The 2005 NHL Entry Draft will go down as one of the greatest drafts of all-time. The draft had been hyped up for years, based on the fact that a generational player in Sidney Crosby was available. While Crosby certainly made this draft class special, there were many other players drafted that have since gone on to have amazing careers. The first round produced a ton of quality NHL players, some who will one day undoubtedly be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. However, it wasn't just the first round that produced great players, the middle to late rounds produced some fantastic talent as well.
The 2005 draft may have been great, but like every other draft, there were some players who did not live up to their potential. Although most of the players drafted in the first round found NHL success, there was a good bunch of players who didn't. Some players battled injuries which ultimately hurt their development. Some players were given plenty of opportunities to succeed, but just never lived up to the promise they once showed. A few players who were drafted in the first round never even came close to getting into a single NHL game.
Here are 8 Studs and 8 Duds who came out of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
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16 Stud: Keith Yandle
The Coyotes got an absolute steal when they managed to snag Keith Yandle in the fourth round of the draft. Prior to being drafted, Yandle had only been playing high school hockey in Massachusetts. In 2005-06, Yandle went to play for the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL. He had an amazing year with the Wildcats, recording 84 points, on his way to being named the QMJHL's best defenseman.
Yandle turned pro in 2006-07, where he showed his offensive talent playing mostly for the Coyotes AHL affiliate. By 2008-09, Yandle had become a mainstay on the Coyotes blueline. Yandle had a career year during the 2010-11 season when he recorded 59 points and was named to the All-Star team.
After playing parts of nine seasons with the Coyotes, Yandle was traded to the New York Rangers. Although he put up 47 points in his first full season with the New York, the Rangers and Yandle weren't able to agree on a new contract. He instead signed a seven year deal with the Florida Panthers, where he will be a dangerous weapon on their powerplay for years to come.
15 Dud: Tyler Plante
Tyler Plante had a supberb rookie season in 2004-05, while playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. He compliled a stelllar record of 34-11-2, with a 2.58 GAA, and a .907 save percentage. Those numbers were good enough for him to win the WHL Rookie of the Year. He was the third goalie taken in the draft, when the Panthers drafted him 32nd overall. Plante would play two more very good seasons with the Wheat Kings before starting his pro career in 2007-08.
Plante split his first pro season between the AHL and ECHL. He struggled mightily in the AHL posting a record of 6-16-1, with a terrible 3.56 GAA, and .885 save percentage. The following season Plante once again split time between the two leagues, where his numbers were only slightly better than the season prior.
The 2009-10 season would be Plante's best as a pro. He only played 27 games, but posted a solid 2.66 GAA and .914 save percentage. He also earned a call up with the Panthers, but never got to see any on ice action. That would be the closest Plante would ever get to playing in an NHL game. He would play one more mediocre season in the AHL, before bouncing around the minors and Europe.
14 Stud: Marc-Edouard Vlasic
In his final year of junior in 2005-06 with the Quebec Remparts, Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a break out year offensively. The defenseman put up 73 points, which was 40 more points than his previous high. Although he hasn't been able to put up those kind of numbers in the NHL, he has proven to be one of the best all-around defenseman in the game.
Vlasic has spent all ten of his NHL seasons with the San Jose Sharks. He has been a super reliable defender ever since he entered the league in 2006-07. Vlasic has been so good from the get go, that he only had to play one AHL game, while most defenseman take at least a season developing in the minors.
Vlasic's career highlight might have been when he played for Team Canada at the 2014 winter Olympics. He played a significant shut down role in helping Canada capture the Gold Medal. Vlasic isn't just great at defending, throughout his career he's proven he can put up some points. He had a career season in 2015-16, when he scored 39 points in just 67 games.
At 29 years old, Vlasic is still going strong. With an Olympic Gold medal under his belt, Vlasic now has his sights set on winning a Stanley Cup.
13 Dud: Ryan Parent
Ryan Parent was widely considered one of the best defenseman available in the 2005 draft. He had a very successful junior career. He played four seasons with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League, where he was named an OHL All-Star in 2005-06. Parent also represented Canada at the World Junior Championship in 2006 and 2007, where he won Gold on both occasions. Parent was originally taken by the Nashville Predators with the 18th overall selection.
Before Parent even played a game with the Predators, his rights were dealt to Philadelphia in the blockbuster Peter Forsberg trade. Parent would play parts of four seasons with the Flyers, but mostly found himself playing for their AHL affiliate. His best year for the Flyers came in 2009-10, when he played in a career high 48 games and scored what would be his only career NHL goal.
In 2010, Parent was traded back to Nashville, but before he could play a game, he was traded to Vancouver. He would get into just four games with the Canucks, which would turn out to be the the last NHL games of his career. Parent is currently barely holding on to a career as a minor league depth defenseman.
12 Stud: Kris Letang
Kris Letang had an okay draft year with the Val d'Or Foreurs of the QMJHL, showing that he had potential to be a good offensive defenseman. In 70 games he recorded 32 points, which is a good amount, but definitely not mind-blowing. The Penguins were able to grab Letang in the third round of the draft. In the two followings seasons after being drafted, Letang tore up the QMJHL, scoring 120 points in 100 games.
Letang made the full-time transition to the NHL in 2007-08. For the first few seasons, he put up some decent numbers, scoring 33 points in 2008-09. He had his coming out party during the 2009 playoffs where he scored 13 points, helping Penguins capture the Stanley Cup.
Ever since the 2010-11 season, Letang has been one of the premier offensive defenseman in the league. He has battled numerous health problems, but when he's healthy, he's a point per game player. In 2015-16 he scored a career high 67 points in 71 games. He also added another 15 points in the playoffs, which helped the Penguins win another Stanley Cup.
11 Dud: Alex Bourret
Alex Bouret showed in junior that he had all the makings of the next great power forward. Although he wasn't the tallest guy at 5'10", he still weighed in over 200 lbs. During his draft year with the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the QMJHL, he had a fantastic year, recording 86 points. The Alanta Thrashers were more than happy to use their 16th overall selection on Bourret. After being drafted, he spent one more season in junior where he improved his production by putting up 114 points.
Bourret made his pro debut in 2006-07 with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. He recorded 32 points in 45 games, before he was traded to the New York Rangers. He finished the season with the Rangers AHL affiliate in Hartford. In a combined 77 AHL games during the 2006-07 season, Bourret recorded 50 points, not bad for a twenty-year-old.
Bourret's production stayed at the same level in his second season, recording 33 points in 54 games. In 2008, Bourret once again found himself on the move, this time to the Phoenix Coyotes. In his only season in the Coyotes organization, he would battle inconsistency as well as conditioning problems. In 48 games, he only recorded 14 points.
Bourret has since been relegated to playing in low tier minor leagues such as the ECHL, and LNAH.
10 Stud: Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Quick was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in third round out of high school. In his draft year, he posted an incredible 25-2 record with an insane 1.14 GAA. Quick spent the next two season's playing college hockey, where he showed that his numbers in high school weren't just a fluke. Quick set plenty of team records while leading the University of Massachusetts Minutemen to their first ever NCAA tournament appearance.
Quick started his pro hockey career in the ECHL, but played well enough to earn some time in the AHL. By the end of his first pro season in 2007-08, Quick had earned some time in the NHL, where he struggled in three appearances. He bounced back the following season and established himself as the L.A. Kings go-to netminder. In 44 games with the Kings, he compiled a record of 21-18-2. The following season he would play an incredible 72 games for the Kings and recorded 39 wins.
The 2011-12 season put Quick on the map when it came to the best goalies in the league. In the regular season he posted a 35-21-13 record, with a crazy low 1.95 GAA and a fantastic .928 save percentage. Quick was even better during the 2012 playoffs, where he led the entire league in wins, goals against average, and save percentage. The Kings only lost four games on their way to capturing the franchise's first Stanley Cup. Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Quick would add another Stanley Cup to his resume in 2014. He is quickly establishing himself among the greatest American goalies to ever play in the NHL.
9 Dud: Jack Skille
Jack Skille is the only draft dud on this list who is still playing in the NHL, but he is far from living up to the potential that he once showed. He honed his skills while playing for the U.S. Hockey National Development Program. The speedy forward was drafted seventh overall by the Chicago Blackhawks. After being drafted, Skille spent two seasons playing at the University of Wisconsin. He won the NCAA Championship with the Badgers in 2005-06, recording 21 points in 41 games.
Skille made his professional debut at the end of the 2006-07 season with the AHL's Norfolk Admirals. It was a great start to his career, as he recorded eight points in nine games. In first full pro season, he recorded 34 points in 59 AHL games, which earned him a call up with the Blackhawks. In 15 games with Chicago, he put up five points. Skille was even more productive in the AHL during the 2008-09 season, scoring 45 points in 58 games. He also got into eight games with the Blackhawks, but only managed to register one goal.
Skille again split the 2009-10 season between AHL and NHL, where his numbers were on par with the previous season. He finally earned a full time NHL position in 2010-11, where he recorded 17 points in 49 games, before he was traded to the Florida Panthers. Skille had trouble earning ice time on a loaded Chicago team, so the thought was his numbers would improve on a weaker Florida team. That wasn't the case. In a combined 99 games with the Panthers, Skille only recorded 24 points.
He would go on to have a short unproductive stint with Columbus, before earning an contract with Colorado in 2015, via tryout. While playing for the Avalanche, Skille proved he could play a valuable energy line role, but that is a far cry from what was expected from him as a top ten draft selection.
8 Stud: Tuukka Rask
Tuukka Rask was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the 21st overall pick. However, the Maple Leafs were desperately looking for a goaltender who already had NHL experience, so, in 2006, they traded Rask to the Bruins for Andrew Raycroft. It wasn't too long before the Maple Leafs realized that they made a huge mistake in trading Rask. After two seasons developing in the AHL, Rask made the transition to the NHL full-time in 2009-10. He was excellent in the 45 games he got into with the Bruins. He compiled a record of 22-12-5, with a 1.97 GAA, and a .931 save percentage.
Rask would spend the following few seasons as a backup to Tim Thomas. His numbers were fantastic and the Bruins knew that had a future All-Star in their hands. In the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, Rask became the Bruins starting goalie. The next season Rask established himself among the elite goalies in the league. He posted a record of 36-15-6, with a low 2.04 GAA, and a .930 save percentage. He was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the leagues top goaltender.
It doesn't look like Tuuka Rask will be giving up his starting role with Bruins anytime soon.
7 Dud: Marek Zagrapan
Marek Zagrapan's first season in North America was with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL in 2004-05. The centermen had a great year, scoring 32 goals and 50 assists. The Buffalo Sabres loved what skills Zagrapan brought to the table and took him with the 13th overall pick. He had another good year for the Sagueneens before turning pro in 2006-07.
He failed to make the Sabres roster and was instead sent down to the AHL to develop his game. His first season of pro hockey wasn't mind-blowing, but he did record 17 goals. His second season was once again spent in the American League, where his stats were almost identical to his first season. Zagrapan played one more year entirely in the AHL, where he showed a bit of improvement point wise, scoring a career high 49 points.
Zagrapan wasn't happy about not getting a chance to play for the Sabres and at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season, he bolted to Russia. It was clear that Zagrapan lacked the maturity needed to be an NHL player. It's quite possible he would of earned a shot with Sabres had he stuck around. Since leaving the NHL, his career has gone nowhere, as he played this past season in Austria. It is safe to say we won't be seeing Zagrapan in an NHL uniform anytime soon, if ever.
6 Stud: Anze Kopitar
Anze Kopitar became the first ever Slovenian born player to play in the NHL, when he debuted with the Los Angeles in the 2006-07 season. He made an immediate impact, finishing third in rookie scoring with 61 points. His second season in 2007-08 was even better, as he improved his production to 77 points and was named to the Western Conference All-Star team.
Kopitar has now played a decade for the Kings, where he has proven to be one of the best forwards in the entire NHL. He has been one of the most consistent regular season scorers ever since he entered the league. What's even better than being a great scorer in the regular season, is being a great one come playoff time, and that is exactly what Kopitar has proven to be. During the 2012 NHL playoffs, Kopitar was tied for the lead in points with 20, helping the Kings win the franchise's first ever Stanley Cup. He was even better during the 2014 playoffs when he led all players in points with 26, leading the Kings to their second Stanley Cup.
Its looks Kopitar has a whole lot left in the tank and looks like he's well on his way to earning a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
5 Dud: Gilbert Brule
Gilbert Brule wasn't the biggest guy in junior, but that did't stop him from playing a very gritty game. To go along with his physical game, he also knew how to put points up on the board. During his draft year with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, he recorded 87 points in 70 games played. The Columbus Blue Jackets took him with the sixth overall selection, hoping that one day he could develop into a franchise centre.
Brule finished off his junior career by leading the Giants to WHL Championship with an outstanding 30 points in just 18 games. Things were looking good for Brule heading into his first professional season. He suited up for 78 games during his rookie season for Columbus, but only managed to record 19 points. Brule would play just one more season with the Blue Jackets where he once again failed to produce, scoring just nine points in 61 games.
Brule was eventually traded to the Edmonton Oilers where he finally started to show some of the reasons why he was a top ten pick. In 2009-10, Brule had a career year with the Oilers, recording 37 points in 65 games. Unfortunately for Brule, that season turned out to be a flash in the pan. He would go on to play a depth role with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2012-13, before heading off to Europe.
4 Stud: Carey Price
Carey Price had a star studded junior career. He played four seasons for the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. The 2006-07 season might just be the best season of his career to date. After posting a 30-13-1 record with the Americans, he was named the WHL Goaltender of the Year. He was also Canada's starting goalie at the 2007 World Junior Hockey Championships, where he was integral to Canada taking home the Gold Medal. After his WHL season ended, he joined Montreal's AHL affiliate for the 2007 Calder Cup playoffs. He was absolutely stellar in the AHL playoffs, compiling a 15-6 record, leading Hamilton to the Calder Cup championship.
Since beginning his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens in 2007-08, Price has established himself as arguably the best goalie in the league. Price's best year as a Canadien came in the 2014-15 season. In 66 games Price posted a record of 44-16-6, with a sparkling 1.96 GAA and an incredible .933 save percentage. Price was the runaway winner for both the Vezina and Hart Trophy.
As long as Price is able to stay healthy, he has a chance to be among the greatest goalies to ever play the game.
3 Dud: Brian Lee
Brian Lee first made a name for himself playing for Moorhead High School. In 2004-05, the defenseman showed his offensive ability, scoring 12 goals and 38 points in just 25 games. He was named Mr. Hockey as the number one player in the Minnesota High School Boys Hockey sytem. He showed enough promise for the Ottawa Senators to make him the second defenseman taken in the draft, when they selected him ninth overall.
The following season he joined the University of North Dakota, where he played on a loaded team that included Jonathan Toews and T.J. Oshie. Lee would lead all team defenseman with 27 points. He would play another solid season at North Dakota before turning pro ahead of the 2007-08 season.
Lee started his professional career with Ottawa's AHL affiliate in Binghamton. He a had solid first season, showing his puck moving ability, while putting up 25 points in 55 games. Lee also made his NHL debut with the Senators that same season, playing six games and recording his first NHL point.
Lee would split the next couple of seasons between the AHL and NHL. His numbers weren't too impressive in either league. In 2010-11, he finally made the transition to the NHL full-time. In fifty games he scored just three points. The next season, Lee often found himself a healthy scratch in Ottawa and was eventually traded to Tampa Bay. He played just 42 games over two seasons with the Lightning before retiring in 2014 due to knee problems.
2 Stud: Sidney Crosby
The 2005 NHL Entry Draft was coined "The Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes." Crosby had been highly touted ever since he was a child. The Pittsburgh Penguins had the unbelievably easy choice of taking Crosby with the number one overall selection.
Crosby came out firing during his NHL rookie campaign. He became the youngest player ever to reach 100 points. His second season was even more impressive as he led the entire league in points. He also became the youngest winner of the Hart Trophy since Wayne Gretzky won it in 1980.
It wasn't too long before Crosby was lifting the Stanley Cup, after his Penguins defeated the Red Wings in 2009. Crosby added a Gold Medal to his resume when he scored the "Golden Goal" for Canada at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. His most recent accomplishment was winning his second Stanley Cup in 2016, where he was also named playoff MVP.
Although Crosby has battled some injury problems throughout his career, he has remained one of the greatest players in the NHL today. When his career is over, his name will be mentioned in the same breath as legendary players like Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe.
1 Dud: Sasha Pokulok
Sasha Pokulok showed a great deal of promise as a big mobile defenseman who could shoot the puck. During his draft year he played for Cornell University, where he suited up for 26 games and recorded 10 points. The Capitals like what they saw in the big man and took him with the 14th overall pick.
A defenseman usually takes more time to develop than a forward, and the Capitals were willing to take their time with Pokulok. After playing one more season at Cornell, he made his pro debut in the 2006-07 season. His first season as a pro was an absolute disaster. He battled injuries and played just one game in the AHL and only 16 games in the ECHL. The next season was a bit better for Pokulok as he got into 44 games with the Capitals AHL affilate, recording seven points.
The 2008-09 was again an injury plagued season. When he was healthy he found himself playing down in the ECHL. Pokulok at least performed well there, recording 39 points in 49 games with the Bakersfield Condors.
Despite having a productive season, albeit in a lower league, the Captials decided not to renew his contract. Pukulok would play in Germany and Austria, before retiring due to concussion problems in 2013. He never even came close to getting into a single NHL game.
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