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 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. Last summer we repeated the process for the 2006 draft, which moved Jonathan Toews up two spots to first overall and Erik Johnson all the way down to ninth among other changes.
This time around we’ll be looking at the 2007 draft which featured two American-born wingers headline an impressive offensive group. Five players from the first round never did make it to the NHL*, while four others would play fewer than 100 games. There was plenty of talent near the top of the 2007 class as well as a future captain who was passed over multiple times by the entire league. Now with the benefit of hindsight he’s surely going to be put up where he belongs.
Over the next month as we wait for training camp to begin, we’ll be going through the entire 2007 NHL Entry Draft to 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 2006 actually had some discussion over who would be first overall, this year seems pretty cut and dry.
The Chicago Blackhawks had the first pick 12 years ago and didn’t make a mistake, choosing Patrick Kane after the undersized winger put up 176 points in 74 games for the London Knights of the OHL. Kane had some of the finest puck skills the league had ever seen, and was a lock to be an elite offensive producer at the next level. Now 30, the Blackhawks winger has been a superstar for more than a decade and will likely crack the 1,000 point mark during the 2019-20 campaign. He’s coming off a career-best 110 points and shows no sign of slowing down. The Blackhawks turned Toews and Kane into a Stanley Cup core and wouldn’t change a thing, but is he still the top choice looking back?
With the first pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, who should the Chicago Blackhawks select? Cast your vote below!
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*Tragically, 17th overall pick Alexei Cherepanov died at the age of 19 and would never get a chance to suit up in the NHL. He has not been included in this vote.