Tuesday afternoon the NHL announced that Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes and Niklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings were going to be the two all-star game captains that would draft from the list of 40 remaining all-stars on January 28th.
While we here at Defending Big D don't disagree that Staal and Lidstrom are fine choices, we would have of course preferred to see Dallas' two representatives - Loui Eriksson and Brad Richards - be selected which got us to wondering, how would a draft between these two actually play out? With that question burning a hole in our mind, myself and Pat Iversen decided to do a draft of our own over the weekend. Just to give us an authentic idea of how this draft might really play out, we played by league rules: All goalies (three each) had to be drafted by the 9th round of picks, while all defensemen (six to each side) had to be selected by the 15th round.
I was able to have first pick of team captains (which ended up being Richards) while Pat got first pick of the actual draft...
Team Eriksson / Pat: Sidney Crosby - I'll take Crosby. Best player in the league by far, great leader, perfect human being.
Team Richards / Art: Steven Stamkos - The typical pick here would be Alex Ovechkin, but ya know Ovechkin has been kinda sub-par by Ovie standards and Stamkos has been money goal scoring wise. Plus I just want to see if I can spark a blood feud between Crosby and Ovie on the ice before the game thus helping my chances of winning.
Loui / Pat: Alex Ovechkin - I'll take Ovie then I guess. That'll make for an interesting story, Crosby and Ovie playing together. I like how this has set up so far. I'd rank Crosby, Stamkos and Ovechkin as the best in hockey in that order anyways.
Brad / Art: Zdeno Chara - This game isn't about defense, but in my humble opinion Chara is the best defenseman in the league right now and as his hat trick recently showed he also has offensive flair.
Loui / Pat: Dustin Byfuglien - Hard to believe that switching from defense to forward back to defense would make him an even better defender, but here we are.
Brad / Art: Cam Ward - Is he the best goalie available? No. But I have a plan...
After the jump, we go over the rest of the rounds and a final breakdown and thoughts of the draft.
Loui / Pat: Jonas Hiller - Stars fans might not like me for this, but I'll grab Jonas Hiller to be my starting goalie.
Brad / Art: Eric Staal - Along with Cam Ward, I will no doubt have the support of the hometown Caniacs. It's all about winning hearts and minds in my all-star game.
Loui / Pat - Niklas Lidstrom
Brad / Art - Duncan Keith
Loui / Pat - Marc-Andre Fleury
Brad / Art - Jonathan Toews
Loui / Pat - Marc Staal
Brad / Art - Henrik Sedin
While I can't speak for Pat, I can honestly say that after the first few rounds where we'll see the really big names go and the last round to see who gets picked last, this draft is going to be kinda boring because half way through our own draft it felt like a bit of a grind to pick players. A feeling not helped by the rules the NHL set out for picking goalies and defensemen which in the end I don't really understand why they are in place. Is it to prevent one of the captains from picking a roster of 15 forwards, 5 defensemen and 2 goalies?
I somehow doubt any all-star captain would put their fellow players in a tough spot and thus draft a balance roster filling out all needed positions. Not to mention it felt kinda wrong to draft someone like Erik Karlsson over the likes of a Jarome Iginla.
Be honest, during the entry draft, are you really paying that much attention after round one? If you're a big time hockey fan, you may stick around for round two but that's about it. Maybe the NHL has plans to make the draft more interesting that it felt between Pat and I doing this over e-mail. We'll find out in a little over a week's time
The Final Rosters...
TEAM ERIKSSON (PAT)
Jonas Hiller - Anaheim Ducks
Marc-Andre Fleury - Pittsburgh Penguins
Tim Thomas - Boston Bruins
Dustin Byfuglien - Atlanta Thrashers
Niklas Lidstrom - Detroit Red Wings
Erik Karlsson - Ottawa Senators
Mike Green - Washington Capitals
Marc Staal - New York Rangers
Kris Letang - Pittsburgh Penguins
Loui Eriksson - Dallas Stars
Sidney Crosby - Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin - Washington Capitals
Daniel Sedin - Vancouver Canucks
Patrick Sharp - Chicago Blackhawks
Martin St. Louis - Tampa Bay Lightning
Ryan Kesler - Vancouver Canucks
Matt Duchene - Colorado Avalanche
Evgeni Malkin - Pittsburgh Penguins
Corey Perry - Anaheim Ducks
Phil Kessel - Toronto Maple Leafs
David Backes - St. Louis Blues
TEAM RICHARDS (ART)
Cam Ward - Carolina Hurricanes
Carey Price - Montreal Canadiens
Henrik Lundqvist - New York Rangers
Zdeno Chara - Boston Bruins
Duncan Keith - Chicago Blackhawks
Shea Weber - Nashville Predators
Brent Burns - Minnesota Wild
Tobias Enstrom - Atlanta Thrashers
Dan Boyle - San Jose Sharks
Brad Richards - Dallas Stars
Steven Stamkos - Tampa Bay Lightning
Eric Staal - Carolina Hurricanes
Jonathan Toews - Chicago Blackhawks
Henrik Sedin - Vancouver Canucks
Patrick Kane - Chicago Blackhawks
Rick Nash - Columbus Blue Jackets
Claude Giroux - Philadelphia Flyers
Ales Hemsky - Edmonton Oilers
Anze Kopitar - Los Angeles Kings
Jarome Iginla - Calgary Flames
Patrik Elias - New Jersey Devils