written by Kris Knesis — Helsinki Lynx GM
The IceHL is back and so is some completely objective and unbiased (wink, wink) post-draft analysis. Today we look at what I think are the best and worst picks of each of the first six rounds.
Best Pick · Connor McDavid (1st), Salt Lake City Scorpions
Worst Pick · Brent Burns (2nd), North Carolina Nighthawks
Sneaky Pick · Jack Eichel (5th), Minnesota Mammoths
I'm not including the Keepers in this one. Let's not overcomplicate the 'best' section, but picking a pretty old dude coming off a crazy season that was a bit of an outlier with the 2nd overall pick was a bit mind boggling to me, considering the talent that was available. But I guess it could be justifiable with the win-now argument. Matty the Mammoth is not sleeping on Jack Eichel, snagging him with the third available pick.
Best Pick · Victor Hedman (26th), Boston Colonials
Worst Pick · Pekka Rinne (37th), Milwaukee Lagers
Sneaky Pick · William Nylander (38th), Washington Sentinels
The big Swede with the 77 on his back might be the second best thing behind Erik Karlsson in this fantasy league and can challenge for the top D honors. Can't believe he fell to the second round, let alone past some of the more experienced GMs. I understand the logic behind drafting Rinne in the second, I did exactly that last season, but it was a gamble even then and more so now, I think Pekka is in real jeopardy to lose the starting gig. And Mr Cable of Washington, a known Maple Leaf fan of course could not pass on Matthews's sidekick and he might be rewarded for that very soon.
Best Pick · Kris Letang (52nd), Edmonton Kodiaks
Worst Pick · Phil Kessel (44th), Milwaukee Lagers
Sneaky Pick · Viktor Arvidsson (43rd), Washington Sentinels
A lot of GMs, including myself, passed on Letang, because of his injury history, but if he stays healthy this year, man, are we all going to hate ourselves for letting him slide all the way out of the top-50, it's ridiculous. Phil The Thrill is a delight as a player, as a person and as a meme, but his fantasy value is not what it is in real life. And oh, look, Washington grabbed another guy I was going to. Not funny, Cable.
Best Pick · Jonathan Quick (75th), Vancouver Lumberjacks
Worst Pick · Nick Schmaltz (73rd), Stockholm Hammers
Sneaky Pick · Jake Guentzel (66th), Boston Colonials
I am not a fan of Quick, but he’ll get more starts than most other goalies in the league and L-jax were wise to pick him. Now, I’m not sure what Stockholm were thinking here, wonder if it’s a case of GM Andrews knowing something most others don’t or mistakenly drafting Schmaltz thinking it was Schwartz… Last season’s East regular season winner Colonials picked Sidney Crosby’s new sidekick, smart.
Best Pick · Oscar Klefbom (87th), Gold Coast Rush
Worst Pick · Ryan Ellis (97th), Alaska Huskies
Sneaky Pick · Claude Giroux (93rd), California Wave
I think Klefbom can end up being a top-10 fantasy defenseman in this league, besides he’s young, so has Keeper potential and with the impending rule changes, a 5th round Keeper is not a bad idea. Nashville’s Ryan Ellis is a good defenseman and also great in fantasy, but he’s out until the second half of the season, so this pick really could have been used on someone who can help right away. Wave gets Claude Giroux who I guess we all somehow decided is now a Bad Hockey Player? It’s freakin’ Claude Giroux, you guys! I mean we guys!
Best Pick · John Carlson (116th), Helsinki Lynx
Worst Pick · Eric Staal (107th), St. Louis Archers
Sneaky Pick · Nathan MacKinnon (101st), Salt Lake City Scorpions
Gotta hand this one to myself. Carlson is Very Good and the power play quarterback on the Washington Capitals. Thank you everybody for not picking him ahead of me. Staal is old and regressing and while still a useful fantasy contributor, many better options were available. As for MacKinnon… He can’t keep shooting 0.002% forever.
I’ll try to revisit these around the mid-season mark and see how wrong I’ve been.