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)
3rd Overall: Roman Josi, Atlanta Thrashers (38)
4th Overall: Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues (4)
5th Overall: Erik Karlsson, Toronto Maple Leafs (15)
6th Overall: John Carlson, Columbus Blue Jackets (27)
7th Overall: Jacob Markstrom, Nashville Predators (31)
8th Overall: Braden Holtby, Phoenix Coyotes (93)
9th Overall: Jordan Eberle, New York Islanders (22)
10th Overall: Jared Spurgeon, Vancouver Canucks (156)
11th Overall: Cam Atkinson, Chicago Blackhawks (157)
12th Overall: T.J. Brodie, Buffalo Sabres (114)
After a pair of sixth-round selections in Spurgeon and Atkinson came off the board in our redraft, a fourth-round pick will make his way up the chart. It’s quite a climb for a player that was considered a bit of a reach even at 114, given how little excitement there was about him at the time.
Brodie, who has never been overly physical, was a third-round pick in the OHL draft by the Saginaw Spirit and had only just completed his first full season in major junior. The smooth-skating defenseman had put up 30 points in 68 games but it was hard to know really what he could bring to the next level. In the final NHL Central Scouting rankings, he was all the way down at 164th among North American skaters (coincidentally enough just three spots ahead of future NHLers Tyler Johnson and Anders Lee).
That made him the 56th-ranked defenseman just in NA alone, and certainly not a player that would be expected to be a top-12 pick all these years later. But Brodie has enjoyed an exceptional career, which has now spanned nearly 800 games. The two-way defender has 308 career points and after a decade in Calgary has now settled into a top-four role in Toronto.
So now it’s down to the 13th selection, which belonged at the time to the Los Angeles Kings after some draft day dealing to move up (and then back down). They had a chance to pair top talent with Doughty, who they had taken second overall, and set the club up to become even more successful than they already would be. Unfortunately, while the first five defensemen taken in 2008 have all played at least 730 games in the NHL, the sixth – Colten Teubert – played just 24.
After taking Doughty, no one would have faulted the Kings for going with a homerun swing with their second top-15 pick. A small but incredibly talented defenseman like Erik Karlsson, a sniper like Jordan Eberle, or even an undersized scorer like Tyler Ennis might have seemed like the natural way to go. Instead, they went after a big, physical defenseman from the WHL, who happened to also be right-handed.
Perhaps they were thinking that while Doughty took on big minutes on the top pairing, Teubert could play the penalty-killing, shutdown role behind him. Remember, they had picked Thomas Hickey fourth overall in 2007 and had 2005 third-overall pick Jack Johnson on the team already. With Doughty and Teubert coming in, it was set up to be an incredible group for the Kings. There were immediate comparisons between the big BC-born defenseman and Shea Weber, who had already been patrolling the Nashville Predators for a few years. Teubert was praised for his physicality and leadership, but unfortunately, those traits weren’t enough to get him to the NHL with the Kings.
After two more years in junior, and a half season in the minor leagues, the team had seen enough and traded Teubert to the Edmonton Oilers for Dustin Penner. He would crack the Edmonton lineup in 2011-12 for 24 games and then leave for Europe in 2013. After dealing with concussion issues while playing in the DEL, he retired at the age of 29, having only ever recorded a single point at the NHL level.
So there is no doubt that it was a mistake to pick Teubert with the 13th pick. There were plenty of useful NHL players to be found later, and even in our redraft there are several names that could have helped the Kings. Who should they have selected? Cast your vote below and explain why in the comments.
[Mobile users click here to vote!]