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  • Conal Conal Oct 2, 2011 8:58 AM Flag

    Never Draft Defencemen early...Agree/Disagree?

    I have never seen the value in wasting early draft picks on D. What are some other opinions out there? As an example, here's my team below...definitely not the best team I've ever drafted, but the point is that around the time Green, Doughty, etc. are being picked up in the 2nd-5th rounds I'm still picking up PPG forwards in Thornton, Hossa, etc. or top-end goaltenders...and I still end up with four defencemen that are capable of putting up 40-45 points.


    (1) Alex Ovechkin (Was - LW)
    (24) Ryan Miller (Buf - G)
    (25) Antti Niemi (SJ - G)
    (48) Joe Thornton (SJ - C)
    (49) Jeff Skinner (Car - C,RW)
    (72) Marian Hossa (Chi - RW)
    (73) Jamie Benn (Dal - LW)
    (96) Alex Tanguay (Cgy - LW)
    (97) Justin Williams (LA - RW)
    (120) Patrice Bergeron (Bos - C)
    (121) James van Riemsdyk (Phi - LW)
    (144) Steve Downie (TB - RW)
    (145) Cam Fowler (Anh - D)
    (168) Dennis Wideman (Was - D)
    (169) Jakub Voracek (Phi - RW)
    (192) Matt Carle (Phi - D)
    (193) Dave Bolland (Chi - C)
    (216) Marek Zidlicky (Min - D)
    (217) T.J. Oshie (StL - C,RW)
    (240) Tuukka Rask (Bos - G)

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    • Ha! Another perk of not focusing on d-men in the draft -- one of the guys in my league had to autodraft this year and wound up with seven high-calibre defencemen (and almost no serviceable forwards to speak of): Doughty, Weber, Visnovsky, Yandle, Keith, Boyle, and Karlsson. Unbelievable, eh?

      Now I'm being offered Keith Yandle for Jakub Voracek. With my depth on RW, this seems like a great move (although Voracek supposedly will start the year beside Giroux and van Riemsdyk...and I do like the sound of that).


    • I like your team. Fowler was a nice grab at 145, as was T.J. Oshie at 217 (I'm surprised either of those guys went so late, or that Zidlicky wasn't off the board by 216). You took Benn surprisingly early given how he was ranked by Yahoo!, but by season's end he should be a top 10 LW IMHO (and JVR should be top 20).

      My position on D is that you can find a lot of guys that can put up 30-40 points, fewer guys that can put up 40-50 (Fowler and Zidlicky will probably be in this range), and only a handful of guys that will finish the season 50+. Same goes for forwards, but it's like 60-70, 70-80, and 80+.

      I would have started picking some of those D who can put up 50+ points in rounds 8, 9 and 10 over Alex Tanguay, Justin Williams and Patrice Bergeron, because these are guys who are going to finish in the 70-80 club, or possibly 60-70, and it seems a lot easier to find 70-80 pt C/LW/RW than it is to find 40-50 (or 50+) pt D.

      • 1 Reply to James MF
      • I appreciate your insight. Thanks for the opinions, gents! It's always nice to hear someone else's take.

        I actually agree with just about everything you said there--Williams and Tanguay are second-tier forwards, and a highly-ranked defenceman would slide nicely in there. However, the risk of drafting 1st in a 12-team league is that I see 22 players snatched up in between my turns, and I was concerned with filling out my depth on the wings.

        As for Benn--I play in a very competitive and knowledgeable league that tends to disregard the Yahoo rankings (experienced drafters will know that some players can be wildly over- or under-valued for no comprehensible reason), and I'd targeted Benn as a breakout candidate that I didn't want to miss out on.

    • Good job drafting goalies 2nd and 3rd, but I would have taken a defenceman before Tanguay.

    • its all about relative production
      you could replace a forward with a player who still scores a lot
      but if you dont get good D you end up with guys that dont produce much at all, thats why you need good D

    • I would tend to agree.. I play in a keeper league and I tend to keep 1 and then try to get 1 other pretty good one and then focus on fwd's and centers until late and try to get my last 2 fairly late..

      This season I kept Letang and drafted Boyle with my 1st pick, which was in the 7th round so I feel I have 2 solid D..

      Then I didn't draft another D until the 15th and 16th rounds when I drafted Cam Fowler and Kimmo Timonen... Not great but decent IMO... I also usually dont keep a D on the bench.

    • The lone exception was perhaps Green in those 2 or so monster offensive years where he ranked with the F's.


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