Fantasy Hockey Mock Draft: Drafting First Three Rounds for 2012 Season
Although fans have already been deprived of actual on-ice action during the lockout, fans have also been deprived of participating in fantasy hockey.
Fantasy hockey allows the every day fan to realize their dreams of becoming an owner/general manager who has to make decision throughout the season.
Although the season is currently lost, fans have taken to video games to simulate seasons using standard rosters, and fantasy drafted rosters.
This draft will be a standard snaking draft in which general managers make only three primary picks, and the rest of the draft would in theory be simulated with rosters being completed by need.
The first three rounds of a fantasy draft are generally the most important, so here are projected picks for Fantasy Hockey 2012-13.
Team One, Pick One: Evgeni Malkin
Team One starts the festivities off by selecting the best player from the 2011-12 season in Evgeni Malkin.
Malkin is a top pick for fantasy hockey in 2012-13 because he is an amazing all-around player who scores a ton of points.
He is coming off an amazing year and it will be interesting to follow up his 2011-12 season.
Malkin captured the Art Ross, Hart and Ted Lindsay Trophies at the NHL Awards last year and that should be enough to show that he is one of the NHL's elite players.
In 2012-13, he should be completely healthy, so look for Malkin to have another dynamic year.
Team Two, Pick One: Sidney Crosby
With the deadline for a complete 82-game season set to pass, Sidney Crosby could be a very dangerous player in any shortened season.
Crosby is an individual who has undeniable talent and a set of skills that make him one of the league's most dominant players.
Crosby is a generational player who has done amazing things statistically in such a short time, and that makes him a prime candidate for early selection in fantasy hockey.
Team Three, Pick One: Steven Stamkos
Steven Stamkos is a player who usually goes No.1 or No.2 but he went No.3 overall in this case.
The Tampa Bay Lightning forward scored 60 goals last season and he is going to be a top offensive threat again next season.
He is so talented, and an improved Tampa Bay team should allow Stamkos to be at the top of his game. Fifty goals and 90-points is a safe bet for this talented sniper.
Team Four, Pick One: Claude Giroux
Claude Giroux became a household name in 2011-12, even though Bobby Clarke forgot his name at the 2006 NHL Draft.
Giroux had a monster year in which he scored 28 goals and assisted on 65 others for 93 points.
These numbers really will help in fantasy hockey and he is a great player to build a team around.
If you decide to start a keeper league, Giroux is a player you could hold onto for many years to come.
Team Five, Pick One: Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist is either the No. 1 or No. 2 drafted goalie in fantasy hockey every year, and 2012-13 will be the same.
"King Henrik" captured his first Vezina Trophy after going 39-18-5 with a 1.97 GAA and a total of eight shutouts.
Lundqvist is always near the top of the charts for goaltending league leaders so he will earn you a lot of points in fantasy hockey.
Team Six, Pick One: Daniel Sedin
The general consensus from both ESPN and Yahoo! Sports is that Daniel Sedin is going to have a solid 2012-13 campaign.
Sedin is a player who experienced a down year in 2011-12, but injuries did play a role in his production.
He appeared in 72 games last season and he scored 67 points. The Vancouver Canucks forward has been a consistent scorer in the past, so he is always a top fantasy pick.
Team Seven, Pick One: Alex Ovechkin
Alex Ovechkin is one of the NHL's best players coming off a down year in which he tallied 85 points, but Ovechkin will bounce back this year.
Adam Oates is a more offensive minded coach who will run plays to help Ovechkin rack up power play points.
Ovechkin has started to look like the Ovie of old, so Team Seven made a great initial primary pick.
Team Eight, Pick One: Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Quick won the Conn Smythe trophy for his valiant run in the playoffs and finished second in the Vezina voting. Building a fantasy team around Quick was a wise move by Team Eight's GM.
Quick posted an impressive stat line of 35-21-13 with a phenomenal GAA of 1.95, and his 10 shutouts just illustrate his ability to dominate a game.
Quick is good for 30 wins or more and his other stats will be good enough to make him one of the NHL's top fantasy hockey goaltenders in 2012-13.
Team Nine, Pick One: Corey Perry
Corey Perry is a consensus top-10 pick in almost every fantasy hockey league.
Perry will help you score in offensive categories and he will also help you pick up points if your counting penalty minutes. His ability to earn points in multiple categories allows a GM to be flexible in how they utilize Perry on a week-to-week basis.
Perry had 37 goals and 23 assists for a total of 60 points last season, but you can't forget that he is only a year removed from an explosive 50-goal campaign.
The Ducks and Perry are expected to bounce back in 2012-13, and this is a pick you can't go wrong with.
Team Ten, Pick One: John Tavares
John Tavares is a player who emerged last season as one of fantasy hockey's top players. He is a young talent on the rise, and 2012-13 should be an explosive year for the future captain of the New York Islanders.
Building around Tavares is something that Team Ten's GM, and the real life Islanders share in common, and it is a wise move given his age and maturity to this point.
Tavares' 81 points and 51 assists are something that should grab your attention because he can only improve from this point forward.
Team Ten, Pick Two: Pekka Rinne
Pekka Rinne led the NHL in wins with 43 and also posted a solid 2.39 GAA and recorded five shutouts during the 2011-12 season.
This led to Rinne being one of the top point-getting goaltenders in 2011-12, and that is something he should maintain for the 2012-13 season.
After Team Ten picked up John Tavares in round one, adding a goaltender was a smart move.
Team Nine, Pick Two: Ilya Kovalchuk
Team Nine made a decision to be an offense oriented team in 2012-13, so drafting Ilya Kovalchuk with the team's second draft pick behind Corey Perry will help the team accomplish their strategy.
Ilya Kovalchuk led the New Jersey Devils with 83 points during the 2011-12 season. Kovy scored 37 goals and had a solid postseason.
He has the ability to return to his 50-goal potential, and recent history suggests that he will be able to come up huge in 2012-13.
Team Eight, Pick Two: Kris Letang
Team Eight on the other hand, has decided to be a team with an average offense and offensive defense.
It may have been easy to select Erik Karlsson in this spot, but the team's GM felt comfortable selecting a consistent Kris Letang.
Kris Letang battled through concussions during the 2011-12 season but still was able to put up a respectable 42 points and a plus-minus rating of plus-21.
He is a defenseman that has the potential to put up 55 points or more, and he is also defensively sound in his own zone.
Team Seven, Pick Two: Erik Karlsson
The GM of Team Seven was thrilled when Erik Karlsson slid right into his lap, and this pick follows the trend of team's drafting an offensive defenseman early, even though production rivals that of an average scoring forward.
Karlsson had an outstanding 76-point 2011-12 season, and his numbers tend to support your fantasy team as if he was an extra forward..
It is fair to expect 50-70 points from Karlsson and a mid range plus-minus rating, so this pick is great at this point in the draft.
Team Six, Pick Two: Henrik Sedin
After selecting Daniel Sedin in the first round, Team Six's GM plucking up Henrik in the second round is a move that will allow him to maximize on offense.
H. Sedin finished with 17 goals, 67 assists and 84 points with a plus-minus rating of plus-23 in 2011-12, and those numbers should improve in 2012-13.
Having both Sedins will allow Team Six to pad offensive stats and plus-minus stats in their fantasy league.
Team Five, Pick Two: Jonathan Toews
Jonathan Toews was a point-per-game player during his shortened 2011-12 campaign and he would have probably finished with close to 90 points if he was healthy.
Unfortunately, some GM's draft purely by points and a player's 2011-12 performance, but good GM's will know that Toews is an all-around elite player who will help you earn points in many different categories.
In 2012-13, you can expect him to continue his superb play considering that he was symptom free during the postseason.
Team Four, Pick Two: Jimmy Howard
After drafting Claude Giroux in round one, Team Four's GM decided to solidify his goaltending position early, because there will be enough offensive players on the board in later rounds.
Jimmy Howard was on pace to run away with the Vezina trophy before he went down with an injury that limited him to 57 games.
Howard finished with a record of 35-17-6 with four shutouts and a 2.12 GAA in 57 games, and these numbers are ideal for a goalie in terms of fantasy hockey success.
Team Three, Pick Two: Patrick Sharp
Patrick Sharp is a versatile player who can be slotted as a right winger or center in fantasy hockey, so adding him allows for Team Three to maximize value at all positions.
Sharp is a dual asset who is an impressive offensive player, and defensive player.
Sharp has 69 points in 72 games last season, and he was a plus-minus plus-28. These stats make Sharp a complete player worthy of an early drafting.
Team Two, Pick Two: James Neal
Team Two is another squad looking to maximize on chemistry, and that is what was accomplished by selecting James Neal and Sidney Crosby.
James Neal emerged in a big way for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2011-12 campaign. Neal finished fourth in goal scoring with 40 goals and he also added 41 assists to his name for a grand total of 81 points.
Having two Penguins on this fantasy team will certainly benefit this fantasy owner in 2012-13.
Team One, Pick Two: Phil Kessel
Team One decided to close off the second round by selecting the Toronto Maple Leafs' top scorer from 2011-12 in Phil Kessel.
Kessel scored 82 points last season for the Leafs, and he should at least duplicate that performance in 2012-13.
He is a dynamic scorer who does go through hot and cold spurts, so if he doesn't prove to be a good fit for Team One, he has enough value to swing a successful return before the eventual trade deadline.
Team One, Pick Three: Zach Parise
Team One decided to use it's final primary draft pick on Zach Parise, a forward who will suit up for the Minnesota Wild in 2012-13.
It is a calculated risk because at this point, Parise is a player who could really boom and could prove to earn more points than a goaltender that would usually be selected at this point.
He is a solid two-way fantasy hockey player and he will rack up points for offensive and defensive categories.
Parise is also a player who should contribute between 70 and 80-points in 2012-13 because he will likely be paired with Dany Heatley and Mikko Koivu, and that could be a pretty solid threesome.
Team Two, Pick Three: Tyler Seguin
Team Two continues to load up on offense with their third pick of the draft being Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins.
Seguin is one of the youngest and most talented centers in the game today. He has grown so much as a player in such a short amount of time.
Last season, Seguin scored 29 goals, he added 38 assists and had a plus-minus rating of plus-34. Given his age, maturity and talent, it wouldn't be surprising if Seguin is amongst the league leaders for points in 2012-13.
Team Three, Pick Three: Rick Nash
Rick Nash is going to be a popular pick in many fantasy drafts because of pure potential for the 2012-13 season.
He is finally free of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and he will be paired with elite-centerman Brad Richards in New York.
Although he has a disappointing 2011-12 campaign, ESPN predicts Nash going 40-40-80 in 2012-13, and it is hard to disagree with them.
Team Four, Pick Three: Anze Kopitar
Anze Kopitar is another solid pick by the Team Four general manager, and it is a move that should pay off for the 2012-13 season.
During the regular season, Kopitar scored 25 goals and assisted on 51 others for a grand total of 76 points, and he proved himself during the postseason when he went of a tear.
Kopitar is a player on the rise, so don't be surprised if he challenges for 80 or more points in 2012-13.
Team Five, Pick Three: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Team Five looked to hit a home run with this pick, and after RNH displayed his skill and vision during a shortened 2011-12 season, should his abilities during a full season be doubted?
He is a great No.1 or No.2 center to have on your team, and he can only boom and not bust.
Although the team already had Jonathan Toews, adding RNH made more sense than adding a winger at this point.
Team Six, Pick Three: Cory Schneider
It is starting to appear that Team Six's GM is a die-hard Vancouver Canucks fan after drafting three Canucks with his primary picks.
Cory Schneider would look like an "off-the-board" pick for newcomers to fantasy hockey, but when you look at Schneider's stats to date, and factor in that he will be the full-time starter in 2012-13, it is a very underrated pick.
Schneider has the skills, and he should emerge as one of the NHL's top netminders in 2012-13.
Team Seven, Pick Three: Nicklas Backstrom
Chemistry continues to be a reoccurring theme of this draft as Team Seven's GM unites Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin with his third, and final primary pick of the draft.
Backstrom was injured during the 2011-12 season, and as a result he appeared in only in 42 games in which he recorded 44 points.
The centerman is a skilled playmaker, and he should rekindled his chemistry with Ovechkin under bench boss Adam Oates in 2012-13.
Team Eight, Pick Three: Pavel Datsyuk
Pavel Datsyuk is a great selection by Team Eight, and he could prove to be a steal from this draft.
Injuries and rehab from surgery limited Pavel Datsyuk's 2011-12 season, so expect him to increase his production due to the simple fact that he is healthy.
Datsyuk is one of the NHL's top two-way forwards, and he is expected to score more than 70-points in 2012-13.
Team Nine, Pick Three: Jaroslav Halak
Team Nine selects Jaroslav Halak with their final primary draft pick, and the team fills a huge need. Halak has an outstanding 2011-12 season, and he should have more responsibility and playing time in 2012-13.
Halak was 26-12-6 in 2011-12, and expect him to hit the 30-win plateau while maintaining his stellar G.A.A.
Team Ten, Pick Three: Jordan Eberle
Jordan Eberle rounds out the final primary general manager pick of the fantasy draft, and he joins a team already comprising of John Tavares and Pekka Rinne.
Eberle had an explosive 2011-12 season and he scored 34 goals, and he added 32 assists for 76 points.
The young forward is going to be paired with players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and/or Sam Gagner throughout the season, so there is no reason to believe that he will regress.
Eberle is a young and energetic sniper who quietly was one of the NHL's best players last season.
Primary Draft Results Teams One to Five
• Evgeni Malkin
• Phil Kessel
• Zach Parise
• Sidney Crosby
• James Neal
• Tyler Seguin
• Steven Stamkos
• Patrick Sharp
• Rick Nash
• Claude Giroux
• Jimmy Howard
• Anze Kopitar
• Henrik Lundqvist
• Jonathan Toews
• Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Primary Draft Results: Teams Six to Ten
• Daniel Sedin
• Henrik Sedin
• Cory Schneider
• Alex Ovechkin
• Erik Karlsson
• Nicklas Backstrom
• Jonathan Quick
• Kris Letang
• Pavel Datsyuk
• Corey Perry
• Ilya Kovalchuk
• Jaroslav Halak
• John Tavares
• Pekka Rinne
• Jordan Eberle