Hindsight is an amazing thing, and allows us to look back and wonder “what could have been.” Though perfection is attempted, scouting and draft selection is far from an exact science and sometimes, it doesn’t work out the way teams – or players – intended. For every Patrick Kane, there is a Patrik Stefan.
We’re looking back at the 2005 NHL Draft, which kicked off the salary cap era and ushered in many of the current NHL superstars. The question we’re looking to answer is knowing now what we didn’t know then, how different would this draft look now with the benefit of hindsight?
Here are the results of our redraft so far:
1st Overall: Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)
2nd Overall: Carey Price (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim)
3rd Overall: Anze Kopitar (Carolina Hurricanes)
4th Overall: Jonathan Quick (Minnesota Wild)
5th Overall: Kris Letang (Montreal Canadiens)
6th Overall: Tuukka Rask (Columbus Blue Jackets)
7th Overall: Bobby Ryan (Chicago Blackhawks)
8th Overall: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (San Jose Sharks)
9th Overall: Ben Bishop (Ottawa Senators)
10th Overall: James Neal (Vancouver Canucks)
11th Overall: T.J. Oshie (Los Angeles Kings)
12th Overall: Keith Yandle (New York Rangers)
13th Overall: Paul Stastny (Buffalo Sabres)
14th Overall: Marc Staal (Washington Capitals)
15th Overall: Patric Hornqvist (New York Islanders)
16th Overall: Niklas Hjalmarsson (Atlanta Thrashers)
17th Overall: Anton Stralman (Phoenix Coyotes)
18th Overall: Jack Johnson (Nashville Predators)
19th Overall: Matt Niskanen (Detroit Red Wings)
20th Overall: Justin Abdelkader (Florida Panthers)
21st Overall: Martin Hanzal (Toronto Maple Leafs)
22nd Overall: Andrew Cogliano (Boston Bruins)
Now we move forward to the 23rd pick, which was held by the New Jersey Devils.
To recap how this works:
- We will go through the 2005 NHL Draft and have our readers select, through a voting process, who they think should have been taken with the selection.
- The entire first round will be redrafted, spanning picks one through thirty. The new selection is chosen by the majority of votes.
Back in 2005, the Devils selected right winger Nicklas Bergfors out of Sodertalje in Sweden. As he wasn’t drafted out of the Canadian Hockey League, he was eligible to play for New Jersey’s farm team right away and in his post-draft season, he put up an impressive 40 points in 65 games. Unfortunately, after four full AHL seasons, he had just nine NHL games under his belt with little to show for it.
He became an NHL regular in 2009-10 and posted a career best 46 points between New Jersey and Atlanta after he was dealt to the Thrashers as part of the Ilya Kovalchuk trade. He didn’t stay in Atlanta for long as barely a year later, he was flipped to Florida for Radek Dvorak, a rental player that year. That offseason (2011), he joined Nashville as a free agent but after just 11 games with them, he cleared waivers and had his contract terminated. His overall NHL numbers aren’t too bad, with 35 goals and 48 assists in 173 games but he has not had any NHL interest since 2011.
Since that time, Bergfors has played across the pond, mostly in the KHL where he spent time with four different teams. This season, he returned home and is playing with Linkoping of the SHL, where he has just four points in 23 games so far this season.
With the 23rd pick of the 2005 NHL Redraft, who should the Devils select? Cast your vote below!
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