Yes, we're finally into the Waiver Draft and I've finally got some time during the early games tonight to recap what's gone on in the Draft thus far and shed some light on what the Waiver Draft has done in years previous. Unfortunately, the look back on years previous isn't terribly rosy, but there is one piece of good news in the past couple years, which hopefully will give some hope to those down near the bottom here in Week Eight of the season.
First pick in the Draft went to Chris, who nearly found his way out of the basement after Week Seven had concluded and almost lost first pick overall. In the end, he did manage to pick it up, drop J-S Giguere of the Ducks and pick the best player available, Craig Anderson of the Avalanche. This one was sort of a no-brainer and had to happen, especially with Giguere's struggles this year.
In the past two seasons, we had Dale C. pick first in 2008, where he finished 13th in the standings after the season was all said and done; and we had Grant pick first in 2009, but he didn't put much effort into it, finishing last overall anyways. Dale picked first in the first Waiver Draft, which moved him up four spots in the standings for the second Waiver Draft, but he couldn't gain any more ground after that.
The Thrashers are going to be a hot commodity and that's exactly what Peter is thinking with the second pick in the Waiver Draft. Peter dropped Pierre-Marc Bouchard of the Wild, who's suffering from a concussion and doesn't have an exact timetable at the moment for Rich Peverley, who is really lighting it up in Atlanta with some of the team's top players.
Going over the years, in 2008, Marcus had second pick, but wasn't terribly fortunate with those picks. Starting the Draft in 16th, finishing the season in 16th. In 2009, Derek had second pick and he finished the season in 12th spot, so he moved up a few. There is some good to come out of it.
I think we're going to see a dominance between a few teams, which includes Atlanta (who I have already mentioned) and Colorado, who is up again, twice in the first three picks. Dale B. decided to join the hot rush with the pick of Wojtek Wolski for the drop of Chris Drury, who is suffering from injury at the moment too. Wolski has done well in Colorado and Dale will need him to pick it up
What has third pick done in the Waiver Draft before? Glad you asked. In our biggest move from the bottom of the pool, Benson went from 15th to fifth in 2009. It wasn't quite the money, but a good pick or two can do a lot of good in these pools. In 2008, Ryan didn't fare so well... going from 15th to last place (17th).
In some instances, you would think that the highest scoring forward going into one of these drafts would be either or first or second pick, but no, not this time around, as Dustin Penner of the Oilers was taken fourth by John B., who dropped Valtteri Filppula to make room for him. Filppula was one of many injuries that John suffered after the third or fourth week of the season, which dropped him a ways down in the standings.
The fourth pick has not fared well before in the pool. In 2008, Dennis had the pick, but ended up dropping a position in the pool by the end of the year. In 2009, Chris only moved up one spot, so maybe John can show them a thing or two about making a good pick.
Another hot commodity on the Waiver Wire marketplace is Stars forward, James Neal, who ended up going fifth to John P., who dropped Russia-bound Nikita Filatov to facilitate the change. John certainly wasn't in terrible shape going into the Draft and a couple good picks should sort that out. This definitely being one of those good picks. Now to see what he'll do in the second round.
The fifth pick in the past couple seasons have both fallen spots, which isn't good mojo for John or maybe even Neal. Aaron dropped one position from 13th to 14 in 2008 and Dennis dropped from 13th to 15th in 2009. Can the tides turn on this pick as well?