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.
Our look back at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft is now in full swing as we poll the PHR community to see who would have been selected in the first round and in what order knowing what we know now. Through the first five picks we’ve already seen potential Hall of Fame players switch teams, and multiple captains move up the board.
Here are the results of the redraft so far:
1st Overall: Jonathan Toews (St. Louis Blues)
2nd Overall: Claude Giroux (Pittsburgh Penguins)
3rd Overall: Nicklas Backstrom (Chicago Blackhawks)
4th Overall: Brad Marchand (Washington Capitals)
5th Overall: Phil Kessel (Boston Bruins)
The Bruins didn’t change a thing about their 2006 draft, picking University of Minnesota standout Kessel with the fifth-overall pick. Our community overwhelmingly agreed that Kessel was the right pick, giving him over 77% of the vote. It’s hard to argue with that, especially when Kessel leads all 2006 draft picks with 914 regular season games, and trails only Backstrom in career points. With two Stanley Cups under his belt, and an iron man streak that has lasted more than eight seasons, Kessel is truly one of the best players of his class.
Now we’ll move forward to the sixth pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, which was held by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Back then, the Blue Jackets decided to go after another one of the top centers available, picking QMJHL offensive dynamo Derick Brassard. Brassard had just finished a season in junior that saw him score 116 points in 58 games, and had been named the top prospect in his league. Unfortunately the talented young forward would suffer a shoulder injury in the following preseason and miss all but 14 regular season games with Drummondville, and miss out on a chance to potentially lead the QMJHL in scoring. He’d jump to the NHL quickly after that though and has developed into a solid player with a long career.
Brassard now has 428 points in 716 games, but is he the best selection for the Blue Jackets with the benefit of hindsight? Is there someone else who would be more valuable given their career to date? With the sixth pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, who should the Columbus Blue Jackets select? Cast your vote below!
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