On this date 17 years ago, the first round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft was held at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. It was the league’s first major event since the lockout that cost them the entire 2004-05 season ended just over a week prior, and considering the draft’s top prize, there was added intrigue.
With the lack of regular-season standings to determine the draft order, the league implemented a snake draft system to make things more equitable for teams in later rounds that didn’t fare so well in the draft lottery. One team that did fare well that night, though, was the Pittsburgh Penguins, who cemented a 15-plus year run of success by drafting future captain Sidney Crosby with the first overall pick.
Five players selected that night went on to appear in at least 1,000 NHL games, including Crosby. One was 2022 Stanley Cup Champion Jack Johnson, taken third overall by the Carolina Hurricanes. Johnson never played a single game for Carolina, though, as he was traded the following offseason to the Los Angeles Kings along with defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky in exchange for defenseman Tim Gleason and center Eric Belanger.
Johnson wasn’t the only player from the first round to play meaningful games for the Kings, though. The team selected two-time Stanley Cup champion and future captain Anze Kopitar with the 11th overall selection. Another thousand-gamer was selected directly after him when the New York Rangers picked defenseman Marc Staal 12th overall, while Johnson’s teammate on the 2022 Avalanche, forward Andrew Cogliano, was selected 25th by the Edmonton Oilers.
One name from that night who could still join the 1,000-game club was St. Louis Blues selection and current Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie. Taken 24th overall, he only needs 100 more appearances to hit the mark.
Future Stanley Cup-winning skaters weren’t the only future legends drafted that night, though. Two of the greatest goalies in recent memory were drafted that night, with the Montreal Canadiens selecting Carey Price with the fifth overall pick and the Toronto Maple Leafs selecting Tuukka Rask with the 21st overall pick, of course prior to trading him to the Boston Bruins the following season.
Just three players selected that night, all taken within four picks of each other, would never make an NHL appearance. Slovak forward Marek Zagrapan, drafted 13th overall by the Buffalo Sabres, played just three years in the organization with two different AHL affiliates, scoring 20 goals there just once. At 35 years old, Zagrapan is still active, playing the 2022-23 season in the French Ligue Magnus.
Directly after him, the Washington Capitals took Canadian defenseman Sasha Pokulok with the 14th overall pick. The first overage player taken in the draft, he’s arguably the biggest bust of the night. He never spent a full season in the AHL, bouncing up and down between there and the ECHL for four seasons after turning pro in 2006. He failed to make a notable impact in Europe, too, only lasting one season in the DEL (2010-11) before floating around various lower-level leagues in Eastern Europe and Quebec.
Lastly, there’s Canadian winger Alex Bourret, taken by the Atlanta Thrashers at 16th overall. A short but strong power winger, Bourret had a very successful junior career in the QMJHL that just didn’t translate. His North American career fizzled out quickly after a strong start in the AHL, but after being traded twice (first to the Rangers, then to the Coyotes), he had just 14 points in 48 AHL games during his final season there in 2008-09.
It’s the first round anniversary. Not the whole draft
3x Stanley Cup champion Niklas Hjalmarsson doesn’t get a mention?
Goku the All Knowing
or mention of Letang
Bourret was a horrible pick.
Your hindsight is incredible.
Crosby in the first round and Letang in the third.
But the real steal of that draft was Hornqvist as the final pick. Who, interestingly enough, also spent some of his better seasons in Pitt. That draft did a lot for the Pens future.
Maybe the best pick of all
Really? Better than Sidney Crosby? The last pick in his draft over one of the best player to have donned an NHL jersey? You have to think prior to posting.
One response before I press the mute button on a troll who does NOTHING on this forum but $hit on other posters. One would think if dog$hithockey knew anything about the sport, it’s that guys who go first overall usually are expected to be elite stars. Just look at the post-WHA era: players like Hawerchuk, Lemieux, Clark, Turgeon, Modano, Sundin, Nolan, Lindros, Thornton, Lecavalier, Kovalchuk, Nash, Fleury, Ovechkin, Crosby, Kane, Stamkos, Tavares, Hall, MacKinnon, Ekblad, McDavid, Matthews. More Hall of Famers there than not.
But they’re freaking EXPECTED to be. Getting eyepopping value where none was expected, though, is to get 250+ goals and 500+ points out of the 230th pick, which is the ninth most in the whole draft. In a draft where only four first rounders had as many as 500 pts, and a whopping eleven played less than 100 NHL games, that’s golden.
Not that that matters to dog$hithockey. Facts get in the way of snark, after all.
That was the Preds best pick in that draft. They took Ryan Parent over Oshie in the 1st round. Ouch!
@doghockey, you are such a colossal Dbag. I’ll help you understand. The word ‘steal’ when used in reference to a draft pick, commonly means that a large value player was gained through means of a low value pick. Thus, the last player chosen in the draft (who essentially holds no value at that time), turned out to be a key contributor on multiple cup teams, as well as one of the best players on every other squad he suited up for; is a huge steal. Crosby cannot ever be a steal, because he was selected first overall; he could have been a bust if he was never significantly productive, but how could he be a steal?!
Also, @Nha Trang, thank you for calling out the slop. I too have grown tired of the meaningless posts.
No mention of the backroom dealings that led to Pittsburgh getting that first overall pick
2005? Oh yes, back when Doug MacLean was running the Blue Jackets and ALWAYS drafted poorly. How could I possibly forget. Yep, the Blue Jackets took the immortal Gilbert Brule with their first round pick. I plan to be there when he’s inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Well … going over the whole of Columbus’ draft history (hockey-reference is good for that too), it’s damn underwhelming. 183 selections over 22 years, and there are exactly two major stars: Rick Nash and Jakub Voracek. A handful of solid players such as Derick Brassard, Kris Russell, Steve Mason, Adam McQuaid, Cam Atkinson, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Zach Werenski and Ryan Johansen. And that’s about it.
Weird there wasn’t a link to the 2005 1st round so we could look at everyone selected.
Here you go, cbrookhouzen: link to hockey-reference.com not only has plenty of info, but has the total career NHL stats of every draftee, so it’s easy to make comparisons.
Here’s one for you.
link to en.m.wikipedia.org