Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Choosing 1 and 1A

When it comes to the 2009 NHL Entry Draft later this June, fantasy owners should only be concerned with 2 players, John Tavares and Victor Hedman. They are the undisputed prizes of the upcoming draft and will not only be sought after by the Islanders and Lightning, who own the picks, but by the other 28 teams in the league as well.

Brian Burke has openly said that he will be pursuing Tavares and is will to pay whatever it takes to capture the prized star forward. That should be an key indicator to fantasy owners that they should be eying in this young star come draft day. Tavares will excel regardless of which team drafts him. He will be looked upon as a franchise player and given every opportunity to lead his team as it is built around him. I would look to select Tavares high in all formats, especially if you are in a keeper pool with roto stats.

Victor Hedman is another player looked at as a franchise player with whatever team he lands on. He is the 1A option to Tavares and is well coveted by teams that are already deep at forward. Fantasy owners in keeper leagues should be keen on the possibilities of drafting him however it is just a question of how early. Hedman will be a productive team leader well before his prime, but owners should be aware that he will have growing pains as all young defenseman do when they enter the league. I wold look to draft Hedman in the mid rounds of new drafts and early if you are in established keeper pools that allow for a farm team or futures. If you are in a one year pool I would steer clear of him in his first year and let another owner draft Hedman and grab an established d-man instead.

Beyond the first two picks, there is a plethora of talent available as future keepers. I will be looking into these players deeper in a future post and advise fantasy owners whether they should risk taking a shot at these kids.


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