As one of the games most recognizable and respected media members, Pierre McGuire's word holds a lot of weight in the hockey world. For years, McGuire has been called upon to analyze all facets of the sport, from game-to-game observations to commenting on free agent acquisitions.
McGuire has also been on countless draft broadcasts and analysis shows, giving his two cents prior, during, or after the yearly NHL Draft.
One thing no one can fault McGuire for is his knowledge of each and every individual player in the hockey world - and that's not an exagerration. While most of us struggle to remember the number of a particular player, McGuire can rattle off stats, abilities, former teams, parents middle names and a prospect's dog's preferred brand of dog food as if he was constantly reading off a Wikipedia page. Widely considered hockey's walking encyclopedia, McGuire is a bottomless pit of information that is second to none.
One thing we can fault McGuire for is his tendency to overreact, one way or the other, when it comes to particular players. Whether its lauding a player or tearing down a team for what he considered to be a poor selection, McGuire's gusto and high-energy style of broadcasting has often resulted in him overestimating a marginal prospect or scoffing at the possibility of a "project" player blossoming into a star. It happens to everyone, but because it's Pierre...well, you know the rest.
15 Adam Larsson
This entry has more to do with the fact that McGuire was wrong about a player's initial ranking and the feel on him around the NHL, rather than the player not actually turning out to be very good. In the 2011 TSN Mock Draft, not only did McGuire take Larsson ahead of where he ended up going in real life (4th to New Jersey), he took the Swedish defenseman over surefire offensive talent Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, citing the Oilers lack of organizational depth on defense.
14 David Musil
13 Griffin Reinhart
Griffin Reinhart has taken the long way to NHL relevancy and he's still looking to solidify his reputation as a bonafide top-end NHL rearguard with the potential to blossom into the player he was projected to become back in 2012. McGuire's analysis of Reinhart in the 2012 TSN Mock Draft was sketchy at best, where he noted that "the 6'4" blueliner can take games over with his size. Has the NHL in his bloodlines with his father Paul and his brother Max."
12 Brayden Schenn
11 Brandon Gormley
10 Zack Phillips
After a remarkable run to the Memorial Cup, several members of the champion Saint John Sea Dogs were rising up draft boards after solid playoff performances. Two of them - Jonathan Huberdeau and Nathan Beaulieu - have already established themselves as legitimate, productive and effective NHLers. One has not.
That one is Zack Phillips, who was considered the "under the radar" offensive stud who was hidden by Huberdeau's shadow, but would ultimately end up being as good, if not better, than his junior teammate. McGuire certainly thought Phillips could become a dynamic centreman, calling him a great playmaking centre who would be able to lead his team in big moments.
9 Taylor Hall
8 Tyler Biggs
"Biggs is probably the nastiest guy in this draft. He's a big physical player that's going to punish people once he gets to the NHL level."
7 The Suggested Draft Day Subban Trade
In the the lead-up to the 2012 NHL Draft, McGuire decided to stoke the fire that was already burning quite bright in Montreal. P.K. Subban was heading towards the 2012-2013 season without a contract and McGuire suggested they move Subban while they had the chance. Not only did he suggest it, he proposed the Habs trade Subban to the Oilers, who had the first overall pick, for said pick and "something." What is "something"? McGuire, who said this on Montreal sports talk radio, never clarified what he meant. Keep in mind that the Habs had the 3rd overall pick in that draft.
Fast forward to today. The Oilers first pick, Nail Yakupov, has been just short of being a complete bust, while the Habs first pick - two selections later - Alex Galchenyuk is seemingly poised for a breakout season.
6 Angelo Esposito
A lot of people liked Angelo Esposito. He seemed like a good guy, from a hard-working family - a seemingly respectful young man with an immense talent that teams would be lucky to have.
5 Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson
4 Jared Cowen
3 Luke Schenn
2 Dmitry Orlov
1 Carey Price
When the Montreal Canadiens selected Carey Price 5th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, there's no doubt everyone was surprised. The Canadiens were seemingly set between the pipes with Jose Theodore and Mathieu Garon on the active roster - not to mention several prospects in the system. With Anze Kopitar on the board, many seethed at the Canadiens blatant disregard for big centremen, the so-called missing piece that many had been clamoring for for years.
While this thought was expressed by several experts in the moments following the selection, no one went off on the Habs the way McGuire did. Practically yelling into his microphone, McGuire lashed out at Bob Gainey and the Canadiens brass, chastising them for taking a player (whom he did admit would be good) that they didn't need while ignoring a blatant weakness on the team.
In retrospect, McGuire was not wrong - the Canadiens could have used Kopitar during the late 2000s and in theory they didn't need Price during those years. However, Price has developed into arguably the best player in the NHL, and he's done so after coming out of the same draft as one Sidney Crosby. McGuire is Price's biggest fan now, but he certainly wasn't on that fateful night ten years ago.
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