April 11, 2011

2011 Playoff Hockey Pool Draft

Format: The draft is 12 teams for 10 rounds using a serpentine system.
Point System: 1 pt for each goal and 1 pt for each assist, regardless of position. No bonus points. No goalies.

Strategy: Here is the system I have used to be successful when picking a standard hockey pool where the point system is the same regardless of position.

  1. Rank all players in a list for each team. Remember to check injury updates and go over each teams complete list. DO NOT be the one that misses the player than had a low point total because he missed half of the season due to injury.
  2. Make yourself a bracket of how you think the playoffs will fair. Predict each round matchup and how many games each series will go. REMEMBER… the NHL reseeds teams after each round, so the highest remaining seed will always play the lowest remaining seed.
  3. Add up each teams total games played in the playoffs. Rank the teams by order Create a MASTER LIST, ranking each team in order with your rankings of all of the players from each team.
  4. Follow your list for the whole draft. DO NOT pick players that will knock each other out in the first round, but DO NOT be afraid of potential second round matchups.
  5. DO NOT take players just because they are on the team you believe will make it to the Stanley Cup final. A 3rd line player like Chris Higgins on Vancouver will not be worth a selection over Ryan Getzlaf of Anaheim if you believe Anaheim will make it to Round 2 of the playoffs.
  6. Adapt to the draft. If you are picking near players that are loading up on one team, take advantage of that. Once a team has 4 or 5 players from one team, they are completely locked into that team and will or will not have success regardless. Leave players on that team for them to take and get the best available player from another team.
  7. Have a few beers and enjoy it! Watch the playoffs and root for your favourite team first!


Having the first pick overall made life much easier for me. It was just a matter of which Sedin to take. Since Daniel is having the better year, I went with him. My list featured Vancouver and Boston meeting in the final and playing a total of 25 games each.

Coming back to me for my 2nd and 3rd picks, it was easy to jump on the Boston bandwagon. I figured Milan Lucic will be too much for the Habs to handle, so his playoffs will get off to a very good start. Zdeno Chara plays so many minutes and in every situation, this was an easy pick. Both guys figure to be more valuable than the next best Vancouver player (Samuelsson).

My 4th and 5th round picks were also very easy for me to make. The Ducks are going to win their first round series. With two solid lines, they have a chance to make some noise, and I have them getting to the conference final, eventually losing to Vancouver. Lubomir Visnovsky has been one of the best offensive defensemen all year, and Bobby Ryan will get his share of points playing on the top two lines. The only player I considered over Ryan was Tomas Kaberle of Boston, but I did not want 3 defensemen in my top 5 picks.

Picks 6 and 7 are where I believe I will win this draft. Saku Koivu is the #2 center for a Ducks team playing very well. Before the draft Anaheim was the team I had pinpointed to get players later in the draft. This worked out very well for me. Getting Jordan Staal with my 7th pick was a steal. Staal has been great after missing almost half of the season. He was ranked #1 on my Pittsburgh list. With no Crosby or Malkin, Staal will get the bulk of the minutes at center. Tampa Bay does not scare me. The Penguins have the decided advantage in goal. Getting two rounds from a top line guy this late is a bargain.

Getting Raffi Torres and Chris Higgins gives me great depth from the team I believe will play the most games in the playoffs. Neither guy will put up big numbers, but every team that makes it to the finals has one or two guys that dramatically over-achieve (think Ville Leino and Kris Versteeg last year).
The best pick of the last round gets a bonus. Picking last in the round didn’t give me many options. Torrey Mitchell has been very valuable to the Sharks down the stretch. He is not an offensive star by any stretch, but the Sharks have the potential to go all the way.


  1. People as always, overvalue the Red Wings. It is ridiculous to think that Jiri Hudler went ahead of Kaberle, Hartnell, Versteeg or Timonen. A total of 14 Red Wings were drafted. They have the potential to be bounced in the first round.
  2. Sidney Crosby – Someone was going to take a flyer on him. He wound up being taken with the last pick of the 5th round. That seems quite high for a guy who is not even going full contact in practice.
  3. Faith in the Flyers – 12 Flyers in all went. Buffalo should have better goaltending, but obviously the league thought the Flyers will get by.
  4. The Penguins are overlooked – There are no real high scoring players from the Penguins, but they are one of the best coached teams in the league, and they have a favorable first round match-up. Don’t take any Pens in the first two rounds, but if no-one is taking them, be the first to start the trend.
  5. If you have a choice, pick high. The top 5 players are decidedly better than the rest for a playoff pool. Sure, the top 5 picked will not be the way the final playoff scoring goes, but your chances of winning are greatly increased when you have your top players getting out of the first round.
  6. No repeat for the Hawks – Even as good as Jonathan Toews is, he did not get taken until the 8th round. That is very late, but the Hawks lack of depth will make them an easy out in the first round. They do not have the goaltending or the role players to beat the Canucks.

- Mark Chyz

1D.Sedin - VANP.Datsyuk - DETA.Ovechkin - WASH.Sedin - VANR.Kesler - VANC.Giroux - PHIP.Marleau - SJD.Briere - PHIM.Richards - PHIH.Zetterberg - DETN.Lidstrom - DETN.Backstrom - WAS
2M.Lucic- BOSB.Rafalski - DETA.Semin - WASS.Stamkos- TBD.Krejci - BOSJ.Carter - PHIJ.Pavelski - SJD.Heatley - SJC.Ehrhoff - VANC.Perry - ANAJ.Franzen - DETJ.Thornton - SJ
3Z.Chara- BOST.Holmstrom - DETM.Green - WASM.St.Louis - TBM.Sameulsson - VANV.Lecavalier - TBD.Boyle - SJC.Pronger - PHIA.Burrows - VANR.Getzlaf - ANAD.Cleary - DETJ.Carlson - WAS
4L.Visnovsky - ANAV.Fillipula - DETN.Horton - BOSM.Erat - NASP.Bergeron - BOSA.Edler - VANR.Clowe - SJL.Couture - SJV.Leino - PHIT.Selanne - ANAT.Bertuzzi - DETB.Laich - WAS
5B.Ryan - ANAJ.Hudler - DETT.Kaberle - BOSS.Weber - NASM.Johansson - WASS.Hartnell - PHID.Setogucchi - SJC.Versteeg - PHIK.Timonen - PHIM.Recchi - BOSN.Kronwall - DETS.Crosby - PIT
6S.Koivu -ANAM.Cammalleri- MONM.Knuble - WASS.Salo - VanB.Marchand - BOSC.Hansen - VANT.Plekanec - MONJ.Van Riemsdyk - PHIM.Raymond - VANM.Ryder - BOSD.Helm - DETK.Letang - PIT
7J.Staal - PITB.Gionta - MONJ.Arnott - WASM.Gaborik - NYRS.Doan - PHOS.Gagne - TBT.Vanek - BUFD.Brown - LAR.Malone - TBR.Peverley - BOSM.Modano - DETC.Kunitz - PIT
8R.Torres - VANP.K. Subban -MONC.Fowler - ANAT.Purcell - TBK.Yandle - PHOM.Carle - PHIB.Dubinsky -MONJ.Toews - CHIP.Hornqvist - NAST.Connolly - BUFB.Boyes - BUFA.Kovalev - PIT
9C.Higgins - VANJ. Wisniewski - MONJ.Blake - ANAS.Downie - TBR.Whitney - PHOC.Hodgson - VANJ.Pominville - BUFP.Kane - CHIA.Meszaros - PHIT.Ennis - BUFB.Stuart - DETP.Sharp - CHI
10T.Mitchell - SJS.Gomez - MOND.Seidenberg - BOSA.Kostitsyn - MONJ.Neal - PITM.Boedker - PHOP.Dupuis - PITD.Keith - CHIK.Turris - PHOD.Bolland - CHIN.Gerbe - BUFM.Hossa - CHI

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