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)
23rd Overall: Kris Russell (New Jersey Devils)
24th Overall: Darren Helm (St. Louis Blues)
25th Overall: Cody Franson (Edmonton Oilers)
26th Overall: Benoit Pouliot (Calgary Flames)
27th Overall: Vladimir Sobotka (Washington Capitals)
Now we move forward to the 28th pick, which was held by the Dallas Stars.
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, Dallas went to the US High School circuit to select blueliner Matt Niskanen. While he hadn’t been tested at a high level (he averaged nearly 2.25 points per game his draft year), Dallas was confident that his skills would eventually translate to the NHL level. They were right.
After a pair of seasons at Minnesota-Duluth, Niskanen turned pro and was a regular with the Stars right away. He picked up 35 points in his sophomore NHL campaign which remains the second best output of his career.
In February of 2011, Dallas dealt Niskanen along with left winger James Neal to Pittsburgh in exchange for Alex Goligoski. Niskanen spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins and had his best year of his career in 2013-14, collecting 46 points in 81 games. That helped him earn a seven year, $40.25MM contract with Washington in the summer of 2014. He has been with the Capitals ever since then and is currently in his third season with the team.
With the 28th pick of the 2005 NHL Redraft, who should the Stars select? Cast your vote below!
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