Diary of a Fantasy Hockey Rookie: The Draft and First Month

CHICAGO - MAY 27: Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers smiles at a reporter's question about cutting his hair during Stanley Cup media day at the United Center on May 27, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. [Writer's note: I didn't even have to edit this caption at all. -EB] (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Oh fantasy hockey. It’s been such an interesting experience so far. The standings may say I’m currently 3rd worst team in the Hockey Wilderness fantasy league, but we’ll just glaze over that for now.

Make the jump to see what I learned in my first month of fantasy hockey, my therapeutic player drop and how my team would dominate a best hair category...

Team Building

As I began my foray into the world of fantasy sports, the first step was the draft. Unfortunately I had a meeting at the same time. Cue auto draft.

As I personalized the player rankings for my attempt at a strategy, I honestly had no clue how my roster was going to turn out. I thought about how I wanted to deal with my first round pick, specific players I wanted to exclude from being drafted and players I thought might have rebound or break out seasons. Then I went to my meeting, leaving my fantasy hockey future in the hands of auto draft.

When I returned, I logged in and opened my newly chosen roster and realized a few things:

1. I forgot to account for injuries. My team had auto drafted Marc Savard, Andrei Markov and Filip Kuba. Oops.

2. A majority of my players were from the Eastern Conference.

3. Benoit Pouliot.

A few of these things had to be corrected right away. I decided Markov and Savard were worth keeping (although I’m still unsure about Savard so we’ll see how that turns out.) I dropped Kuba. I dropped Pouliot and immediately felt lighter. As a Minnesota Wild fan who spent so much time dealing with the top draft pick that is Pouliot, the ability to drop him from my team turned into something therapeutic. I also picked up Matt Carle and Cory Schneider (as a replacement for Anton Khudobin, who got auto drafted as my third goalie.) Then my team was set. For a little while, anyway.

Last week, I decided to make things more interesting so I traded for T.J. Oshie. Oshie was a player I have always liked thought would be a solid addition to my team. I gave away Ed Jovanovski in the deal, who of course promptly went and scored a hat trick.I then realized if there was a category for best hair, my team would definitely win. Between Scott Hartnell’s curly red locks and Oshie’s flow, how could I not? (Even though Hartnell did cut his hair - finally - it still dominates.)

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Current roster

Gold Stars

Goalies – Schneider (when he does play) has been solid for my fantasy team thus far, although it hurts slightly that he plays for the Vancouver Canucks.

Forwards – Hartnell has exceeded my expectations and provided help in most categories. Tomas Plekanec has been useful.

Defensemen – Markov returned from injury and will hopefully return to past form soon, particularly on the power play (a category that my team could use some help in.)

Bumps and Bruises

Goalies – Ryan Miller has a struggling team in front of him and then got injured. Tim Thomas bumped Tuukka Rask from his job. My master goalie plan has been somewhat screwed up by these events.

Forwards – I would like Savard to be un-concussed sometime very soon.

Defensemen – Braydon Coburn really hasn’t done much.

Pick up of the Week

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis Blues) - Playing good minutes with injuries to other Blues defensemen and has produced some points lately. He's putting up solid numbers for a young guy and seems to be gaining momentum.

Ranking

18 out of 20, but I think my team is poised for a break out.

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