In 24 hours, we have managed to draft two non-threatening fantasy hockey teams. The best part of Top of the Rock’s team is we got four of the guys on our wish list.
We managed to pick the same elite player, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, with the fifth overall in the other league and second overall in this league. Edmonton Oiler’s captain Connor McDavid dropped to third overall in this league, despite being dubbed “the best player in the world.” He did go first overall in the other league.
The first thing people need to know about this league is the settings. Last year, my “team Sweden” model was utterly pointless. It never worked, and we sat at the bottom of the standings forever. It got so bad that we changed our team name to the “74-75 Capitals” which happened to be the worse team in the history of the National Hockey League. We traded superstars and raided the waiver wire for the best available scraps. Surprisingly we won a couple of matchups and made things interesting for those fighting for the crown.
If you are wondering why my team sucked, it is because I was not aware of the lineup settings. Unlike other leagues, you are only allowed to set your lineup on Monday and not touch it until the end of the matchup. So much for swapping players in and out daily. The mismanagement of the team began in week one and only went downhill from there.
Points in The Price is Right are calculated in the following categories: goals, assists, plus/minus, power-play points, shots on goal, and penalty minutes. As far as goaltenders are concerned, the guys in pads need to collect wins and shutouts, while posting low goals-against averages and a high save percentages. Now that you have some history, here’s how the 2019 Top of the Rock draft went down.
Last year, our first in the league, we took the best Swedish player, Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman with the first overall selection. This year we dropped down to second and grabbed Ovechkin. This guy could score 50 goals and move closer to Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record. He also averages over 300 shots a season, while racking up a positive plus/minus rating, and some power-play points. He’s been one of the league’s elite for over a decade and here’s hoping we are handsomely rewarded with our top selection this year.
In the second round, New Jersey Devils’ left-winger Taylor Hall was next in our queue. He went 19th overall. Of course, our next wish list guy, Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers) went 22nd overall, right before our next pick. We jumped down our list and grabbed Las Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The Flower was the third goalie selected behind Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevsky (5th overall) and Ben Bishop (15th). As the third round rolled around, we decided to stay with goalies and grabbed Boston Bruin netminder Tuuka Rask (26th).
Four goalies went in between our third and fourth selections. Since this league focuses on penalty minutes, we decided to take San Jose Shark left winger Evander Kane. He would never rank high on my list of likeable players, but he can score 30 goals and still spend over 100 minutes in the penalty box.
Since we only had two picks before our next selection, we went back to the bad boy well and took Washington Capitals pest, Tom Wilson. This guy is only prone to suspensions, so if he can keep his nose clean, he’ll pot over twenty goals and 100+ penalty minutes.
After those selections, the draft seemed to slow to a snail’s pace. It gave us plenty of time to do research and second guess everyone in our queue. We had goalies Cory Hart (Philadelphia) and Corey Schnieder (New Jersey) on the list but took them off. By this time, we did not have any centers or defencemen. Somehow our research led us to Detroit Red Wings centre Dylan Larkin. Our sixth-round pick (71st overall) scored 32 goals last season to go along with 75 penalty minutes and 287 shots on goal.
Next up, two picks later were one of the top defencemen on our list, Jacob Trouba from the New York Rangers. He was ranked deep down in the 100’s, so we took him with the 74th pick. Trouba recently relocated to the Big Apple, and we hope the Rangers surprise some people this season. His presence on the blueline will help.
We lost out on Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Dougie Hamilton at the start of the eighth round. Since we were closing out the top 100 players in the draft ranking (not everyone went), we decided to grab the premiere rookies for this upcoming season. With our pick in the eighth round, we selected 2019 #1 overall pick Jack Huges from the New Jersey Devils. A few picks later in the ninth round, we chose the #2 overall pick, Kaapo Kakko from the Rangers. Both of these guys should duke it out for the Calder Trophy, as the league’s top rookie.
As we returned to the drawing board, we spent way too much time sorting statistical columns to see who was left. Our next three picks were all defencemen, to round out our roster. In the tenth round, we grabbed Shea Theodore from the Golden Knights. In the eleventh, we selected Nikita Zadorov from the Colorado Avalanche. Theodore scored double-digit goals and fired over 200 shots on goal. Zadorov may not pile up the points, but he had 75 penalty minutes with 100 shots. He was also plus 19 last season. Lightning defencemen Ryan McDonagh was our final defensive selection. Last season the rearguard managed 37 assists and was an impressive plus 38.
Our final four selections were to fill the bench positions. In the thirteenth round, we grabbed Red Wings winger Anthony Mantha. Last season he had 25 goals to go along with 198 shots. His penalty minutes were down, but he also didn’t play in as many games as the previous season. After that, we grabbed Devils winger Wayne Simmons. One of the few guys left out there who could score 20+ goals, collect 100+ penalty minutes, and have over 150 shots on goals. He is a significant risk since he is destined for a third-line role, but New Jersey looks like they could rebound this year.
Our second to the last pick was another defenceman, Jeff Petry from the Montreal Canadiens. We didn’t know that he managed 33 assists last season and 172 shots. With the 191st pick overall, second to last in the entire draft, we drafted Alexander Georgiev from the Rangers. We are a firm believer that Alex will take over the starting job from Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist.
Now that we pinned our hopes on 16 players let’s breakdown what Yahoo predicted for our season. Trust us, it’s not going to be pretty.
Top of the Rock is projected to score the least amount of goals with 261. The leader, Money in the Bank should outscore us by 112, with 378. We should finish dead last in assists with 382. We are the only team to collect less than 400, while Gloveside should lead the pack with 614.
We will finally leave the basement and finish 8th overall in the plus/minus department. Our +67 rating should be half the league leader, Money in the Bank, who will finish +141.
Our claim to fame this season might be the 818 projected penalty minutes we are on pace for. That’s 206 more than second-place (Money in the Bank), and that’s 375 more than last place Donkey Kong Country.
As fate would have it, we have the absolute worse power play in the league. Top of the Rock will be so bad (164 points) that we are 60 points behind 11th place and 152 points behind Money in the Bank for first. Our 2507 projected shots on goal will be 546 out of first place, which is supposed to be Money in the Bank yet again.
Things look a little brighter for us in the goaltender categories. In terms of wins, we should finish in fourth with 84. That’s 39 behind Donkey Kong Country for first, and 35 away from Money in the Bank in the last place.
The Bank appears to have the best goalie tandem in the league, allowing only 148 goals against. We are right behind them in fourth with 150. Hanz&Franz should give up the most goals with 165 red lighters.
Things get tighter in the save percentage category. B Galli should save about .919 of their shots, which is a tie with Cyberbullying HWAG. Right after those two, it’s a three-way tie with Gloveside and Donkey Kong Country for third with a save percentage of .917. Do I Love Horcoff??? will save about 0.911 of their shots for the worse save percentage in the league.
Shutouts are hard to come by in today’s NHL. Last year’s league leader, Sergei Bobrovsky, only had nine. That is also the same number we are projected for in the 2019-20 season, good for fourth overall. Donkey Kong Country should get 11 and Hanz&Franz are on pace for just four.
Yahoo broke every statistic down and assigned it a point value. According to them, we should be the 7th best team in league with 57.5 points. Money in the Bank will lead the pack with 89 points. The bottom dwellers are projected to be Do I Love Horcoff??? and HANDZUS JOB with 50.5 points.
The Price is Right is now celebrating the start of their 16th season. Hanz&Fronz is the current back to back champions. As they prepare to defeat their title for the third time, Top of the Rock will try their best to derail them. As we enter our second season in the league, we hope to finish out of 12th place and push the rebuild closer to the playoffs. Stay tuned for our weekly recaps of the highs and lows of the fantasy hockey season!