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)
28th Overall: Devin Setoguchi (Dallas Stars)
Now we move forward to the 29th pick, which was held by the Philadelphia Flyers.
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 Flyers selected Downie, an undersized power forward out of Windsor of the OHL. It wasn’t long before some controversy started as a well-publicized hazing incident with the Spitfires eventually resulted in Downie being suspended by the team and ultimately getting dealt.
He made quite the impression in his rookie season at the professional level, putting up 17 points in 21 AHL games while getting into 32 games with Philadelphia. It wasn’t all good news though as Downie also received a 20 game suspension for an illegal hit in that preseason. He didn’t last too much longer with the Flyers as in November of 2008, he was dealt to Tampa Bay as part of a trade to bring the recently-retired Matt Carle to Philly.
Downie spent parts of four seasons with the Lightning and had the best season of his career in 2009-10, collecting 46 points. In 2012, he was flipped to Colorado for blueliner Kyle Quincey (who was immediately flipped to Detroit with Tampa landing a first rounder that was used on goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy) where injuries really started to take their toll.
After being traded back to Philadelphia in 2013, Downie started to bounce around. He finished that season with the Flyers before moving to Pittsburgh where he lasted one season before joining the Coyotes. Downie cleared waivers last season, finishing the year in the minors and did not sign anywhere this past summer.
Although his career is largely remembered for a lack of discipline at times (on top of the suspensions, he had over 1,000 penalty minutes), Downie is currently the 19th highest scorer from this draft class, collecting 196 points in 434 career games.
With the 29th pick of the 2005 NHL Redraft, who should the Flyers select? Cast your vote below!
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