We are into August now, which means hockey pool draft season is just around the corner. Where has the summer gone? It has been a very busy and exciting offseason with a lot of changes and still some big questions that need to be answered. What will happen with Drew Doughty, Oscar Moller, Kyle Turris, Brad Marchand and Zach Bogosian?
Some hockey pools are currently drafting now, but most will happen in September, which means there will be a lot of draft prep taking place this month. Here are some pointers to help poolies with making their draft list.
1. Buy more then one pool guide. You should never settle for one source. We all have our favorite players or teams and as much as we try, there will always be a little bias towards those players or teams. If you want to put together the best possible list, you should have at minimum two guides and three or four predicted stats sources, which you can find several online for free. Compare player profiles to get all the information you need and get an average on the predicted stats to give you a closer idea of what that player will score.
2. Look at playing time. Playing time is the number one indicator of who coaches believe are their best players, especially power-play time. Coaches want offensive players on the man advantage, so be sure to look at power-play time, power-play units and power-play points when putting together your list. Your fantasy player won’t score any points while on the bench, so draft players who get the most ice time.
3. Examine offensive stats. Drafting a goal scorer means you are getting a player who creates his own offense. A playmaker will only get points if the goal scorer puts the puck in the net. So when looking at players to draft who score about the same amount of points, always go with goal scorers, as they control their own destiny. There is an old saying: You can't score unless you shoot. The puck won't go in the net by itself—someone needs to shoot the puck. Offensive players like to take shots. Heck, all players like to shoot the puck, but when deciding whom to draft, consider the guy who shoots the puck more.
4. Know your pool. Every hockey pool has their own rules and what each stat is worth. Make sure you know how your pool works. In a pool that gives more points to goals, your draft list should rank goal scorers higher than playmakers. Some pools reward penalty minutes, making players like Steve Downie or Ryane Clowe more valuable seeing as how they are 20-goal scorers who also average over 100 PIM a season.
Remember, the two biggest factors to look at are guys who can create their own offense and guys who are they getting enough playing time to have that opportunity to score. Use these points when creating your list, but the number one thing to remember when it comes to drafting is always, always go with your gut. If you second-guess yourself, you might miss out on a key player.
If there is a player you really want consider drafting, take him one or two rounds earlier then where he is ranked to go as he may go earlier than you thought he would and you would lose out on that player. Make sure you get most of the players you really want; it will make your fantasy season much more enjoyable as you will be watching them on your roster and not an opponent’s roster.
Do some research, make a list and trust your gut! Good luck this hockey pool draft season. Be sure to pick up the FHC Fantasy Hockey Pool Guide at www.fantasyhockeycoach.com.
Aaron Brouwer is the co-creator of www.fantasyhockeycoach.com. FHC is a free fantasy hockey service that developed a ranking system combining post-lockout statistics, current factors and our own hockey knowledge. Brouwer writes about fantasy hockey on Bleacher Report. You can contact Coach Brouwer at firstname.lastname@example.org.