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 dozen picks, we’ve already seen potential Hall of Fame players switch teams, and multiple captains move up and down the draft 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)
6th Overall: Jordan Staal (Columbus Blue Jackets)
7th Overall: Milan Lucic (New York Islanders)
8th Overall: Kyle Okposo (Phoenix Coyotes)
9th Overall: Erik Johnson (Minnesota Wild)
10th Overall: Derick Brassard (Florida Panthers)
11th Overall: Bryan Little (Los Angeles Kings)
12th Overall: Nick Foligno (Atlanta Thrashers)
In a fairly close vote, Foligno is off to the Thrashers, who initially picked Little with this pick. While Little plays a more premium position as a full-time center, Foligno certainly isn’t a bad consolation prize and would have fit in well with a now-Winnipeg roster that features some size and grit on the wings. Meanwhile, it’s a nice bump up the draft board for Foligno who initially went 28th to Ottawa.
Now we’ll move on to the thirteenth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, which was originally held by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
With their original pick, they selected winger Jiri Tlusty out of Kladno in the Czech Republic. While his offensive numbers weren’t anything to get too excited about, the fact that he was able to play a regular role in their top league as a draft-eligible player was certainly encouraging. He spent one year after that in junior hockey before making the full-time jump into Toronto’s system in 2007-08 where he spent the bulk of the season with the Maple Leafs. However, he spent most of the next two years in the minors and in the final year of his entry-level deal, he was dealt to Carolina for Phillipe Paradis, a 2009 first rounder that ultimately didn’t make the NHL.
While that was essentially the end of Toronto’s journey with that pick, Tlusty went on to carve out a respectable career. He spent parts of six seasons with the Hurricanes before being dealt as a rental to Winnipeg at the trade deadline in 2015. He then spent a year in New Jersey before heading to Finland in 2016. However, an injury with Karpat in December of that year ended his playing days. Tlusty wrapped up his career with 177 points in 446 games, a respectable career but not a great return on a lottery selection.
With that in mind, who should Toronto take with the thirteenth selection? Make your pick in the poll below:
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