Fantasy Hockey: Help the Fabulous Forecheckers choose a keeper

With Yahoo! Sports' Fantasy Hockey opening up this week, it's time to start poring over projections and musing about possible draft strategies this fall. Following a cue from Earl Sleek over at Battle of California, I'm going to ask for your help on this, so please follow the jump...

This year I plan on participating in three Fantasy Hockey leagues; a local one administered by Paul Nicholson (of @PredFans fame), a league made up of the SB Nation Western Conference hockey bloggers, and, of course, James Mirtle's Hockey Blogger Invitational, an elite 18-team pool in which I placed 2nd in the regular season and 3rd in the playoffs last year. Kent from Matchsticks & Gasoline won both the regular season and playoff titles last time around, halting Mirtle's two-year winning streak.

In the Hockey Blogger Invitational, we instituted a new "keeper" aspect last season, so I get to choose two players to reserve for this year's squad prior to the draft. Here's a look at last year's final roster for the Fabulous Forecheckers, which was admittedly gutted down the middle due to injury:

Offense
Player
G
A
+/-
PIM
PPG
PPA
GWG
SOG
Eric Belanger (Min - C) 13 23 -5 26 4 9 4 147
Rob Blake (SJ - D) 10 35 15 110 6 16 1 198
Troy Brouwer (Chi - RW) 10 16 7 50 4 4 0 126
Andrew Brunette (Min - LW) 22 28 -5 18 9 9 3 118
J.P. Dumont (Nsh - RW) 16 49 1 20 5 17 4 176
Brian Gionta (Mon - RW) 20 40 12 32 3 8 1 248
Alex Kovalev (Ott - RW) 26 39 -5 74 11 21 4 209
Jamie Langenbrunner (NJ - RW) 29 40 25 56 6 11 7 229
Bryan McCabe (Fla - D) 15 24 -1 41 8 11 3 153
Owen Nolan (Min - RW) 25 20 5 26 12 5 5 148
Cal O'Reilly (Nsh - C) 3 2 2 2 0 0 0 6
Alexander Ovechkin (Was - LW) 56 54 8 72 19 27 10 528
Tomas Plekanec (Mon - C) 20 19 -9 54 6 6 2 202
Sami Salo (Van - D) 5 20 5 26 5 9 2 110
Jaroslav Spacek (Mon - D) 8 37 2 38 4 18 0 130
Doug Weight (NYI - C) 10 28 -15 55 5 16 0 96
Richard Zednik (Fla - LW,RW) 17 16 2 46 3 1 4 153
 
Goaltending
Player
W
GAA
SV
SV%
SHO
Craig Anderson (Col - G) 15 2.71 903 .924 3
Dan Ellis (Nsh - G) 11 2.93 867 .900 3
Tomas Vokoun (Fla - G) 26 2.49 1717 .926 6

 

With this in mind, I have two keepers to select. Oh, but first I do have an announcement to make:

"NOLENSVILLE, TN - The Fabulous Forecheckers are proud to announce that Alexander Ovechkin has been signed to a lifetime contract."

OK, make that one keeper to select. Whattaya think, folks? Do I go with a steady scorer up front, or a goaltender? Do one of the defenseman stick out as particularly useful? Sound off in the comments below and the poll, which will remain open for a few days.

For your reference:

Roster Positions: C, C, C, LW, LW, RW, RW, F, F, D, D, D, D, Util, G, G, BN, BN, BN, BN, IR, IR, IR, IR
Forwards/Defensemen Stat Categories: Goals (G), Assists (A), Plus/Minus (+/-), Penalty Minutes (PIM), Powerplay Goals (PPG), Powerplay Assists (PPA), Game-Winning Goals (GWG), Shots on Goal (SOG)
Goaltenders Stat Categories: Wins (W), Goals Against Average (GAA), Saves (SV), Save Percentage (SV%), Shutouts (SHO)


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