2023 Fantasy Hockey Draft Order and Best Position

By Dipak BK / 4 October 2023 10:20 AM

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Fantasy Hockey Draft Order for the first pick goes to the last place finisher of the previous season. The snake draft method is usually followed.

For leagues that follow a different method, a selection order is provided beforehand with a draft number given to all the teams in the league. An explanation for the selection order is usually provided by the leagues and will be available upon request.

Most leagues allow player trades and even trading places on the selection order just like in the NHL is allowed by most leagues if you wish to do so for strategic reasons. It is recommended to get confirmation from your league if this is allowed before coming up with a draft strategy.

Conducting thorough research not just on the best-ranked players but on the sleepers and breakouts is a must for getting the best squad in your team, especially for Salary Cap leagues and Auction drafts. 

According to the NHL player projections for the 2023/24 season, Connor McDavid - F, Cale Makar - D, and Jake Oettinger - G are the best players in their position.

Best Fantasy Hockey Draft Position

Edmonton Oilers teammates Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are the top two picks per the average draft position of CBS, Yahoo, and ESPN.

The best method of getting the best squad in the Fantasy Hockey draft is to keep the player rankings and projections in mind to come up with a selection strategy and include backup plans for unexpected occurrences.

While coming up with the strategy for the draft, it is important to keep in mind the rookies, sleeper picks, and breakout candidates along with the top players by ranked overall and projections based on their positions.

The NHL has provided projections for players by taking various factors into consideration like injury history, previous season performance, and a whole host of other things.

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The top 10 goalies according to the win projections are given below:

  1. Jake Oettinger, G, DAL: 40
  2. Alexandar Georgiev, G, COL: 38
  3. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR: 35
  4. Ilya Samsonov, G, TOR: 34
  5. Stuart Skinner, G, EDM: 33
  6. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI: 30
  7. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, FLA: 30
  8. Connor Hellebuyck, G, WPG: 29
  9. Tristan Jarry, G, PIT: 29
  10. Devon Levi, G, BUF: 29

The top 10 forwards and defensemen according to the NHL point projections are given below. 

Player Ranking by point projectionPlayer Point Projection
ForwardsForward Point Projections
1. Connor McDavid EDM160
2. Leon Draisaitl EDM130
3. Nikita Kucherov TBL117
4. Nathan MacKinnon COL115
5. Jack Hughes NJD111
6. David Pastrnak BOS110
7. Jason Robertson110
8. Kirill Kaprizov MIN110
9. Auston Matthews TOR110
10. Mikko Rantanen109
DefensemenDefense Point projections
1. Cale Makar COL87
2. Erik Karlsson PIT86
3. Adam Fox NYR81
4. Rasmus Dahlin BUF80
5. Quinn Hughes VAN80
6. Miro Heiskanen DAL77
7. Dougie Hamilton NJD76
8. Roman Josi NSH71
9. John Carlson WSH69
10. Josh Morrissey WPG68

How to draft Fantasy Hockey?

The most common player composition for teams is to include nine forwards, six defensemen, two goalies, one utility player, and a few players on the bench for injuries and other scenarios.

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Here are a few easy steps to get started on your Fantasy Hockey draft.

  1. Go to the website that is hosting your league like Yahoo, ESPN, CBS, Fantrax, etc.
  2. Take a moment to understand the type of draft your league will be doing like the Snake draft, auction draft, or salary draft.
  3. Research the top 10 to 20 players given on the list provided by the website.
  4. You can do additional research on other sites or use the NHL cheat sheet if you wish to do so.
  5. Come up with a list of players that is optimal for the type of draft you will be participating you would like to acquire for your team. 
  6. Perform mock drafts online to get used to the draft process and get ready for the real thing.
  7. The mock draft service is made available by the website hosting your league or by using services like
  8. In Rotoballer select Mock Draft where it says "Draft Mode" and select the website hosting your league in the box that says "League Emulation".
  9. Select the draft type and adjust the remaining settings as necessary to get started on your mock draft. 
  10. Practice with the mock draft until you are confident and ready for the draft day.

Average Draft Position (ADP)

One of the most convenient methods to gauge a player among the various player rankings available across various sites with a lot of data thrown at you is to look at the player's Average Draft Position.

The ADPs of NHL players according to the data compiled by FantasyPros using Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS as the sources are given below.

Rank | PlayerPosition | Yahoo | ESPN | CBS | AVG
1 | Connor McDavid EDMC1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1.0
2 | Leon Draisaitl EDMC2 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 2.0
3 | David Pastrnak BOSRW1 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 3.0
4 | Nathan MacKinnon COLC3 | 4 | 6 | 4 | 4.7
5 | Matthew Tkachuk FLALW1 | 5 | 7 | 5 | 5.7
6 | Auston Matthews TORC4 | 6 | 5 | 6 | 5.7
7 | Jason Robertson DALLW2 | 8 | 8 | 9 | 8.3
8 | Mikko Rantanen COLRW2 | 9 | 9 | 8 | 8.7
9 | Jack Hughes NJC5 | 11 | 10 | 13 | 11.3
10 | Tage Thompson BUFC6 | 12 | 11 | 11 | 11.3
11 | Cale Makar COLD1 | 13 | 15 | 7 | 11.7
12 | Nikita Kucherov TBRW3 | 7 | 25 | 10 | 14.0
13 | Kirill Kaprizov MINLW3 | 15 | 13 | 15 | 14.3
14 | Brady Tkachuk OTTLW4 | 10 | 14 | 22 | 15.3
15 | Mitch Marner TORRW4 | 16 | 21 | 17 | 18.0
16 | Igor Shesterkin NYRG1 | 14 | 22 | 19 | 18.3
17 | Jake Oettinger DALG2 | 21 | 16 | 18 | 18.3
18 | Elias Pettersson VANC7 | 27 | 4 | 28 | 19.7
19 | Erik Karlsson PITD2 | 39 | 19 | 14 | 24.0
20 | Ilya Sorokin NYIG3 | 17 | 12 | 44 | 24.3

Fantasy Hockey Draft Strategy

The strategy to get the best squad is to do research and focus on getting your core group of players like 3F, 2D, and 1G early in the draft.

It is crucial to research players before getting ready to draft your squad as that is how you can come up with an effective strategy to build the best possible team for yourself. 

If you understand the league you are in and the drafting system they use then you can come up with an optimal scenario based on that.

For example, in cases of auction drafts, if you understand player valuations then you can avoid overbidding on a player and nabbing the best-value player for the lowest possible cost. 

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No matter the type of league and drafting system used researching the league itself, the draft system, and the players is a very important step in getting ready to draft the best squad you can. 

After extensive research, another strategy to get ready for the draft is to perform Mock Drafts. These services are provided by the Website that hosts your league and you know what they say "Practice makes Progress".

Mock Drafts can help you get acquainted with the draft process and understand the adjustments you might need to make to your strategy.

Here are some more strategies for the Fantasy Hockey draft.

  • Go into the draft with a plan in mind and make sure to include backup plans as well for the instances when things don't go according to your plan. 
  • Plan out the players you want for each position and try to plan out a well-rounded roster that is optimal for your league's scoring system. 
  • When drafting a goaltender try to aim for a player who is consistent with a high win and save percentages. 
  • Include Sleepers, Breakouts, and rookies in your research for players, and try to add a few to your squad as well. They can provide the most value for the lowest cost at times. 
  • Take the time to look at the player's history of injury and make preparations in your roster in case your player might get injured.
  • Look at the numbers and stats to try to build the best possible squad and not a squad full of your favorite players.

NHL Fantasy Mock Draft 2023-24

The NHL Fantasy Mock Draft 2023-24 includes two separate mock drafts as of yet. Connor McDavid was the number one pick in both drafts.

The first NHL mock draft for fantasy hockey which was held on September 5, 2023, was conducted for a 12-team league with a roster size of 18 players that included 3C, 2LW, 2RW, 4D, 2G, 1 utility player, and 4 bench players. 

Chris Meany, the award-winning sportswriter of the FTN Network along with the NHL team of Pete Jensen, Anna Dua, and Nick Alberga were the participants of the draft where they selected the players for three teams each. 

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The first round began with Chris Meaney selecting Connor McDavid. The full details for the first round of the Mock Draft 1.0 is listed below.

  1. Connor McDavid, C, EDM (T1 - Chris Meany)
  2. Leon Draisaitl, C, EDM (T2 - Pete Jensen)
  3. Nathan MacKinnon, C, COL (T3 - Anna Dua)
  4. Auston Matthews, C, TOR (T4 - Nick Alberga)
  5. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS (T5 - Chris Meany)
  6. Jack Hughes, C/LW, NJD (T6 - Pete Jensen)
  7. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, MIN (T7 - Anna Dua)
  8. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, FLA (T8 - Nick Alberga)
  9. Jason Robertson, LW, DAL (T9 - Chris Meany)
  10. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL (T10 - Pete Jensen)
  11. Brady Tkachuk, LW, OTT (T11 - Anna Dua)
  12. Mikko Rantanen, RW, COL (T12 - Nick Alberga)

The second Mock Draft called Fantasy on Ice Draft was held on September 27, 2023, with Pete Jensen, Nick Alberga, Anna Dua, Lauren Jbara, Jonny Lazarus, Steve Dangle, Arda Ocal, and Michael Leboff. 

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The eight-team mock draft with a roster size of 7 players that included 3F, 2D, 1G, and 2 Utility players began with Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers picked in the first round of Jonny Lazarus in the first round. 

The first-round picks of the NHL Fantasy on Ice Draft are given below and the full results can be found here

  1. Connor McDavid, F, EDM (Jonny Lazarus)
  2. Leon Draisaitl, F, EDM (Arda Ocal)
  3. Auston Matthews, F, TOR (Steve “Dangle” Glynn)
  4. Nathan MacKinnon, F, COL (Nick Alberga)
  5. Jack Hughes, F, NJD (Pete Jensen)
  6. David Pastrnak, F, BOS (Lauren Jbara)
  7. Elias Pettersson, F, VAN (Michael Leboff)
  8. Nikita Kucherov, F, TBL (Anna Dua)

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