Looking back at the Draft: 2008

As I stated in my write-up of the 2007 Draft, this area of the decade sits in a good spot for this practice. A lot of the names in this draft are really starting to come out of their shells in terms of development and it opens the door for some interesting conversations on who should go where.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos

He was the first pick for a reason and I don’t see any reason why Tampa would change their minds.

2. Los Angeles Kings: Drew Doughty

My has this pick worked out for the Kings. Doughty could easily be considered the most valuable player in this draft. While he didn’t overtake Stamkos in my book, there’s no one close to unseating him at two.

3. Atlanta/Winnipeg: Alex Pietrangelo (STL, 4) – Original Pick: Zach Bogosian

Piertangelo has turned into a phenomenal two-way defender who eats minutes in massive chunks. He can face down with a team’s top threats while still contributing on the offensive end.

4. St. Louis Blues: Erik Karlsson (OTT, 15) – Original Pick: Alex Pietrangelo

Karlsson isn’t the player that Pietrangelo is. He is, however, a dynamic offensive threat. While the Blues aren’t starved for scoring, he would be a terrific addition to their roster.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs (from NYI): Jordan Eberle (EDM, 22) – Original Pick: Luke Schenn

The Leafs have managed to build out a solid first line (center not withstanding) but still could use stability in the middle of their lineup. Eberle would serve as a dangerous piece in Toronto’s middle six.

6. Columbus Blue Jackets: Travis Hamonic (NYI, 53) – Original Pick: Nikita Filatov

Fliatov’s flop was one of many first round misses the Blue Jackets suffered in the 2000s. Hamonic would contribute as a quality top-four defender for a promising Blue Jackets squad.

  1. Nashville Predators (from TOR via NYI): Derek Stepan (NYR, 51) – Original Pick: Colin Wilson

I’m not sure if Stepan can be considered a bona fide first line center but he’s getting there. He’d be a huge help to Nashville’s offensive arsenal.

  1. Phoenix Coyotes: Gustav Nyquist (DET, 121) – Original Pick: Mikkel Boedker

Nyquist would probably be entering his third or fourth NHL season if he was drafted by another organization. He’s a dynamic playmaker who offers near-elite offensive skill.

  1. New York Islanders (from FLA via NSH): Tyler Myers (BUF, 12) – Original Pick: Josh Bailey

The Islanders are a little short on the blueline and while Myers’ struggles have hurt his rep over the past few seasons continues to show signs that he can been an effective defenseman in the right situation. I’ll roll the dice a bit and push him into the top-ten.

10. Vancouver Canucks: Justin Schultz (ANA, 43) – Original Pick: Cody Hodgson

The Canucks have more than a few holes that need filling and adding a slick offensive defenseman would give the Canucks a boost in blueline depth and an added weapon on the powerplay.

11. Chicago Blackhawks: Zach Bogosian (ATL, 3) – Original Pick: Kyle Beach

Not that the Blackhawks need any more stout defenders, but Bogosian wouldn’t drop any further than this in a re-draft. In fact, there’s good reason to say he deserves to rank higher than 11.

12, Buffalo Sabres (from EDM via ANA & LA): Tyler Ennis (BUF, 26) – Original Pick: Tyler Myers

There are a few different names that will follow who could easily fit in here but the need for quality offensive contributors pushed me to slot Ennis in with his current team.

13. Los Angeles Kings (from BUF): John Carlson (WSH, 27) – Original Pick: Colten Tuebert

Just another mobile threat for a stacked back end for the Kings.

14. Carolina Hurricanes: Jake Gardiner (ANA, 17) – Original Pick: Zach Boychuk

Gardiner isn’t getting too much love north of the border but he has the skills to be a dangerous asset. He’d offer the Hurricanes a tremendous upgrade if they were to end up with him.

15. Ottawa Senators: Slava Voynov (LA, 32) – Original Pick: Erik Karlsson

Sliding Voynov in here is more of a replacement for the asset the Sens lose with Karlsson moving up the board more than anything else. Voynov is a sound player who would provide some of the offensive acumen that Karlsson does today.

16. Boston Bruins: Cody Hodgson (VAN, 10) – Original Pick: Joe Colborne

Hodgson may not seem like a fit for Boston based on his time in Buffalo. However, he’s showing quality talent along the wing and if that is the best spot for him to showcase his talents he could grow into the top-ten selection he was when originally drafted.

17. Anaheim Ducks (from CGY via LA): Adam Henrique (NJ, 82) – Original Pick: Justin Schultz

Henrique would give the Ducks another flexible asset for their forward ranks that don’t include Corey Perry or Ryan Getzlaf.

18. Nashville Predators (from OTT): Mikkel Boedker (PHX, 8) – Original Pick: Chet Pickard

The picks I’ve made for the Predators in this series really highlight not considering other drafts in the thinking as my primary focus in on finding the franchise more quality offensive players like Boedker.

19. Philadelphia Flyers (from COL via CBJ): Jared Spurgeon (NYI, 156) – Original Pick: Luca Sbisa

Spurgeon has really enjoyed a nice rise to prominence recently and has carried the late pick, small defenseman narrative for the ride. For a team with a few holes on the blueline, he’d be a good fit in Philly.

20. New York Rangers: Colin Wilson (NSH, 7) – Original Pick: Michael Del Zotto

Wilson has shown that he’s a quality, responsible forward who can play in important situations for his team. While the Rangers certainly aren’t hurting without guys like Ryan Callahan or Brandon Dubinsky, Wilson is the type of player to fill that void.

21. Washington Capitals (from NJ): Jake Allen (STL, 34) – Original Pick: Anton Gustafsson

With some uncertainty surrounding the crease in Washington, a well respected prospect like Allen would do a lot to quell some of the concerns regarding Washington’s goaltending.

22. Edmonton Oilers (from ANA): Luke Schenn (TOR, 5) – Original Pick: Jordan Eberle

Chalk up a big, physical defender to the Oilers. Much like my angle with most of Nashville’s picks, I’ve focused on defensively responsible players for the Oilers.

23. Minnesota Wild (from WSH via NJ): Roman Josi (NSH, 38) – Original Pick: Tyler Cuma

The Wild threw a lot of money at Ryan Suter and have managed to find a diamond in the rough with Jared Spurgeon. Josi is a quality defender who is still growing at this point in his career. He’d be a great addition to Minnesota’s lineup.

24. New Jersey Devils (from MIN): Michael Del Zotto (NYR, 20) – Original Pick: Mattais Tedenby

Del Zotto’s recent struggles led him out of the Big Apple and into Tennessee but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s a sound offensive defenseman. The Devils are a little short on quality defenders these days and Del Zotto could certainly amend that.

25. Calgary Flames (from MTL): Cam Atkinson (CBJ, 157) – Original Pick: Greg Nemisz

The Flames need more depth just about everywhere on their roster. They have more help coming with players like Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan under contract. However, help from the drafts where they missed would make them far more competitive than they are today.

26. Buffalo Sabres (from SJ): Ben Smith (CHI, 169) – Original Pick: Tyler Ennis

This is more of a pick for depth as the Sabres have prospects coming out of their ears but have yet to find NHL talent. Smith looks to have the capabilities to fill a third line role and while the Sabres need help with their top-six, he’d be a welcome addition.

27. Washington Capitals (from PHI): Tommy Wingels (SJ, 177) – Original Pick: John Carlson

28. Phoenix Coyotes (from DAL via. LA & ANA): Jason Demers (186, SJ) – Original Pick: Viktor Tikhonov

29. Atlanta/Winnipeg (from PIT): Braden Holtby (WSH, 93) – Original Pick: Daultan Leveille

30. Detroit Red Wings: TJ Brodie (CGY, 114) – Original Pick: Thomas McCollum

Some pretty basic filler in these last few picks. The Sharks seem to have a penchant for finding late round contributors and the Jets could certainly use another option in net aside from Ondrej Pavelec.

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