The National Hockey League's return to the ice brings with it the annual TSN Fantasy Draft, which was held Wednesday night.
Hosted by James Duthie, the draft showcased four-time champion Dave Hodge alongside Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, as well as analysts Aaron Ward and Keith Jones. Each team owner drafted a fantasy hockey team of eight players using the TSN Fantasy Hockey League Manager.
Team Ward had the first overall selection and with it he chose Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin. The 26-year-old Malkin led the NHL in points with 109 last season and has averaged 1.21 points-per-game in the last three seasons. He is also a three-time 100-point scorer.
Team Dreger had the second overall pick, and the Hockey Insider selected "Mr. Obvious," Sidney Crosby.
Crosby has been the league's leader in points-per-game over the past three seasons. While battling health issues the past two seasons, the 25-year-old still recorded 103 points in 63 games the past two years.
"I believe because Sidney Crosby is healthy that he will put up some dynamic numbers," said Dreger. "He has something to prove, not only to himself but I think to the world of hockey."
Team Jones used the third overall pick to select newly named captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, Claude Giroux. Giroux finished third in the NHL last season, posting 28 goals and 65 assists for 93 points through 77 games. He also led the league with 38 power play points in the 2011-12 campaign.
Team Hodge had the last pick of the opening round and selected Tampa Bay Lightning forward, Steven Stamkos. The 22-year-old was the leading goal scorer in the NHL last season, pocketing 60 goals and earning the Maurice Richard Trophy for his efforts. Stamkos has also been the league's leader in goals (156) and points (283) over the last three seasons.
CLICK HERE to see the complete list of drafted players and to follow along throughout the season.