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.
We’re looking back at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and asking how it would shake out knowing what we do now. Will the first round remain the same, or will some late-round picks jump up to the top of the board?
Here are the results of the redraft so far, with their original draft position in parentheses:
1st Overall: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (1)
2nd Overall: Jamie Benn, Philadelphia Flyers (129)
3rd Overall: P.K. Subban, Phoenix Coyotes (43)
4th Overall: Logan Couture, Los Angeles Kings (9)
5th Overall: Max Pacioretty, Washington Capitals (22)
6th Overall: Jakub Voracek, Edmonton Oilers (7)
7th Overall: Ryan McDonagh, Columbus Blue Jackets (12)
8th Overall: James van Riemsdyk, Boston Bruins (2)
9th Overall: Wayne Simmonds, San Jose Sharks (61)
10th Overall: Kevin Shattenkirk, Florida Panthers (14)
11th Overall: Jake Muzzin, Carolina Hurricanes (141)
12th Overall: Kyle Turris, Montreal Canadiens (3)
With so many players jumping into the top-ten that weren’t originally selected there, some players had to drop and Turris is one of them as he slips down nine spots. Interestingly enough, he goes to a Montreal team that has spent the better part of the last decade looking for center help so this would have been a good fit for them.
Unfortunately for the Coyotes who originally drafted him, he wasn’t a great fit with them. After being a one-and-done player at Notre Dame, he was pencilled in as a regular for 2008-09. He spent most of the season in Phoenix but had a limited impact. As a result, Turris spent most of the following season in the minors which is where things started to go off the rails.
While he rebounded with 25 points in 65 games the following year, it was evident that things weren’t particularly rosy between the two sides. Turris ultimately held out at the start of 2011-12 in the hopes of forcing a trade. He ultimately signed in late November but before long, he got his wish and was on his way to Ottawa for defenseman David Rundblad (still considered a quality prospect at the time) and a second-rounder that eventually was flipped as part of a package to pick up Antoine Vermette.
Turris didn’t exactly light it up right away with the Senators as his first two seasons with the team saw him pick up 29 points each time. However, the switch flipped in time for the 2013-14 campaign which saw him basically double his output from the previous year, finally establishing himself as a legitimate top-six center in the process. He was able to maintain that for several more seasons before being part of the Matt Duchene three-way trade back in 2017, a swap that didn’t go as well for Ottawa as they’d have liked.
The move ultimately landed Turris with Nashville along with a freshly-signed six-year, $36MM contract extension that still has five years left on it. His first season with the Predators wasn’t too bad but the veteran struggled last season and had just seven goals in 55 games. In response, the Predators went out and signed a replacement for him in the top six this summer and it just so happened to be the player he had been traded for in Duchene. Turris may have lots of job security but as things stand, he’s going to be back in the limited role that he struggled with at the beginning of his career.
We now turn our focus to the team with the 13th pick in the draft, the St. Louis Blues. They used that pick on Lars Eller, a Danish center developing in Sweden in the Frolunda system. They didn’t have him for very long though as just three years later, he was traded to Montreal in exchange for goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
Eller spent six seasons with the Canadiens where he showed flashes of offensive upside but ultimately was only able to produce in a limited capacity, ranging from 26-30 points over his final five seasons with the team. Back at the 2016 draft, he was shipped to Washington for a pair of second-round picks.
Since then, Eller has been a bit more productive offensively while filling an important spot on the third line. The team was pleased enough with him that they gave him a five-year, $17.5MM extension back in 2018, a deal that has four years remaining on it.
While Eller has nearly 700 career NHL games under his belt (eighth-most amongst players from this draft class) which is a solid return on a pick at this stage of the first round, it’s hard not to wonder what if when it comes to St. Louis. San Jose initially acquired this pick from Toronto at the draft for goalie Vesa Toskala and winger Mark Bell, then used it in a trade to move up to the number nine slot where St. Louis originally sat. The Sharks wound up with Logan Couture and looking back in hindsight, the Blues would probably like a do-over on that one. Couture is obviously off the board now but Eller is still available. Is he the right fit for them at this spot in the redraft?
With the thirteenth pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, who should the St. Louis Blues 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.