So with the season coming to a close, I thought I would take a look at 10 players that all had solid seasons, and realistically should have been drafted higher. I also challenged myself to pick 1 from each round, so that does mean I would have to leave out some awesome players. These are all just my personal opinions, and by not choosing any of the other 86 drafted players, that does not mean I think they are bad or were bad picks by any means, just that I felt these players did come out on top. If you felt I messed up a pick, feel free to reach out to me. I would love to hear your logical opinion in the comments of this post or in the NZHL discord.
LedvinKa (C) – #9 (Dumpstars)
28 GP – 48G, 56A, 104PTS, 3.71P/GP, 7HT, 53FO%
Now I know what you’re thinking… CN… how can the likely MVP winner be a value pick when they were taken in the first round? Well, Led was taken at #9 overall, meaning there were 8 players above him. Obviously he should have been taken in the first round, there’s no question about it, but him sliding to #9 and having the season he did basically forced me to have him as the pick for the first round.
R xYATESx77 (RW/C) – #20 (Average Joes)
17 GP – 30G, 24A, 54PTS, 3.18P/GP, 5HT
This pick may have been the least surprising of the entire draft, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good pick. Round 2’s picks were pretty accurate in my opinion, meaning that I don’t think too many players were drafted there that I believe shouldn’t have been. Yates finished 1st on his team for both goals and points, as well as 10th in the league. If he was able to play some more games, he may have even passed guys like Goots and Miller for total points, if not even higher, with his points per game being higher than 6/9 of the remaining top 10 point producers.
That 1 Odd Guy (D) – #30 (Area 51)
25 GP – 31PTS, +28, 104Hits, 21BS, 2.07INT+TKA/GVA, 78.11DEF%
Odd Guy was one of the best all around defenseman this season, so with him going as low as he did, Area 51 got one heck of a top pair defenseman at #30. As of the time of writing this, the awards nominees have not been revealed, but do not be surprised when he ends up being a Norris nominee. Odd guy was also the top defenseman by DEF% among non-captain defenseman, so that just adds to the idea that he should AT LEAST be a Norris candidate.
Keirdust (G) PT – #34 (Tottenham Trucks)
10 GP – 2.40GAA, .866SV%, 3SO
Jumping from one awards candidate to the next, Keirdust should easily be up for the Vezina. Now I will admit I am curious to see who wins, as we’ll discuss some of his competition later, but as it stands, he has the best GAA and SV% among goalies with at least 10 games played. In all honesty, this round was very tough as this was the first round that part timers were available. At #34, he was only the fourth player in this round. But the reason I chose him, is that both Gronk and Elmer were taken above him. Area 51 may have won the Perf sweepstakes, but I think Turk and Marty got the best PT player, definitely the best PT Goalie, with 33% of his starts being shutouts.
Mooseballs04 (LW) PT – #50 (Area 51)
10 GP – 22G, 17A, 39PTS, 3.90P/GP, 4HT
Another really solid part timer. Taken at #50, Mooseballs proved that he easily could have been taken above the players in both round 4 and 5. Moose was the leading scorer of all PT players, with 39 points. His 22 goals was not only the most from the PT crew, but also 2nd most on Area 51, only behind CashedKUSH.
kdb c7 (RW) – #58 (Make a Wish)
18 GP – 23G, 25A, 48PTS, 2.67P/GP, 4HT
Round 6 was tough for sure, however I went with kdb as my choice. There is an argument for another winger in xG Green, but honestly I felt that given the extra games played (due to him being FT), kdb was the more valuable pickup. Kdb did get off to a slow start though, only having 10 points and being a -4 in his first 6 games, but was able to pick it up down the stretch, with 38 points in the next 12 games. Of course there is an asterisk, with him being paired with Shieldzyyy, but MaW finding a solid first line with Shieldzy-Huncho-kdb is going to be key to their potential playoff success.
MJP1502 (D/G) – #68 (Dumpstars)
D – 8 GP – 5PTS, +16, 18Hits, 10BS, 3.47 INT+TKA/GVA
G – 6 GP – 2.34GAA, .857SV%, 1SO
MJP makes me mad, not because of anything he really did, but he is the only one on this list that made me list two full sets of stats. MJ was one of the best goalies, however was only able to play 6 games due to the goalie above him on the depth chart stealing the show as of late. That being said, MJ did have the 2nd best SV% with goalies who played 6 or more games, as well as having the best GAA in that same group. The crazy part is, goalie may not even be his “best” position, as he was 8-0-0 at D, with a 3.47 INT+TKA/GVA ratio. Honestly it should be illegal to be as good as he is at both positions. While he may not be in the Vezina conversation because of the limited games played, he has a solid chance of winning the Johnny Sins award (Player that excels at multiple positions).
l Krejci l 46 l (G) – #78 (Make a Wish)
10 GP – 2.63GAA, .835SV%, 1SO
As much as this pains me to say, Krejci (AKA Doc) did prove me wrong, in that he can compete with the big dogs for sure. Clearly I’m still a bit salty about it, but he should be in the final three for the Vezina.
FloppyWha1eMeat (LW) – #87 (Alcohooligans)
15 GP – 18G, 16G, 34PTS, 2.27P/GP
FloppyWha1eMeat… just let that name sink in. Floppy was able to be one of the most consistent players for the Alcohooligans, and when he wasn’t around, the team took a hit. He was 10-3-0 when playing at forward, with an even better record at his natural position. Floppy may not be the team’s MVP, as Gezer ended 14 points higher, but as I mentioned before… the team absolutely needed him at points in the season with him ending the season in 2nd for goals scored while on the Alcohooligans. Let’s just say there’s a reason that mostly everyone in the Alcohooligans’ team server now has a Floppy_____ name.
BigDaddyOdin332 (G) – #89 (Dumpstars)
20 GP – 2.61GAA, .833SV%, 2SO
Taken after teams had filled out their draft requirements, Odin may end up being the absolute best value player in the draft. In many people’s eyes, he will win the Vezina. He had the 3rd best GAA and SV%, but not by much. He also had one of the craziest records this season, finishing up the season at 17-2-1! That’s absolutely absurd! Over the last two weeks, Odin had a.866 SV% and a 10-0 record. Odin also had a 13 game winning streak that spanned 3 weeks of games, which also included 2 shutouts.
I’ll admit, I’m a bit lazy here so I’m not going to write a few sentences about each of these guys, but they are 3 other players that were pretty solid value, each coming in a close second place for their respective rounds.