The head start proved to be rather useful for the Waiver Draft, as we managed to get through 15 total selections in the opening round, possibly saving me three days of panic and worry, not to mention the "are we in the bonus round?" text messages on Wednesday. I'm not saying we'll be in the bonus round by Wednesday, but could you imagine if we were? We had five more picks on Sunday, which really rounded everything out and here's hoping we get off to a bright start on Monday, possibly even finishing round one?
Brian needed to take care of an injury situation in the crease, as it doesn't sound like Antti Raanta is returning to the Coyotes from a lower-body injury any time soon. The selection to take Raanta's spot was decided on Pheonix Copley, who has been the capable backup to Braden Holtby in Washington this season. Brian's goalies have been a bit of a let down this year, ranking 19th with 45 points.
Next up was Wilton's team, who had a season-ending injury to dispatch of, as Ondrej Kase of the Anaheim Ducks was shut down for the season after shoulder surgery was said to be needed to repair a torn labrum. That made the decision to drop him fairly straight-forward and in his place, Wilton managed to snag Paul Stastny of the Vegas Golden Knights, who was dropped because of injury in Week Nine. This could turn out to be a decent pick for him.
Tony was eyeing up an upgrade at the forward position with his pick, as Ryan Strome just wasn't doing it for his team, even after the move to the Big Apple this season in the trade between Edmonton and New York. Florida Panthers forward Frank Vatrano was eyed up by a couple of teams before Tony's team, but it wasn't until the 13th pick in the draft before the trigger was pulled on him.
Another Week Nine selection got the chop with the 14th swap in the Waiver Draft, as Dale C. parted ways with Dallas' Jason Spezza, who had only posted 6 points in the last eight weeks of the season, which ranks 36th among all the players taken in Week Nine. Dale is hoping for a vast improvement by taking Nashville's Nick Bonino for the stretch run, a forward on a playoff-bound team couldn't hurt.
The last pick of the head start went to Mike's team and he also dropped a Week Nine selection that under-performed in the last eight weeks, Devin Shore of the Anaheim Ducks. Shore was dealt to the Ducks from the Stars in the second segment, but couldn't really find his scoring touch, picking up 5 points in the last eight weeks. Mike replaced him with Artturi Lehkonen of the Canadiens, who has been an everyday guy in Montreal this year.
So, now we're onto the regularly scheduled portion of the Waiver Draft, 15 picks ahead of where we could have been. Jesse leads off the proceedings today and hopefully, if all goes well, we could be through the opening round by the end of the day. Wouldn't that be something?