I read a tip on reddit that right now slightly early is better than slightly late and if you're struggling try turning off the meter and just get the feedback after the shot. I tried it myself and it seems to be helping my issues playing as a stretch 5.
My biggest issue is whenever I use simcast and try to jump in at the end of games the uniforms are wrong. Anytime I play an away game if I jump in both teams are wearing white.
As far as the picks being protected go if they get their pick back you get their first round pick the next year unprotected so if you think they'll be shit for a while it's sometimes worth the trade.