This topic came across my mind yesterday… which player would you take first in a fantasy draft in real life?? Not your online league with your buddies; a real draft with every single player in the NHL available. The obvious choices are Crosby, Malkin, and Ovechkin, but some people may want to start off with an anchor in net or on the blue line.
If you’re looking at taking a forward with the first pick, you have to look at those three mentioned above. Someone once gave me this comparison of how to split those three up… you build a franchise around Crosby, take Ovechkin if you’re down by one goal in the last 5 minutes, and would have Malkin for one game for all the marbles. I tend to agree with that, but I don’t know if I’d take Sid #1. AO is a great player, but he’s more of a one-way player out of these three. I honestly think I would take Malkin with the first pick. Geno’s the complete package… he can play in all situations, scores clutch goals, and has the best puck possession game in possibly the world. Oh yeah, he has a Conn Smythe on his resume already.
If I were to take a goalie with the first pick, there are four on my list that I’d consider taking first… Brodeur, Lundqvist, Luongo, and Ward. Brodeur is one of the best of all-time, but I’d probably go a different direction because of his age. Lundqvist has been terrific since coming into the league, and hasn’t had the tools around him yet to go deep in the playoffs. Luongo is an obvious choice, yet came up short in the playoffs yet again. That wouldn’t keep me from picking him, but it is a red flag. Ward led the Hurricanes to a Cup win in his rookie season, and has been steadily improving ever since then. The way I look at it is this… who would I want out of these netminders for just one game?? The answer is Cam Ward. He’s perfect in Game 7’s, and is still young at 25 years old.
This would be a longshot… but if you were to take a blue liner #1, it better be a lockdown guy that can play both ways. The ones out there that fall under this category are Bouwmeester, Chara, Lidstrom, Niedermayer, and Pronger. Because of their age, the last 3 would be eliminated. That leaves us with Jay-Bo and ‘Big Z’. I would never do this, but if I HAD to take a defenseman #1 in a fantasy draft, I’d go with Chara. He’s big, he’s mean, and has a bomb of a shot from the point.
In the end, I’d draft Evgeni Malkin 1st overall in a real fantasy draft. Who would you take #1??
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