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.
In the fall of 2016, PHR ran a series where fans were able to choose the order in which draft picks should have been selected during the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. While Sidney Crosby was still the obvious choice for first overall, there was huge turnover for the rest of the first round. Even looking back less than two years later some voters may change their mind, given Carey Price’s (voted second overall) recent struggles.
This time around we’ll be looking at the infamous 2006 draft, in which Erik Johnson was picked first overall ahead of star forwards like Jonathan Toews, Phil Kessel and Nicklas Backstrom. Three players from the 2006 first round would never suit up for a single NHL game, while seven others would last fewer than 100 games. The 2006 draft was loaded with talent at the top, but where would these stars go if selected today with the benefit of hindsight?
Over the next month as we wait for training camp to begin, we’ll be going through the entire 2006 NHL Entry Draft and have the PHR community select who they would have picked knowing the result of the player’s career. We’ll include a list of players to vote for, and update the first round as it progresses. While 2005 was a clear cut answer at first overall, there might be a little more debate on who is the first off the board this time around.
The St. Louis Blues had the first selection over a decade ago, and went with a big physical defenseman from the US National Team Development Program in Johnson. After a year at the University of Minnesota, Johnson stepped right into a full-time role with the Blues and hasn’t looked back. With 637 career games under his belt and still an important part of the Colorado Avalanche blue line, Johnson can’t be considered a bust. Was he the right selection though at the very top of the draft?
With the first pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, who should the St. Louis Blues select? Cast your vote below!
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