rantanen||22: San Jose Shaks (via CAR) – Timo Meier|
|11: Edmonton Oilers – Pierre-Luc Dubois||23: Minnesota Wild – Pavel Zacha|
|12: Vancouver Canucks – Ivan Provorov||24: Nashville Predators – Jakub Vrana|
- On average, the forwards made an impact faster than the defense, which were faster than the goalies. Murray barely qualified for the prospects draft so he is an outlier, and Demko and Gillies are yet to pay off.
- Don’t go crazy with a top pick. At the time there was some reasoning for taking Puljujarvi ahead of Laine based on projected linemates. That was a mistake.
|25: Nashville – Brett Ritchie||37: Vancouver – Jakub Chychrun|
|26: Minnesota – Mikhail Sergachev||38: Edmonton – Jake Bean|
|27: Carolina – Clayton Keller||39: Pittsburgh – Travis Sanheim|
|28: St. Louis – Julius Honka||40: Dallas – Brandon Montour|
|29: Toronto – Lawson Crouse||41: Tampa Bay – Travis Konecny|
|30: Columbus (via COL) – Esa Lindell||42: San Jose – Tyson Jost|
|31: Ottawa – Mike Matheson||43: Washington – Ryan Pulock|
|32: Calgary – Brock Boeser||44: Florida – Logan Brown|
|33: Columbus – Alex Nylander||45: LA – Anthony DeAngelo|
|34: Chicago – Olli Juolevi||46: Winnipeg – Michael Dal Colle|
|35: Arizona – Colin White||47: Montreal – Juuse Saros|
|36: Buffalo – Oliver Bjorkstrand||48: New Jersey – Malcom Subban|
- Gambling on defence was a mixed bag. Sergachev and Montour are obvious fantasy assets now, Pulock maybe as he takes more PP time. Lindell, Sanheim and Chychrun are fringe depending on the pool stats counted. Juolevi, Honka, Bean are still in development so time will tell. So I guess the lesson is, prepare to be patient!
- The same can be said for forwards. Keller and Boeser were obvious steals in hindsight, but we still dont know the fortune of most names. Bjorkstrand and Jost and Konecny are still climbing up the depth charts, while White, Brown, Nylander, Dal Colle haven’t seen NHL duties yet.
|49: New Jersey – Kerby Rychel||61: Buffalo- Daniel Sprong|
|50: Montreal – Nick Schmaltz||62: Arizona – Danton Heinen|
|51: Colorado (via WPG) – Jimmy Vesey||63: Chicago – Joel Eriksson Ek|
|52: LA – Andreas Athanasiou||64: Colorado (via CLB) – Josh Morrissey|
|53: Florida – Thomas Chabot||65: Washington (via CGY) – Ilya Samsonov|
|54: Calgary (via WSH) – Kevin Fiala||66: Ottawa – Anthony Mantha|
|55: San Jose – Sonny Milano||67: Winnipeg (via COL) – Madison Bowey|
|56: Tampa Bay – Brendan Guhle||68: Toronto – Adrian Kempe|
|57: Dallas – Frank Vatrano||69: St. Louis – Mike Reilly|
|58: Pittsburgh – JF Berube||70: San Jose (via CAR) – Haydn Fleury|
|59: Edmonton – Drake Caggiula||71: Minnesota – Jake DeBrusk|
|60: Vancouver – Max Jones||72: Nashville – Michael McLeod|
- We drafted better in the 3rd than the 2nd, and I’m trying to figure out why. Maybe it was luck, or maybe its because by the 3rd, people felt safe enough to swing for the fences a little more. Guys like Schmaltz, Fiala, Heinen, and Kempe were all smaller players who were lighting it up and had obvious talent, but their NHL chances seemed unsure at the time. Now, they are key players in their respective teams’ top-six. Similarly, Mantha and DeBrusk were noted goal-scorers in their respective leagues, but people weren’t sure if this would translate as they made the jump to pro. These gambles paid off big, and are the reason why this 3rd round list looks way better than the 2nd round list. So – don’t be afraid to swing big for guys you believe in. They make you look real smart.
Thanks for reading, and best of luck as fantasy season begins! Feel free to reach out with any questions during your preparation or during the season.