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)
It always comes back to the Blues for David Perron. Now 12 years removed from being selected with the team’s third pick of the first round, Perron has played for five different NHL organizations. Amazingly, during all that time he has never signed a contract with anyone but St. Louis. Jumping right to the NHL after being drafted, Perron showed exactly why he was ranked as the tenth best among all North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, despite teams letting him fall almost out of the first round entirely. The young forward put up 27 points in 62 games during that rookie season as a teenager, showing a glimpse of the incredibly consistent offensive player he would become.
In his sophomore season, Perron shot up the scoring list for St. Louis by becoming a catalyst on the powerplay and showing off his playmaking skills at even-strength. His 35 assists put him behind only Brad Boyes for the team lead, and his 50 points trailed only Boyes and David Backes. Not bad for a 20-year old still finding his footing at the professional level. After several injury-riddled seasons with the Blues, he ended up traded to the Edmonton Oilers for a package of picks and prospects (one of which ended up turning into Ivan Barbashev), before being flipped a couple of years later to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a first-round pick (which ended up turning into Mathew Barzal). His journey around the league wouldn’t end there as a year later he would go to the Anaheim Ducks, before signing back with the Blues that summer.
That homecoming was cut short when he was picked in the expansion draft by the Vegas Golden Knights, who promptly went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final on the back of Perron’s best offensive season. It always comes back to the Blues though, and Perron would sign again with St. Louis in the summer of 2018 only to win a Stanley Cup.
It makes sense then that the Blues would move Perron up their board and take him with the 13th overall pick. In fact, he’s probably a steal even there. The 31-year old ranks fifth in points among all players selected in 2007 but seems to have been continually overlooked throughout his career. While most players hit their peak in their mid-twenties, it almost seems as though Perron is getting better with age. He has 112 points in his last 127 regular season games and is an important part of the Blues forward group.
In 2007 it was Colorado that picked 14th after St. Louis, coming off their first season missing the playoffs in more than a decade. The team had still gone 44-31-7 under Joel Quenneville, but finished fourth in the extremely competitive Northwest Division. Joe Sakic had just put up 100 points as a 37-year old, and still looked like he had plenty left in the tank. Unfortunately Sakic wouldn’t play another full season, suiting up just 59 times over his last two seasons in uniform. Perhaps if they knew that they would have gone after a forward in the middle of the first round, but instead the team chose Kevin Shattenkirk.
That definitely worked out for Colorado, as shown by Shattenkirk’s spot in our redraft. He moved up into the top-10 after an excellent career, and will be unavailable this time around. So who could the team choose?
With the fourteenth pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, who should the Colorado Avalanche 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.