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2011 NHL All-Star Fantasy Mock Draft Analysis

Zdeno Chara (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Editor’s Note: Below is Brian’s Mock Draft submitted before Friday night’s NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft…along with the actual picks for the event. Let’s see how he did!)

If you love hockey like I do, and you love fantasy sports like I do, Friday was the night where your worlds collided for an event of sportsgasmic proportions.

I’m talking about the NHL’s newest creation, aimed to liven up their annual All Star festivities. Last night, the NHL held its first All Star Fantasy Draft.

Earlier this month, 42 All Stars were chosen, both by fan votes and by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Dept. From those 42 players, two captains were named… Detroit Red Wings veteran defenseman Niklas Lidstrom and Carolina Hurricanes team scoring leader, Eric Staal. These two captains, along with the help of their assigned alternate captains (Lidstrom has been paired with forwards Patrick Kane of Chicago and Martin St. Louis of the Lightning, while Staal worked with Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler and the Caps’ blueliner Mike Green), went back and forth, choosing up the teams that will skate against each other in Sunday’s All Star Game.

So all of you fantasy freaks know already… what happens, heading into a fantasy draft? Lots, and lots, and lots of mock drafts. Writers everywhere try their hand at predicting how the draft will proceed, what player will be drafted when and by who, and basically, a whole bunch of educated guesses are thrown out there, mainly keeping in mind that it’s all done in the interest of fun and entertainment. Well folks, I also tried my hand at joining in on the prognosticating fun.

Here’s my shot at predicting the inaugural NHL All Star Fantasy Draft. A coin flip will determine whether Team Staal or Team Lidstrom will choose first, but for the sake of this exercise, I’m going to give Staal the first pick in each round, seeing that he’s the hometown favorite, hoping to lead his team to victory in front of the Raleigh faithful (Editor’s note: Brian made a great guess, as Staal actually had the first pick).

Let’s drop the puck…

ROUND 1

Predictions:

Team Staal – Alex Ovechkin (With no Sidney Crosby at All Star weekend, Washington’s Mike Green won’t have to do too much lobbying for Staal to go with “Alexander the Great” as the first pick overall.)

Team Lidstrom – Steven Stamkos (If Staal is going to leave the league’s points leader for the taking, look for Lidstrom to snatch him up and pair him with St. Louis on his team’s top line.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Cam Ward, G

Team Lidstrom – Steven Stamkos, C

ROUND 2

Predictions:

Team Staal – Cam Ward (I see Staal trying to keep the trio of Hurricanes together, so he’ll have to grab Ward early.)

Team Lidstrom – Henrik Sedin (Swedes stick together!)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Alex Ovechkin, RW

Team Lidstrom – Duncan Keith, D

ROUND 3

Predictions:

Team Staal – Dustin Byfuglien (Being in the same division as Atlanta’s Byfuglien, Staal has to appreciate what an impact player he is. Highest point total amongst defensemen in the league, who can argue with that?)

Team Lidstrom – Daniel Sedin (As much as I want to see the Sedin twins on opposite teams, I’ve got to believe Staal & Lidstrom have already talked about their strategies, and I see Staal letting Lidstrom have the Swedish pair all to himself.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal: Daniel Sedin, W

Team Lidstrom: Henrik Sedin, C

ROUND 4

Predictions:

Team Staal – Rick Nash (Nash always seems to get up and play big in these All Star games. Maybe because being on the Blue Jackets means this All Star Game will be the most meaningful game of his season.)

Team Lidstrom – Jonathan Toews (Patrick Kane will lobby hard for Lidstrom to take Chicago’s top centerman, and there’s little argument why he shouldn’t.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Zdeno Chara, D

Team Lidstrom – Shea Weber, D

ROUND 5

Predictions:

Team Staal – Duncan Keith (Lidstrom won’t get all the Blackhawks though, as Staal grabs Keith as a nice compliment to former teammate Byfuglien.)

Team Lidstrom – Henrik Lundqvist (Once again, Swedes stick together!)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Rick Nash, W

Team Lidstrom – Tim Thomas, G (Editor’s Note: This means that Chara and Thomas will be on opposite teams for Sunday’s game)

ROUND 6

Predictions:

Team Staal – Tim Thomas (Best goalie in the game right now, and he’s got the talent to shut down even the league’s greatest goal scorers for an entire period.)

Team Lidstrom – Shea Weber (Lidstrom had to draft a defenseman sooner or later, he can’t man the blue line himself for all 60 minutes.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Henrik Lundqvist, G

Team Lidstrom – Daniel Briere, C/W

ROUND 7

Predictions:

Team Staal – Marc-Andre Fleury (Ward, Thomas, and the Flower… quite the goaltending trio. Should hold Team Lidstrom to oh, I’d say maybe single digits?)

Team Lidstrom – Patrick Sharp (Kane, Toews, and Sharp, does he put them all on one line for their chemistry or mix it up a bit and spread them out?)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Marc Staal

Team Lidstrom – Dustin Byfuglien

ROUND 8

Predictions:

Team Staal – Kris Letang (Behind Boston, Pittsburgh gives up the fewest goals per game, thanks to Fleury and guys like Letang.)

Team Lidstrom – Brad Richards (Richards completes my lineup of centers, with strength up the middle – Stamkos, H. Sedin, and Toews.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Patrick Sharp, LW

Team Lidstrom – Jonathan Toews, C

ROUND 9

Predictions:

Team Staal – Marc Staal (I don’t think Lidstrom would draft Eric’s brother and deny him the chance to play with his brother, but better safe than sorry, drafting him a little earlier than he should be.)

Team Lidstrom – Claude Giroux (He can play on the power play, shorthanded, on the wing, at center… he’s probably the most versatile player in this draft.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Dan Boyle, D

Team Lidstrom – Marc-Andre Fleury, G

ROUND 10

Predictions:

Team Staal – Anze Kopitar (Staal doesn’t see much of Kopitar being in different conferences, but he did put up a goal and an assist against Carolina when they did face each other earlier this season.)

Team Lidstrom – Zdeno Chara (Bruins fans better hope Chara doesn’t wind up and slap a 100+ mph shot at Tim Thomas, knocking him out for the season.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Carey Price, G

Team Lidstrom – Jonas Hiller, G

ROUND 11

Predictions:

Team Staal – Corey Perry (Very underrated winger that most East Coast fans don’t get to see that often.)

Team Lidstrom – Danny Briere (Briere is the first of the All Star replacements to be picked… Philadelphia is the best team in the NHL right now, so you can’t go wrong picking the two Flyers available.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Jeff Skinner, C

Team Lidstrom – Brad Richards, C

ROUND 12

Predictions:

Team Staal – Jeff Skinner (The Carolina rookie joins his two other Hurricane teammates to cinch that the hometown crowd will be on Team Staal’s side.)

Team Lidstrom – Loui Eriksson (Do I need to say it again? Swedes stick together!)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Kris Letang, D

Team Lidstrom – Keith Yandle, D

ROUND 13

Predictions:

Team Staal – Dan Boyle (Team Staal wraps up their blueline corps with San Jose’s Boyle. The Sharks might be having a down year, but it’s got nothing to do with Dan Boyle’s top notch play.)

Team Lidstrom – Erik Karlsson (The young Ottawa Senator joins a team already loaded with Swedes… I hear the Swedish Chef himself will be cooking the pre-game meal… bork, bork, bork!)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Claude Giroux, RW

Team Lidstrom – Brent Burns, D

ROUND 14

Predictions:

Team Staal – Patrik Elias (Elias has been around a while, so he’ll be a good veteran presence on an otherwise young-ish Team Staal.)

Team Lidstrom – Martin Havlat (Havlat’s another replacement player, so you know he’ll have something to prove on Sunday.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Erik Karlsson, D

Team Lidstrom – Martin Havlat, RW

ROUND 15

Predictions:

Team Staal – Phil Kessel (Kessel can put on a show and put the puck in the net… both good qualities to have for an All Star teammate.)

Team Lidstrom – Jonas Hiller (He’s waited long enough… time for Lidstrom to grab the last two goalies on the market, starting with Anaheim’s Hiller.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Corey Perry, RW

Team Lidstrom – Anze Kopitar, C

ROUND 16

Predictions:

Team Staal – Matt Duchene (Colorado’s leading scorer available in the sixteenth round? This will be a steal for Team Staal.)

Team Lidstrom – Carey Price (Did making Montreal’s Carey Price the last goaltender selected have something to do with me being a die-hard Bruins fan? Maybe…)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Patrik Elias, LW

Team Lidstrom – Matt Duchene, C

ROUND 17

Predictions:

Team Staal – Paul Stastny (Another Colorado youngster eager to show his stuff to the hockey-loving world.)

Team Lidstrom – Keith Yandle (Former Milton, MA native, Yandle is another replacement fill-in for the All Star Game. He packs a great offensive punch to his game though and could be a great pickup here in the late rounds.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – David Backes, RW

Team Lidstrom – Loui Eriksson

ROUND 18

Predictions:

Team Staal – David Backes (A gritty player few fans know about, playing on a mediocre St. Louis Blues team.)

Team Lidstrom – Brent Burns (Lidstrom will go wild for Wild, grabbing both Havlat and Burns, who play on the defensive-minded Wild… that’s just Lidstrom’s style.)

Actual Picks:

Team Staal – Paul Stastny, C

Team Lidstrom – Phil Kessel, RW

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