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)
13th Overall: David Perron, St. Louis Blues (26)
14th Overall: Mikael Backlund, Colorado Avalanche (24)
15th Overall: Evgenii Dadonov, Edmonton Oilers (71)
16th Overall: Alec Martinez, Minnesota Wild (95)
17th Overall: Carl Hagelin, New York Rangers (168)
At this point in the draft, you can start to see exactly why teams are starting to realize that late first-round picks aren’t quite as valuable as they appear. Even when picking from the entire draft class, a forward that still hasn’t cracked 100 NHL goals is the 17th-best selection. That’s not to say that Hagelin hasn’t had a successful career, but simply landing a full-time NHL player in the second half of the round should be considered a win.
When the draft rolled around in 2007, Hagelin had already been passed over entirely in his first year of eligibility and didn’t even land on the NHL Central Scouting list. After getting grabbed by the Rangers late in the draft, the young Swede would make history by heading to the University of Michigan. Hagelin became only the second European player to suit up for the Wolverines, and then even became the team’s (co-)captain in his senior season, a tremendous honor for a player that was such an outsider when he began his time there. Scoring 152 points in four years, Hagelin would make the jump to the NHL for the Rangers in 2011 and become an impact player immediately because of his blazing speed.
As a rookie, Hagelin would play in 17 playoff games for the Rangers, something that would become routine for him throughout his career. An incredible 19% of all the games he’s ever played in the NHL have come in the postseason, suiting up 128 times over the years with various teams. Hagelin won the Stanley Cup in back-to-back years with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and won an Olympic silver medal in 2014.
Never a top offensive option in the NHL, Hagelin has 241 points in his 546 regular season contests and never did crack the 40-point barrier in a single season. Last year he totaled just 18 points while wearing three different uniforms, but with his speed and penalty killing ability is going to stick around for quite some time.
Back in 2007, the St. Louis Blues held the 18th pick after a trade with the Calgary Flames, and they wouldn’t whiff like some of the others before them. Even though some of the higher ranked names like Angelo Esposito and Stefan Legein were still on the board, the Blues reached all the way down for USNTDP defenseman Ian Cole. Cole had been ranked 81st among North American skaters despite showing well for the development program and at the U18 World Juniors, and the Blues’ confidence in him would pay off. After three seasons at Notre Dame, Cole would make the jump to the professional level and end up in 26 games for the Blues in his first full year.
Cole continued to find playing time for St. Louis, but really took his game to the next level following a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins (one that included fellow 2007 draftee Robert Bortuzzo). After winning two Stanley Cups with the Penguins he’s bounced around, but is an important part of the Colorado blueline for the upcoming season. He ranks ninth among all 2007 defensemen in games played and tenth in points. Still available in our redraft, is Cole still the right choice for St. Louis?
With the eighteenth pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, who should the St. Louis Blues select? Cast your vote below!
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