The 2007 NHL draft has had some players make huge impact. Guys like Patrick Kane, Jamie Benn, Jakub Voracek, P.K. Subban and Logan Couture have become big stars for their respective clubs. Others like Max Pacioretty and Ryan McDonagh have become the captain of their teams and look to be the foundation that the club is built on.
This draft, like many others, suffers from a huge drop off. After pick #10 it is mainly 2nd and 3rd line forwards and 2nd pairing defensemen that make up the list. Surprisingly not ONE goaltender was either initially picked in the first round, or makes an appearance in this re-draft which seems quite rare.
There are five players who would never play an NHL game picked in this 1st round (Nick Ross, Patrick White, Angelo Esposito, Logan MacMillan and tragically Alexei Cherepanov who passed away in 2008)
This re-draft features many players who were picked far down in the original draft. Jamie Benn who is featured at #2 in this draft went #129th in 2007. Carl Haglein, Nick Bonino, Carl Gunnarsson, Patrick Maroon, and Justin Braun all feature on this list and they were picked in round 6 or 7 of the initial draft. Braun was drafted all the way down at #201.
Some teams will love this Re-Draft(Edmonton Oilers for one who somehow came away with nothing despite having 3 picks in round 1) Teams like the Montreal Canadiens however would hate this as they miss out on both Max Pacioretty and Ryan McDonagh.
This draft will be remembered for a few elite talents, some huge late draft finds and some crippling first round failures. Without further adieu i present to you my Re-Drafting of the first round of the 2007 NHL entry draft!
*All stats current as of the end of the 2015-2016 NHL Season.*
1. Chicago Blackhawks – Patrick Kane
In 2007 the Chicago Blackhawks made Patrick Kane the no.1 pick in the draft. In 2016 he still remains the best player to come out of the draft. He has had some major off ice concerns, however on the ice there are very few in the league who are better. Kane won the Calder trophy in 2008 and has won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks (2010, 2013, 2015), one Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013 and won the Art Ross trophy this season. Despite numerous off ice concerns, Kane continues to lead the Blackhawks totaling 663 points in 658 career regular season games and 114 points in 116 career playoff games.
2. Philadelphia Flyers – Jamie Benn
The Philadelphia Flyers would love a mulligan on this pick. JVR hasn’t been a horrible bust by any stretch of the imagination, however he would only last three seasons with the Flyers maxing out at 40 points. JVR was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Luke Schenn who is also no longer with the club. JVR reached a career high 61 points in 2013-14 with the Leafs. The Flyers could have avoided all this by simply picking Jamie Benn. Benn shockingly was not picked until round 5 of the 2007 NHL draft but is the 2nd highest scoring player of the draft year with 448 points in 508 games.
3. Arizona Coyotes – Jakub Voracek
Kyle Turris was definitely a bust for the Arizona Coyotes. Picked 3rd overall, Turris ranks 11th in points scored from this class. Turris struggled with the Coyotes before starting a contract holdout as a RFA in 2011. He demanded a salary of $3-4 million and requested a trade. It took until December of 2011 but Turris was sent to the Senators where he still plays today.
The Coyotes would have been much better suited taking Jakub Voracek, originally drafted 7th overall by the Blue Jackets. Voracek’s 427 points ranks him 3rd in his draft class. Coyotes have always been a team that has struggled with scoring and adding a player with his offensive ability would have been a huge help.
4. L.A Kings – P.K Subban
Thomas Hickey never played a single NHL game as a member of the L.A. Kings. He has become a serviceable depth defenseman which is not what you expect from a 4th overall pick. Can you imagine a world where Drew Doughty and P.K. Subban are on the same team? That is a scary thought. Subban is 9th in scoring from his draft year despite being drafted 43rd overall. Subban is an offensive dynamo that can take over a game on his own. Much more of what you expect to get from a top 5 draft pick. Subban also has a huge personality, which would fit in great in a market like Los Angeles. P.K. in Hollywood? That sounds about right.
5. Washington Capitals – Logan Couture
Karl Alzner is the definition of a stable, reliable defenseman. Alzner has not missed a game for the Capitals since the start of the 2010-11 NHL season. He won’t put up a bunch of points, but won’t be caught out of position very often either. He is a solid mid-round pick but you expect more at no.5. Enter Logan Couture. The San Jose Sharks dynamo has been a consistent scorer for the Sharks since entering the league, twice topping 30 goals in a season. Can you imagine him on the PP with Ovi?
6. Edmonton Oilers – Ryan McDonagh
The Oilers have struggled for years to find an elite defenseman. They could have solved all of this back in 2007 by drafting Ryan McDonagh. Instead the Oilers drafted Sam Gagner, who has played the second most games of anyone in this class and the 4th most points (are you as shocked as I am?) Gagner has been a serviceable 3rd line player but you expect better at no.6.
Ryan McDonagh has become a huge part of the New York Rangers, as he is their current captain. McDonagh is solid in his on end and chips in on offense. Basically everything the Oilers have needed for years! Letting him slip through their hands is one of their biggest draft mistakes.
7. Columbus Blue Jackets – Max Pacioretty
The Blue Jackets did themselves well by taking Jakub Voracek at 7th overall in the original draft, although they traded him to Philly in the Jeff Carter deal. With Voracek off the table now in the re-draft, they would have to “settle” for Max Pacioretty. The former Michigan Wolverine is a very respected leader for the Montreal Canadiens, as proven by them voting him as the captain of the team. He is also sixth in points for his draft class with 344 points in 481 games.
8. Boston Bruins – Wayne Simmonds
Zach Hamill was nothing but a huge disappointment for the Boston Bruins. He played only 20 games over three seasons scoring just three points. He last played in the NHL during the 2011-12 NHL season. After failing to make the Vancouver Canucks roster he fled to the KHL in 2013. Now he plays in the NLA in Switzerland.
Boston would have been better suited drafting Wayne Simmonds who fell all the way to 61st in the draft. Simmonds has become a strong power forward for the Flyers, scoring 344 points in his career to go along with 779 PIM.
9. San Jose Sharks – Kevin Shattenkirk
The San Jose Sharks were very happy to get Logan Couture, but he is gone in the re-draft so they have to settle for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Shattenkirk’s career really took off after his trade to the St. Louis Blues, teaming with Alex Pietrangelo to become a dominant top pairing. Shattenkirk plays big minutes for the Blues and is a capable penalty killer and excels on the power play. I can only imagine how dominant a pairing of Brent Burns and Kevin Shattenkirk would be for the Sharks!
10. Florida Panthers – James Van Riemsdyk
The Panthers originally used this selection on Keaton Ellerby. I know what you are thinking; who the hell is Keaton Ellerby? Keaton, who is Shane Doan’s cousin struggled as a NHL player. He lasted three seasons with the Panthers scoring 17 points. He didn’t achieve much else in the NHL. He debuted in the KHL this season scoring 9 points in 42 games.
JVR has been a big piece of the Toronto Maple Leafs since his trade from the Flyers, scoring 30 goals in 2013-14. Even as a rookie, JVR scored more points in his rookie season than Ellerby would score in his entire career!
11. Carolina Hurricanes – David Perron
The Canes used the 11th overall pick on Brandon Sutter. Sutter has had ups and downs in his NHL career. He hit career highs in 2009-10 with 21 goals and 40 points in 72 games. It was all downhill from there and the Hurricanes included Sutter in their blockbuster trade to acquire Jordan Staal.
They could have had David Perron who has become a bit of a hired gun to play with elite talent. Perron hit career highs in 2013-14 scoring 28 goals and 57 points in 78 games. Sutter is currently struggling in Vancouver while Perron flies high with the Ducks.
12. Montreal Canadiens – Sam Gagner
Montreal had no idea what they had when Ryan McDonagh fell in their lap at no.12. Montreal shipped him to the Rangers two years later where he has blossomed into one of the best defensemen in the NHL. In the re-draft he is long gone so the Canadiens get to add another small forward to their lineup with Sam Gagner. Shockingly Sam Gagner is 4th in scoring from his draft year and 2nd in games played. His style of play would have fit in nicely with the Canadiens so who knows where he would be now, but he would have been a reliable scorer when Montreal struggled to find one.
13. St. Louis Blues – Kyle Turris
The Blues originally used this pick on Danish center Lars Eller. Eller went to the Canadiens in 2010 as part of the deal that landed the Blues Jaroslav Halak. Eller has struggled in the NHL, only cracking the 30 point plateau once during the 2012-13 season. He has since become an overpaid 3rd line center.
Kyle Turris had some off ice issues but maybe he would have been happier as a member of the Blues. Regardless Turris has been a much better player in the NHL hitting career highs in points in 2014-15 scoring 24 goals and 40 assists. Turris is an all around better player and is miles ahead of Eller.
14. Colorado Avalanche – Karl Alzner
Kevin Shattenkirk has been a dominant offensive defenseman for the St. Louis Blues (after the Avs dealt him in a deal for Johnson). Unfortunately, Shattenkirk is long gone in this re-draft so the Avalanche would have to settle for the original fifth pick overall, Karl Alzner. Alzner would have been a perfect fit for the Avalanche who were desperate for a stay at home, reliable defenseman. Alzner’s filled that role nicely with the Capitals.
15. Edmonton Oilers – Carl Hagelin
The Oilers had three first round picks in the 2007 draft and whiffed on every one. Alex Plante was their selection at no.15 and is one of the biggest busts in NHL history. Plante only played in 10 games over three seasons with the Oilers contributing just a pair of assists. Not only that, he struggled at the AHL level as well and was over playing in Europe by the 2013-14 season where…he also struggled.
The Oilers would have been much better suited picking Carl Hagelin, who somehow fell all the way to 168th overall. Hagelin hasn’t been the most productive player in the NHL but he has been steadily flirting with the 20 goal mark. A hell of a lot better production than Plante achieved anywhere.
16. Minnesota Wild – Alec Martinez
The Wild used this pick on Colton Gillies, who struggled from day one in the NHL. His stats were; 43 games played, with three points…You expect much more out of a first round pick. He only lasted two seasons with the Wild before being claimed by the Blue Jackets where his struggles continued, scoring 8 points over two seasons with Columbus.
Alec Martinez on the other hand has been a productive player on the back-end for the L.A. Kings. Martinez was selected 95th overall and is most known for scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal in overtime of Game 5 in 2014. Martinez has 39 goals and 69 assists in 337 career games. Not the best production for a 1st round pick, but his ability on defense is what propels him to 16th in the re-draft.
17. New York Rangers – Jake Muzzin
This is one sad story. In the weeks leading up to the draft, Alexei Cherepanov was the no.1 ranked European player but a poor performance at the combine led him to drop down to the Rangers at no.17. Tragically Alexei would never sign a contract with the Rangers as he went back to the RSL and on October 13th 2008, he collapsed on the bench during a game and was pronounced dead from a heart attack. We will never know how well he would have done in the NHL, or if he would have even come over from Russia.
The Rangers could have had taken Muzzin who was drafted all the way down at no.141 by the Penguins. Muzzin had a rough start to his career, not signing with the Pens and not being drafted when he re-entered the draft in 2009. Now he is flying high in Los Angeles playing on the top pairing with Drew Doughty at times. He has become a reliable 40 point/season defenseman for the perennial playoff contender.
18. St. Louis Blues – Brandon Sutter
The Blues originally went with Ian Cole. He is a good stay at home defenseman. He won’t join the rush and chip in on offense but that also means he won’t be the one caught out of position either. He brings a defensive reliability to a Penguins defense which focuses a lot on chipping in with goals. The Blues moved Cole during the 2014-15 season.
One must ask if they would have traded Brandon Sutter. Sutter plays with grit and chips in offensively with one 20 goal season in his career thus far. He would have been a depth player on the Blues and that may have led him to be more successful than his other stops where he was relied upon heavily.
19. Anaheim Ducks – Alexander Killorn
The Ducks originally went with Logan MacMillan. Who was he and how was he a first round pick? Coming into the draft, Logan was viewed as a big centerman who played a gritty game and had minor offensive ability. The Ducks were loaded with scoring forwards so they may have drafted for need instead of taking the best player available.
Alexander Killorn is who the Ducks would select in the re-draft. Killorn went 77th overall in 2007 but he had a huge coming out party during the 2014-15 playoffs, scoring 18 points in 26 games. Killorn has become a huge part of a Tampa Bay Lightning team that is poised to make another deep run in the playoffs this season.
20. Pittsburgh Penguins – Nick Bonino
The Penguins drafted one of the biggest busts in NHL history by taking Angelo Esposito. Esposito was another player what was highly ranked during his junior career but plummeting statistics led him to fall like a rock on draft day, going 20th overall to the Penguins. His stats continued to fall and he was traded THREE times, never playing an NHL game. He didn’t light up the lamp in the AHL either and ended up in the ECHL, then overseas. Draft bust is a very fitting description of Esposito who was once compared to Guy Lafleur.
The Penguins select Nick Bonino in this re-draft, who went 173rd overall to the Sharks. Bonino hit career highs in 2013-14 scoring 22 goals and 27 assists for the Anaheim Ducks. Bonino currently plays for the Penguins but it would have been better if they got him sooner.
21. Edmonton Oilers – Carl Gunnarsson
This tops off what has been a horrible draft for the Oilers. They drafted Riley Nash 21st overall but he would never play for the team, as he elected to stay at Cornell University for three seasons. By then the Oilers had traded him to the Hurricanes for Martin Marincin. For years the Oilers have needed a strong defensive defenseman on the back end and they could have gotten him here in 2007.
Carl Gunnarsson is not the best option on the back end but seeing the type of poor players the Oilers have had in the lineups over the years, Gunnarsson would be an improvement.
22. Montreal Canadiens – Lars Eller
The Habs were ecstatic to get Max Pacioretty at no.22. Pacioretty has become a leader on the Canadiens as he was voted in as captain before this past season. He is also 6th in points for his draft class with 344 points in 481 games. There’s NO way he is available in the re-draft (having gone 7th).
The Canadiens instead select a player who would eventually join their roster in Lars Eller. Eller ranks 17th overall in scoring from his class and at this point in the re-draft, he is the best option.
23. Nashville Predators – Brendan Smith
The Predators went with Jonathon Blum, who was a point producing defenseman in junior, becoming the first player born and raised in California to be drafted in round 1. Blum would struggle to make it to the NHL, finally making his debut during the 2010-11 season, playing 23 games and scoring 8 points. Unfortunately that would be his career high as he bounced around from the NHL to the AHL. His NHL career would end after the 2014-15 season only making it into four games that season with the Wild.
Brendan Smith took longer to make his debut, starting in 2011-12, but is now a main fixture on the Red Wings blue line. He scored 15 points in 63 games last season and looks to be a big part of the Red Wings future, while Blum is currently playing in the KHL. Smith would add to an already impressive Predators blue line.
24. Calgary Flames – Mikael Backlund
Mikael Backlund has yet to really explode in the NHL but has teased the Flames with his ability to score. He reached career highs this season with 21 goals and 26 assists in 82 games. If this is a sign of things to come then the Flames must be happy they have Backlund for a few more seasons, signing him to a three year deal in June of 2015. If Backlund continues to grow he will turn out to be a great value pick at no.24 hence why he stays here in the re-draft.
25. Vancouver Canucks – Justin Braun
The Canucks picked Patrick White 25th overall, who is known as one of the biggest draft busts in Vancouver Canucks history. It’s safe to say the Canucks would love a re-do on this one. White is one of five players picked in this first round to NEVER play an NHL game. I am sure the Canucks (and many other teams) would love to have Justin Braun.
Braun was drafted 201st overall to the Sharks and he has become a dependable member of their blue line. Justin Braun ranks 8th in defensemen for points from this draft and 6th in games played. Needless to say, Braun (or damn near anyone else) would have been a better pick than Patrick White.
26. St. Louis Blues – Ian Cole
The Blues landed themselves David Perron at no.26. Perron’s time in St. Louis may have been short but when healthy, he was a reliable 20 goal scorer. The Blues would have been more than happy to stay with Perron but in this re-draft he went 11th overall to the Hurricanes.
Ironically the Blues end up with the player they drafted earlier originally in 2007 in Ian Cole. Cole is a solid stay at home defenseman. He won’t join the rush and score goals but that also means he won’t be caught out of position much either. He brings a defensive reliability to his current team in Pittsburgh.
27. Detroit Red Wings – Dwight King
The Red Wings landed Brendan Smith here. As mentioned earlier Smith has become an integral part of the Red Wings blue line. Unfortunately for the Wings, Smith went 23rd in this re-draft to the Preds. The Red Wings will have to settle for L.A. Kings playoff hero Dwight King.
King initially went 109th overall in 2007 but has proven himself to be a reliable winger for the Kings. With 93 points in 285 career games no one is going to confuse him with Anze Kopitar but he plays his role of a gritty high energy player well which the Red Wings could really use today.
28. San Jose Sharks – Patrick Maroon
The Sharks sure could have done better than Nick Petrecki, who only played ONE career NHL game. Even as a late 1st round pick you expect better than that. What makes it worse is he struggled in the AHL and even the ECHL. He just could not make it in the elite leagues and is still struggling in the AHL. The Sharks could have had Patrick Maroon, who initially went 161st overall but is on his way to carving out a role in the NHL as a hard hitting power forward who can chip in 10-20 goals a season. Much better value than Nick Peterecki.
29. Ottawa Senators – Nick Spaling
Following their Stanley Cup Final appearance, the Senators went with Jim O’Brien. He is another in a long list of busts in this 1st round. He couldn’t crack a weakened Ottawa Senators line up and was even forced to revive his career over in the KHL in the 2014-15 season. He is still trying to make it in the NHL, playing four games last season with the New Jersey Devils.
The Senators would have been better suited drafting Nick Spaling. Spaling has had a rough go of it in the NHL. Debuting on a defensive minded team, his production was thought to have been stifled. Splitting this season with the Sharks and Leafs, his scoring didn’t improve much so he might not be in the NHL much longer. Spaling has 124 career points in 437 NHL games but will need a bounce back season next year to secure his spot in the league.
30. Arizona Coyotes – Thomas Hickey
The Coyotes closed out the first round by drafting Nick Ross back in 2007. Ross rounds out the “I never played in the NHL” squad of this draft. Nick Ross just could not get his game together even at the ECHL level in North America. Ross was out of North American hockey by the 2012-13 season, going to play in Austria where he still plays and continues to be an “okay” option on the blue line.
Thomas Hickey was the 4th overall pick in the initial draft and just barely makes it here in the re-sraft. Hickey is still struggling along in the NHL, scoring 17 points in 62 games with the New York Islanders this season. Not the best production from a 1st round pick, but he looks like Drew Doughty compared to Nick Ross.
Do you agree with the order of the players? Do you think someone is higher or lower ranked than you think they should be? Let your feelings be known in the comment section below!
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