NHL.com takes its shot at drafting the All-Stars
Monday, 01.23.2012 / 3:03 PM / 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game
NHL.com's mock fantasy player draft
Player Pos Round Player Pos Alfredsson (C) C ----- Chara (C) D Lundqvist (A) G ----- Lupul (A) RW Malkin C RD. 1 Kessel RW Weber D RD. 2 Giroux C Datsyuk C RD. 3 Karlsson D Stamkos C RD. 4 Thomas G Phaneuf D RD. 5 H. Sedin C Howard G RD. 6 Ovechkin LW Hossa RW RD. 7 Quick G Toews C RD. 8 D. Sedin LW Seguin C RD. 9 Gaborik RW Price G RD. 10 Elliott G Suter D RD. 11 Tavares C Girardi D RD. 12 Letang D Spezza C RD. 13 Campbell D Edler D RD. 14 Wideman D Timonen D RD. 15 Yandle D P. Kane RW RD. 16 Perry RW Iginla RW RD. 17 M. Michalek RW Couture C RD. 18 Benn C Eberle RW RD. 19 Pominville RW
The 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft is set for Thursday in Ottawa (8 p.m. ET, NBCSP), but in the meantime, how about a mock fantasy draft to tide you over?
NHL.com's Dan Rosen played the role of Team Alfredsson with Henrik Lundqvist as an assistant captain, while Dave Lozo represented Team Chara with Joffrey Lupul as that team's assistant captain.
They drafted the teams the way they felt they should be chosen. They did not try to guess how Alfredsson and Chara would go about their duties.
The rules used were the same as last year -- all goaltenders must be taken by the end of round 10; all defensemen must go before the end of round 15.
A coin flip in the office awarded Rosen the first pick. It's not a snake draft, so Rosen picked first in every round.
Here's how everything shook out, with Rosen and Lozo providing commentary on each of their picks. Agree? Disagree? Which team do you think would win? Leave your thoughts in the comments and enjoy the real thing later this week.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Evgeni Malkin (F)
Could there have been an easier No. 1 pick? He's red hot and Lundqvist doesn't want to face any more of his shots, at least not this coming weekend. Malkin was a no-brainer for the first pick with his League-best 58 points, including 34 points in the 20 games since Sidney Crosby left the lineup. He's already got the All-Star Game MVP trophy on his mantle. The NHL decided there was no need to delay the inevitable.
Chara/Lupul -- Phil Kessel (F)
After suffering the shame of being the final pick in last year's draft and having Alex Ovechkin snap a picture to capture the moment, we're not waiting around for Kessel. Here's to hoping that when he is taken first, he gets to the stage, takes the microphone from Chara, and begins calling out everyone who was taken before him last season.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Shea Weber (D)
Defense - NSH
GOALS: 10 | ASST: 23 | PTS: 33
SOG: 136 | +/-: 15
Zdeno Chara on one team with Weber on the other? Hello, rematch in the Blackberry NHL Hardest Shot competition Saturday at the Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition. Chara blasted a 105.9 mph rocket last year, while Weber got it up to 104.8. We'll just assume that Weber has spent every waking hour working on his slap shot in advance of this important competition so he can get it up to 106.0 on Saturday. Yeah, we'll take him as a defenseman, too.
Chara/Lupul -- Claude Giroux (F)
That's two picks and two strong candidates for MVP. Giroux centering a line with Kessel and Lupul has to be good for seven, maybe eight goals against the inferior opposition they'll be facing. No disrespect to Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr, who are having superb seasons, but sticking Giroux between Kessel and Lupul is like sticking a rainbow between happiness and a hug from unicorn.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Pavel Datsyuk (F)
You almost can picture Malkin talking in Alfredsson's ear and pointing at Datsyuk sitting among the available players. Then you can almost see Alfredsson turning around to Malkin and saying, loudly, "I know, I know, I know," before shooing Malkin away, telling him to go sit down. Yeah, we know how good Datsyuk is. Everybody does. Malkin doesn't have to tell us.
Chara/Lupul -- Erik Karlsson (D)
Defense - OTT
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 39 | PTS: 46
SOG: 164 | +/-: 7
Doctors could spend months in a laboratory creating the perfect defenseman for an All-Star Game, and they still couldn't design anything as good as Karlsson. He skates like the wind, and scouts across the NHL will tell you the wind is a terrific skater. Pairing Karlsson with Chara should be illegal, but until the Board of Governors changes the rules on that, we're pretty excited about this pairing.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Steven Stamkos (F)
Consider this forward depth, with Stamkos joining Datsyuk, Malkin and the captain himself, Alfredsson. It's downright scary. Team Chara/Lupul already is defeated. They've got no chance. Seriously -- Malkin, Datsyuk, Stamkos AND Alfredsson. Come on. It won't be fair. Why even play the game? Oh…yeah, we know why.
Chara/Lupul -- Tim Thomas (G)
What's that? The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is just hanging around in the fourth round? Sure, we'll scoop him up. His unique style is perfect for an All-Star Game, when shots come from all angles and sitting deep in your crease can be a detriment. A starting unit of Kessel/Giroux/Lupul/Chara/Karlsson/Thomas alone should be enough to win this game.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Dion Phaneuf (D)
Phaneuf will brush off the inevitable boos he knows he's going to hear as a Maple Leaf invading Senators territory. He can move the puck quickly out of the defensive zone and he offers bone-crushing hits, but odds are the latter won't be necessary Sunday. If they are, then we've got a whole different All-Star Game.
Chara/Lupul -- Henrik Sedin (F)
Center - VAN
GOALS: 11 | ASST: 41 | PTS: 52
SOG: 70 | +/-: 12
Canucks and Bruins on one team, co-existing and getting along? You bet. Just picture it -- Sedin at his locker, calling over to Chara and Thomas, having a laugh about a joke they all heard about pumping tires. That's the beauty of All-Star Games. They bring together people with little in common and turn them into friends. It's like camp, or college, or prison. Take your pick.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Jimmy Howard (G)
Prediction time: The first-time All-Star will be the winning goalie Sunday. He's won almost every other game he's played in this season, so why not the All-Star Game as well? It wasn't long ago that Howard was one of the Red Wings' Black Aces. That was during their 2008 Cup run. He could be leading them on a Cup run this coming spring.
Chara/Lupul -- Alex Ovechkin (F)
This is the portion of the draft where we started taking over. Ovechkin on the ice alongside Sedin should result in about 11 goals for the Russian forward. For a further breakdown, look for three goals off one-timers from the left circle, two off breakaways, two off back-door goals at the left post and four where Ovechkin scores from behind the goal line because he's bored of scoring the easy way.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Marian Hossa (F)
Just picture Chara's face as one of his two fellow Slovaks in the draft goes by the wayside. Hossa entered the week tied for third in the NHL with 52 points. That's three of the League's top five scorers on one side (Malkin, Stamkos, Hossa). Talk about making good on a 12-year promise to Chicago. It doesn't seem like such a long contract anymore, does it?
Chara/Lupul -- Jonathan Quick (G)
Goalie - LAK
GAA: 1.95 | SVP: 0.933
We at Team Chara/Lupul have some good news and bad news for Mr. Quick. The good news is that after suffering through the first half of the season with some of worst offensive support in the NHL, you now are backstopping an All-Star team that will score about seven goals in your 20 minutes of work. The bad news is that we'll be spending so much time in Team Alfredsson/Lundqvist's end that you may be bored with only facing one shot in your period of work.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Jonathan Toews (F)
Well, Hossa needs a centerman to set him up. There aren't too many better than Toews, who knows Hossa quite well. He got banged up over the weekend, so Team Alfredsson/Lundqvist makes this pick hoping Toews can play Sunday. We're in the process of making phone calls to Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville, and we've got our speech written, begging for Toews to be cleared. If he's not, we'll take his replacement and just assume he's going to play like Toews. What's that? Don't assume anything because …
Chara/Lupul -- Daniel Sedin (F)
It's nice that our opponent decided to pass on a 100-point player eight times. Henrik was starting to get annoyed that we took Ovechkin before his brother, so we decided to keep the talent happy and grab Daniel here. A line with two Sedins and Ovechkin actually is illegal in 47 states. If this game was being played anywhere but Canada, we'd be fleeing from authorities for assembling such a deadly combination.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Tyler Seguin (F)
Bruins fans will love this pick as long as Chara doesn't for some reason think Seguin is a punk teenager and goes after him because he finally can. Seguin doesn't need that. Hopefully he's behaving. In our fantasy world, Seguin may be the only Bruin that Boston fans root for on Sunday. He's on one side of this mock draft while Chara and Thomas are on the same side as Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Not that we're trying to fan the flames of an already burning-hot rivalry. Wink, wink!
Chara/Lupul -- Marian Gaborik (F)
Right Wing - NYR
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 14 | PTS: 39
SOG: 154 | +/-: 12
Technically, Gaborik is on our team's third line. That's right, our "energy line" is led by a likely 40-goal scorer this season who potentially could win the faster-skater competition should he choose to enter it. We're just hoping Gaborik can give the team a boost with a hard forecheck, a solid hit or two, perhaps maybe a score a goal. We think he has the potential to be a scorer, but let's not put pressure on him.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Carey Price (G)
Due to the rules, the options here were Price or Brian Elliott. We chose Price because, well … there's actually no good reason to pick one over the other right now. So we'll just say we chose Price because and leave it at that. Maybe we were just trying to save Chara from having to pick a guy from Montreal. Sounds like a viable reason. We're being kind to the opponent. Uh huh. Sure.
Chara/Lupul -- Brian Elliott (G)
The rules state that all six goaltenders must be taken by the end of Round 10, but we're happy as can be to take the NHL leader in goals-against average and No. 2 guy in save percentage. Elliott probably will have some motivation after he was traded by Ottawa to Colorado at the end of last season before winding up in St. Louis, where he has played his way to the All-Star Game. This is the equivalent of being a nerd in high school who never got the girls and returning for your reunion 10 years later as Hugh Hefner.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Ryan Suter (D)
Weber swears by Suter, and Weber is not a guy you want to get angry, so with the goalie situation resolved, this was a must-have for Team Alfredsson/Lundqvist. Plus, Suter is back in the Predators' lineup, so now we're totally confident that he'll be in Ottawa for the festivities. And, no, we don't have to tell the coaches, John Tortorella and Todd McLellan, to put Suter with Weber. They can figure that one out on their own.
Chara/Lupul -- John Tavares (F)
Center - NYI
GOALS: 19 | ASST: 29 | PTS: 48
SOG: 175 | +/-: 2
This is the start of a section of the draft where defensemen need to start going off the board, but we figured it's better to grab another talented forward first. Admittedly, we're not sure how the potential of having an Islander and Ranger on the same line will work, but assuming they get the anger out of them during pregame warm-ups, they should be fine.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Dan Girardi (D)
Tortorella joked that he probably wouldn't give Girardi any ice time if he was to coach him in the All-Star Game. Well, he doesn't have to play him for 27 minutes Sunday, but a solid 15 would be helpful to the cause. That'll feel like a light bike ride through Central Park for Girardi. The only rule is he must bring little Landon and have him prepared to play as a replacement if necessary. We hear he logs at least 20 minutes a night in his Nerf hockey games with daddy Dan in their living room.
Chara/Lupul -- Kris Letang (D)
Another round, another steal of a pick. Sure, he missed two months with a concussion, but he's shown no ill effects since returning to the lineup last week. If not for the injury, he'd be in the mix for the Norris Trophy. As a consolation prize, he gets to tell his grandkids 50 years from now that he once played on the greatest team ever assembled and won a hockey game by 40 goals.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Jason Spezza (F)
The hometown fan favorite doesn't have to worry about being Mr. Irrelevant; his captain comes to his rescue. Spezza was voted into the game by the fans, but with 50 points this season it's likely he would have made it on his own. He's also a steal in the 13th round; that is, of course, if you can consider anybody in an All-Star draft to be a steal. We'll just say that we're a bunch of thieves anyway. Look at us, running away with a huge victory. Catch us if you can. You can't.
Chara/Lupul -- Brian Campbell (D)
Defense - FLA
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 31 | PTS: 34
SOG: 77 | +/-: -1
Admittedly, there's not much strategy when there's nothing but defensemen that must be taken before round 15, but there's nothing wrong with Campbell in this spot. He's left-handed, and Letang is right-handed, so they can co-exist on their own sides of the ice. Also, Campbell is our fourth defenseman taken and he's third among defensemen in points this season. This team really is indestructible.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Alexander Edler (D)
A team with Alfredsson and Lundqvist needs to have another Swede, especially one on the blue line, so it can be Swedish from front to back. Edler quietly is having his best season to date, with 34 points through 48 games. That's just eight fewer points than his career-best 42 points in 2009-10. Plus, now he gets to play and solve the Sedin twins. So, he's got that going for him, which is nice.
Chara/Lupul -- Dennis Wideman (D)
While Team Alfredsson/Lundqvist decided to take more defensive defensemen in Weber and Girardi, we're just loading up with guys who are more known for scoring. Because there's very little documentation from past All-Star Games about how one team emerged victorious due to a great shot-blocking effort from one of their blueliners. Of course, nothing is stopping Weber and Girardi from going on a hitting spree. Here's to hoping that doesn't happen.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Kimmo Timonen (D)
Our defense is complete with the selection of Timonen, who is smart but not flashy and good at just about everything. Now our defense has everything, with size, speed, skill, intelligence and power. Chara's got himself and some other guys that we are choosing to keep nameless in order to not give them any credit. We've got Weber, Phaneuf, Suter, Girardi, Edler and Timonen. With Lundqvist, Howard and Price in goal, we win.
Chara/Lupul -- Keith Yandle (D)
Defense - PHX
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 22 | PTS: 28
SOG: 120 | +/-: -6
Just like with Elliott and goaltenders, Yandle was the last defenseman available and we're just fine with having him. We're particularly excited about taking an offensively-gifted defenseman on a defensive-minded team and letting him run wild in a show like the All-Star Game. It's the equivalent of taking poor little Charlie and letting him run free in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. The results should be fun.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Patrick Kane (F)
Kane may have been hoping he would win the new car for being Mr. Irrelevant, but sorry to say that's not going to be him. If Toews is available, it'll be all three Hawks on the line, with him, Kane and Hossa. We expect them to score about eight goals together. If Toews isn't healthy enough to play in Ottawa, there's no reason why Kane and Hossa can't combine for five or six goals. That's not unreasonable, which is to say it is reasonable, which is to guarantee it.
Chara/Lupul -- Corey Perry (F)
The reigning MVP in the 16th round? Don't mind if we do. A third line of Perry, Tavares and Gaborik is something you would try to create through trades in a video game if the computer didn't have a block set up to keep you from stacking your team. Heck, even in an All-Star Game, the computer wouldn't allow it. Maybe we'll volunteer to play 4-on-5 for five minutes per period to even things up.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Jarome Iginla (F)
There absolutely was no way that we let the Flames' captain sit any longer and risk being the final pick in the draft. Of course, if he was, Iginla would smile and talk about how grateful he is to be here and doing what he's doing. Yeah, yeah, we get it. He's a great guy, one of the best in the business. We didn't pick him because he's nice. We picked him because he still can bring it.
Chara/Lupul -- Milan Michalek (F)
Left Wing - OTT
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 32
SOG: 121 | +/-: -5
We're not sure what Michalek did to wrong Alfredsson, but we're happy to grab him here. It was starting to get awkward. We just assumed there'd be an Alfredsson-Spezza-Michalek line, but clearly Team Alfredsson/Lundqvist wasn't feeling it. The NHL's eighth-leading goal-scorer on our fourth line sounds like fun, but we're going to order him to fight Alfredsson, because that's what we want out of our fourth-line guys.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Logan Couture (F)
Alfredsson understands his city well, and he knows Couture was appreciated for his time with the Ottawa 67s of the OHL. He won't risk letting Couture become Mr. Irrelevant. Couture is one of the players everybody in the hockey world should know about by now, but he's out there in San Jose, so some of what he does gets overshadowed. He'll light it up in Ottawa this weekend. After all, the stars will be lighting up Ottawa, right?
Chara/Lupul -- Jamie Benn (F)
There are some question marks around Benn's status for the game after a recent appendectomy, but we here at Team Chara/Lupul have no question that Benn will be a great asset for the club. Let's face it -- he's had his guts ripped out in an effort to play in this game. That's the type of dedication that's rare these days. Plus, he's about four grams lighter with his appendix gone, making him that much speedier.
Alfredsson/Lundqvist -- Jordan Eberle (F)
The late addition in place of the injured Mikko Koivu was close to becoming Mr. Irrelevant, but he already has a car. Wait a minute -- presumably everybody else in the NHL has a car as well. Eberle is only one person, a young one at that, and he's a professional hockey player, so he has time to build a collection of cars. Plus, we're told he only has one ice scraper.
Chara/Lupul -- Jason Pominville (F)
An added benefit of taking Kessel first is he'll be able to counsel Pominville in his time of need. It's a shame that someone has to be taken last in this draft, but hopefully Pominville will take comfort by crying into a stat sheet that shows he's 13th in the NHL in scoring with 47 points. He also can turn up Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" in the new car he receives for being picked last as he drives over to the charity that will receive a donation on Pominville's behalf. Yes, somehow he will get through this ordeal, and it will start with beating Team Alfredsson/Lundqvist by 30 goals.