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)
18th Overall: Lars Eller, St. Louis Blues (13)
19th Overall: Alex Killorn, Anaheim Ducks (77)
20th Overall: Nick Bonino, Pittsburgh Penguins (173)
21st Overall: Pat Maroon, Edmonton Oilers (161)
Another sixth-round pick jumps up to the first, showing just how much of a lottery the NHL Entry Draft really is. Perhaps if Maroon started his career in Edmonton it would look even better than it does now, given the success he experienced once he finally did land there.
In 2007, Maroon was already 6’4″ 225-lbs, but concerns about his conditioning and level of competition dropped him to 208th overall among North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting rankings. He had just played two years in the NAHL, most recently scoring 95 points in 57 games with the St. Louis Bandits to lead the league and earn a Most Valuable Player award. When he left the Bandits for the London Knights the following year and topped all OHL rookies with 90 points, the Philadelphia Flyers got an inkling that they might have a late-round steal on their hands.
In 2008, when Maroon started his pro career with the Philadelphia Phantoms, he was a monstrous winger that could push around even grown men. He scored 23 goals and 54 points in his rookie AHL season, and proved any doubters wrong about his ability to contribute at a high level. In 2010, after he failed to make the leap to the NHL for a second year, Maroon was traded to the Anaheim Ducks where he would once again dominate for their AHL affiliate. Though it took him a while, he would eventually get to the NHL as a full-time option for the Ducks in 2013, where he started what has been a successful career.
Setting a career-high with 27 goals in 2016-17 with the Edmonton Oilers, Maroon eventually found himself back in his hometown of St. Louis just in time to participate in their Stanley Cup run. Though his regular season wasn’t anything to write home about, the “Big Rig” would score one of the most memorable goals in the 2019 playoffs when he ended game seven against the Dallas Stars in double overtime. He’s now with the Tampa Bay Lightning where he’ll try for a repeat performance. In 452 career regular season games Maroon has 208 points, putting him 21st among all players drafted in 2007.
Finally, we get back to a pick that was well worth it back in 2007. The 22nd overall selection belonged to the Montreal Canadiens back then, and with it they would pick future captain and All-Star Max Pacioretty. Looking back, Pacioretty should have been off the board well before Montreal walked up to the podium for their second pick of the night (Ryan McDonagh at No. 12 wasn’t too shabby either). This time around he won’t be, as our community selected him in the top-five.
Without Pacioretty on the board, who will Montreal go after? 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.