It has been 10 years since the 2007 NHL Draft. It is the perfect time to take a look back and reflect on the talent that came out of this draft, as all the players taken are either well into the prime of their careers, or it’s been decided who will never be an NHL player. Back in 2007, Patrick Kane went first overall to the Chicago Blackhawks. Nick Ross went at #30 to the Arizona Coyotes, one of those players remains in that spot.
This draft was filled with some top flight talent. Not all of them however went in the first round. Players such as Jamie Benn, P.K Subban, Carl Hagelin and Patrick Maroon were all selected after that first round. There are many players that not only tumble down the rankings (like Thomas Hickey) but quite a few that fall far out of the first round altogether. Some teams had one of their biggest busts in franchise history in this draft. (Does anyone really remember Logan MacMillan from Anaheim?) This draft had it all and then some.
In this re-draft, some teams lose out on their late steal, Some teams benefit with much better selections than they originally made (Cough Cough Edmonton Oilers Cough Cough)
Let’s get this started as we look 10 years into the past and conduct this re-draft of the first round of the 2007 NHL entry draft
1. Chicago Blackhawks- Patrick Kane
Back in 2007 the Chicago Blackhawks hit a home run selecting Patrick Kane first overall. 10 years later he is still leading the Chicago Blackhawks to success. Off the ice, Kane has been a huge distraction for the club. On the ice he leads his team in scoring. Last season he had 34 goals and 55 assists in 82 games. He has won three Stanley Cups, an Art Ross, and a Conn Smythe trophy. Kane has been one of the best scorers in the NHL over the last decade. He has played 740 games in his career and has 285 goals, 467 assists for 752 points. There are few better and that is why he retains his #1 spot in this re-draft. Did you really think the Hawks regretted this at all?
2. Philadelphia Flyers – Jamie Benn
The Flyers definitely made a huge mistake back in 2007. They selected James Van Riemsdyk. He hasn’t been a bust, in fact he’s actually grown into quite a good player, but he never starred for the Flyers. As a mid-first round pick, JVR would be considered a huge success, but a second overall pick is usually supposed to be a franchise changer. Enter, the Stars’ franchise player. The Flyers should have selected Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn. Benn had a bit of an off year for him last season but he still had 26 goals and 43 assists in 77 games. Benn somehow lasted all the way to round 5 back in 2007 and he is making every team regret it. Benn has 218 goals and 299 assists in 585 games.
3. Arizona Coyotes – P.K. Subban
Kyle Turris was a big headache for the Arizona Coyotes. In 2011 Turris held out and demanded a $3-4 million salary as a RFA. The Coyotes balked and traded him to the Senators. The Coyotes could have avoided all the drama by just selecting standout defenseman P.K Subban. Can you imagine if the Coyotes had Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Subban? Two offensive dynamo defensemen would have propelled this team to new heights.
Subban has had a great career thus far with 73 goals and 245 assists in 500 games. He brought a new dynamic to the Nashville Predators this season and the Preds made their first Stanley Cup Final appearance. Subban is also great in the community and the Coyotes could have used this to help grow attention for the team.
4. Los Angeles Kings – Logan Couture
Logan Couture has become the go-to guy for the San Jose Sharks. The team really is his now with the loss of long time star Patrick Marleau. Couture has been a top point getter for years now so it must hurt the L.A Kings to know they could have had him.
The Kings flamed out spectacularly selecting Thomas Hickey back in 2007. Hickey was a bust as a first rounder. Couture has twice topped 30 goals in a season. Couture has 179 goals and 197 assists in 504 career games. L.A would be stacked having Kopitar and Couture down the middle. The Kings would redeem themselves the next year by grabbing Drew Doughty but to see Couture go to a division rival and thrive must sting.
5. Washington Capitals – Max Pacioretty
In this scenario, Pacioretty would still be wearing red, white and blue but just in a team stacked with fellow star forwards. Pacioretty has established himself as the top goalscorer on one of the better teams in the east. He has topped over 30 goals on five separate occasions, including the last four straight seasons. Washington has a dynamite offensive game and Pacioretty would have been lights out with the Capitals. Can you imagine a line with Nicklas Backstom, Pacioretty and Ovie? Oh, man…
Washington’s original pick Karl Alzner has been a solid defenseman in the NHL but hasn’t panned out the way Max has. Ironically both are now teammates in Montreal, with Alzner signing as a free agent this offseason.
6. Edmonton Oilers – Jakub Voracek
Back in 2007 the Edmonton Oilers selected Sam Gagner 6th overall. Gagner never blossomed as an Oiler and currently is a member of the Vancouver Canucks after a great season with the Blue Jackets last year. I am sure the Oilers would have been much happier with Jakub Voracek. Voracek went 7th overall back in 2007. He has become a huge part of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Oilers are arguably weakest at right wing and Voracek would be a huge improvement on the club.
Can you imagine a line of Lucic, McDavid, and Voracek? Talk about deadly! Even before McDavid got there though, perhaps Voracek could have been of some help to Ryan Nugent Hopkins before McDavid and Draisaitl arrived. Either way, this was a missed opportunity.
7. Columbus Blue Jackets – Wayne Simmonds
Back in 2007, Wayne Simmonds went 61st overall to the L.A. Kings. So while the Kings missed on their first round pick, their scouting department was right on the money with this pick. The Kings had a diamond in the rough but they didn’t know it and traded him away to the Flyers in the deal for Mike Richards. Since then, Simmonds has established himself as one of the premier power forwards in the NHL. He can score and he can throw his weight around. In his career thus far he has 202 goals and 196 assists in 687 games with 901 PIM as well. The Blue Jackets got Voracek back in 2007 but I think they would be almost as happy with Simmonds.
8. Boston Bruins – Ryan McDonagh
The Boston Bruins made a huge mistake back in 2007 drafting Zach Hamill 8th overall back in 2007. In his career he would only dress for 20 games, scoring just 3 points. He fled overseas back in 2013. In this re-draft it is an easy decision for Boston to select Ryan McDonagh with the 8th pick. McDonagh has become an integral part of the New York Rangers. He was drafted by the Canadiens but never played for the franchise, something Habs fans are ruing to this day.
He is currently the captain of the Rangers and does a great job of shutting down team’s top offensive players. He could have formed a terrifying pairing alongside Zdeno Chara and the Bruins would not have the blue line troubles they have now.
9. San Jose Sharks – Kevin Shattenkirk
The Sharks struck gold back in 2007 getting Logan Couture back in 2007 at #9. In this re-draft however he is long gone. The Sharks are forced to “only” get elite offensive defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk instead. Shattenkirk became a star with the St. Louis Blues and formed a dominant pairing with Alex Pietrangelo. Shattenkirk is now a member of the New York Rangers and is set to set the Big Apple ablaze with his offensive ability.
The Sharks would be stacked with both Shattenkirk and Burns on the roster and may have just won the cup vs the Penguins back in 2016. We’re not sure how not getting Couture affects them, but one thing for sure is that the prospect of that defense pairing is exciting.
10. Florida Panthers – James van Riemsdyk
What were the Florida Panthers thinking back in 2007? They selected Shane Doan’s cousin Keaton Ellerby 10th overall. The Panthers gave him many chances but he struggled to just 17 points in 125 games with the Panthers. In this re-draft the Panthers get the original #2 pick from 2007, James van Riemsdyk. Van Riemsdyk has become a reliable scorer for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last season he set new career highs with 29 goals and 33 assists in 82 games. Van Riemsdyk drops a little in this re-draft, but he is still the best option for the Panthers. As said earlier in the article, had JVR been taken in the 10s, he’d be considered a home run pick in this ’07 draft.
11. Carolina Hurricanes – Sam Gagner
Back in 2007 the Hurricanes drafted Brandon Sutter at #11 overall. Sutter has yet to really blossom in the NHL as he currently struggles with the Canucks. Surprisingly the Hurricanes would have been better off drafting former Oilers draft pick Sam Gagner. Would you believe gagner ranks 5th all-time in scoring from the 2007 draft year? Gagner had a bounce back season last year with the Blue Jackets. He turned that year into a solid 3 year deal with the lowly Canucks. If he continues to improve we could see him move up this list in the future.
12. Montreal Canadiens – David Perron
The Montreal Canadiens had a gem at the #12 spot in 2007. They didn’t realize it and traded Ryan McDonagh to the New York Rangers in the ill-fated Scott Gomez deal. McDonagh is long gone at this point so the Canadiens will have to settle for speedy forward David Perron. Perron has become a journeyman as his career starts to wind down. This season he will be on the first ever roster for the Vegas Golden Knights. He has 159 goals and 219 assists in 652 career games. He should be a good addition to the Knights. Had the Habs settled on him back in 2007, they’d have a local pillar for their franchise and while he’s no McDonagh, perhaps the Habs would have never traded him.
13. St. Louis Blues – Kyle Turris
In 2007 the Blues struck out selecting Lars Eller at #13. Eller has failed to make much of an impact in the NHL. His career high was 30 points during the 2012-13 season. Last year he struggled with the Capitals. He never ended up being a huge contributor for the Blues, as he was traded back in 2010 to the Habs in a deal for goaltender Jaroslav Halak. In this re-draft Kyle Turris falls from #3 to 13th. Turris got a reputation as having an attitude problem back with the Coyotes. He has revived his career with the Senators hitting career highs with 64 points in 2014-15. Turris has become a steady center and one the Blues could definitely use. Slotting him in could have given them a lot more depth.
14. Colorado Avalanche – Carl Hagelin
Carl Hagelin jumps from #168 all the way to #14 and gets selected by the Avalanche in this re-draft. Hagelin has been a steady point producer in his career. He was a part of the feared HBK line that helped the Penguins win the cup in 2016. He is trending up in a big way as a member of the Penguins. The Avalanche lucked out and got Kevin Shattenkirk here in 2007 (they didn’t keep him of course) but he is long gone at this point. They could use the speed and steady production of a player like Hagelin. While Hagelin has moved around a little in recent years, he’s still found a way to contribute using his deadliest asset, his speed. The Avs could have used him.
15. Edmonton Oilers – Patrick Maroon
The Oilers struck out big time back in 2007, selecting Alex Plante. Plante would only play 10 games in the NHL with only 2 assists. He currently plays overseas in Asia. The Oilers in fact, had three first round picks back in 2007 but none of them ended up being major contributors for the franchise.
This is another case of a player trending upwards after a career year. Patrick Maroon scored 27 goals last year, smashing his career high. He plays with the Oilers star Connor McDavid and this season could just be a sign of things to come for Maroon. It is quite fitting in the re-draft he joins the Oilers at #15 overall. Only this time, he’d have been well established with the Oilers for a lot longer.
16. Minnesota Wild – Karl Alzner
The Minnesota Wild definitely regret this pick back in 2007. The Wild selected Colton Gillies at #16 and he would only play 43 games with the Wild with only 3 points. The Wild have one of the strongest defenses in the NHL and it would be only stronger with their selection of Karl Alzner in this re-draft. Alzner is that prototypical stay at home defenseman. He is not going to score a lot, but he isn’t going to get caught out of position either. He is the type of players that all great offenses need to help mitigate mistakes. The Wild had quite a few budding blueliners on their team the last few years, but one more like Alzner couldn’t hurt, right?
17. New York Rangers – Mikael Backlund
The story of the New York Rangers’ 17th overall pick is a depressing one. They selected Alexei Cherepanov, a promising young forward out of Russia. He would never join the Rangers, instead returning to the RSL. Tragically on October 13th, 2008 he would pass away from a heart attack during a game. We’re not going to call the pick a mistake, as it was just a tragic occurrence that a young player lost his life at such a young age.
In the spirit of the re-draft we have to select the best option available which is Mikael Backlund. Backlund has blossomed over the last few seasons with the Flames with a career high 53 points last season. Look for him to build on this total for the 2017-18 season.
18. Calgary Flames – Brandon Sutter
The Blues drafted Ian Cole back in 2007. He is a decent stay at home defenseman but not great. He has done much better for the Penguins than he ever did with the Blues. With the Blues always needing some center depth they go with Brandon Sutter in this re-draft He went #11 originally in 2007 and hasn’t had the best of luck in his career thus far. He hit a career high 34 points last season. If he continues to develop he will be a solid #2 center, which is the best of what is left from the 2007 draft. With the Blues having already taken Turris in this re-draft, a haul of Turris and Sutter is a solid center duo to either place on the roster, or use as trade bait in future years.
19. Anaheim Ducks- Jake Muzzin
The Ducks made a regrettable mistake back in 2007, selecting centerman Logan MacMillan. Logan would be one of 5 players originally drafted in 2007 to never play a game in the NHL. The Ducks wanted some size up the middle but he wasn’t the answer. The Ducks could have added to their impressive defensive core and drafted Jake Muzzin. Muzzin went #141 to the Penguins but has become a reliable top pairing defenseman with the L.A. Kings.
It is hard to say how he would do without Doughty, but either way he is better than who the Ducks drafted. The Ducks could have possibly had a duo of Muzzin with Cam Fowler, or they could move Muzzin down to a second pairing, which might have made him even more effective.
20. Pittsburgh Penguins – Alex Killorn
The Penguins swung huge and missed at the 2007 NHL Draft. They selected one of the biggest draft busts in history by drafting Angelo Esposito. He was once a top ranked prospect but there were already signs of him being a bust in junior. If the Penguins wanted a speedy forward they would have been better off selecting Alex Killorn. Killorn has become a big part of the rival Tampa Bay Lightning. He uses his speed and decent shot to contribute. Last season he had a career high 19 goals. Alex Killorn originally went #77th overall back in 2007. Oh well, the Penguins could live with making a mistake like Esposito after having drafted Crosby and Malkin in years prior. Killorn would just be another piece.
21. Edmonton Oilers – Scott Darling
The only goalie to make an appearance on this list, Scott Darling had a very slow start to his NHL career. He didn’t make his debut until the 2014-15 NHL season in a backup role. He has continued as a backup, putting up solid numbers. In 75 career games, Darling has a record of 39-17-9 with a 2.37 GAA. Darling is a much better option than Riley Nash, who the Oilers did select at #21 back in 2007. Nash would never play a game for the Oilers. Darling is getting his first real chance to be a starter this season in Carolina. Depending on how he does as a starter, he may move up this list if we were to do another re-draft in say 3-5 years time.
22. Montreal Canadiens – Nick Bonino
Montreal Canadiens are the big loser in this re-draft. They made not one, not two, but three selections that turned into impact NHL players (unfortunately, they’ve already traded two of them). In 2007 they lucked out and got team captain Max Pacioretty here at #22 but he is long gone. They will have to settle for the speedy Nick Bonino. Bonino originally went 173rd overall to the San Jose Sharks. He would thrive as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, scoring a career high 22 goals during the 2013-14 season. Bonino has of course won the last two Stanley Cups as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bonino has fled the Penguins with his cups and joined the Predators this offseason.
23. Nashville Predators- Lars Eller
This Nashville Predators’ pick made history. By selecting Jonathon Blum, they made him the first Californian to go in round 1. Sadly, it was all downhill from there. Blum would struggle to make it in the NHL. He played in 110 games and scored only 7 goals and added 17 assists.
They would have been better suited selecting speedy center Lars Eller. Eller had a career high 30 points during the 48 game lockout year. Eller could have brought some speed and stability to the Predators. Eller is plying his trade now with the Washington Capitals and playing the best hockey of his career. While he never turned into a great offensive center, he’s easily slotted in as a solid third line center.
24. Calgary Flames – Alec Martinez
The Flames lucked out with Backlund in 2007 but he is gone here in this re-draft. Instead the Flames build up their defense even more and draft Alec Martinez. Martinez has played a big role for the L.A Kings. He keeps getting better as well, seeing how he hit new career highs last season. Alec Martinez had 9 goals and 30 assists in 82 games. In his career thus far he has played in 419 games, adding 48 goals and 99 assists. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves being on the same team as Doughty and Muzzin. He was also the Stanley Cup overtime hero back in 2014 when he scored the cup winner for the Kings in double overtime against the Rangers.
25. Vancouver Canucks – Justin Braun
I don’t think anyone would disagree that Patrick White is a huge draft bust. He would never play a game in the NHL, AHL, or even the ECHL. A bust in every stretch of the imagination. The best player available here is defenseman Justin Braun. Braun has become a fixture on the San Jose Sharks blue line, despite being picked way down at #201 by the Sharks. Braun is never going to be confused with an Erik Karlsson, but he is able to be relied upon to ship in around 20 points and play solid defensively. At this point in a draft, getting a reliable defenseman in the late 20s is not a bad haul at all and the Canucks certainly would have been a lot happier with Braun than White.
26. St. Louis Blues – Paul Byron
The Blues did pretty well for themselves back in 2007, landing the speedy David Perron at #26 in the actual draft. He was built a reputation of being a steady goal scorer when he is on his game. Sadly for Blues fans he is gone already in this redraft so the Blues will have to deal with Paul Byron. Byron broke out in a big way last season with the Montreal Canadiens. He scored 22 goals and added 21 assists in 81 games. If he continues to build on this season, he may find himself ranked higher in a few years. Byron was overlooked back in 2007 (and most of his career) due to his lack of size but his speed has proven to be an important weapon, as the game is a lot different today than back in ’07.
27. Detroit Red Wings – Ian Cole
The Detroit Red Wings were happy to grab Brendan Smith back in 2007, but here in this re-draft #18 selection Ian Cole luckily falls down to them. The players are very similar; Cole plays a bit better defensively and has a few more points which gives him the edge. Ian Cole has been the defensive conscience of the two time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. He covers up a lot of defensive lapses of his teammates.
Detroit used to be a very strong defensive team but that ship has sailed. They could use someone like Ian Cole. It may not have prevented their slide to the basement last season, but he sure could have been of some help to them in recent years.
28. San Jose Sharks- Thomas Hickey
The Sharks would love a do-over of the 2007 NHL draft. They selected Nick Petrecki at this spot and he failed spectacularly. Nick Petrecki would only play in one NHL game in his career. The Sharks catch the free falling Thomas Hickey here in this re-draft. He has not lived up to his original draft selection of #4 overall. He has however been a solid bottom 4 defenseman in his career. He is good for an average of 20 points, and plays solid defensive hockey. He is currently playing for the New York Islanders and while him going early in the first round would make him a disappointment, a pick at 28th overall is a slam dunk for Hickey.
29. Ottawa Senators – Brendan Smith
The Ottawa Senators selected Jim O’Brien at #29 back in 2007. O’Brien struggled in the NHL, he played in 67 games adding 8 goals and 4 assists in that time. He could barely make an impact in the AHL. He still hasn’t given up hope as he played in the AHL again last season. The Senators luck out here and get Brendan Smith in the re-draft. He took a longer road to get to the NHL, but he became an important part of the Detroit Red Wings before being moved to the New York Rangers at the deadline this past season. Smith would have had an easier time cracking the Senators line up had they taken him here. There’d be a spot for him on the fourth line for sure.
30. Arizona Coyotes – Colton Sceviour
Nick Ross closed out the original first round 2007 NHL draft. He also never played a game in the NHL and even failed in the ECHL. He played his 5th season overseas in Austria last season with 32 points in 50 games. Instead we wrap this list up with right winger Colton Sceviour. Colton was drafted 112th overall back in 2007. He is not a great player in the NHL but he is serviceable. He averages close to 10 goals and 25 points a season. He spent last season with the Florida Panthers. He had 9 goals and added 15 assists in 80 games in a down year for the team.
So that concludes our re-draft after a decade. Is this the final say on a re-draft? Who knows… Maybe we’ll check back in another few years.
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