We made it through 16 picks on Monday, which had to be some kind of record in this pool's Waiver Draft, but then everything settled back into normalcy, as the draft battled against everyday life and busy people... something it could do very little against. Nevertheless, the last pick of the draft was made on Saturday morning and I have already been able to insert the names onto the team sheets and make some of the official changes already, which is fun for me. It will definitely take away from all the work on Monday morning.
All of the changes will be made when the audits are done for the teams that have players involved in the Waiver Draft, in case you were wondering why some of the updates are not complete.
So, we'll kick off the review with the 17th pick in the draft, as Stacey M. dropped Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust for Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Bonino.
Out of the last eight picks, teams in the money/prize race, including Stacey M. above, there were five forwards, one defenseman and two goalies taken.
The two goalies were two new faces to the hockey pool, as Marek Mazanec has been playing well in Pekka Rinne's absence in Nashville, while Reto Berra has been making some acrobatic stops in the net for the Calgary Flames. The trick for taking goalies in the Waiver Draft is to find some quality minutes, as those translate into chances for points, instead of the back-up role, which doesn't necessarily mean minutes down the stretch.
Likely the saddest drop of the first round of the Waiver Draft was Allan S. letting go of Steven Stamkos, who is out indefinitely with a broken leg. Allan finished atop the standings in Week Seven and has a shot at finishing tops in Week Eight and will want to continue that domination, so he'll need points wherever he can get them. Stamkos was in the conversation for best player in the pool in the 2014 season, but this injury knocks him right out. He was replaced by Matt Stajan of the Calgary Flames.
The second round of the Waiver Draft opened with another Tampa Bay Lightning player dropped, as Jonathan Drouin, the highly-touted prospect, taken 3rd overall in June at the Entry Draft, was let go of for Minnesota Wild's Nino Niederreiter. Drouin was sent back to junior after training camp, which surprised many, including Doug K., but he may have found a good replacement for the final 18 weeks of the season.
The second round saw nine forwards switched, nine defensemen, three goalies and three teams passed in total.
Possibly the biggest surprise in the drop category in the second round was Derek Wyllie dropping Viktor Fasth, who had just returned from injury and was getting back into splitting time in the Anaheim crease. Wyllie picked up Carolina back-up Justin Peters, who had seen some significant time with the Hurricanes in Cam Ward's absence, but Ward is now back and should be picking up more of the minutes.
The second round also saw a few players get picked up, who were dropped in the first round, as David Clarkson was taken by Wes M., dropped by Tony D. in the first round; Kari Ramo was picked by Scott G., dropped by John S. early in the 1st, while Dany Heatley was taken by Clayton C., dropped by Dale B. earlier.
In the entirety of the draft, the least popular teams (most players dropped) were Anaheim, Calgary, Florida, Long Island and Toronto, each team having three drops. The most popular team (most players picked up) was the San Jose Sharks, who had six players picked up. Tomas Hertl, Tommy Wingels, Justin Braun, Jason Demers, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and back-up goalie Alex Stalock were all added to the active list for Week Nine.
The Chicago Blackhawks are the most popular team in the hockey pool after Week Eight's Waiver Draft, as they now have 16 players active in the pool. They added three players to the active rosters for Week Nine: Andrew Shaw, Kris Versteeg and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Well, now we wait to see who earns the first segment honour of a jersey prize, which we'll announce on Monday with the Newsletter. Let's get that second segment underway!