Saturday, January 29, 2011

All-Star Fantasy Draft Recap

Suffice to say, the draft lived up to expectations tonight. The event didn’t drag out like regular drafts in every sport. In fact, it didn’t even have a draft-like setup; it looked more like a game show than anything.

Here are the results of the draft with some thoughts from different players, along with my quick opinion of how the rosters shaped out.

Team Staal
Eric Staal (C)
Ryan Kesler (A)
Mike Green (A)

1. Cam Ward, G
2. Alex Ovechkin, F
3. Daniel Sedin, F
4. Zdeno Chara, D
5. Rick Nash, F
6. Henrik Lundqvist, G
7. Marc Staal, D
8. Patrick Sharp, F
9. Dan Boyle, D
10. Carey Price, G
11. Jeff Skinner, F
12. Kris Letang, D
13. Claude Giroux, F
14. Erik Karlsson, D
15. Corey Perry, F
16. Patrik Elias, F
17. David Backes, F
18. Paul Stastny, F

Team Lidstrom
Nicklas Lidstrom (C)
Martin St. Louis (A)
Patrick Kane (A)

1. Steven Stamkos, F
2. Duncan Keith, D
3. Henrik Sedin, F
4. Shea Weber, D
5. Tim Thomas, G
6. Danny Briere, F
7. Dustin Byfuglien, D
8. Jonathan Toews, F
9. Marc-Andre Fleury, G
10. Jonas Hiller, G
11. Brad Richards, F
12. Keith Yandle, D
13. Brent Burns, D
14. Martin Havlat, F
15. Anze Kopitar, F
16. Matt Duchene, F
17. Loui Eriksson, F
18. Phil Kessel, F

Post-Draft Observations:
- Team Lidstrom has the talent, but Team Staal has the crowd behind them, which will make for a very interesting weekend between the Skills Competition and All-Star Game.
- When you look closer at Team Lidstrom, they have some previous chemistry. Stamkos and St. Louis are obviously together, but St. Louis also played with Richards for a handful of years in Tampa. Martin Havlat could be re-united with Kane and Toews. Also, Keith and Weber played together sparingly with Team Canada last winter.
- The thing that really gets to me about Team Lidstrom is how they were able to draft Kopitar and Duchene in the 15th and 16th rounds, respectively.
- Team Staal isn’t bad, but it felt like Eric was almost obligated to get all of his Hurricanes teammates and his brother, especially early on. Giroux and Perry were nice late-round steals, though.
- The Sedins were not drafted to the same team, which will make it the first time ever that they play against each other.
- One of the funniest moments was when Eric Staal said into the mic: ‘With the sixth pick, from the New York Rangers… Henrik Lundqvist.’ I think once he said New York, everyone expected it to be his brother Marc.
- Poor Kessel. By around Round 15, you had the feeling that he could be the last pick. Well, he turned out to be Mr. Irrelevant. Hey, at least he got a car!

Post-Draft Quotes:
Marc Staal on the event…
“There were a lot of questions going in and I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was well-run. It was actually a little nerve-racking sitting down there waiting to be picked – more than you’d think.”

Marc Staal on being picked after Lundqvist…
“That probably pissed me off more than sitting there longer! (Laughs)… It was funny and it was a good pick by him.”

Marc Staal on playing with Eric…
“We’re going to have to (talk) now. We’re teammates – we have to get along!”

Shea Weber on the ‘awesomeness’ of Team Lidstrom…
“Obviously, both teams have great teams. It’s going to be an exciting and fun time this weekend.”

Shea Weber on playing with a few Blackhawks…
“It’s a totally different situation being here. Obviously during the season they are a heated rival of ours and the games are always intense. But here, we’re here to have a good time and have some fun.”

Nicklas Lidstrom on picking Weber…
“We all liked him, we know what he brings to the table and how good of a player he is. It wasn’t really hard for us to pick Shea that high.”

Nicklas Lidstrom on line combinations…
“I’m sure the coaching staff will do some of that – they have to do some work, too! But I like the team we put together.”

Patrik Elias on the event…
“I kind of wanted to go three rounds later (laughs). At that point I at least could have gotten a car maybe – get it for charity and do something nice.”

Patrik Elias on the teams…
“I think both teams did a good job with balance. The way it’s setup, it should be a good game and good skills competition. I’m glad we got Chara on our team!”

More to come from Raleigh…

Ryan Porth for Preds On The Glass

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