Ten years have passed since the very memorable 2007 NHL Entry Draft and that is so hard to actually believe. This draft class is by far one of the most intriguing ones because in it we have seen many players reach expectations and become legitimate stars, while others we may not even remember. This draft was very interesting because players in later rounds became absolutely stars, while some first rounders did not even play an NHL game.
Through this article, we will be looking at eight specific players who became elite talent in the league and seven who failed miserably. When it comes to evaluating this list, we will be looking at the best of the best and the worst of the worst, so some players from this class may be missing because they did not make the cut on either end. Do not be surprised to see some names that you never even heard of because this class had some very weak and questionable picks in the first round.
Nonetheless, here are eight players who became superstars from the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and seven who came nowhere close.
15 Superstar: Kevin Shattenkirk
Since being selected 14th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2007 Draft, Kevin Shattenkirk has emerged into one of the best offensive defensemen in the entire league. Although he was traded fairly quickly in the infamous Erik Johnson trade to the St.Louis Blues, Shattenkirk managed to make a name for himself quickly.
This offseason, Shattenkirk had his awesome play rewarded when he signed a big deal with his hometown New York Rangers. Expect Shattenkirk to continue to put up spectacular seasons in New York, due to their incredible cast of forwards. Shattenkirk has developed into a superstar and still has many years left at that level.
14 Failure: Jonathon Blum
When Jonathon Blum was drafted 23rd overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, he was expected to become a superstar like Shattenkirk. Yet, while developing in Nashville, he seemed to be forgotten because of their elite talent on the backend with players like Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. Blum simply could not keep up with the players around him.
Blum very well could have become a good hockey player in the NHL, but sadly was drafted by the wrong team. By the time Blum had a second chance with the Wild, his confidence was too far gone and he never had the ability to redeem himself. Blum would end his NHL career by playing only 110 games and putting up 24 points.
13 Superstar: Max Pacioretty
The Montreal Canadiens had a very solid 2007 NHL Entry Draft and the first of their two spectacular picks was Max Pacioretty. The Canadiens took the Connecticut born forward with the 22nd pick and it was an absolute steal. Pacioretty became a superstar shortly after his collegiate career and now is the captain of the Canadiens.
Although Pacioretty receives criticism for his leadership skills as captain, he still is a very effective player in this league and one of the best natural goal scorers. Over the past four seasons, he has gotten at least thirty goals and sixty points. Normally late first round picks turn out to be solid players, but not superstars like Pacioretty.
12 Failure: Keaton Ellerby
The Florida Panthers have a rich history of choosing the wrong players during the NHL Entry Draft. In the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Panthers selected defenseman Keaton Ellerby with the 10th overall pick. This was a giant mistake because so many players ended up being far better than Ellerby and he is now not even in the NHL.
Ellerby would end up playing 212 games in the NH and put up only 27 points. As a Top 10 selection, it was expected that Ellerby would develop into a legitimate superstar, but it is clear that this did not happen. Ellerby would end his lackluster career with the Winnipeg Jets and now is a member of the Finnish Elite League.
11 Superstar: Logan Couture
The San Jose Sharks selected star center Logan Couture with the 9th overall selection and this pick absolutely changed their franchise. Couture has become an elite player in the NHL and is now a significant part of the Sharks’ core. Couture has developed into a consistent 50 to 60 plus player, which is a rarity in the game today.
Although Couture has played on a Sharks team with great depth down the middle, he still managed to become a franchise player and outperform his teammates. He luckily had great mentors such as Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski to help him develop and today, Couture now looks like he will be the future face of the Sharks for years to come.
10 Failure: Colton Gillies
The Minnesota Wild struck out big time when they selected Colton Gillies with the 16th overall selection of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Gillies never was a goal scorer in juniors and him being selected there was a huge risk taken by the Wild. Yet, after only scoring 30 points with the Saskatoon Blades in his draft year, this decision lacked any rationality.
The one upside of Gillies’ game was that he was a huge physical force on the ice and in the time of the enforcer, would have been a good fit. Yet, Gillies never found offensive success as a true first round pick should and as result, became an absolute bust. Gillies would end his career with 154 games played and only 18 points, two numbers more than his atrocious draft selection.
9 Superstar: Ryan McDonagh
Man, the Montreal Canadiens had an absolutely amazing draft year in 2007. For their first pick, they selected Ryan McDonagh 12th overall and we all know how strong of a player he has become over the past decade. Yet, the Canadiens stupidly traded him away him in the infamous Scott Gomez trade. In short, Gomez was garbage in Montreal and McDonagh is now a star in New York.
McDonagh is the heart and soul of the New York Rangers club and as a result, wears the C on his chest. McDonagh has consistently gotten 30 to 40 points since he broke out as a star and now is considered to be one of the best defenders in the game. Expect McDonagh to one day carry the Rangers to a cup, while breaking the hearts of the Canadiens one more time.
8 Failure: Alex Plante
Everyone knows the Edmonton Oilers have been absolutely horrible at drafting players for years now and in 2007, they did not disappoint with that fact. The Oilers selected Alex Plante with the 15th overall selection of that draft year and well, many people may not have even heard of who he is. Plante did not have much of an NHL career at all.
While playing in America, Plante spent the majority of his time in the AHL and never seemed to find his game to become a true NHLer. Plante only ended up playing 10 NHL games with the Oilers and only registered two points. Today, Plante currently players professional hockey in Asia and it is safe to label him as a bust.
7 Star: Jakub Voracek
The Columbus Blue Jackets made a great choice by selecting Jakub Voracek with the 7th overall selection of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Yet, they mistakenly gave up on him too quickly and sent him to Philadelphia in one of the worst trades of this decade. Carter would not even last one season in Columbus and Voracek became a legitimate star on the Flyers.
Today, Voracek is one of the main pieces of the Philadelphia Flyers’ core and is a top winger in the game. Voracek’s best season came in 2014-15 when he put up 81 points in 82 games. That season marked Voracek as an absolute superstar in the league and it is very hard to argue against that. Expect to see Voracek to continue to dominate the league for quite some time.
6 Failure: Zach Hamill
With the 8th overall selection of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Boston Bruins selected Zach Hamill and many of you are most likely wondering, “who is that guy?” Hamill never reached the potential many thought he would and ultimately did not become a force in the NHL. Hamill had a great junior year career, but did not carry that to the NHL.
After seven years of trying to become an NHL regular, Hamill finally gave up trying to play in America and continued his career in Europe. He is currently playing the second tier league in Sweden and is not anywhere near he was supposed to be. Hamill ended up only 20 games in the NHL and registering 4 assists, so it is easy to see why he is a complete bust.
5 Star: P.K. Subban
The Montreal Canadiens final amazing pick of the 2007 Entry Draft came with the 43rd selection when they took elite defender P.K. Subban. Everyone who follows hockey knows that Subban as an absolute superstar and one of the most dangerous players on the ice. Subban had a great seven year tenure with Montreal and will never be forgotten there.
The Canadiens eventually traded Subban to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber and this was a very risky move by both clubs. Yet, even with that, Subban had a spectacular first season with the Predators and helped carry them to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Expect to see Subban win his first ring in Nashville in the near future.
4 Failure: Angelo Esposito
The Pittsburgh Penguins made a rare mistake in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft when they selected Anthony Esposito with the 20th overall pick. After a very solid junior career, Esposito was expected to become a very effective playmaker for the Penguins. With players like Crosby and Malkin down the middle, the Penguins would have been even better if Esposito reached expectations.
Interestingly enough, Esposito would never actually step on the ice for an NHL game with Penguins or ever mind you. Esposito never was able to bring his offensive game to the AHL either and only put up 38 points in 124 games down there. Today, Esposito is playing in Europe by in a second tier league in the Czech Republic.
3 Star: Patrick Kane
The Chicago Blackhawks made an easy decision selecting Patrick Kane with the number one pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Although everyone knew he would be a star in the league, no one expected he would bring that much success to Chicago. Kane has become one of the best players in the league and not many people can reach his accomplishments thus far.
Kane is a pivotal reason as to why the Chicago Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cups since this draft year. In fact, Kane scored the infamous 2010 Stanley Cup Championship winning goal against the Flyers. Without Kane’s ability to score clutch goals for the club, the Blackhawks never would have reached the success they have.
2 Failure: Patrick White
With the 25th pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Vancouver Canucks selected Patrick White. Yet, it is pretty easy to recognize that not many people have even heard the name ever. White was a gamble pick made by the Canucks because he was chosen before he started his college career. With that said, the choice was atrocious because White was a below average college player.
With that, White never even played an AHL game. Instead, he battled his way through many second tier European leagues and eventually had the chance to play in the KHL. Yet, even his KHL career was horrible because he did not register a single point in 26 points before being cut. Today, White is a free agent who cannot even find a home in Europe.
1 Star: Jamie Benn
The Dallas Stars struck gold when they selected Jamie Benn 129th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Not many players from the 5th round of any NHL draft turn out to be effective in the league, Benn has become an absolute superstar. Today, he is the captain of the Stars and is one of the most productive players on the ice.
Since becoming an NHL regular, Benn has put up great offensive numbers and normally at least comes close to reaching a point per game. In fact, Benn even got more than a point per game for two straight seasons from 2014 to 2016. Needless to say, the Stars got very lucky by snagging Benn that late in the draft, especially with the lack of talent from the first round.