Your 12-Team Draft Planner!

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Sven here, back for another article! We are taking a look at each draft position and who you can potentially select in the first five rounds.

Given the length of this upcoming NHL season, I am going to prioritize picking players from the same team whenever it is possible and strategic to do. Obviously if you are picking Patrick Kane first round, you can wait a few rounds before taking a player like Alex DeBrincat. That being said, here are your ideal selections at each draft position!

The player's Average Draft Position (ADP) is next to their name. We are going to assume the following parameters:

Yahoo Rankings (ADP)

12-team League


Stats – Goals/Assists/STP/Shots/Blocks

FIRST PICK (C) Nathan MacKinnon (2.7)

Ideal Pairing (24) (25) (D) Cale Makar (29.8) (LW) Gabriel Landeskog (37.1)

Unless you are the only avid hockey fan in your league, there is no shot Mikko Rantanen will be sliding to pick 24. Loading up on one of the league’s most lethal power plays will make for a great fantasy season. Additionally, it is important to have a good variety of player positions in early rounds. Landeskog is a reasonable selection in any league’s third round, and is a LW to compliment your elite C pick in MacKinnon. Makar is one of the few defencemen I would pony up for in the first three rounds, and pairing him with his teammates would be amazing.

Next Picks (48) (49) – (LW) Brady Tkachuk (54.5), (G) Philipp Grubauer (66)

SECOND PICK (C) Connor McDavid (1.8)

Ideal Pairing (23) (26) (LW) Jonathan Huberdeau (24.8) (C) Aleksander Barkov (35.4)

You can never go wrong with the second overall pick. In most fantasy sports, there are two players head and shoulders above the rest. At pick two, you get whoever the other guy didn’t pick. What is there to lose? I have a feeling McDavid will still be the #1 pick in a fair amount of leagues, but for a league including shots you have to go MacKinnon at #1.

Selecting Florida’s two offensive weapons is not only feasible here, but an amazing move to do so. Regardless of who ends up being their RW at puck drop, these two are absolutely going to tear up the Central Division this season.

Next Picks (47) (50) – (LW) Johnny Gaudreau (47.9), (LW) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (76)

THIRD PICK (C) Leon Draisaitl (3.8)

Ideal Pairing (22) (27) (LW) Brad Marchand (24.9) (C) Patrice Bergeron (41.9)

It’s one thing to get the reigning MVP of the league at pick three. That is almost a certainty. It’s another thing to have the opportunity to lock up one of the best lines in hockey in your next picks. I’ll even do you one better, David Pastrnak is getting drafted everywhere from third round to St. John’s, Newfoundland. It is very very possible you can get the entire line if you get lucky. It’s risky putting all your eggs in one Black and Gold basket, but it could pay off given the shortened season!

Next Picks (46) (51) – (RW) David Pastrnak (43.8), (D) Alex Pietrangelo (55.4)

FOURTH PICK (LW) Artemi Panarin (5.5)

Ideal Pairing (21) (28) (C) Mika Zibanejad (19.7) (D) Roman Josi (33)

The Bread Man had a stellar first season in the Big Apple. Now just imagine how great that next season is going to be with a healthy Zib helping him out on the power play. I am not 100% sure what the Rangers’ 5on5 lines look like just yet, but we could see Panarin playing on Ryan Strome’s wing. That being said, these two will be able to rack up the STP for you. These two studs coupled with the reigning Norris trophy winner will be the perfect foundation for your fantasy team.

Next Picks (45) (52) – (G) Igor Shesterkin (46), (LW) Kyle Connor (69.5)

FIFTH PICK (C) Auston Matthews (6.9)

Ideal Pairing (20) (29) (RW) Mitchell Marner (18.3) (C) John Tavares (31.5)

This is any Leafs super fan’s dream team. Pablo at sixth overall (could easily go fifth), then his apple tree of a teammate Marner. If you don’t want to go Tavares third round, other C’s like Evgeni Malkin and Mark Scheifele could still be available.

Next Picks (44) (53) – (LW) Johnny Gaudreau (47.9), (D) Morgan Rielly (61.9)

SIXTH PICK (LW) Alex Ovechkin (5.8)

Ideal Pairing (19) (30) (D) John Carlson (20.8) (C) Evgeni Malkin (28.9)

Now THIS would be a dream team. Having these two on the same fantasy team would be an automatic win in the STP category. I threw Malkin in here because there’s a bit of a drop-off in Centre quality after the third round.

Next Picks (43) (54) – (G) Ilya Samsonov (45.3), (RW) Brock Boeser (65.9)

SEVENTH PICK (G) Andrei Vasilevskiy (7.5)

Ideal Pairing (18) (31) (C) Brayden Point (17) (RW) Mark Stone (35.4)

If Vasilevskiy falls to a position even further than this, you can’t go wrong drafting him in the first round. I would love it if Hedman slid to late second round for you to get him with Vas, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Given what Point achieved in the post-season, he is going to flourish this year for the defending champs. There are a few quality wingers at this stage of the draft, but I particularly like Stone at this spot. You can easily pair him with his linemate Patches next round.

Next Picks (42) (55) – Max Pacioretty (42.4), Brent Burns (55.6)

EIGHTH PICK (C) Jack Eichel (9)

Ideal Pairing (17) (32) (C) Elias Pettersson (17) (LW) JT Miller (44.8)

This is the only circumstance where I would recommend taking C’s in the first two rounds. Not only could you easily pair these second and third round picks with Patty Kane, but if Rantanen is available at 17 you better TAKE him at 17. You can absolutely grab Taylor Hall with your next pick to stack the Sabres as well!

Next Picks (41) (56) – (LW) Taylor Hall (53.5), (D) Quinn Hughes (55.5)

NINTH PICK (RW) Patrick Kane (9.9)

Ideal Pairing (16) (33) (G) Connor Hellebuyck (17.3) (RW) Patrik Laine (31.1)

This is a tricky spot to be in the draft. I don’t love Patty Kane going into this year given the injuries the Hawks are facing but he’s just too damn good. I went with a Winnipeg pairing because Connor Hellebuyck deserves to be the second goalie drafted, and Laine will be available around this pick for a high-risk high-reward option.

Next Picks (40) (57) – (C) Mark Scheifele (40.4), (C) Sean Couturier (67.8)

TENTH PICK (C) Sidney Crosby (14.3)

Ideal Pairing (15) (34) (LW) Jake Guentzel (28.1) (G) Tuukka Rask (33.5)

Let’s get one thing straight. You should NOT draft Sebastian Aho before Crosby. He’s Sidney Crosby. WHEN you take Crosby at pick ten, you should scoop up Guentzel next because they are amazing together when Sid is healthy. Someone like Tavares may still be available at this pick, but if there aren’t any C’s available then I’d scoop up a goalie.

Next Picks (39) (58) – (RW) Teuvo Teravainen (42.3), (D) Kris Letang (71.5)

ELEVENTH PICK (C) Sebastian Aho (12.4)

Ideal Pairing – (14) (35) (LW) Andrei Svechnikov (18.7) (D) Dougie Hamilton (44.2)

Take Warning everyone else in your league! Aho and Svechnikov are going to do some absolute damage this year, and we at FantasyPuck love Dougie going into this season. I wouldn’t put all your eggs in the Hurricanes basket, so maybe stay away from Teuvo Teravainen in the fourth round.

Next Picks (38) (59) – (G) Jordan Binnington (42), (C) Evgeny Kuznetsov (63.7)

TWELFTH PICK (D) Victor Hedman (14.5)

Ideal Pairing (13) (36) (RW) Mikko Rantanen (15.3) (C/RW) Steven Stamkos (24.9)

This is the “so crazy, it just might work” pick. Victor Hedman and Mikko Rantanen are interchangeable as late first rounders. Getting both of them back-to-back ain’t too shabby. Stamkos is currently ranked 38th on Yahoo and though his ADP is higher, I think there’s a chance people don’t trust his injury history. Give it a shot! If Stammer isn't available, I still stand by the #37 pick below and you can easily scoop up another skilled forward with #36.

Next Picks (37) (60) – (G) Carter Hart (36.1), (C) Ryan O’Reilly (65.4)

That's it for this article! Let me know if you have any questions. We are hard at work on getting as much content out for your drafts as possible, and are very excited to get the season going! Take care.

- Sven

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