Every draft is different, but here are a few pointers:
- Your first two picks should give you a top point producer and your first goalie.
- If your league runs standard categories, goalies often end up being very overvalued. They take up four categories after all, which is huge. It's very hard to win a standard cats league with sub-par goalies.
- Don't pick a Dman until at least round 5.
- Dmen won't generally help your points much (with some very few exceptions). Use them to flesh out other cats like P/M and PIMs.
- Keep track of players who are slated to be on a line with top playmakers. They may get overlooked and still be available later in the draft.
- Players who hit multiple categories are often more useful than players who hit only a few categories very well. (e.g. Player A gets a lot of assists but not much else; Player B gets some but less assists, but tends to have a good P/M and decent PIMs as well -- usually you'll want player B).
- Similarly, players who have more than one available position can often prove more useful than players who only have one.
- People often flesh out their Ds last, which usually means someone is left to pick a relatively weak forward towards the end. It's sometimes worth it to snag a stronger forward earlier on just to trade for something else you weren't able to get. This is especially the case for people in the first few seeds who sometimes fail to get a top goalie.
Keep in mind that these pointers are very general. Every league is different, and every draft is different. The best drafters are those who can adjust on the fly.