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 six picks, we’ve already seen potential Hall of Fame players switch teams, and multiple captains move up the draft board.
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)
6th Overall: Jordan Staal (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Now we’ll move forward to the seventh pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, which was held by the New York Islanders.
In 2006, the Islanders opted to take winger Kyle Okposo following a strong season with Des Moines of the USHL where he finished sixth in league scoring. While it took a couple of years for him to become a regular (he spent a season and a half at the University of Minnesota and half a year with their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport), Okposo quickly became an impact player and had several strong years alongside now-former Islander John Tavares.
Two years ago, he inked a seven-year contract with Buffalo in free agency and while he hasn’t played like a top-line player, Okposo has still been relatively productive with 89 points in 141 games. That has helped him climb to ninth overall in scoring among players selected in 2006.
It’s safe to say that Okposo’s selection was a good one but with the benefit of hindsight, was his pick the right one or was there a better option for New York to take? With the seventh pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, who should the New York Islanders select? Cast your vote below!
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