This is for those of you that will be doing a fantasy hockey draft on ESPN.
ESPN has default pre-draft rankings that you can modify and we'd recommend that you do that based on what we advise below or in the heat of the moment you could end up with some pretty wacky picks or miss a real steal. This is particularly important if you plan on doing an autodraft.
ESPN is getting much better with their rankings (much better than the insanity of two years ago). But that doesn't mean they are perfect... far from it.
These should be pretty self-explanatory but we'll add some comments, the number indicates the overall ESPN ranking and when we refer to our ranking, we're talking about the rankings from our SuperStats projected stats file
Guys Who Should be Higher (higher, as in closer to Ovechkin):
18 Evgeni Malkin - I'd be pretty happy grabbing Geno in the second round. Don't expect it to happen.
22 Jarome Iginla - 3rd in the league in goals last year.
32 Henrik Zetterberg - 8th in league scoring & he qualifies at LW in ESPN so we have no idea why he's so low.
37 Claude Giroux - 11th in scoring means he's a 4th rounder in ESPN leagues.
40 Ryan Getzlaf - Potential for 90 points if healthy.
47 Patrick Kane - We've got him ranked 16th... quality wingers are tough to come by
61 Patrick Sharp - 22nd in scoring and he should be healthy for the start of the season.
79 Matt Duchene - They are projecting an increase of only one point over last year's totals.
110 Joe Pavelski - He scored 66 points in just 74 games last year... ESPN thinks he either drops way off or gets injured again.
Much, much more after the jump...113 Mike Green - We've got him ranked as the top D-man (which might be a bit bullish by us) but ranking him after John-Michael Liles, Andrei Markov and others seems just silly.
201 Ryan Callahan - Only projected for 49 points (had 48 in 60 gms last year) so they must be thinking injury?
205 Evander Kane - Our #1 breakout pick in The Bible has to be ranked higher than Bryan McCabe... you think?
208 James van Riemsdyk - Should get a ton more TOI and most are thinking a breakout season is guaranteed.
224 Ian White - Should get some of Rafalski's PP TOI.
274 Jordan Staal - He's no stud but should be good for around 50 points or more if he finds Malkin on his wing.
307 Max Pacioretty - Even with this relatively low projection of 49 points... this rank is still too low.
313 Michael Frolik - It's getting into the Brouwer's and Tangradi's on the list... Frolik is well above those guys.
409 Jiri Hudler - He has 60 point potential... much better risk than a lot of the players ESPN ranks in the 400's.
489 Tim Erixon - Could surprise this season.
522 Alexander Burmistrov - Could be 2nd line center this season (probably more 3rd line material though).
578 Blake Geoffrion - Pred need scoring and he's one of their better prospects.
605 Roman Josi - Chance at making the Preds... great AHL numbers last season.
606 Jacob Josefson - Early word is that he'll be centering Kovalchuk on line #2.
791 Jordan Caron - No guarantee to make team but could win a job on line #2 or #3.
Guys Who Should be Lower (lower, as in closer to Mike Comrie):
11 Dustin Byfuglien - Wow... shots must be pretty valuable in this league.
23 Kris Letang - #3 ranked dman according to ESPN.
43 Nathan Horton - Would you rather have Horton over guys like Joe Thornton, Patrick Kane or Mikko Koivu?
51 Andy McDonald - Could be good if healthy but even then we'd rather draft guys like Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp & John Tavares.
56 Jaromir Jagr - Somebody thinks it's 1998.
69 Devin Setoguchi - They have him at 59 points (seems high), which even if he hits we'd rather have Marian Gaborik, Jeff Skinner and others below him on the list.
96 Travis Zajac - Ummm, yeah he's out three months with an injury guys.
131 Shawn Horcoff - Their projection? 39 points... definitely doesn't match the ranking.
161 Kristian Huselius - Another injured guy... he's out four to six months.
175 David Perron - He's missing the season opener and has no date set for a return.
194 Bryan McCabe - No team yet and he wasn't that good when he played last season.
216 Marc Savard - Unlikely he'll ever play again.
322 Cory Stillman - Yeah guys... he's retired.
331 Rob Schremp - Unless your league counts Swiss League stats, you don't want him.
Guys Who ESPN Didn't Rank (maybe they've been blacklisted or something?):
Blake Comeau, Paul Gaustad, Stefan Elliott, Tyler Kennedy, Chris Neil, Matt Cooke, Cal Clutterbuck, Valtteri Filppula, Ben Lovejoy, Luke Adam, Brendan Morrison, Artem Anisimov, Dominic Moore, Jason Chimera, Mike Santorelli, Eric Belanger, Ben Eager, Andrei Loktionov, Nick Foligno and Joel Ward.
Well, that was fun. Our rankings (from our SuperStats spreadsheet) aren't perfect but they're a hell of a lot better than that.