This is part four in a series of posts looking back at the NHL Draft between 2004 and 2009
This might be my favorite draft of the six that I worked through. There seemed to be a few more big moves than the others I looked through. There seemed to be a number of seriously talented players lurking in the middle of this draft which made slotting them in properly a challenge in many cases.
The quality likely relates to the draft class all being in their mid-20s and at or near their peak in terms of talent. The talent pool of picks beyond the first round was also a bit deeper than other drafts which made the exercise more interesting.
1. Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane
No brainer here. He scores in bunches and performs in the playoffs
2. Philadelphia Flyers: Jaime Benn (DAL, 129) – Original Pick: James van Reimsdyk
One, not 128 players should have been picked ahead of Jaime Benn in 2007. He’s developed into a lethal goal scorer with a body that’s nearly impossible to knock of the puck.
3. Phoenix Coyotes: PK Subban (MTL, 43) – Original Pick: Kyle Turris
Benn probably winds up as the steal of this draft but Subban isn’t far behind. A legitimate star in the league, you could argue that he’s the most valuable player to his team based on what he brings to the table night after night. He’s a special player and more than worthy of going in the top-five.
4. Los Angeles Kings: Ryan McDonagh (MTL, 13) – Original Pick: Thomas Hickey
Imagine adding Ryan McDonagh to the defensive corps the Kings already have. While his arrival could have prompted the team to look away from Drew Doughty a year later, the pair would form a formidable top duo for the Kings.
5.Washington Capitals: James van Reimsdyk (PHI, 2) – Original Pick: Karl Alzner
Having a player like JVR fall to them would be a dream come true for the Caps. While he’s not worthy of the second pick in my book, there’s no reason for him to be sitting outside of the top-five.
6. Edmonton Oilers: Logan Couture (SJ, 10) – Original Pick: Sam Gagner
Couture has become a special player in San Jose and while it would be interesting to see what his affect on the Oilers would be, I can’t see him falling any lower than sixth overall in this class.
7. Columbus Blue Jackets: Jakub Voracek
This is an interesting take because the Jackets used Voracek to acquire Jeff Carter who they subsequently let go to Los Angeles. So while the Jackets didn’t necessarily give up on Voracek, I think it’s safe to say that they’d certainly like to have him on the roster at this point in time.
8. Boston Bruins: Max Pacioretty (MTL, 22) – Original Pick: Zach Hamill
The Bruins are fans of big guys with elite skill and Pacioretty is overflowing with both traits. While he may create a surplus of power forwards in Boston, he’d certainly make their attack that much better.
9. San Jose Sharks: Kevin Shattenkirk (COL, 15) – Original Pick: Logan Couture
San Jose has a number of impressive pieces on their roster but they do seem to be lacking on the back end a bit. While Shattenkirk wouldn’t give them a coveted shutdown defender but he would provide an instant upgrade to their depth while giving a nice boost on the offensive side.
10. Florida Panthers: Karl Alzner (WSH, 5) – Original Pick: Keaton Ellerby
You might say the Panthers missed on Ellerby the first time around. With Alzner falling from his original spot in this draft, Florida would come away with a nice upgrade to what has become a thin blueline.
11. Carolina Panthers: Kyle Turris (PHX, 3) – Original Pick: Brandon Sutter
This might be a lateral move in the end, but Turris seems to have found his offensive gifts since moving to Ottawa and he’d certainly give the Hurricanes some quality depth behind the Staals on their current roster.
12. Montreal Canadiens: Wayne Simmonds (LA, 61) – Original Pick: Ryan McDonagh
There isn’t anything about Wayne Simmonds I dislike. He’s a prototypical power forward who brings a 200 foot element with quality offensive acumen to any roster he’s on. He’s an adaptable player and would be an incredible addition to the Canadiens.
13. St. Louis Blues (from TOR via. SJS): Carl Hagelin (NYR, 168) – Original Pick: Lars Eller
Hagelin has really become a fun player to watch. He’s one of the fastest players in the league and can finish regularly. He was a steal at 168 for New York and would fit beautifully on St. Louis’ roster.
14. Colorado Avalanche: Alec Martinez (LA, 95) – Original Pick: Kevin Shattenkirk
This is a simple swap of one mobile defenseman for another. Martinez has developed nicely and would give the Avalanche a nice element on an otherwise unproven d-corps.
15. Edmonton Oilers (from NYI): Brandon Sutter (CAR, 11) – Original Pick: Alex Plante
Considering the offensive haul the Oilers have enjoyed in recent years, a steady, defensively responsible centerman would really be a welcome addition to their roster. Sutter drops here not because of his skillset but because of the sleepers who came after him.
16. Minnesota Wild (from TB via ANA): Sam Gagner (EDM, 6) – Original Pick: Colton Gilles
Gagner has been a hot name in trade talks over the past couple seasons. While he’s certainly a quality offensive talent, I’m often perplexed at the thought that he’d be much more than a middle six player for any team. He’s still worthy of a first round grade in this draft, just not in the top 10.
17. New York Rangers: David Perron (STL, 27) – Original Pick: Alexei Cherepanov
18. St. Louis Blues: Lars Eller (STL, 14) – Original Pick: Ian Cole
Eller slides back down the board a bit but lands with the team who originally selected him. If you take the Halak trade out of the equation you have a center with respectable size who is capable of contributing offensively.
19. Anaheim Ducks: Brendan Smith (DET, 28) – Original Pick: Logan MacMillan
Smith is a steady defender who is just getting his feet wet at the NHL level thanks to Detroit’s patient development model. Every team is looking for a player who can fill quality minutes and Smith offers that.
20. Pittsburgh Penguins: Jake Muzzin (PIT, 141) – Original Pick: Angelo Esposito
Muzzin’s play over the last season has grown steadily and he’s truly making a name for himself playing alongside Drew Doughty. An easy argument to move him even higher on this board could be made if his playoff performance continues through the Cup Final.
21. Edmonton Oilers (from DAL via PHX): Thomas Hickey (LAK, 5) – Original Pick: Riley Nash
Hickey isn’t a gamebreaker nor is he overly exciting. However, he would offer the Oilers a steady addition along their blueline.
22. Montreal Canadiens: Alex Killorn (TBL, 77) – Original Pick: Max Pacioretty
Pacioretty enjoyed a sizeable bump up the list for this draft and Killorn also gets similar treatment. He’s not a first line winger like Pacioretty, but he still offers quality value; especially after his coming out party this year.
23. Nashville Predators (from PHI): Nick Bonino (SJ, 173) – Original Pick: Jonathon Blum
Bonino is developing into a quality middle-six contributor and enjoyed a decent playoffs for the Ducks this season. Adding a little more scoring depth to the Predators certainly wouldn’t hurt.
24. Calgary Flames (from ATL via STL): Justin Braun (SJ, 201) – Original Pick: Mikael Backlund
25. Vancouver Canucks: Dwight King (LA, 109) – Original Pick: Patrick White
King could serve as the solution to Vancouver’s continued search to find an effective power forward to play on the wing.
26. St. Louis Blues (from NJ via SJ): Patrick Maroon (PHI, 161) – Original Pick: David Perron
27. Detroit Red Wings: Carl Gunnarsson (TOR, 194) – Original Pick: Brendan Smith
Basically trading one defenseman for another in this case.
28. San Jose Sharks (from BUF via WSH): Matt Frattin (TOR, 99) – Original Pick: Nick Petrecki
29. Ottawa Senators: Robert Bortuzzo (PIT, 78) – Original Pick: Jim O’Brien
30. Phoenix Coyotes (from ANA via EDM): Joakim Andersson (DET, 88) – Original Pick: Nick Ross
Nothing much to see over the final five picks or so. The talent drops off pretty significantly and these final few picks are easily interchanged for the most part.