Hooray! It's game day! Finally! It's been too long, no?
Well, now that it's here, we can finally get this hockey pool going, but not before having a quick peek at the breakdown of the draft. This is one of those things I like to do, just for my own curiosity more than anything.
We had 378 players taken in this year's draft, chosen by 27 teams, taken from 30 NHL teams. Calgary and Chicago were the two most popular teams, hardly a surprise, given where the pool is located and who the last Stanley Cup winners were. Yeah, that is definitely the makings of two popular teams in a hockey pool.
Both the Flames and Blackhawks had 16 players taken from their team and they are only allowed to have 23 players on their active rosters, which were officially announced this morning. Of the two teams, the Flames were the only team in the pool where three goalies were taken, as a few pool teams were taking the risk that one would play more than the other two or that their goalie would be dealt to another team where he would play. An interesting gamble, to say the least.
The two least popular teams in the pool this year, to no surprise again, are the Arizona Coyotes, with seven players taken, and the New Jersey Devils, who had eight players taken. Neither team are expected to do a great deal, but the players that will get the bulk of the playing time were looked upon to help out a few pool teams, at the very least.
In goal, with the Flames having all three goalies taken in the draft and 54 goalies taken in total, Arizona, Boston, Colorado, Columbus, Florida, New Jersey and Washington are the only teams to have only their starters taken in the pool, leaving the rest of the league with two goalies taken and not necessarily the right back-ups. Back-up goalies in Edmonton and Montreal have both been sent to the minors to start the season, which act as plans that have backfired.
Five NHL teams topped out with five defensemen being taken from their sides, as Calgary, Chicago, Long Island, New York and Washington were all looked upon to have the best bluelines in the league. Only Oliver Ekman-Larsson was taken from Arizona this year on the weakest blueline in the league.
Finally, up front, Chicago and St. Louis were exceptionally popular for the forwards this year, each coming away with nine selections from their top 12's. 10 teams each have eight forwards each, which made it a pretty tight race. New Jersey was left with only four forwards taken in total. Talk about not popular at all.
Well, I thought that would have been somewhat interesting to write/read, so there it is. A quick breakdown of what everyone thought was the best course of action was. Now, we'll see where the best points are going to come from, starting tonight.