2013 Draft/Trade Performace Review --> FHS Ultimate Dynasty League

Mike Stobe


Twenty of the finest GMs on the planet. 100 draft picks. Dozens upon dozens of trades. July was a busy, busy month for GMs of the FHS Ultimate Dynasty League.

I've been asked to sort it all out and deliver a written assessment and bottom line grade on each team. Each GM helped tremendously by sending in their draft picks, trade deets, a self-assessment, and final grade. And Dio once again did the yeomen's work and loaded everything up and standardized the formatting. I don't know what you guys pay him, but whatever it is, it's not enough! I’ll be setting up a special PayPal donation account for when he has the world’s first Fantasy Hockey Seizure from working too hard. Special thanks to all 20 owners who put in the time writing their own pieces that helped make this possible. And thanks for giving me the honor of analyzing, dissecting, and smack talking each and every one of them!

While I appreciate the confidence shown in me, we won't truly be able to grade this summer's Ultimate Dynasty League draft for at least a few years, once the players selected have actually, you know, played in the NHL. So, consider this an initial assessment only -- one based on how each GM performed given the limited information available and market conditions present in July. Many of these grades will be wrong. Some may even be very wrong. That's just the nature of grading a draft. Mostly, however, if you take the time to look back in, say, 2018, you will likely be amazed at my truly awesome predictive prowess.

In any event, let's get to it!


Team: Atlanta Flames
GM: Donnie
GM Style: Conservative

2013 Draft Picks (5): 1.01, 2.13, 3.01, 3.06, 4.20
2014 Draft Picks (7): 1, 2, 2 (UCP), 3, 3 (UCP), 4, 5

1.01 Nathan MacKinnon, C
2.13 Reto Berra, G
3.01 Carl Soderberg, C/W
3.06 Reid Boucher, LW
4.20 Anton Belov, D

Favorite Draft Pick: Anton Belov - Loved that he was still around with the last pick of round 4.

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Reid Boucher - He was high on my list, and I'm glad to have him, but I really wanted Trocheck who was taken one spot ahead of me.

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: Vincent Trocheck

# of Trades: 4

Jarred Tinordi, D (farm)
to Upper Canada for
Chad Johnson, G (farm) + 3rd Round pick in 2014

Zack Smith, C ($1.00M, 1 year) + 4.20
to Quebec for
Max Talbot, RW ($600k, 1 year)

to Upper Canada for
2nd Round pick in 2014

to Quebec for
3.06 + 4.20

Most Memorable Trade: Getting a 2nd Round pick in 2014 for pick 3.08 this year.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: The Smith/Talbot deal. Most likely a lateral move, but I may have given up on Smith too soon.

GM objectives: Stock my farm roster with near NHL-ready talent so I can benefit from their low cap hits early on in this league

GM win window: Within two years

GM lesson learned: If there is a player you really want, don't trade down and chance that he's still there

GM comments: Great draft everyone!
I look to build on the trade relationships that are forming already.
Quebec and Upper Canada, it was a pleasure doing business!

GM Self-Grade: B-

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

Belov is nice value at 4.20, well worth the pick. At 3.01, you selected Soderberg. Any thought of taking Trocheck there? At 3.06, after Trocheck was selected, did you explore trading down?

In any event, you have to love landing MacKinnon at #1 overall! And your entire draft class could potentially make The Show this year and contribute right away.

Your trades were solid, wins all around. Picking up Chad Johnson as your #3 goalie for this season is sneaky value. The back-up G in Boston is a sweet spot indeed. I’m sure not everyone realized the value there even after the trade was made.



Team: Brooklyn Aces
GM: Michael Benedicks
GM Style: Total conservative. Afraid of trading.

2013 Draft Picks (6): 1.07, 2.15, 3.07, 4.14, 5.07, 5.20
2014 Draft Picks (5): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1.07 Hunter Shinkaruk, LW
2.15 Nicolas Petan, C/W
3.07 Jason Dickinson, C
4.15 Laurent Dauphin, C
5.07 Jimmy Lodge, C
5.20 Myles Bell, LW/D

Favorite Draft Pick: I'll go chalk with Hunter Shinkaruk

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Nic Petan

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: Zach Redmond

# of Trades: 1

to Wolfsburg for
2.15 + 5.20 (Mr. Irrelevant)

Most Memorable Trade: I only made one.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: I didn't make any trade that was risky, really.

GM objectives: My wingers are really weak. I need to explore trade options.

GM win window: I have to be at least two years away from winning.

GM lesson learned: I think I need to be engaged in the trading scene a bit more next season. There were some real steals that I wish I was on the good side of.

GM comments: I wasn't well prepared for this draft. I found myself scrambling to find an attractive player for my four picks in the final three rounds. Still, I think I did ok for myself with my prospects.

GM Self-Grade: D

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

So you missed out on Redmond, eh? You are better with Dauphin. He won’t help you immediately like Redmond might, but he has a much higher ceiling. You can acquire someone to fill Redmond’s boots on the cheap at the UFA auction, so better study up for that one so you’re not pulling your hair out there too!

I feel you on Petan. Drafting really small players doesn’t work out too often. Small guys can score in small leagues, but unless they’re bursting with talent they usually stop producing in the big leagues.

The one trade you made was a good one. It certainly didn’t hurt you. To move back just one spot, unless you are in the top half of the 1st Round, getting any type of pick back is an excellent shot at winning the lottery. Unless it’s a ticket to Fhloston Paradise as Bruise Willis’ date where you’ll get shot up… That said, I am with you in not loving your selection (Myles Bell), but I have to admit that I don’t know much about him, so who knows. Like nearly all of these draftees, he’s a lottery ticket. Were you thinking about Corban Knight at all (the player that Wolfsburg traded up one spot to select)?

You clearly drafted for maximum offensive upside. Assuming that was your objective, you did well.

Grade: B-


Team: Chilliwack Royals
GM: jsuites
GM style: Watch what Cam does, and do it. Watch what Jay does, and don’t do it.

2013 Draft Picks (5): 1.02, 1.08, 4.13, 4.18, 5.03
2014 Draft Picks (5): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

1.02 Jonathan Drouin, LW
1.08 John Gibson, G
4.13 William Carrier, LW
4.18 Mirco Mueller, D
5.03 Jon Gillies, G

Favorite Draft Pick: Gotta be Jonathan Drouin, although Gillies at 5.03 might look pretty good in a few years.

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Mirco Mueller. Although he’s a high NHL draft pick, I don’t have high hopes for his fantasy value.

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: I had my eye on Emile Poirier in Round 4 but he went 6 picks ahead of me. I took Carrier instead.

# of Trades you made: 2

Nicolas Kerdiles, LW (farm) + 1.03
to Kamloops for
1.02 + 3.02

Nikita Kucherov (farm), 2.18 + 3.02
to Hamilton for

Most Memorable Trade: Probably moving up from 1.03 to 1.02. I really wanted one of MacKinnon or Drouin, and I knew there were other offers out there for the 1.02 pick.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: In retrospect, I gave up a lot for 1.08 (where I drafted John Gibson). I gave up Nikita Kucherov + two picks -- which turned into Shea Theodore and J.T. Compher. Is that package too much for the top goalie prospect in the draft? Not if Gibson pans out…so let’s revisit this in six to eight years. I imagine I might get panned by some for taking Gibson at 1.08 when Monahan was still available, but I am stacked at C and since I wasn’t picking again until 4.13 I knew there was no way Gibson would be there.

GM objectives: Secure at least one top goalie prospect, but hopefully two. Try not to draft centers. Grit over skill in later rounds.

GM win window: No idea really, but with Drouin, Huberdeau coming up and OEL, Edler, Kesler and Parise all locked up though 2015-16, maybe I’ll have a little peak in the 2015-16 season. My goaltending is still a huge question mark though.

GM lesson learned: I’m used to 10 or 12 team leagues, so I think I’m guilty of undervaluing later-round picks in the UDL.

GM comments: I walked away with the top LW and G in the draft. Whammy. Demerits for giving up a bit too much for the 1.08 pick and for drafting Mueller when I wasn’t targeting him.

GM Self-Grade: B-

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

Forget your wallet, better check to see if your first-born child is missing after that Gibson exchange!

Trading with Cam is like buying cocaine from a Ukrainian meth lab boss. You go into the transaction on a false high just to leave with a limp and a bloody stab wound. You’re only option is driving straight to McDonalds and asking for ketchup so you can go home explaining to your wife "No I didn’t just get shanked on a drug deal, I was trading with Cam and got some ketchup on my shirt!"

Acquiring the #1 rated players at TWO positions: Drouin, LW and Gibson, G was very well done, but the price paid for the 1.08 pick was excessive.

As much as I like Gibson, and I do, goaltending prospects are notoriously fickle. Even the best of the best carry excessive projection risk when compared to skaters. And Gibson has a checkered injury history to boot.

Even for those who didn’t love the Compher pick, there were lots of other excellent prospects still available there in that slot: Trocheck, Zadorov, and Gaudreau to name a few.

In a deep league like this quantity matters -- esp. when it is of the high-quality variety.

Not trying to beat a dead horse (kicks it one more time) but when making a big splash, try to land in the pool. Many times goalies are only as good as the team in front of them (and that team’s playing style). Keep this in mind when dealing with goalie prospects. He may have been a number 1 ranked goalie, but where will he be in 2-5 years? On an offensive minded team that allows a lot of goals? On a team who already has a bona fide starter? The AHL? Or worse…. PHILLY?!

Grade: C


Team: Detroit Vipers
GM: Sheldon Dueck
GM Style: Win Now (like Glen Sather)

2013 Draft picks (5): 3.10, 4.06, 5.01, 5.09, 5.10
2014 Draft Picks (5): 2, 3, 3 (Grizz), 4, 5

3.10 Colin Smith, C
4.06 Spencer Martin, G
5.01 Matej Stransky, RW
5.09 Brendan Leipsic, LW
5.10 Seth Griffith, C

Favorite Draft Pick: Colin Smith

Least Favorite Draft Pick: None, I was happy with them all

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: If I had been a bit more into the draft, I might have noticed these players, but I basically ranked all players, and only looked at those rankings again once it was close to my pick, so I actually didn’t really see any players snagged just ahead of me at the last minute. That being said, I was surprised at how late players on my list were selected. That’s probably because of my ignorance.

# of Trades: 2

to Wolfsburg Grizzly for
5.01 + 3rd Round pick in 2014

1st Round pick in 2014
to Quebec for
Brandon Sutter
($2.50M, 3 years) + 4.06

Most Memorable Trade: n/a

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: Some trades I rejected will probably haunt me this season.

GM objectives: All five of my picks were in the second half of the draft, so my goal was to make serviceable picks, and hope they turn out in the future.

GM win window: Win now

GM lesson learned: I should probably try to acquire more draft picks higher than the 3rd round.

GM comments: The farm will hopefully produce at least one or two regulars this season. My goal is that I am able to take at least one or two from there each season.

GM Self-Grade: D. I wasn’t active enough in trades or drafting.

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

It is almost impossible to have an excellent draft without your 1st and 2nd round picks. I see that you have noted this in the "lesson learned" section which is good. Hopefully you at least made a deep, deep run for the Cup last season. Going forward make more of an effort to retain your top picks. You may emulate Glen Sather, but you don’t have his vast financial resources to compensate for trading away the future core of your team which, in this league, typically means your 1st and 2nd round picks.

When you did start making selections, you did well. I like Stransky and Leipsic, esp. given that they were 5th Round picks. Is part of your "Sather strategy" confidence in your ability to uncover "hidden gems" late in a draft?

I like that you waited until the 4th to take one of the top G prospects. There wasn’t as much elite talent in this year’s G crop as there was an abundance of "good" tenders, so kudos on that.

On your trades, acquiring Sutter looks like a deft move. The Penguins will lose 4 players from their Top 9 -- Iginla, Morrow, Kennedy and Cooke -- so Sutter will be relied upon a good deal more this season. He’s young and has scored 20+ before, so on the high-flying Penguins, 25 goals is quite possible. Getting a 4th Round pick in a deep draft is also a plus, and he is signed long-term on an affordable contract, yet it is still hard to see you part with your 1st Round pick.

I like your draft pick trade. Dealing 3.13 for next year’s 3rd Round pick + also getting 5.01 in this year’s deep class is a clear winner for you--esp. if you are as confident as you seem to be in your late-drafting acumen. I like the Griffith pick with that 5.01, he’s a good candidate to have as a longshot 5th round pick, and he was drafted by an organization that knows what it’s doing.

Grade: C+

Team: Dubai Mighty Camels
GM: Clinton Pope
GM Style: Loosey Goosey/Risk-taker

2013 Draft Picks (4): 1.11, 3.03, 3.11, 5.11
2014 Draft Picks (7): 1, 1 (SPARTA), 2, 3, 4, 4 (Tigers), 5

1.11 - Darnell Nurse, D
3.03 - Eric Hartzell, G
3.11 - Patrick Maroon, LW
5.11 - Andrej Sustr, D

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but got snagged just ahead of you?: Joacim Eriksson at 2.19, just 4 picks before me. Since I already own Eddie Lack, I was looking for the one-two punch in goal to solitify a backup position.

# of Trades: 4

Luke Schenn ($4.50M, 2 years)
to San Deigo for
Henrik Sedin ($4.90M, 2 years) -- for the increase in points

to Hamilton for
4th Round pick in 2014

Drew Stafford, RW ($3.50M, 1 year)
to Montreal for Braydon Coburn, D ($1.50M, 2 years)

Roberto Luongo ($5.10M, 2 years)
to Sparta for
Alex Goligoski
($4.10M, 2 years) + 1st Round pick in 2014 -- shedding some salary.

Trade about which you have the most doubt: I have no doubts about the trades I made.

GM Objective: Become cap compliant and dominate the rest of the league

GM Win Window: Win Now!

GM Lesson Learned: Picks are more valuable here then a standard keeper league

GM Self Grade: C+

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

Darnell Nurse may turn out to be an absolute gem. I love his all-around multi-cat potential. Some question his scoring upside, but this kid is just now taking off offensively.

The rest of the picks, however, look like reaches.

Try to avoid the temptation, if you should miss out on a player like Eriksson, of reaching for another player at the exact same position. Instead, switch back to BPA. Especially when a position gets thin, and G always seems to be thin, stay focused on BPA.

Doc, get the Flux Capacitor ready! The past is the future as Luongo is again the clear #1 on a strong Vancouver team that has him signed for a light year. In a 20-team league, Lu is worth his weight in gold and the experts at Cash for Gold (Sparta Warriors) came a knock’n. This is an unfinished trade that will depend on where and who you select with that 1st Round pick in 2014. 1st Round picks are very valuable, but in this instance, a true #1 netminder like Luongo has more value.

With the Sedin trade you added $500k to payroll and lost a major multi-cat contributor in Schenn. Sedin seems to be on the slow fade. Perhaps a new head coach will revitalize him. Since the new HC is Torts, perhaps not. Pure value wise, I prefer the Schenn side of this one. But you clearly made this trade for points.

Lastly, in a deep draft you did not receive good value for your 4.10 pick. There should always be a premium on picks in the current draft vs. a future year. That goes double when the current draft is one of the best and deepest in NHL history. Most trades are difficult to evaluate definitively. This is not one of them. Get thee to a McDonald’s post-haste!

Grade: D


Team: Hamilton Tigers
GM: Cam Collingwood
GM Style (describe your GM style with a word or phrase): Patient builder

2013 Draft Picks (3): 2.18, 4.10, 5.08
2014 Draft Picks (6): 1, 2, 3, 4 (UCP), 5, 5 (UCP)

2.18 Shea Theodore
4.10 Oliver Bjorkstrand
5.08 Damon Severson

Favorite Draft Pick: Shea Theodore

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Oliver Bjorkstrand

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: Alex Killorn

# of Trades you made: 4

to Chilliwack for
Nikita Kucherov, RW (farm), 2.18 + 3.02

to Montreal for
Cody Eakin
, C (farm) + 4.17

4th Round pick in 2014
to DMC for

to UCP for
4th Round pick in 2014 + 5th Round pick in 2014

Most Memorable Trade: Getting Nikita Kucherov

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: Whether Cody Eakin will play

GM objectives: Building through draft

GM win window: Building a team to be a perennial contender starting next season -- in 2014-15

GM lesson learned: GMs overvalue draft picks for the upcoming draft & overvalued 2013 draft eligible players when selecting

GM comments: I’m happy

GM Self-Grade: B

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

The reigning champion traded away a lot of his draft picks during his Cup run last season, and yet somehow managed to turn one pick into an entire, high-quality draft class:

* Nikita Kucherov and Shea Theodore are offensive dynamos,
* Cody Eakin is a multicat contributor, and

* Two (2) draft picks were banked for next season.

That’s just sick.

I have zero concerns about "whether Eakin will play." In just his second season, he scored at a 40+ point pace and he did so while playing primarily on the 3rd and 4th lines. He played a high intensity brand of hockey and rarely took a shift off. Eakin also made solid contributions in the PIM, Hits and Blocks cats. In his third season, look for another step forward from the feisty ginger.

Acquiring Eakin plus a 4th Round pick for a 3rd Round pick was an absolute steal.

To put it another way, if Eakin were available in this particular prospect draft, he would have lasted no later than the middle of the 2nd round.

All three of your draft picks are excellent risk-reward selections. I’m not a real big of fan of Theodore. He has the sheen of a pick that won’t pan out, but taking him that late in the 2nd round makes excellent sense given his upside.

Overall, an B+ for your draft and A+++ for your trades. Your two big trades were simply magnificent, and getting a 4th Round pick in this year’s loaded draft for the low price of a 4th Round pick in next year’s draft was also money.

Grade: A

Team: Hannover Turtles
GM: Elliot
GM Style: Conservative. I won't make a deal just for the sake of making a deal.

2013 Draft Picks (4): 1.16, 2.05, 3.16, 4.05
2014 Draft Picks (5): 1, 2, 3, 3 (Gulls), 5

1.16 - Joshua Morrissey, D
2.05 - Jason Zucker, LW
3.16 - Zachary Fucale, G
4.05 - Emile Poirier, LW

Favorite Draft Pick: Jason Zucker

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Emile Poirier

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: Torey Krug. I debated taking him at 3.16, but decided to make sure I got the goalie prospect I wanted since I didn't have any yet.

# of Trades: 1

5.16 + 4th Round pick in 2014
to Quebec for
3rd Round pick in 2014

Most Memorable Trade: n/a

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: n/a

GM objectives: Improve farm system to have pieces to trade

GM win window: Within the next couple of seasons

GM lesson learned: n/a

GM comments: I could be more proactive. I am still learning to balance a (relatively new) job and this fantasy league. Living in a different time zone doesn't help.

GM Self-Grade: C

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

I like your pick of Josh Morrissey a great deal. He’s arguably the #1 offensive defenseman in this draft class after Seth Jones (although Ryan Pulock and one or two others may beg to differ, I’m going with Morrissey), and you selected him at precisely the optimal time in the draft.

Jason Zucker is close to contributing and that is always a plus, but I am less enamored with his upside than some.

As those who have read from the top down will know by now, I don’t like taking goaltending prospects too early in a draft because their projection risk is so darn high. That said, snagging the consensus #1 G prospect LATE in the 3rd round was nifty.

Trading up from a 4th to a 3rd will be a nice boost for the Turtles next year at the draft table. Especially if you didn’t love any of the players available at the very bottom of this draft.

Overall, very well done by Hannover. To move into the elite echelon, however, as you noted above, you will need to become more active.

Grade: B+


Team: Kamloops Blazers
GM: Greg
GM Style: Strategic Risk Taker

2013 Draft Picks (6): 1.03, 2.10, 2.19, 4.08, 4.19, 5.02
2014 Draft Picks (5): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1.03 Seth Jones
2.10 Miikka Salomaki
2.19 Joacim Eriksson
4.08 Nick Cousins
4.19 Rob Klinkhammer
5.02 Anthony Stolarz

Favorite Draft Pick: Seth Jones because that’s who i wanted all along in a top slot. Nick Cousins for where I obtained him.

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Salomaki, I still love his multi-cat potential from what I’ve read, but it seems I may have reached for him in retrospect.

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you:
Boone Jenner, more projectable and closer to the NHL than Nick Cousins.

# of Trades: 2

1.02 + 3.02
to Chiliwack for
1.03 + Nic Kerdiles (farm)

Niklas Kronwall ($4.90M, 2 years)
to San Diego for
2.10 + 4.08

Most Memorable Trade: Kronwall, I suppose.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: The Kronwall trade. Kronwall brought very good offensive production to my D-corps. I’m hoping Jones and a few others can make up the slack, but I could be being too optimistic about that.

GM objectives: Shed D-corps payroll, find another goalie, and add a productive LW or C

GM win window: I was unlucky last year, running into Cam during the wrong week in the Quarterfinals. I would have beaten anyone else in that round and won the next two rounds against any other team. I view my window as now, but my team isnt bereft of a future.

GM lesson learned: I learned what people are willing to pay for certain things, and I can apply this next year and not take so much time feeling out the market.

GM comments: I had a lot of offers on the table for the 1.02 pick, but many of them included taking on other payroll obligations. I really wanted to shed payroll and have the freedom to add either to my G or LW/C positions.

Aside from Kronwall, I did not lose a major contributor from my team this off-season and I have about $7M in cap space to augment my lineup via trade or free agency. I’m loaded with prospects, not many blue chippers, but several very solid and diverse prospects which should help me obtain something in the trade market.

GM Self-Grade: B.

My trades were fair, but the work there is incomplete. I like my draft results aside from Salomaki. He was on my target list, but I overrated him.

Jones was my main target and I acquired him while adding Kerdiles who is a LW prospect closer to the NHL than most anyone I could have selected with the 3.02 pick. I see Cousins as a sleeper, Klinkhammer as a free replacement for Tanner Glass on the LW. Eriksson could be the next Fasth from Europe, or Gustavsson. With the way Euro goalies were flying off the board, I feel good getting him where I did.

Just want to thank Dio and Lampshade for all the work they put into a feature like this. I always love reading these sort of things and I don’t want my appreciation for it to go unsaid.

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

Nice move to trade back and still land your top target in Seth Jones! Jones is an absolute multi-cat beast. 3.02 seems like fair value for Kerdiles. To move back though it seems like perhaps you could have gotten a bit more there.

Your return on a bona fide starter like Kronwall was suboptimal. It looks like a salary dump, although it sounds like you have plenty of cap space. Kronwall, while not a huge point-scorer, is productive in a wide array of categories and could have returned more than those two picks (which became Salomaki and Cousins)--esp. for a team that expects to contend this season.

After Jones, there are question marks with your draftees. Eriksson has his work cut out for him in Vancouver. We know Lu isn’t going anywhere until his contract expires at age 58, and Eddie Lack has the inside track on the backup role.

Grade: D


Team: Kansas City Scouts
GM: Andrew Black
GM Style: Conservative

2013 Draft Picks (6): 1.17, 2.04, 2.06, 3.17, 4.04, 5.17
2014 Draft Picks (6): 1, 2, 2 (SPARTA), 3, 4, 5

1.17 - Anthony Mantha, LW
2.04 - Curtis Lazar, C
2.06 - Calvin Pickard, G
3.17 - Torey Krug, D
4.04 - Michael Sgarbossa, C/W
5.17 - Taylor Beck, LW

Favorite Draft Pick: Torey Krug

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Calvin Pickard

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: I wanted one of John Gibson, Nicklas Svedberg, or Frederik Andersen but they all went by the start of Round 2, which lead to me taking Pickard, perhaps too early

# of Trades: 3

Adam Henrique ($4.40M, 1 year)
to Upper Canada for
Martin Brodeur
($4.30M, 1 year)

Chris Neil ($3.00M, 1 year)
to Quebec for
Brian Boyle
($2.00M, 2 years) + 3.15

3.15 + 4.12
to Sparta for
2nd Round pick in 2014

Most Memorable Trade
: I was very pleased at the time to get rid of Henrique’s contract for a number one goalie (Brodeur). Then Schneider got traded to NJ

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: See above – remains to be seen how the time between Brodeur and Schneider is split

GM objectives: Improve goalies + forward pipeline

GM win window: 1-2 years away, I imagine

GM lesson learned: Take your guy before someone else does

GM comments: I am very much looking forward to some of the prospects I’ve drafted making a contribution in the next few seasons! Looking forward to this season to see how good everyone’s moves really were. I was very happy with my draft this year…definite improvement over last year. The prep work really paid off.

GM Self-Grade: B+

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

You ought to consider patenting your prep work formula! I really like your draft class. They all seem like solid picks for where they were taken with no reaches except perhaps Pickard. You also made some good trades. The only one I didn’t love was giving up a 3rd and a 4th THIS year for a 2nd next year. This class was deep. But that’s a small nit.

You got the shaft with Jersey’s bad luck. Nabbing a number 1 goalie only to see his team’s star forward bolt to Russia and his GM trade for another goalie hurts. That was obviously out of your control though.

Overall, very well done.

Grade: A-


Team: Las Vegas Ice Dice
GM: Mark Harding
GM Style: Strategic Risk-Taker

2013 Draft Picks (4): 1.06, 4.11, 5.06, 5.12
2014 Draft Picks (9): 1, 2, 3, 3 (Quebec), 4, 4 (Grizz), 5, 5 (Grizz), 5 (SPARTA)

1.06 - Elias Lindholm, C
4.11 - Robert Hagg, D
5.06 - Connor Hellebuyck, G
5.12 - Tim Bozon, LW

Favorite Draft Pick: Elias Lindholm

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Tim Bozon

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: Dmitrij Jaskin

# of Trades: 5

to Wolfsburg for
1.06 + 3.06

to Quebec for
4.11 + a 3rd Round pick in 2014

to Sparta for
Mark Visentin
(Farm) + 5.12 + 5th Round pick in 2014

to Wolfsburg for
4th Round pick in 2014 + 5th Round pick in 2014

Patrik Berglund ($2.00M, 1 year) + Brandon Pirri (Farm)
to Montreal for
Patrick Sharp
(5.50M, 2 years)

Most Memorable Trade: The Patrick Sharp deal

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: The Visentin trade

GM objectives: More goalies!

GM win window: Win now/next year (very much depends on UFA goalies though)

GM lesson learned: Plenty of good goalie prospects available, even in the 5th round. Also, people keep taking the players I want right before my pick – Jaskin, Gillies, Leipsic. Maybe I should start moving each pick up a couple spots…

GM comments: I didn’t have a lot of space on my farm roster, so I picked up a few picks for next year, which I can use to help fill remaining holes on my roster after the UFA auction or at the trade deadline this season. With Seguin moving from RW to C, I shipped out a couple of promising Cs in exchange for Patrick Sharp as I was looking to solidify my RW position.

GM Self-Grade: B+

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

I’m glad you said you didn’t have much space on your farm roster because I would be wondering why you had only 4 picks in this bonanza of a draft. In that light, your trades to shift to next year’s draft makes sense and you seem to have gotten good value there.

Agree with you that Visentin is still a question mark. He’s a goalie prospect. They are ALL question marks! But I think he’s a good get in exchange for the 2.17 pick -- especially since you also acquired two 5th rounders in the deal. I also liked your draft pick deals with Quebec and Wolfsburg.

Your draft class, while small, is a good one. From now until eternity you will be comparing Lindholm to Barkov and Nichuskin. That’s a pretty big gamble on your part. Outside of the #1 pick though it seems that few drafts are predictable. What may look like discrete jumps in value on draft day get turned upside and sideways after we have a few years of performance to evaluate. That said, it was still quite the gamble.

Lastly, I love the Sharp trade! You’ve got a 30+ goal scorer for an underachiever (who is an UFA after this season) and an undersized prospect. I like Pirri, but he could have a difficult transition to the NHL and he’ll definitely have in house competition in Chicago. Chicago’s top 6 aren’t getting old any time soon.

Grade: A-


Team: Linkopings Hockey Club
GM: Brad Allen
GM Style: Xenomorph. An active alien bioweapon that destroys anything in it's path by doing huge trades, while simultaneously procreating through prospects, and destroying the human race by winning ever single year.

2013 Draft Picks (6): 1.12, 1.15, 2.01, 2.09, 3.12, 4.09
2014 Draft Picks (5): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1.12 - Ryan Pulock, D
1.15 - Andre Burakovsky, LW
2.01 - Frederik Andersen, G
2.09 - Boone Jenner, C
3.12 - Artturi Lehkonen, LW
4.09 - Zach Redmond, D

Favorite Draft Pick: Ryan Pulock. He was exactly what my team needed.

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Andre Burakovsky. High risk factor, could haunt me.

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: Bo Horvat

# of Trades: 2

Tim Thomas, G ($2.00M, 1 year) + Jhonas Enroth, G ($2.00M, 1 year)
to San Deigo for
Tyler Johnson
, C (farm) + 3.12

Devante Smith-Pelly, RW ($1.00M, 1 year)
to Upper Canada for

Most Memorable Trade: The Devante Smith-Pelly deal. I didn't expect my opposite to give up so much value for a player who had only one year on his contract remaining.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: The Thomas-Enroth deal. Enroth showed tremendous improvement and might split 1A duties as soon as next year, and Thomas could become a stud again and make me look autistic this year.

GM objectives: Add a PIM/Sniper, another top end prospect who's NHL ready, Add another top end goalie prospect. Shed some salary cap.

GM win window: Win now, while building for the future, I have no intention of having to re-build.

GM lesson learned: I learned about each GM's trading and drafting tendencies which I wasn't able to fully apply this year since this was the first year we had this league.

GM comments: I was extremely satisfied with my first year in this pool. I managed to finish first overall in points, first in my division and third in playoffs. I hope to build off of this success for next year.

GM Self-Grade: B+.
I was aiming to grab a scoring D-man prospect, which ended up being the best one available in Ryan Pulock. I also wanted to add a top end goalie prospect who is approaching NHL ready which I also managed to accomplish in Frederick Anderson. I felt like I stole Boone Jenner at the 2.08 spot, and added top end potential snipers in Andre Burakovsky and Artturi Lehkonen. Zach Redmond was a gamble, but I was impressed with his brief stint last year.

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

I don’t know about alien bioweapons, but you unleashed a fury with your draft picks. Extremely well-done. If I were to nitpick a bit I’d say that maybe you reached for Andersen that high, but I do like the lanky Dane. Burakovsky and Lehkonen both have above average projection risk, but both also have very high offensive ceilings. Pulock and Jenner are both excellent picks. Redmond is a good, safe pick to put a bow on a terrific draft for Linkopings HC.

On your trades, wow do I ever love the goalie deal!

Thomas will be 40 before this season is over, hasn’t played hockey in over a year, and is currently un-signed. And you got something for him? High five! This move means the Ukrainian meth lab boss may have some competition! MOB WAAAARRR!!!!! I wouldn’t be surprised if Thomas heads back to Europe--where he has previously enjoyed success--as no NHL teams seem in need of a "starter." It’s also possible that he’s just done playing hockey.

Enroth played well last season, but Miller is still the #1 and until that changes, he’s not going to get more than 20 starts. He’s only signed for 1 year, so his longer term potential is not under consideration.

In return, you received a very good prospect in Johnson + a pretty high pick in a loaded draft. Yes, please.

That said, acquiring the 21st overall pick in this year’s draft for the bargain basement price of 1-year of Devante Smith-Pelly is filthy times fifty.

Grade: A+


Team: Macon Whoopee
GM: Kyle LeSouder
GM Style: Strategic Risk-Taker for sure

2013 Draft Picks (4): 2.07, 3.09, 3.14, 4.07
2014 Draft Picks (5): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

2.07 - Alexander Wennberg, C
3.09 - Ryan Hartman, RW
3.14 - Alex Killorn, LW
4.07 - Frank Corrado, D

Favorite Draft Pick: Ryan Hartman

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Alex Wennberg

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you:

If this means a 1st round pick my choice is Bo Horvat.
Otherwise, Johnny Gaudreau is my golden boy, and I was heartbroken when he got drafted just after I took Killorn. I had hoped he would slide to my 4th round pick.

# of Trades you made: 0

GM objectives: I definitely see myself as a contender this year and for the next couple years, barring injuries. I have some holes to fill this summer but I have a decent amount of cap space to work with so I should be able to acquire some quality players at the UFA auction.

GM win window: Win now!

GM lesson learned: There was more of a focus early on NHL-ready, or players close to being ready, than I expected. I figured the recent draftees would be on everyone’s mind so I missed the boat on a couple players I wasn’t expecting to see get drafted so early.

GM comments: I think my team is pretty well-rounded and I am quite happy with the salary ranges and contract length for pretty much all of my players. Goaltending could be shored up. An injury to Rinne and my season is over, but I’m not the type that is willing to overpay and quality goalies always demand a premium. So, I might have to cross my fingers and try to address this need through the free agent auction or by waiting for someone to hit rock bottom.

GM Self-Grade: B.
I’d give myself a B for the season. I think I had a very strong inaugural draft as I made very few roster moves and still managed a respectable season. I probably could have been more proactive in trying to upgrade when my competitors were doing so, but the abbreviated season and getting a feel for the league had me wary of making any big impact moves.

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

Good value on Wennberg and Hartman. Since you seem to like Gaudreau so much, I would have liked to have seen you take him with your 3rd rounder. Frankly, I was surprised he lasted that long, so hoping he’d fall clear down to the 4th round seems like a very low percentage play. That said, Killorn is a nice player who will contribute right off the hop.

No trades, and you’re a strategic risk taker?! I’ll take that as meaning that there weren’t any strategic risks to take. Overall, good job.

Grade: B


Team: Montreal Wanderers
GM: Tim Weltzer

GM Style: SLOW & STEADY. To ensure the team is well equipped for the future. Don’t want to sell too low on players.

2013 Draft Picks (4): 1.19, 3.02, 3.19, 5.19
2014 Draft Picks (4): 1, 3, 4, 5

1.19 - Adam Erne, LW/RW
3.02 - JT Compher, LW
3.19 - Tristan Jarry, G
5.19 - Chris Bigras, D

Favorite Draft Pick: JT Compher. I feel he will be a 30 goal scorer in the NHL

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Tristan Jarry. Because goalies take too long to "groom"

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: Zach Fucale

# of Trades: 3

Cody Eakin (farm) + 4.17
to Hamilton for

2.02 + 2nd Round pick in 2014
to Quebec for
Jonas Hiller
($4.90M, 2 years) + 4.17

Patrick Sharp ($5.50M, 3 years)
to Las Vegas for
Patrick Berglund ($2.00M, 1 year) + Brandon Pirri (farm)

Drew Stafford, RW ($3.50M, 1 year)
to Dubai for
Braydon Coburn, D ($1.50M, 2 years)

Most Memorable Trade: The Hiller deal.
Because the team I traded subsequently had his #1 goalie traded to the Devils.
Plus, I get a quality 2nd goalie to pair with Lundqvist.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: The Sharp deal.
Losing Patrick Sharp proves that I am rebuilding for the future and to obtain a prospect who is young and has little experience plus a player who has yet to solidify himself as a strong player is risky. The only good thing about this trade for me is I am shedding $3M in cap and potential of picking up a quality farm player.

GM objectives: Draft 1 goalie prospect. Draft 1 puck moving defenseman. Draft best forward available with remaining picks

GM win window: 2+ year rebuild project.

GM lesson learned: Trade multiple draft picks if you want to move up or trade high draft picks if looking to fill roster spots. I did not think so many draft picks would get traded.

GM comments: The offseason did not go as planned. I thought I would get buyers for Datsyuk. I was hoping to trade some older offensive players to get younger talent and picks. I will be banking on Grigorenko, Pirri, Reinhart, Spooner, Panik and Silfverberg taking a big step forward this season to make me competitive.

GM Self-Grade: B-
With the picks I had, I thought I made quality selections. Trading for Hiller makes my goaltending stronger. My goaltending is solidified and will still be around when my skaters start to become decent.

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

Solid drafting. No reaches. No great bargains.

Loved your Hiller trade. In a 20-team league, the combination of King Henrik and Hilly could make the Wanderers the King of the Hill in the goaltender categories. You got a good price on Hiller. It cost you two 2nd Round picks, but you were able to shift one of the picks into 2014, while also adding another pick in this year’s very deep draft (a 4th Round pick). I gotta ask Dio what was thinking on that one. Damn.

That said, I’m not a big fan of your other trades. I realize that moving Sharp was about clearing cap space, but you didn’t get a great return. Berglund has limited upside, especially in The ‘Cock’s system, and in any event, he is only signed for 1 year. Pirri is a nifty prospect, however, he has his work cut out for him -- both in bulking up and in beating out significant competition in Chi-town for the 2C role.

Eakin may be a better prospect than Pirri and you traded him away for a song. That’s a real head-scratcher.

Then, after moving Sharp’s contract and clearing $3.50M in space, you used most of that space to add the unreliable Stafford. Not saying it cannot work. Just that the logic isn’t obvious to me.

I thought your draft picks were all very good. I found myself thinking that there may have been one or two other players I would have selected there, but that there were all close in value and just a matter of personal preference.

Overall, pretty good on the draft and mixed on the trades.

Grade: C


Team: Odessa Jackalopes
GM: Max Randall
GM Style: Long Range Strategist.

I guess you might say slow and steady is my style, I won't though. I think it's more... I guess the Devil you know strategy, sadly my Devil, he is no more.

This is my first foray into either Dynasty or H2H and fantasy hockey at all since prior to the previous
lockout, so I realize I have much to learn, I won't do something just to be doing
something. Unless you have an endgame, it is counter-productive.

For now I'll put people I know and trust in place (not looking at you Heater) and enjoy the ride. As I
become more familiar with more and more players I'm sure my style will develop and
change, however, at this moment with only a couple of exceptions I love my roster.

2013 Draft Picks (6): 1.05, 2.16, 3.05, 4.16, 5.04, 5.05
2014 Draft Picks (5): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1.05 Valeri Nichushkin, LW/RW
2.16 Dmitrij Jaskin, LW/RW
3.05 Vincent Trocheck, C
4.16 Philipp Grubauer, G
5.04 Danny DeKeyser, D
5.05 Xavier Ouellet, D

Favorite Draft Pick: Valeri Nichushkin. The most physically gifted talent in the draft, however I am thrilled with every one of the selections I made.

Least Favorite Draft Pick: 5 of the 6 selections I made were projected, by me of course, to be selected by the middle of the 2nd round. I asked Cam and received confirmation that Dmitrij Jaskin would have been on his radar in the latter part of the 1st. In Jaskin I felt I picked up a 1st round talent that was very close to being an NHL player. He's a big body with skill and a mean streak, his game really took off on the North American ice (99 point in 51 games) which earned him an ELC and a 2 game injury call up last season.

Cam wasn't as sure about Vincent Trocheck citing, his small size (5'10" or11" 185-
190lb depending on source) depth of the Panther organization, (bodes well for receiving
some attention outside the organization then) and age (a fourth year Jr player , he was
in his final year of Juniors, and so he was doing what he was supposed to do to lesser
competition. Where I differ in this is that when he played with and against his actual peers, the
games of the WJC I feel are invaluable for getting a look at how players play alongside
and against other players in their age range and development curve. They are the bar
which I use to separate one player from another. Trocheck was extremely noticeable
and effective as was Jaskin. At the time Cam mentioned Boone Jenner as a late 1st round target and I thought that was odd, because Boone has had a less impressive career than Trocheck, while I do
realize Jenner has at least as much potential I don't feel he is as skilled offensively, the
only conclusion I could make was Cam hates Americans. I guess his size would be the deciding factor, although I want the player whose production increased every year, and while Jenner has a couple inches he doesn't really outweigh Vinny by much, they both play similar styles, and each have some grit and battle in them. In any case they played in the same league and it was Vinny that was
the scoring leader and Red Tilson award winner, not Jenner.

Philipp Grubauer I felt could go towards the top of the draft as he saw
some time in Washington last season and did a good job for a team that was
trying to find it's legs. Based on how close he is to being the backup to my
#1 tender I wanted to add him.

Dan DeKeyser is a solid defender with a lot of potential. Big plus is a guaranteed
workload. I felt his guaranteed top four job at this time made him a must own, even
though there is no real consensus on his potential for offensive production, I feel he has
more than most prognosticate.

Xavier Ouellet was a player I targeted with my final selection back when I made the
trade for the pick. In his 3rd season in the Q was named Captain of The Armada, this all
around smooth skating defenseman has continued to improve each season.
Who was the one player (outside of the Top 6, of course) that you really
wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: none see above, the
only pick where I had to even think about it was Vincent Trocheck, Alex Killorn was still
on the board at that time, who I also had projected late 1st early 2nd so while I went
with the younger player that has the higher ceiling I was torn as to which fit my team
better. In the end I took the higher potential reward prospect.

# of Trades: 0

I made one last season, given the shortened and condensed season, the limited few upcoming free agents I had, the possible number of prospects I have ready to go I was able to use a strategy of wait and see, the way the players from my draft list fell to me, I was perfectly happy where I was.

GM objectives: Develop a solid core of young players to build around, Kovalchuk’s "retirement" has
thrown a bit of a monkey wrench in that, however it does free up a boatload of
spending money. Free agency just became far less free for the rest of the league.

GM win window: I expect to compete every season with the solid core I have. You may refer to me as the Kenny Holland of the FHS UDL if you like.

GM lesson learned: A draft without Cam picking ahead of you is easier. Does that count? I think any Red Wing prospect I target in future seasons may not make it to final round.

GM comments: I'm no scout and I become familiar with relatively few prospects. Since I'm not a
numbers guy, all of my players have to pass the eye test, be impressive to me in
person, or be well enough known enough to create a buzz that I investigate.
If I were to grade myself on the success of this draft. I didn't fulfill my most pressing
need with prospects, Free agency is where I will address that, I drafted talented players
same as I did last season, players that can and should make a positive impact on my
roster in the next 3 seasons. That was my mission.

GM Self-Grade: A+
Mission Accomplished.
I know some like more wheeling and dealing so in that regard (to borrow a line Dio once used to
describe my watch and wait approach) "there is nothing to see here," however I have in
my prospect pool some highly skilled and developing players that were not on the radar
a year ago when I drafted them or at least weren't as highly thought of by others. I
hope to improve on my prospect scouting and knowledge in the coming seasons as I
think that is where success in this league will lie.

Other than a lack of depth at the LW position, one which I am trying to address I love
the composition of the farm system. Well rounded with scoring acumen work ethic
skating ability and even a bit of nasty.

Add this year’s selections to my current farm and roster I think there is not only the
talent to win now but a long range recipe for success.

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

I like your draft class. You didn’t make any big mistakes and that’s key. Nichuskin at 1.05 is a wee bit of a risk, but one I would likely have taken had I been in your shoes. Jaskin was taken right about where I expected he would be. A solid pick, but not a steal. He’s had one good season so far. Trocheck and Grubauer were also taken right about where projected. Although, as you noted, there are questions with Trocheck, you have to be pleased that he was there for you in the early 3rd. He was a candidate to go earlier. As a Red Wings fan you know you got good value with your two 5th round blueliners.

Grade: B


Team: Québec Remparts
GM: Diomedes7
GM Style: Strategic risk-taker. Not even sure how exactly that applies, but it sounds cool, and I do take risks. I’m also a "Draft and Develop" type.

2013 Draft Picks (8): 1.09, 1.14, 2.02, 2.12, 2.20, 4.01, 4.02, 5.16
2014 Draft Picks (5): 1, 1 (DET), 2, 2 (MTL), 4 (Turtles)

1.09 - Sean Monahan, C
1.14 - Bo Horvat, C
2.02 - Brett Ritchie, RW
2.12 - Radko Gudas, D
2.20 - Morgan Klimchuk, LW
4.01 - Pavel Buchnevich, LW/RW
4.02 - Nikita Zadorov, D
5.16 - Laurent Brossoit, G

Favorite Draft Pick: Nikita Zadorov.
He’s a very good skater with more offensive upside than some think (no problem hitting 25-30 points) and projects as a Top Pairing D-men with excellent physicality (hits, blocks and PIMs). Although just 18 y.o., he is already massive: 6’5" and 228 lbs and proficient at throwing his weight around. TSN calls him "The Hardest Hitter" in the entire draft, and that’s a good way to get yerself drafted by the Remparts. Aside from Zadorov, like a lot of GMs I suppose, I was very happy with our draft.

I didn’t expect to have Monahan fall to us at 1.09. I actually figured I’d be taking Horvat there. Then Horvat slid to us at 1.14 and we were double-psyched. By the time that Brett Ritchie fell to us at 2.02 champagne corks were popping at Remparts HQ.

At 2.12, we nabbed Radko Gudas, aka "The Champ." I know some may think he would have been around longer, but I don’t. He averaged nearly 4 Hits/game and has a history of being a PIM monster. Admittedly those are easier categories to fill, however, "The Champ" has a chance to be an elite contributor in both categories -- while playing on a rookie deal for me this season. That combination proved irresistible.

We traded up to land Morgan Klimchuk at 2.20 -- and we really like his offensive prowess. He’s got great speed and a wicked shot. He played on a poor team and battled through it to find ways to score. We believe that bodes well for his future.

Buchnevich is a swing-for-the-fences pick. We had eight picks in the draft, so using a late one on a player that has 70-point potential was something we were thrilled to do. Corey Pronman had him ranked inside the Top 20 overall, so getting him at #61 was good for a round of Jaegermeister at HQ.

Last, but not least, we traded back in the 2014 draft to get one more very late pick in the 2013 draft and selected goaltender Laurent Brossoit. Brossoit has good size, an excellent glove, and has demonstrated a very positive development curve. He kept Jarry down as his back-up and could have an NHL opportunity quite soon. A lot of goalies were selected this year, and although we took the last goaltender in this year’s draft, we had Brossoit ranked higher than a goodly % of them.

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Morgan Klimchuk.
We love Klimchuk--and traded up to land him--but we overpaid.
Then, because we were short a pick, we had to overpay to get back in to the end of the draft.
This Klimchuk fucker better be good.

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: Laurent Dauphin. He went near the end of the 4th Round to Mike’s Brooklyn Aces. Dauphin had a real nice rookie season. He’s scrawny, but he’ll fill in and he’s got a great work ethic and attitude.

# of Trades: 12

3rd Round pick in 2014 + 4.11
to Las Vegas for

Max Talbot, RW ($600k, 1 year)
to Atlanta for
Zack Smith, C ($1.00M, 1 year) + 4.20

3.06 + 4.20
to Atlanta for

Louis Leblanc, RW ($1.00M, 1 year) + 4th Round pick in 2014
to San Deigo for
3rd Round pick in 2014

3rd Round pick in 2014
to Hannover for
4th Round pick in 2014 + 5.16

Brandon Sutter, C ($2.50M, 3 years) + 4.06
to Detroit for
1st Round pick in 2014

Cedrick Desjardins, G (farm)
to Upper Canada for

Andrej Sekera, D ($2.00M, 1 year)
to Detroit for

Brian Boyle, C ($2.00M, 2 years) + 3.15
to Kansas City for
Chris Neil, RW ($3.00M, 1 year)

Mark Giordano, D ($4.20M, 2 years), Alexander Khokhlachev (farm) + 5th Round pick in 2014
to Sparta for

Corey Perry
, RW ($8.50M, 3 years) + 4.02

Nik Antropov, RW/C ($2.00M, 1 year)
to Sheffield for

Jonas Hiller, G ($4.90M, 2014-15) + 4.16
to Montreal for
2.02 + 2nd Round pick in 2014

Most Memorable Trade: The Hiller trade, of course. It was the most memorable because I knew it was risky. And because a few days later our other "#1" goalie, Schneider, got traded to New Jersey where he is going to have to share the crease with Fat Marty. I take risks pretty freely. Sometimes they backfire. I hate Lou Lamareillo.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: Trading up to land Morgan Klimchuk.
How much wood would a Klimchuk chuck, if a Klimchuk could chuck wood?

As noted above, we love Klimchuk, but we gave up a 4th round pick to move up just 6 spots and he may have been there for the Remparts anyhow. Alternatively, the difference between who we would have selected instead if Klimchuk had been gone vs. Klimchuk himself likely wasn’t far enough apart in value to warrant giving up a 4th rounder. We wanted him badly, and paid for it.

GM objectives: First and foremost, we wanted to add as many high quality prospects as possible. Our prospect cupboard was pretty bare after having graduated Saad, Hamilton, Brodin, Fasth, and (hopefully) Toffoli, and then trading away KoKo.
Second, we wanted our team to get nastier. We lost PIMs and Hits too often last season.
Third, we wanted to add scoring forwards to our farm system. It was already quite strong between the pipes and on the blueline, but it needed an infusion of offense up front. Which is precisely what it got: 5 of our first 6 picks were used on forwards.

GM win window: Last year, we were an early and aggressive seller. We traded established players for picks and prospects in an effort to set things up better for the following season. This year, we hope to cash in on that and contend.

GM lesson learned: We were surprised by how hard it was to acquire a draft pick in the 2nd half of the draft. We couldn’t get into the 3rd or 4th rounds at all. And we were only able to add a pick very late in the 5th after becoming resigned to NOT landing one.

GM comments: I’m totally addicted to this league. There are so many variables. Every time I think I have things figured out, I figure out…I don’t.

GM Self-Grade: B+.
An A for drafting; B for trading.

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

All of your picks were solid value, including the two first rounders. Brossoit is a great 5th rounder. He has size and athleticism. If he can strengthen himself mentally he’s got a shot at making the big leagues. Buchnevich’s skills are there, but his size is not. But that’ why he’s a mid round pick instead of an early round pick. If he can beef up, and play with the big boys, he can cause some fantasy ruckus. Love Zadorov at 4.02. An awesome scenario would be seeing him pair up with a scoring defenseman and chipping away at some assists while he racks up the hits blocks and PIMs. With regards to Klimchuk, where you more interested in drafting him or "making the trade up"? Did you have him ranked as an early 2nd round pick and doubted he’d fall any further to your 3rd rounder a few picks later?

Your "Most Memorable Moment" is a heart breaker. It reminds me of my favorite poker quote: "You can’t control your cards, only your decisions". The Schneider trade and Kovi bolting to Russia were completely out of your control so I won’t hold it against your grade. You were shedding some cap space, acquiring picks, and banking on Schneider to be your guy. Hopefully he’ll do well in Jersey and you won’t have to look back on this as the day you let the cat out of the bag. You do have Viktor Fasth. Maybe he’ll continue getting a solid amount of starts.

I love the trade for Zach Smith, he’ll maintain his role in Ottawa. Silent victory there considering you squeaked a late draft pick.

Trading Sutter (3 years left at 2.5M) for a 1st rounder in 2014 is interesting. I can picture you praying that Detroit runs over a litter of kittens during a drunken rage on the way home from the whorehouse (…. See last year’s Trade Deadline Performance Review) so that he’s cursed and totally tanks the regular season. Wow, spell check just informed me that "whorehouse" is indeed one word! Learn something new everyday.

I noticed that you shed some cap with a few trades (some mentioned above) in order to make room for Perry. You got a sure thing multi cat scorer with a big contract. That’s certainly better than NOT having a sure thing multi cat scorer and having a little cap space.

I love the GM comment you made, reminds me of poker yet again. "Every time I think I have things (this league) figured out, I figure out that… I don’t". That, my friends, is variance. Which brings me to another good poker quote. "You can’t control variance, you can only minimize it by making good decisions."

Overall you did very well, solid value draft and good trading.

Grade: A


Team: San Diego Gulls
GM: Jay
GM Style: Burn and Rebuild

2013 Draft Picks (4): 1.10, 1.13, 2.08, 5.13
2014 Draft Picks (5): 1, 2, 4, 4 (Quebec), 5

1.10 Max Domi, C
1.13 Kerby Rychel, LW
2.08 Antoine Roussel, LW
5.13 Eric Comrie, G

Favorite Draft Pick: Happy with all

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Antoine Roussel

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: Boone Jenner. A mix up on my part cost me Jenner. I ended up with Roussel.

# of Trades: 8

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C ($7.40M, 3 years)
to Upper Canada for
Ryan Getzlaf
, C ($6.00M, 1 year)

Adam Larsson ($3.00M, 3 years)
to Upper Canada for

Jason Chimera ($2.50M, 1 year) + 5th Round pick
to Sparta for
Shane Doan
, RW ($4.30M, 1 year)

2.10 + 4.08
to Kamloops for
Niklas Kronwall
($4.90M, 2 years)

Henrik Sedin ($4.90M, 2 years)
to Dubai for
Luke Schenn (4.50M, 2 years)

3rd Round pick in 2014
to Quebec for
Louis LeBlanc, RW ($1.00M, 1 year) + 4th Round pick in 2014

Tyler Johnson, C (farm) + 3.12
to Linkopings for
Jhonas Enroth ($2.00M, 1 year) + Tim Thomas ($2.00M, 1 year)

Dmitry Orlov, D ($1.25M, 2 years)
to Sparta for
Mark Giordano, D ($4.20M, 2 years)

Most Memorable Trade: Getting rid of RNH and his fat contract.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: Picked up Tim Thomas before FA Frenzy and now that he doesn’t have a team I’m looking at having four goalies on my team and no starters.

GM objectives: Get rid of bad contracts, pick up low cost producing players

GM win window: Shooting for playoffs this year with a win in the next year or two.

GM lesson learned: I don’t know if you would call it a lesson learned as I obviously haven’t learned it but… don’t rely on backup goalies.

GM comments: I think my team is 1,000% better than last year and if I can cobble together some decent goaltending I think I have a shot. I don’t have any bad/big contracts on my team which else gives me a lot of flexibility.

GM Self-Grade: B+

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

This team was a train wreck last year. You think that’s hyperbola? It sported a .143 winning percentage. In an "Each Category" scoring system, no less. Yeeouch!

Overall, this is an off-season of redemption for the Gulls GM for sure. You definitely met your objectives. Off-loading Larsson looks especially wily (aka "addition by subtraction") and you got a very nice price for a stalwart like Kronwall. Tim Thomas may be dead weight. But you probably understood that risk when you made the trade.

I’m not sure what your plan is with Getzlaf, but I would suggest shopping him for the trade deadline if this season doesn’t go as well as you’re hoping. Because he only has 1 year left on his deal, shopping him for a longer term asset would help with your goal of winning within your window. Even if you’re in the playoff hunt but you feel like you’re "Playoff fodder", I’d suggest shopping Getzy.

Finishing so low in the standings and only have 4 picks is a bit of a head scratcher. But

you drafted some good players. Domi is fair value at 1.10, and that’s hard to find sometimes in the middle of the 1st round. I like Rychel, but maybe not at 1.13. Roussel, at 2.08 may be the worst pick in the draft. The late pick of Comrie was very solid value. If he pans out that’ll be a silent victory for you!

Grade: B-


Team: Sheffield Steelers
GM: Alex
GM Style: Billy Beane

2013 Draft Picks (6): 1.18, 2.03, 3.04, 3.18, 3.20, 5.18
2014 Draft Picks (5): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1.18 - Niklas Svedberg, G
2.03 - Valentin Zykov, LW/RW
3.04 - Matt Irwin, D
3.18 - Brian Flynn, RW
3.20 - Steven Oleksy, D
5.18 - Michael McCarron, RW

Favorite Draft Pick: Michael McCarron. I love big powerful players, especially being able to pick him so late. Also it was the only pick I envisioned making before the draft began that actually materialized.

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Matt Irwin. Because I somehow missed that Torey Krug was still available.

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: I was hoping one of the 2nd tier offensive talents would fall to 1.18. By that I mean Shinkaruk, Domi or Mantha. Unfortunately, none fell. Mantha was tantalizingly close, but he went at 1.17 -- one pick ahead of me -- so I shifted gears and decided to go for goaltending instead.

# of Trades: 3

Duncan Keith, D ($4.60M, 3 years)
to Sparta for
Brad Stuart
, D ($1.00M, 2 years), Jack Campbell, G (farm) + 4.06

to Quebec for

Nik Antropov, RW/C ($2.00M, 1 year)

to Wolfsburg
for 3.04 and 3.20

Most Memorable Trade: The Keith trade. Both sides exchanged some really good assets.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: Well, pretty obviously it’s the Antropov one. I missed that he’s an UFA so now he’s still unemployed and I have him signed, haha

GM objectives: Get some more prospects that would be on NHL rosters this coming season to allow more flexibility, especially given the limited number of weekly transactions. Also develop similar depth (at least quantity-wise) at all positions.

GM win window: Looking at my team it doesn’t scream "Win now", but hey, Cam’s team doesn’t look all that impressive either and we were both in the final last season. So "Win now" it is again.

GM lesson learned: When preparing for the draft I split the prospects into two groups and somehow there were players that were in neither of those groups - like Krug and Pageau. Unacceptable!

GM comments: After putting a lot more research work to prepare for the prospect draft I’m still not very confident about the result, but I guess it’s always like that with the prospects – it’s kind of a gamble. Looking at the bigger picture I have quite a few line-up holes to fill, but I hope my team will manage to win categories with scoring by a committee, as always. Also I’m happy with the return I got for Keith, especially if Campbell turns out to be a future NHL starting goalie.

GM Self-Grade: B-

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

From the "GM win window" section, that line about Cam is gonna get you shanked man! Good luck getting your drug habbit on from now on. You better buy your stuff from the non-Ukrainian parts of the city, but don’t get caught or you’ll be heading to McDonalds for ketchup packets just like J Suites!

I don’t like taking a goaltender in the 1st round. Too much projection risk with goaltenders. Sveddyballs is close to the show, but it’s a little discouraging that Boston brought in Johnson to back-up Rask. I like the Zykov pick at 2.03 though.

With your three 3rd round picks, you added players who will all contribute right away, but who have pretty low ceilings. It’s an interesting strategy and one that perhaps Billy Beane might employ but it might have been wise to mix in one high upside pick with an eye to the future.

Agree on McCarron. He’s not a gimme for the NHL, but he still qualifies as a "steal" for where you drafted him.

On your trades, the one with Wolfsburg points out exactly how very NOW-focused you are about winning -- trading a higher caliber player for 2 players that will help immediately. There are many ways to skin a cat. (Who skins cats by the way?) And I like that you are consistent in your approach. I wouldn’t worry too much about Antropov. Big-bodied centers with multiple 50+ point seasons on their resume do not get left un-signed. Your biggest trade was dealing away Duncan Keith. His production will be difficult to replace, but something tells me you’ve created an algorithm for this, run it multiple times, and are confident that the #s will work for you. Thus, much of the deal will depend on Campbell. His stock has fluctuated quite a bit, and I think that trend is likely to continue for the next few seasons, so hang on to your hat as you are in for a bumpy ride.

Grade: B-


Team: Sparta Warriors
GM: Roy Kvatningen
GM Style: Riverboat Gambler suffering from the disease of optimism

2013 Draft Picks (7): 1.20, 2.17, 3.15, 4.03, 4.12, 5.14, 5.15
2014 Draft Picks (3): 3, 4, 5 (Quebec)

1.20 Antti Raanta, G
2.17 Marko Dano, C
3.15 John Gaudreau, LW
4.03 Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C
4.12 Toni Rajala, LW/RW
5.14 Ondrej Palat, LW
5.15 Brenden Kichton, D

Favorite Draft Pick: Antti Raanta

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Brenden Kichton

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: Connor Hellebuyck

# of Trades: 9

Shane Doan, RW ($4.30M, 1 year)
to San Deigo for
Jason Chimera, LW ($2.50M, 1 year) + 5.15.
Motivation: Shed salary

Corey Perry, RW ($8.50M, 3 years) + 4.02
to Quebec for
Mark Giordano, D ($4.20M, 2 years), Alexander Khokhlachev, LW/C (farm) and a 5th Round pick in 2014
Motivation: Shed salary

Alex Goligoski, D ($4.10M, 2 years) + 1st Round pick in 2014
to Dubai for
Roberto Luongo, G ($5.10M, 2 years)
Motivation: Get a second 1A goalie for next season

Brad Stuart, D ($1.00M, 2 years), Jack Campbell, G (farm) + 4.06
to Sheffield for
Duncan Keith, D ($4.60M, 3 years)
Motivation: Assemble the best D-corps in the league to gain competitive advantage

2nd Round pick in 2014
to Kansas City for
3.15 + 4.12
Motivation: Acquire more picks in a deep draft pool

Brendan Gallagher, RW (farm)
to Upper Canada for
1.20 + Teemu Hartikainen, RW (later released)
Motivation: Snag Antti Raanta in the draft

Mark Visentin, G (farm), 5.12 + 5th Round pick in 2014
to Las Vegas for
Motivation: Get a high pick in a deep draft pool

Marcus Foligno, LW (farm)
to Upper Canada for
Mikkel Boedker
, LW/RW ($2.00M, 2 years)
Motivation: Upgrade the wing position.

Mark Giordano, D ($4.20M, 2 years)
to San Deigo for
Dmitry Orlov, D ($1.25M, 2 years)
Motivation: Shed salary.

Most Memorable Trade: The Roberto Luongo trade.
This trade gives me two solid 1A goalies in a league where there’s a shortage of goaltenders and lots of points to be gained from owning a dominating goaltending tandem.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: The Brendan Gallagher trade is a gamble.
I made it to be able to draft Antti Raanta of the Chicago Blackhawks, a goalie I believe will be Chicago’s #1 in less than 2 years. If I’m wrong, it’s a bad trade. If I’m right, it’s a brilliant trade. I’m probably wrong. Such is the life of a riverboat gambler.

GM objectives: This summer I’ve focused on two positions (goalies, D-men) to prepare for a title push. I’ve sacrificed some categories to strengthen others. To do this, I’ve had to shed salary. Doan and Perry ($12.8M in combined salary) helped me do that. Obviously, the UFA auction will be very important for the Sparta Warriors. I filled my goalie positions. Other teams will be forced to "buy high" there because of the shortage. By my estimation, there’s only four #1’s available and I estimate a need for seven in our league. Sparta is one of five teams with more than $20M in cap space, but we are the only team that has two #1 goalies already rostered.

GM win window: Sparta Warriors are looking to win this season or the next.

GM lesson learned: This is a typical North American league, in the sense that small, skilled players are usually available late. I like to gamble on those kinds of longshots. I overdid it this year. I will follow my prospect pool closely this season to get an understanding of which longshots might hit the target, and which probably won’t, in order to get a grasp of my team needs in the next prospect draft. In general I’m afraid that the lack of NHL-ready prospects will hurt my team this season.

GM comments: As GM of the Sparta Warriors, I got off to a bad start by drafting last year’s prospects while vacationing and partying in Las Vegas. That is not a recipe for success. Then I traded away my top picks in a quality draft year and hurt my future even more. To top it off, I believe I paid too much in trades. I need to improve on that. However, it could be worse. There are players to build around here and I believe that my goalie situation is excellent, both in the short and long term.

GM Self-Grade: B-

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

If "Fortune Favors the Bold," the Sparta Warriors should have ample Lady Luck on their side in the 2013-2014 season. No one engages in as many blockbuster trades as GM Roy Kvatningen. That said, these trades are a pretty mixed bag: some good, some bad, some that are tough to gauge. One thing that is clearly impressive is that, after looking like they would be a minor player, Sparta got back into the 2013 Prospect Draft in a big, big way.

Raanta, Dano, and Gaudreau comprise a really nice top end group. And Pageau and Palat could turn out to be sneaky contributors as soon as this season.

I like the acquisition of Bobby Lu, adding depth at the G position and with Schneider out of the picture he’s going to rack up the W’s again! Assuming Vancouver finds its legs under the new coach.

It is almost impossible to grade Sparta’s off-season though until the UFA auction since so much of what they acquired via trade was additional cap space. I’m not going to "punt" on this one, but I will put an asterisk next to their grade and possibly revisit after the UFA auction.

Grade: B*


Team: Upper Canada Patriots
GM: Mark Hillier
GM Style: Impatient (like Brian Burke!)

2013 Draft Picks (2): 3.08, 4.17
2014 Draft Picks (1): 1

3.08 Josh Leivo, LW
4.17 Tyler Biggs, RW

Favorite Draft Pick: Josh Leivo

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Tyler Biggs

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: None

# of Trades: 10

Ryan Getzlaf, C ($6.00M, 1 year)
to San Deigo for
RNH ($7.40M, 3 years)

to San Deigo for
Adam Larsson, D ($3.00M, 3 years)

Martin Brodeur, G ($4.30M, 1 year)
to Kansas City for

Adam Henrique, C ($4.40M, 1 year)

to Linkopings for
Devante Smith-Pelley ($1.00M, 1 year)
**when pulled the trigger on this deal mistakenly thought DSP was on ELC not on a vet contract

to Quebec for
Cedrick Desjardins, G (farm)

5.01 + 5.20
to Wolfsburg for
Chad Johnson, G (farm)

Chad Johnson, G (farm) + 3rd Round pick in 2014
to Atlanta for
Jarred Tinordi
, D (farm)

1.20 + Teemu Hartikainen, C/RW (farm)
to Sparta for
Brendan Gallagher, RW (farm)

---->at this point I own no 2013 draft picks<-----

2nd Round pick in 2014
to Atlanta for


Mikkel Boedkker, LW ($2.00M, 2 years)
to Sparta for
Marcus Foligno, LW (farm)

4th Round pick in 2014 + 5th Round pick in 2014
to Hamilton for

Most Memorable Trade: Acquiring Brendan Gallagher

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: The one involving Devante Smith-Pelly.

GM objectives:
1. Trade Brodeur and Getzlaf, both UFAs next summer, for players signed for more than one season (ideally centers), then extend Steve Mason (picked up as FA last season) to a cheaper deal than Brodeur.

2. Trade picks/roster players/salary for NHL-ready prospects (e.g. Gallagher, Foligno)

3. Draft 1 or 2 close to NHL-ready prospects (Leivo, Biggs)

4. Free up some cap space to sign one UFA in upcoming auction.

GM win window: Win now AND Build for the future, both.

GM lesson learned: 1. Never make trades on my 15 minute break on night shift (DSP), and 2. Never underestimate the hate for all things Leafs and use it to my advantage

GM comments:
My team looks better on paper now versus at the end of last season. I was happy with all my trades and picks except the DSP gaffe. Would have liked to make one more draft pick in the 5th considering what was still left on the table.

I got ripped almost across the board for the Biggs pick, but I thought that in the 4th Round he was an OK grab all things considered.

GM Self-Grade: B-

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

Interesting strategy to go "shopping" prior to the draft. I like the idea of acquiring prospects that are further along on their development curve. You seem to have a real preference for players that are NHL-ready (or close).

Just curious: Did you go back to the GM on the other side of the DSP trade and tell him what happened?

Acquiring Gallagher for pick 1.20 seems like a quality move. Lot of good prospects on the board there, but hard to argue against acquiring a proven player like Gallagher--esp. since he’s not yet even signed to his ELC.

The heart of your off-season activity, so far at least, is that you "got married" to RNH and Adam Larsson. RNH is not a multicat contributor, so you are going to need him to score bushels of points to justify his substantial contract. Edmonton is on the upswing (aren’t they always?) and RNH has the talent, but there isn’t a lot of room for error on that one. The Larsson deal is a head-scratcher. Just looks like a bad contract to me. If anything, the other team ought to have sent you the 3rd rounder just to get that albatross off their books. And that DSP trade is just brutal.

I like the Biggs pick -- for where you got him. I sometimes prefer taking players like Biggs in later rounds because scoring doesn't always translate to the NHL. However, players with NHL-ready frames who play aggressive, physical hockey will likely continue that in the professional ranks. Thus, you at least retain some value from your draft pick in the event that their scoring doesn’t translate to the NHL. I’m less sure on Leivo although the reports are encouraging.

Grade: C-


Team: Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams
GM: James
GM Style: I’m a bit conservative.

Given the breadth of knowledge that each manager brings to a league like this, I think it’s hard to make deals without worrying whether or not they know something you don’t. For example, I kind of regret the O’Reilly – Grabovski trade, although that is largely due to O’Reilly signing within a week of trading him away. I do like to make deals though, as evidenced by the number of trades I made for draft picks.

2013 Draft Picks (5): 1.04, 2.11, 2.14, 3.13, 4.15
2014 Draft Picks (2): 1, 2

1.04 - Aleksander Barkov, C
2.11 - Rasmus Ristolainen, D
2.14 - Corban Knight, RW/C
3.13 - Michael Matheson, D
4.15 - Danny Kristo, RW

Favorite Draft Pick: Aleksander Barkov

Least Favorite Draft Pick: Don’t really have one I dislike, but I’m least pumped about Danny Kristo.

Who was the one player that you really wanted to draft, but that got snagged just ahead of you: I really wanted Brett Ritchie.

# of Trades: 6

1.06 + 3.06
to Chilliwack for

Chad Johnson, G (farm)
to Upper Canada for
5.01 + 5.20

3.04 + 3.20
to Atlanta for

5.01 + 3rd Round pick in 2014
to Detroit for

2.15 + 5.20
to Brooklyn for

4th Round pick in 2014 + 5th Round pick in 2014
to Las Vegas

Most Memorable Trade: I was very excited to be able to get into the Top 4 and land Barkov.

Trade About Which You Have the Most Doubt: I think I may have given up a little too much value to get an additional 2nd round pick in this draft.

GM objectives: I was trying to take some mostly sure things in the draft, but I do like Matheson even with his question marks. Other than that, I was trying to balance out my positions on the farm, but I still went with who I thought was BPA.

GM win window: Win now

GM lesson learned: Don’t undervalue the later round draft picks. I gave them away too readily thinking there wasn’t that much depth compared to the inaugural prospect draft.

GM comments: I need to get more comfortable making trades involving players. I have made only 2 such trades, but the Johnson trade shouldn’t really count.

GM Self-Grade: B

Shine the Lamp - Analysis:

Most would agree that moving into the Top 4, the elite tier, was a shrewd move.

Assuming you have the goaltending depth to spare, trading Chad Johnson for a couple 5th round picks which were then used in other deals to move up in the draft also appears to be well done. The trade to land Matheson at 3.13 seems sound as that is probably right about where he ought to have gone, however, the trade to move up just 1 spot to take Corban Knight seems questionable.

As far as holding off on trading players with GMs who may have more knowledge, that seems prudent. You can always do some research though and get comfortable with any trade proposals that come your way.

Grade: B+

And because we all love predictions. Here’s mine for this year’s season standings! For those on the bottom, prove me wrong! For those on the top, you got some living up to do!

Kamloops Blazers
Quebec Remparts
Montreal Wanderers
Brooklyn Aces
Detroit Vipers

Hamilton Tigers
Odessa Jackalopes
Macon Whoopee
Kansas City Scouts
Upper Canada Patriots

Linkopings HC
Sparta Warriors
Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams
Las Vegas Ice Dice
San Deigo Gulls

Atlanta Flames
Sheffield Steelers
Chilliwack Royals
Hannover Turtles
Dubai Mighty Camels

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