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 seventeen 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)
13th Overall: Semyon Varlamov (Toronto Maple Leafs)
14th Overall: Artem Anisimov (Vancouver Canucks)
15th Overall: Michael Grabner (Tampa Bay Lightning)
16th Overall: Patrik Berglund (San Jose Sharks)
17th Overall: Jeff Petry (Los Angeles Kings)
In one of the closest votes so far, Petry edged out Jonathan Bernier for the right to be selected by the Kings in our redraft. It’s not hard to see why after he has developed into a top option for the Montreal Canadiens, scoring 12 goals and 42 points last season as the undisputed leader of the group with Shea Weber injured. That’s continued this year with Petry carrying the weight at even strength and on the powerplay, making many of our voters wonder what that would have looked like in Los Angeles.
The Kings originally took Trevor Lewis in that spot after trading away Pavol Demitra, but would end up spending a high pick on Thomas Hickey the very next year. That was an off-the-board pick at the time, and may not have been necessary had the team already got Petry into their system. The Montreal defenseman could have certainly fit into a dominant defensive group in Los Angeles over the years, and perhaps even been a big part of the Stanley Cup Champion teams.
Now we’ll move on to the eighteenth overall pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, which was originally held by the Colorado Avalanche.
There are few players in the NHL who have seen such a precipitous decline as Chris Stewart over the last few years, after being picked by the Avalanche back in 2006. Starting out his career with 100 goals in his first 319 games—a 25 goal season-long pace—Stewart now finds himself out of the league at age-30. He played just 54 games last season between the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames, and hasn’t cracked 15 goals since the 2013-14 season. For a player who was once one of the most feared young power forwards in the league, the fall has been quick and painful.
Even though his overall career numbers don’t look outstanding, the Avalanche sure got value for their pick. During his third successful season in Colorado the team traded Stewart as part of a package for recent first-overall pick Erik Johnson, Jay McClement and another first-round pick (that unfortunately turned into Duncan Siemans). Stewart was never the same player for the Blues, meaning Colorado got the best of his career and cashed in at just the right time. That’s a pretty effective pick in the back half of the first round, but could there have been even more value?
Stewart barely even found himself in the top ten of our last redraft entry, giving at least the impression that there was plenty of other talented players available. Would someone like Mathieu Perreault be a more effective pick for the Avalanche, who struggled for years to find much consistent offense until last season. The team could have just picked a goaltender instead of eventually trading for Semyon Varlamov, with Jonathan Bernier, Steve Mason and James Reimer still available in our vote.
With the eighteenth pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, who should the Colorado Avalanche select?
[Mobile users click here to vote]