Monday, June 16, 2008

UFHL Draft 2008 team by team picks

Just like last year, and the year before, I am pleased to offer a short review of each team's performance hot on the heels of the draft. This year it was particularly difficult to accomplish due to small dispute with Google on whether yours truly should be allowed to keep this little gig, even if I make use of the opportunity only once a year. Fear not, I have won and so you can not only enjoy this year's installment, but also have something to look forward to next year.

#5-Alex Pietrangelo
#37-Jiri Niemi
It is a draft of the defensmen. In Anaheim's case, two defensemen.
#35-Corey Trivino
#36-Tyler Ennis
#63-Jimmy Hayes
#65-Patrick Wiercioch
#70-Kelsey Tessier
#77-Philip McRae
#86-Patrice Cormier
There is a good reason to believe that Boston's 2008 draft will be remembered for reasons other than drafting a player whose name no one else could spell
#17-Jacob Markstrom
#28-Jordan Eberle
#78-Kevin Poulin
#85-Ilmari Pitkanen
It is becoming the tradition in UFHL for Buffalo GM Randy to stockpile an enormous collection of draft picks only to deal them for a bigger stockpile next season. This can't end well, since at this rate Buffalo will flat out own the whole draft by 2014.
#10-Zach BoychukLess is more.
#14-Josh Bailey
#55-Cody Goloubef
#67-Derek Stepan
#80-Peter Delmas
Carolina only picked once last year, but warmed up and selected FOUR times in 2008. I say, based on the selections, that maybe Carolina should do even more picking next year.
Chicago is playing it close to the vest. No picks is as mysterious as you can get.
#20-Colby Robak
#40-Colten Teubert
#68-James Wright
If these picks do not turn out, do not blame the Colorado GM, blame THN. Colorado GM missed the draft altogether.
#11-Kyle Beach
#41-Jamie Arniel
#83-Kruise Reddick
Wouldn't it have been perfect if Jekyll/Hide-esque Beach went 13th? Well, he didn't. That's the kind of guy he is.
Yet another team with no picks. I blame Randy.
#21-Aaron Ness
#29-Jake Gardiner
#72-Dmitry Kugryshev
#76-Michael Hutchinson
#81-Taylor Stefishen
I think Edmonton is picking all those Minnesotans hoping that these guys wouldn't mind the North pole cold Edmonton winters.
#12-Michael Del Zotto
#27-John Carlson
#38-Jake Allen
#53-Luke Adam
#60-Danny Kristo
If you believe Don, he made all these great picks while being driven to distraction by hordes of gorgeous females vying for his attention. Well, do you believe?
#16-Mattias Tedenby
#26-Joe Colborne
#39-Viktor Tikhonov
#51-David LeNeveu(UFHL)
#57-Vyacheslav Voinov
#66-A.J. Jenks
LA went for a hockey version of the Hollywood hit "Twins" picking Tedenby and Colborne. Needless to say both need to put on some weight before they make it to the show.
#2-Nikita Filatov
#74-Justin Schultz
#82-Henrik Eriksson
Half of the NHL announcers will call last Minnesota pick Erik Henriksson instead of Henrik Eriksson half of the time. Clearly, half of this guy's name is wrong. Which one?
#13-Chet Pickard13th pick on Friday the 13th. Spooky.
#46-Brayden Holtby
#48-Roman Josi
#52-Mike Sillinger(UFHL)
How did Roman Josi fall this far? Well, the Devils aren't complaining.
#3-Drew Doughty
#58-Mitch Wahl
With Mike Sillinger off the board, the Islanders select a younger version in Mitch Wahl.
#32-Jared Staal
#71-Dustin Tokarski
You'd think that a Staal would be picked higher and higher every year as the league learns how good these guys are. Nope. Go figure.
#19-Mikhail Stefanovich
#47-Anton Gustafsson
An absentee GM was given these gems thanks to THN. No fair!
#4-Zach Bogosian
#22-David Toews
#33-Thomas McCollum
#50-Evgeny Grachev
#69-Adam Comrie
#84-Brodie Reid
Philly went off the board with Toews. If you believe Shattuck's coach, the rest of the GMs will be kicking themselves.
#1-Steven Stamkos
#23-Harri Sateri
#42-Kristoffer Berglund
#43-Yann Sauve
#44-Justin Jokinen
#54-Brandon Burlon
#61-David Carle
Just like last year the Coyotes will face some tough decisions on whom to sign. At least the first decision is going to be super easy.
#56-Michael Stone
#75-Joel Champagne
I do not know what to say about these picks. Really, I do not.
#7-Cody Hodgson
#15-Tyler Myers
#24-Zac Dalpe
#34-Greg Nemisz
#62-Eric O'Dell
#64-Andre Petersson
Possessing a good young defensive core the Sharks still could not pass on the towering defenseman who skates like Sergei Fedorov.
#6-Mikkel Boedker
See Calgary.
Last year every team had a pick. This year it's already the third team with no picks. You watch out Randy. I am onto you man.
#8-Colin Wilson
#9-Luke Schenn
#18-Luca Sbisa
#31-Kirill Petrov
#45-Nicolas Deschamps
#59-Daultan Leveille
#79-Anssi Salmela(UFHL)
Ok, the first four picks were already great. But people, how the hell did you let Deschamps and Leveille fall to the bottom of the 2nd?
#30-Tyler Cuma
Boooring. As in, who needs a top 4 defenseman at the bottom of the 1st? Kyle, put you arm down now. The rest of the class gets an F.
#25-Erik Karlsson
#49-Maxime Sauve
#73-David Ullstrom
This year, due to Detroit's lack of picks, Hakan Andersson decided to help Washington. His advice? Simple: "Pick more Swedes"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Round One Summary

Friday night the UFHL held the first round of their annual entry draft. This is the first year that the draft has followed the NHL and had the first round on a different day than the rest of the rounds.

As anticipated, there were a number of trades as teams moved around. However, despite the uncertainty of draft day, it seems as UFHL managers had a fairly intimate knowledge of draft rankings as there were few surprises.

To come up with a ranking of players, lists from The Hockey News, ISS, the CSB, Bob Mckenzie (midseason), and a blogger called CUP have been averaged WITH the actual UFHL draft position to create a ranking of players prior to the NHL draft.

This gives interesting insight to where players have been selected. Here is the breakdown.
Stamkos ranked #1, selected # 1 - 0 spots earlier than predicted
Doughty ranked #2, selected #3 - 1 spot later than predicted
Bogosian ranked #2, selected 4, 2 spots later than predicted
Pietrangelo ranked #4, selected 5 - 1 spot later than predicted
Filatov ranked #5, selected 2 - 3 spots earlier than predicted
Schenn ranked #6, selected 9 - 3 spots later than predicted
Boedker ranked #7, selected 6 - 1 spot earlier than predicted
Hodgson ranked #8, selected 7 - 1 spot earlier than predicted
Wilson ranked #9, selected 8 - 1 spot earlier than predicted
Beach ranked #10, selected 11 - 1 spot later than predicted
Myers ranked #11, selected 15 - 4 spots later than predicted
Boychuk ranked #12, selected 10 - 2 spots earlier than predicted
Bailey ranked #13, selected 14 - 1 spot earlier than predicted
Teubert ranked #14, not selected
Sbisa ranked #15, selected 17 - 2 spots later than predicted
Tedenby ranked #16, selected 16 - 0 spots earlier than predicted
Del Zotto ranked #17, selected 12 - 5 spots earlier than predicted
Pickard ranked #18 (based on only 3 lists), selected 13 - 5 spots earlier than predicted
Markstrom ranked # 19, selected 17 - 2 spots earlier than predicted
Carlson ranked #20, selected 27th - 7 spots later than predicted
Robak ranked #21, selected 20 - 1 spot earlier than predicted
Colborne ranked #22, selected 26 - four spots later than predicted
Dalpe ranked #23, selected 24 - one spot later than predicted
Cuma ranked #24, not selected
Deschamps ranked #25, not selected
Eberle ranked #26, selected 28 - 2 spots later than predicted
Nemisz ranked #27, not selected
Stefanovich ranked #28 - selected 19th - 9 spots higher than predicted
Gardiner ranked #29, selected 29th - 0 spots earlier than predicted
McCollum ranked #30, not selected

Players selected outside of top 30 rankings:
Ness at 21 was ranked 36 - 15 spots earlier than predicted
Toews at 22 was ranked 38 - 16 spots earlier than predicted
Sateri at 23 was ranked 46 - 23 spots earlier than predicted
Karlsson at 25 was ranked 34 - 9 spots earlier than predicted

Biggest riser: Sateri
Biggest fall: Teubert (and still dropping)

When round two begins, some GMs may look at the guys who are still on the board unexpectedly, or perhaps there are more surprises in store! It will also be interesting to see where these players go in the NHL. Will the teams that took guys like Ness, Toews, Sateri, and Karlsson look like geniuses or suckers? In the end, its not really about the draft position but what a player does after being drafted. Only time will tell, but draft position plays into hype, which certainly has tangible value in a fantasy league.

Enjoy round two! Canucks pick first!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Wild hold predraft exercises

With the UFHL Draft approaching the Minnesota Wild brought in a few prospects to go through on ice exercises with current Wild prospects. Steve Stamkos, Drew Doughty, and Zach Bogosian joked on the ice before warms ups. With the second overall pick the Wild have many choices, all of them at the Xcel Engery Center today, to choose from. This is the third straight year the Wild have chosen in the top 2.

In a press conference before the scrimmage GM Willgress announced the Wild will wear #28 stickers on their helmets in memory of their fallen teammate Luc Bourdon.

Scrimmage Team

Team White: Neuvirth, Bogosian, Erixon, Sneep, Persson, Bergfors, Ryan, Boyle, Stamkos, Kalus, and Sacchetti
Team Black: Unice, Finley, Hrabal, Doughty, Danis-Pepin, Berglund, Turris, Azevedo, Irmen, Ritola, and an unknown prospect who was invited by GM Willgress.

The teams played two 18 minute periods of running time, with Team Black winning 7-6 in a come from behind victory.

1st Period:
00:51 Boyle (Sneep, Bogosian)
05:25 Ryan (Bergfors, Bogosian)
12:00 Berglund (unknown player, Hrabal)
15:31 Kalus (Stamkos, Persson)
17:40 Erixon (Sacchetti, Ryan)

2nd Period:
02:51 unknown player (Turris, Berglund)
03:05 unknown player (Berglund, Irmen)
07:51 Ritola (unknown player, Doughty)
08:20 Stamkos (Bogosian, Erixon)
09:47 Azevedo (unknown player, Danis-Pepin)
11:03 Persson (Bergfors, Boyle)
13:26 unknown player (Berglund, Turris)
16:52 unknown player (Finley, Hrabal)

From the drop of the puck it was evident that team white was the most physical of the two. Boyle centered a line with Ryan and Bergfors on either wing for the first period while Stamkos would center Kalus and Sacchetti and they would swap for the second. Sneep and Bogosian appeared to be a great pairing as both of their powerful shots from the point seem to get on Unice. The Swede pairing of Persson and Erixon held their own as the game was very fast paced.

If Team White was the physical team, Team Black was pure speed. Turris, and the mystery player were lights out the fastest skaters on the ice. It took a while for the pace of the game to swing in Team Blacks favor but when it did it was tape to tape passes on the fly. In the first period Berglund centered Azevedo and the mystery player while Turris centered Ritola and Irmen. Finley and Hrabal were one defensive pairing while Doughty and Danis-Pepin were the other.

All of the prospects faired very well. Stamkos showed the flashes of brilliance that are probably going to make him the #1 pick. The other forward was the best player on the ice, he led all players with 4 goals and 2 assists. All of the media in attendance was attempting to see who this player was, but could not see under the dark face shield. Bogosian and Doughty were their usual selfs playing a great all around game while chipping in offensively.

GM Willgress would not hint who the player was that he had invited but he did say that he may be looking to acquire another pick to try to select this player. GM Willgress commented it was nice to have all four of his college prospects in town for the workout, most of the media chuckled knowing that Sneep, Finley, and Sacchetti are from the Twin Cities area. Danis-Pepin and his parents came to the workout to tour the city in the hopes of finding out what the town will be like after Danis-Pepin's senior year at Maine.

Prospect Report:
The Wild have depth at all positions. The Wild have five goaltenders, three of which have seen time in an NHL game. Recently signed Josh Unice and 2006 Draft Pick Michal Neuvirth have not seen any NHL time but are considered to be potential #1 goalies, both are probably 2-3 years away from NHL duty. Rookie Jon Quick was thrown into NHL duty before his time but management is very happy with his development. Pekka Rinne and Marek Schwarz could have the opportunity to be in the NHL come October. The Wild may not have the clear cut future stud like a Carey Price but they are pleased with the direction their goaltending is going.

Possible goalie picks at #2: None, the Wild will not pull a Blake Wheeler and take a potential second round pick at #2.

The Wild have eight defensemen who are still considered eligible to be on the farm. Nicklas Grossman and Matt Smaby were free agent signees after the 2006 and 2007 THN Future Watch edition was released. Grossman was a very pleasant surprise for the Wild this year and Smaby played strong in the last ten games of the season the Wild will look to the both of them for the 2008-09 season to contribute when in the lineup. After Grossman and Smaby NHL experience is non-existant. Danis-Pepin, Finley, and Sneep are all playing in strong NCAA programs. Recently signed Josef Hrabal has an opportunity to crack the roster this year and is probably the closest NHL ready prospect. Dennis Persson recently signed an NHL contract but it is rumored that he will be loaned to a Swedish Elite team for the 2008-09 season. The last defensive prospect is an undrafted prospect from the 2007 draft in Sebastien Erixon. The Wild are still able to hold his rights as he was draft eligible in 2007 but was not selected in the NHL Draft. Erixon had a good season between the Elite League and Second Division in Sweden.

Possible defensemen picks at #2: Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian, and Alex Pietrangelo. With the loss of Luc Bourdon the Wild lost their best overall defensive prospect and could choose between Doughty and Bogosian to fill gap created by the loss of Bourdon.

The Wild have eleven forward prospects. If the Wild are strong anywhere it's up front. According to the 2008 Future Watch the Wild have three of the top ten prospects, all forwards, Kyle Turris (2), Patrik Berglund (5), and Bobby Ryan (10). Monster forward Brian Boyle was listed at number 72. Petr Kalus, Danny Irmen, Nicklas Bergfors, and Nico Saccheti were all listed as top 10 prospects of their respective teams. Only Mattias Ritola, Kris Newbury, and recently signed Justin Azevedo were not listed. Many question the Wild signing of Azevedo, however there have only been two CHL scoring champions who have never played an NHL game, the Wild are sure Justin will not be number 3.

Possible forward picks at #2: Steven Stamkos, Nikita Filatov, and Mikkel Boedker. Unless something goes wrong in the Coyotes camp Stamkos will be off the board. Filatov and Boedker are slated to have unbelievable offensive potential and as another GM put it "the Best way to move back up towards the top is only by offense".

There have been rumors that the Wild may trade the #2 pick to acquire more draft picks as this draft is believed to be relativity deep in talent. After mulling over a few offers GM Willgress felt it was best to keep his one pick instead of acquiring three to four now and have to figure out which players to release at camp. With the players above GM Willgress believes it would be a pretty tough decision. The Wild also have the 2nd pick in the 4th Round in which they may be able to snag a late 1st rounder or early 2nd rounder that was overlooked in the first two days of the draft.

In other UFHL Draft news the Wild have exposed forwards Justin Azevedo, Stanislav Chistov, Kris Newbury, and John Pohl along with defensemen Simon Danis-Pepin.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

UFHL Forum

New UFHL forum:

Unfortunately you will have to re-register for the forum.


Monday, February 25, 2008

2008 UFHL Trade Deadline

The 2008 UFHL Trade Deadline will be Saturday March 8, at 11:59 PM, Pacific Time.

Please submit trades as soon as you can so we can process them for you.

UFHL Management