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 2008 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?
The results of our redraft so far are as follows with their original draft position in parentheses:
While there were several quality defensemen to choose from, our readers decided to stick with what actually transpired for the Kings’ selection at second overall with nearly half of the votes going to Doughty. Considering the type of impact that Doughty has had over his 14-year career so far, that’s not a shocker and with five years left on his contract, one that was briefly the richest for a defenseman in NHL history, he should be a core performer for Los Angeles for quite a long way to come.
Now, we move on to the third pick which was held by the Atlanta Thrashers.
They opted to make it back-to-back defensemen selected as they picked up Zach Bogosian, a promising two-way rearguard out of Peterborough of the OHL. He also made the jump to the NHL right away as an 18-year-old and didn’t look out of place, logging over 18 minutes a game in his rookie year before reaching the ten-goal mark as a sophomore in a season that saw him jump up over 21 minutes a night. The offensive potential was seemingly being reached while he brought plenty of physicality and shot-blocking to the table. Early on, it looked like Bogosian was living up to his potential.
Unfortunately for Atlanta (and later Winnipeg following the move), Bogosian didn’t really progress too much more. There was an outlier year in his first season with the Jets when he had 25 assists and 30 points but for the most part, he was more of a defensive defenseman. That didn’t stop Winnipeg from handing him a seven-year, $36MM extension in 2013, believing he could still become that two-way defender.
That didn’t happen. Instead, after a couple of injury-riddled seasons, he was moved to Buffalo along with Evander Kane in exchange for a package of younger players headlined by defenseman Tyler Myers and winger Drew Stafford. With the Sabres, things more or less stayed the same for Bogosian – he was more of a defensive defender and was often injured.
With his contract making him a negative-value trade chip, Bogosian cleared waivers and eventually agreed to terminate his deal, allowing him to join Tampa Bay for their Stanley Cup run in a depth role. From there, it was onto Toronto in a depth role before rejoining the Lightning last summer. He still has two years left on his contract with a cap hit just above the league minimum.
All in all, Bogosian hasn’t been the impactful two-way threat he was expected to be but he does sit 16th in games played from this draft class and has been an NHL regular for 14 seasons now.
But was he the right pick for Atlanta or would they have been better off with someone else instead? With the third pick of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, who should the Atlanta Thrashers select? Cast your vote below.
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