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 2009 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: Victor Hedman, New York Islanders (2)
2nd Overall: John Tavares, Tampa Bay Lightning (1)
3rd Overall: Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado Avalanche (33)
4th Overall: Matt Duchene, Atlanta Thrashers (3)
5th Overall: Chris Kreider, Los Angeles Kings (19)
6th Overall: Nazem Kadri, Phoenix Coyotes (7)
7th Overall: Mattias Ekholm, Toronto Maple Leafs (102)
8th Overall: Evander Kane, Dallas Stars (4)
9th Overall: Brayden Schenn, Ottawa Senators (5)
The Senators get a marked upgrade over their original ninth-overall pick, defenseman Jared Cowen. Schenn won our polling by a narrow margin, beating out Oliver Ekman-Larsson for the honors by just a handful of percentage points.
Instead, Ottawa takes Schenn, who, had he stayed in Ottawa his whole career to date, would rank third in franchise all-time scoring behind Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza. While never quite growing into the elite echelon of players some expected him to be, thanks to his fifth-overall billing, Schenn has been a consistent contributor and is arguably getting better with age, putting up some of his best (and most consistent) point totals in recent seasons. His 589 career points in 858 games are certainly nothing to scoff at, and he ranks fifth in scoring among his draft class – making it a bit of a surprise he’s fallen this far in our reader polling.
A member of the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in 2019, Schenn has now cracked the 60-point mark twice in a Blues uniform after recording 65 last season, something he never did earlier in his career with the Kings and Philadelphia Flyers.
Now, the Edmonton Oilers are on the clock at tenth overall. Their original pick continued a trend of three underwhelming selections: first Scott Glennie in Dallas, Cowen in Ottawa, and now Swedish winger Magnus Pääjärvi in Edmonton. He’s certainly the best out of those three players, getting into 467 NHL contests over the course of nine years, but he lasted just three seasons in Edmonton and fizzled out quickly after a strong rookie campaign in 2010-11 that saw him post 15 goals and 34 points in 80 games as a 19-year-old.
He looked like quite a solid pick at the time. He spent nearly all of the 2008-09 season playing Swedish pro-level hockey with Timrå IK in the Elitserien (the SHL’s predecessor) and had decent middle-tier production, recording seven goals and 17 points in 50 games. He took a step forward in his post-draft year, recording 29 points in 49 games in 2009-10, but he could just never regain his offensive confidence after posting just eight points in 41 games during his sophomore year with Edmonton. After later stints with the Blues and Senators, Pääjärvi is now back in Europe playing for Timrå.
While he did have a good stint in the NHL as a depth player, there are surely better options for Edmonton available with the tenth overall selection. Who would you pick, PHR readers? Make your voice heard below:
If you can’t access the poll above, click here to vote.