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:
1st Overall: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning (1)
2nd Overall: Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings (2)
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.
(App users, click here to vote.)
Hm. I see the way the vote’s going, and I think that’s recentism talking. Josi vs Karlsson’s reasonable, but I think Karlsson wins. They’re both the same age, but Karlsson got to the NHL for two productive years sooner. Karlsson has played a more physical game: significantly more blocks, more hits. His possession numbers are far stronger over his career. He’s been a better point producer, with 120 more points over 80 more games. And he’s done all this with significantly weaker teams than Josi has — Nashville’s had just one losing season (and that was in a lockout year) in the time he’s been with the club. Karlsson’s better in All-Star/Norris voting: two Norrises against one, four First Team All-Star nods vs two.
Without Josi having his career year this past season (as opposed to Karlsson having *his* peak several seasons ago), and general disgust at Karlsson’s grotesque contract, Josi wouldn’t lead this poll.
No love for Matt Martin today?
Went with Spurgeon. He’s been consistently good for a number of years and ‘maybe’ a little homerism
The thought experiment needs some clarification at this point…
If I take Josi at #3 overall, can I accelerate his development because he’s now a top prospect or do I have to take his existing career arc, where he only developed into a truly elite player late in his career?
If it’s the former, the choice is Josi. If it’s the latter, it’s clearly Karlssson.
Due to consistency I take John Carlson over the other 2. Only 2 seasons with less than 37 points if you take away his rookie season of 22 games. And he’s won a cup as well as some personal hardware.
I’d say you’d have to go with the career they’ve had, rather than the one we’d hope they had. We can’t cancel out Karlsson’s injuries over the last few seasons, for instance. Josi was sheltered that year in the AHL, but even when he made the bigs he was slower to develop into an elite defenseman.
And it may well be that the first time this can be clearly evaluated is seven or eight years from now, when their careers will be over. Obviously, if Josi continues at an elite pace a few more years, and stays durable, while Karlsson continues to decline, and perhaps never again is fully healthy, this looks a lot different.
did vote for josi . can see why people picked carlson .karlsson, spurgeon or pietrangelo. then have next group holtby ,atkinson ,markstorm ,eberle ,brodie again can make case for any these to be 8-12