2003 NHL Re-Draft

Taking a look back at one of the deepest drafts in NHL history

Brayton Wilson
March 29, 2020 - 10:33 am
Thomas Vanek

Photo: Doug Pensinger - NHL images via Getty Images

With the National Hockey League season, as well as the rest of the sports world, on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, there is not much to talk about in the hockey world with no action going on. While the NHL waits for a possible outcome surrounding COVID-19, the league will continue to hold and see if a window can open to finish out the rest of the 2019-20 season.

In the meantime, we are here trying to find ways to pass the time and find any fun ideas or topics to talk about.

I figured I'd use this down time to take a look back at some of the past NHL Drafts and re-draft those picks to how it could look in 2020.

We start with the re-draft of, arguably, the deepest draft in NHL history in 2003: 


Pittsburgh Penguins retro logo
1.) Pittsburgh Penguins

Original selection: Marc-Andre Fleury - Goalie - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)

Re-draft selection: Patrice Bergeron - Center - Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)

With the amount of talent that has come out of this draft, it was really tough to dictate who has been the best player that deserves to go No. 1 in the re-draft.

However, there can be a pretty good argument made for Patrice Bergeron, who has won a Stanley Cup in 2011, while also being named a four-time Selke Trophy winner and a King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner for his leadership qualities on and off the ice and significant humanitarian contribution in his community in 2013.

In 1,089 games in the NHL all with the Boston Bruins, Bergeron has scored 352 career goals and racked up 869 points, and has been one of the best two-way centers in the league. His line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak has also recently been one of the best lines in all of hockey.

In 136 career playoff games, Bergeron has added 40 goals and 63 assists for 103 points, while also appearing in two more Stanley Cup Finals where the Bruins lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and the St. Louis Blues in 2019.

While his numbers have never been tops in the NHL over the course of his 16-year career, his best statistical season came last year when he put up a career-high 79 points (32+47) in just 65 games. That gave him a career-high points per-game average of 1.21, which ranked him eighth overall in the league.

At just 34-years-old, Bergeron is likely to stick around in the league for a while longer and continue to build on, what's likely to be, a Hall of Fame career in the NHL. Especially if he stays healthy and continues to have players like Marchand and Pastrnak to play alongside with, Bergeron could continue his career for quite some time in Boston.

* - Bergeron was taken with the 45th overall pick in the second round by the Boston Bruins.


2.) Carolina Hurricanes

Original selection: Eric Staal - Center - Peterborough Petes (OHL)

Re-draft selection: Shea Weber - Defense - Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

For a draft class that had a number of decent defensemen enter the league, Shea Weber has, arguably, been the best defenseman to come out of the group, and he wasn't selected until the second round.

Weber is approaching the 1,000-game milestone in his 15-year NHL career, while racking up 218 goals from the point and amassing 570 career points as a top-end defenseman in the game.

He's proven his worth over the years with the Nashville Predators and the Montreal Canadiens, being a dangerous asset in the offensive end, while providing a rough and rugged style of play in the defensive end. He brings one of the hardest shots to ever grace the NHL from the blue line, while also being one of the toughest players to play against in front of the net.

While injuries have started to become more of a concern in his career, Weber has been able to stay relatively healthy this season and was even named to his fourth All-Star Game in his career.

All that is missing from his illustrious career has been a Norris Trophy win as the league's best defenseman, as well as that elusive Stanley Cup title.

* - Weber was taken with the 49th overall pick in the second round by the Nashville Predators.


Florida Panthers retro logo
3.) Florida Panthers

Original selection: Nathan Horton - Right Wing - Oshawa Generals (OHL)

Re-draft selection: Marc-Andre Fleury - Goalie - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)

Although taking a goalie with the first overall pick has backfired for some teams in the past, Fleury has lived up to his hype over the course of his 16-year NHL career.

The Pittsburgh Penguins selected him with the first pick and turned to him a majority of his 13 years spent in the Steel City. He was able to capture three Stanley Cups in 2009, 2016 and 2017, while also putting up a respectable 375-216-68 record in Pittsburgh with a career 2.58 goals-against average, a .912 save percentage, and 44 shutouts.

After the Penguins turned to Matt Murray in 2017, Fleury was picked up in the 2017 Expansion Draft by the Vegas Golden Knights and has been their staple in net for the past three seasons. He helped the expansion Golden Knights to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2018, and has posted a 91-50-14 record in his time in Vegas with a 2.51 goals-against average, a .915 save percentage and 17 shutouts.

This season has been a bit of a struggle for Fleury in Vegas, but the Golden Knights have been able to stay in contention for the playoffs all year long. How much time Fleury has left in the net for his career is unknown at the time, but he certainly will continue to carry the load in Vegas as long as he can.

Nonetheless, Fleury has done all he can to build his career resume with the hopes of landing himself in the Hockey Hall of Fame down the road.

* - Fleury was taken with the first overall pick in the first round by the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Columbus Blue Jackets retro logo
4.) Columbus Blue Jackets

Original selection: Nikolay Zherdev - Right Wing - CSKA Moscow (Russia)

Re-draft selection: Ryan Getzlaf - Center - Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

Although Ryan Getzlaf's numbers have started to decline while playing on a rebuilding Anaheim Ducks team, he has still been a dynamic two-way center over the course of his 15-year career.

The 34-year-old has averaged 0.92 points per-game over the course of his 1,053 games with the Ducks franchise, and he is the all-time franchise leader in games played and assists. He is also just 23 points away from becoming the franchise leader in points, surpassing Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne. In the playoffs, Getzlaf has nearly produced at over a point per-game rate with 120 points (37+83) in 125 games.

Getzlaf has been renowned for his play at both ends of the ice and how responsible and reliable of a player he has been as Anaheim's top-line center for years. His play has only gotten better since he won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007, and he has since been named captain of the Ducks and also has an All-Star Game nomination to his name in the 2013-14 season.

His role in Anaheim will probably diminish as they years go on and younger talent makes their way onto the roster, but it's likely that Getzlaf will continue to have an impact in the NHL, even if he is no longer a Duck after the 2020-21 season.

* - Getzlaf was taken with the 19th overall pick in the first round by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.


Buffalo Sabres retro logo
5.) Buffalo Sabres

Original selection: Thomas Vanek - Left Wing - University of Minnesota (NCAA)

Re-draft selection: Eric Staal - Center - Peterborough Petes (OHL)

Eric Staal was able to jump into the Carolina Hurricanes lineup from Day 1 and made his impact immediately known at the NHL level.

The 35-year-old was a staple in the Hurricanes lineup since the start of the 2003-04 season, and was able to help Carolina win a Stanley Cup in 2006. In parts of 12 seasons in Raleigh, North Carolina, Staal appeared in 909 games, scoring 322 goals and picking up 453 assists for 755 points. He appeared in the third-most games in franchise history and was second on the team's all-time scoring list before being traded at the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline to the New York Rangers.

Overall, Staal has played in the most games of any player from the 2003 NHL Draft class (1,240) and doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. He is also the only player in the class, to this point, that has eclipsed the 1,000-point mark (1,021) for his career.

Longevity has been a big part of Staal's career, taking part in a full season eight times, and even playing in 83 games in 2015-16 season after his trade to the Rangers. It is likely that there will be no slowing down Staal yet, as he was on pace for another decent season this year with the Minnesota Wild.

We'll see how much more Staal has left in the tank heading down the road, but it seems like he will continue to stick around and possibly cement himself as a Hockey Hall of Famer.

* - Staal was taken with the second overall pick in the first round by the Carolina Hurricanes.


San Jose Sharks retro logo
6.) San Jose Sharks

Original selection: Milan Michalek - Left Wing - HC Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic)

Re-draft selection: Brent Burns - Right Wing / Defense - Brampton Battalion (OHL)

The start to Brent Burns' career did not get off to a great start with the Minnesota Wild, but it really started to take off when he found success with the San Jose Sharks.

In parts of seven seasons in Minnesota, Burns only scored 55 goals and tallied up 183 points in 453 games while splitting time playing forward and on the blue line.

However, after being traded to the Sharks in 2011, Burns has been able to find some stability on the blue line, putting up 155 goals and 356 assists for 511 points in 660 games. He has become a three-time NHL All-Star with the Sharks, while also winning the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman in 2017. That season saw him put up a career-high 76 points in 82 games, where he also netted a career-high 29 goals from the blue line.

Just like many of the veterans that have played in San Jose, all that is missing from Burns' career right now is a Stanley Cup champion. The closest he got to a championship was in 2016 when they lost in the Stanley Cup Final against the Penguins.

While he has not spent the entirety of his career as a defenseman, Burns does hold the title as the highest-scoring defenseman in the 2003 draft class with 694 points in 1,113 games. He leads current Wild defenseman Ryan Suter on the list of scoring for defensemen in the class by more than 100 points.

This season was not the greatest of years for the Sharks, but Burns will likely continue to be a staple of the blue line in San Jose along with others like Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. He remains under contract for the next five years, and will have plenty of more time to continue to rack up the scoring.

* - Burns was taken with the 20th overall pick in the first round by the Minnesota Wild.


Nashville Predators retro logo
7.) Nashville Predators

Original selection: Ryan Suter - Defense - U.S. National Team Development Program

Re-draft selection: Corey Perry - Right Wing - London Knights (OHL)

Corey Perry was once seen as one of the best wingers in all of hockey when he was the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner and the Hart Trophy winner back in 2011. That season saw Perry lead the league with 50 goals, as well as put up 48 assists for 98 points, which was the best season by a Ducks forward since the 1998-99 season.

The 34-year-old dealt with injuries in his final year or two in Anaheim before he was bought out last summer and decided to join the Dallas Stars. While with the Ducks, Perry scored a total of 372 goals, which ranks second in franchise history behind only Selanne. His 404 assists and 776 points with the Ducks ranks him third in franchise history behind just Selanne and Getzlaf. Perry was also a clutch playoff performer with 36 goals and 53 assists for 89 points in 118 games.

Perry may never re-gain the level of play that he had earlier in his career with Anaheim, but he was dominant from his position when he was at his best. Since winning the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007 and up until the end of the 2016-17 season, Perry netted 319 goals and amassed 648 points as he became one of the better and most agitating players to face in the league.

In his first season with the Stars, Perry had only five goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 57 games. His role has mainly become a depth player in Dallas, and his days of being a perennial scorer and threat on the wing are long behind him.

Maybe he can get back to the level he was at before the injuries, but regardless, Perry has still built a strong reputation as one of the best players to come from the 2003 NHL Draft.

* - Perry was taken with the 28th overall pick in the first round by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.


Atlanta Thrashers logo
8.) Atlanta Thrashers

Original selection: Braydon Coburn - Defense - Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Re-draft selection: Zach Parise - Left Wing - University of North Dakota (NCAA)

Upon entering the NHL with the New Jersey Devils in the 2005-06 season, Parise was regarded as one of the better prospects to enter the league coming out of the University of North Dakota.

His career really took off following his rookie season, where he posted as least 30 goals and 60 points in four consecutive seasons before a torn meniscus in his knee completely disrupted his 2010-11 season. However, the next year saw him bounce back nicely with 31 goals and 38 assists for 69 points in 82 games, and he helped carry the Devils to a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012. In that playoff run, Parise was able to net eight goals, while adding seven assists for 15 points in 24 games.

That was his final season in New Jersey before signing a massive 13-year contract with the Wild. Since then, his production has declined steadily, posting just one 30-goal season while eclipsing the 60-point plateau twice.

This season had Parise at 25 goals and 21 assists for 46 points in 69 games, but the production that is being put up is nothing that the Wild were expecting when they gave him that big pay day.

Overall in 1,015 games split between the Devils and Wild, Parise has scored 386 goals and racked up 406 assists 792 for points.

If Parise can find even a sliver of how he played with the Devils, things may start to look brighter for him and the Wild moving forward. Parise has been a solid player over his career, but there is certainly more that could have come from the 35-year-old.

* - Parise was taken with the 17th overall pick in the first round by the New Jersey Devils.


9.) Calgary Flames

Original selection: Dion Phaneuf - Defense - Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

Re-draft selection: Joe Pavelski - Center - Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

There have been a number of players in the NHL that have been able to make a successful career of themselves after being taken in the seventh round of the NHL Draft. Players like Doug Gilmour, Henrik Zetterberg and Henrik Lundqvist have all made a successful career for themselves despite being taken so late in the draft.

Joe Pavelski is another name that has made a successful career for themselves as a seventh rounder, and may be the best seventh round pick still playing in the NHL right now.

Pavelski was a staple of the Sharks lineup since entering the league in the 2006-07 season out of the University of Wisconsin. In his 13 years in San Jose, Pavelski served as captain from 2015 to 2019, and put up 761 points (355+406) in 963 games. He reached the 30-mark four times with the Sharks, which included a 41-goal campaign in the 2013-14 season, where he registered a career-high 79 points. He's been able to stay healthy for a majority of his career with the Sharks, appearing in seven seasons where he played a full season.

This past season saw Pavelski test the free agent market and sign a contract with the Stars, where he has 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points in 67 games in Dallas.

Despite the success that he has had in his career to this point, Pavelski has only one All-Star Game credit to his name and zero Stanley Cup rings. He was part of the 2016 Sharks team that lost in the Final to the Penguins along with Burns.

As long as Pavelski can continue to stay healthy and continue to consistently produce, he could continue to build his legacy as one of the best late-round picks to ever make it to the NHL.

* - Pavelski was taken with the 205th overall pick in the seventh round by the San Jose Sharks.


10.) Montreal Canadiens

Original selection: Andrei Kostitsyn - Right Wing - CSKA Moscow (Russia)

Re-draft selection: Ryan Suter - Defense - U.S. National Team Development Program

Ryan Suter has been a very solid two-way defenseman throughout his entire career in the NHL, starting in the 2005-06 season with the Predators.

In seven years in Nashville, Suter was a catalyst on its blue line along with Weber, putting up 38 goals and 200 assists for 238 points in 542 games.

After a stellar 46-point campaign in the 2011-12 season, Suter decided to hit free agency and sign an identical 13-year contract to Parise with the Wild. However, unlike Parise, Suter has been able to respectably live up to his contract in Minnesota.

In 600 games with the Wild, Suter has scored 52 goals and registered 298 assists for 350 points. He has eclipsed the 40-point mark on the blue line in six of his eight seasons in Minnesota, including a pair of 51-point seasons in 2015-16 and 2017-18.

Suter is second in scoring amongst defensemen in the 2003 draft class, but has consistently been a solid player from the back end since Day 1. There is the likely possibility that he continues his solid stretch of play as his career continues in Minnesota.

* - Suter was taken with the seventh overall pick in the first round by the Nashville Predators.


11.) Philadelphia Flyers

Original selection: Jeff Carter - Center - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

Re-draft selection: Brent Seabrook - Defense - Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)

During his 15-year tenure with the Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook has been seen as one of the best two-way defensemen in the entire league with more of a defensive upside to his game.

He got off to a solid start in his career in the 2005-06 season and has quite consistently put up 30- to 40-point seasons. Seabrook was a staple of the Chicago blue line from 2009-2015, where the Blackhawks captured three Stanley Cup titles in six seasons. In that time, the 34-year-old had averaged eight goals and 27 assists for 34 points and was quite a force playing with Duncan Keith right alongside of him on the back end.

Seabrook's career-year actually came in the 2015-16 season where he scored a career-high 14 goals and registered a career-high 49 points in 81 games.

After a 39-point campaign in 2016-17, his production took a pretty steep decline as the team has started to come back down to Earth from its dynasty days.

This season was off to an abysmal start for Seabrook with just three goals and an assist in 32 games. Then it was announced that Seabrook was going to need season-ending shoulder surgery in December, followed by surgeries on both hips in a five-week span. That may cause some concern for his future in the NHL, and even if he gets back to playing again, he likely will never be the same player that he was.

Overall, Seabrook has appeared in 1,114 games to this point and has amassed 464 career points (103+361). In 123 career playoff games, Seabrook stepped up for the Blackhawks, scoring 20 goals and picking up 39 assists for 59 points.

Even if Seabrook can never return to form, his play during the dynasty years in Chicago was pivotal in the success of the franchise.

* - Seabrook was taken with the 14th overall pick in the first round by the Chicago Blackhawks.


12.) New York Rangers

Original selection: Hugh Jessiman - Right Wing - Dartmouth College (NCAA)

Re-draft selection: Jeff Carter - Center - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

Jeff Carter has become one of the better goal scorers to come out of this draft class with 382 goals in 1,040 career games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings.

The start to Carter's career was a decent one with 23 goals as a rookie in the 2005-06 season, but it really took off for him in his third season with a 29-goal campaign in 2007-08. The next three years in Philadelphia saw Carter put up seasons of 46, 33 and 36 goals, where he helped lead the Flyers to an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in 2010.

However, after six successful years in Philadelphia, the Flyers surprisingly sent Carter to the Blue Jackets, where he only lasted 39 games before being traded again to the Kings.

Since joining the Kings in the 2011-12 season, Carter had been a solid 20-goal producer for five consecutive seasons, and helped Los Angeles to its first two Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014. As a member of the Kings, Carter has done nicely for himself with 364 points (186+178) in 540 games. In the playoffs, Carter was able to score 26 goals in 73 games, including eight goals in 2012 and 10 goals in 2014.

Over the last couple of years, his production has taken a significant step back as the team flounders into the basement of the league. While injuries have been a part of his downfall, the past two seasons has seen him scoring just 33 and 27 points in a combined 136 games.

Even though his career may be on the decline, his career goal scoring stats ranks him high among the players to come out of the 2003 class.

* - Carter was taken with the 11th overall pick in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers.


Los Angeles Kings retro logo
13.) Los Angeles Kings

Original selection: Dustin Brown - Right Wing - Guelph Storm (OHL)

Re-draft selection: Dustin Byfuglien - Defense - Prince George Cougars (WHL)

While the NHL doesn't have an eighth round of the draft in today's format, Dustin Byfuglien has produced one of the most successful careers of any player that was drafted that late in the draft.

While the 35-year-old did not play this season with the Winnipeg Jets despite being under contract, Byfuglien had been a staple on that roster for the past several seasons.

After being taken by the Blackhawks in that 2003 draft class, Byfuglien made his NHL debut in the 2005-06 season and spent some time between the NHL and American Hockey League trying to establish himself at the top level. He was able to crack a full-time roster spot with the Blackhawks in the 2007-08 season, and went on to put up 55 goals and 54 assists for 109 points in 260 games split between blue line and at forward. He ended up being a key contributor to the Blackhawks' championship run in 2010 that earned him his first and only career Stanley Cup championship.

The Blackhawks then decided to trade Byfuglien to the Atlanta Thrashers as part of a big deal that saw Chicago getting back a first round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. After one season in Atlanta, Byfuglien moved with the Thrashers organization to Winnipeg where they became the Jets and has been with the team since.

In his nine seasons spent with the Jets organization, Byfuglien has scored 122 goals and put up 294 assists for 416 points in 609 games. The Thrashers/Jets got the most out of the price they paid to acquire Byfuglien, where he had scored 45 or more points in seven of his nine seasons with the organization.

Will he ever play again in the NHL after sitting out this past season? That's uncertain as of right now. However, the Blackhawks and Jets organizations have certainly gotten the most they could have out of an eighth round pick and more.

* - Byfuglien was taken with the 245th overall pick in the eighth round by the Chicago Blackhawks.


14.) Chicago Blackhawks

Original selection: Brent Seabrook - Defense - Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)

Re-draft selection: Thomas Vanek - Left Wing - University of Minnesota (NCAA)

Thomas Vanek got off to a great start with the Buffalo Sabres in his first two seasons in the NHL with a 48-point rookie season in 2005-06, followed by an 84-point campaign in the 2006-07 season.

Over the course of the next five seasons, Vanek never posted less than 50 points in a season, which included a 73-point season in the 2010-11 season. Overall in his 598 games with the Sabres, he scored 254 career goals and added 243 assists for 497 points.

As the team started to rebuild, Vanek was one of the players who got moved as he was traded to the New York Islanders. From there, he had stints with the Canadiens, Wild, Red Wings (twice), Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks and the Blue Jackets.

In his 1,029-game career in the NHL, the scoring winger netted 373 goals and registered 416 assists for 789 points.

While Vanek's career is likely over, he was best known for his offensive instincts in and around the net, as well as his specialty on the power play.

* - Vanek was taken with the fifth overall pick in the first round by the Buffalo Sabres.


New York Islanders retro logo
15.) New York Islanders

Original selection: Robert Nilsson - Right Wing - Leksands IF (SEL)

Re-draft selection: Ryan Kesler - Center - Ohio State University (NCAA)

At one point before injuries started to derail his career, Ryan Kesler was a dynamic two-way threat down the middle in the NHL.

After being drafted by the Canucks, he signed his entry-level contract and ended up getting 28 games in Vancouver during the 2003-04 season. After the lockout, he earned a full-time roster spot in the NHL and by the 2008-09 season, he started to really show the tools he possessed down the middle of the ice. In his 10 years with the Canucks, Kesler was able to score 182 goals and pick up 211 assists in 393 games, and was a part of the 2010 team that ended up making a run to the Stanley Cup Final.

During the summer of 2014, Kesler was moved to the Ducks, where he played three solid seasons to start his campaign in Anaheim before his play has declined. He appeared in in 242 combined games in the first three seasons, scoring 63 goals and amassing 158 points in that time. However, the past two seasons have seen Kesler appear in 104 out of a possible 153 games, and has only seen him score 13 goals and add nine assists for 22 points.

The 35-year-old was a force to be reckoned with at center, and was respected as one of the toughest players to play against because of his physical nature and competitiveness. He also provided enough offensive flair to be solid top-six forward and contribute to the scoring.

If Kesler can find a way to re-gain his form and stay healthy, he can be a key contributor to the Anaheim lineup in his time remaining with the Ducks.

* - Kesler was taken with the 23rd overall pick in the first round by the Vancouver Canucks.


San Jose Sharks retro logo
16.) San Jose Sharks

Original selection: Steve Bernier - Right Wing - Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)

Re-draft selection: Corey Crawford - Goalie - Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)

Corey Crawford has been a staple of the Blackhawks' success throughout the years, especially in their runs to three Stanley Cup championships.

After being the backup to Antti Niemi in the team's first Stanley Cup run in 2010, Crawford took over the starting role and helped continue to carry the Blackhawks to the playoffs time and time again.

From the start of the 2010-11 season to the end of the 2014-15 season, Crawford posted a 146-76-33 in 260 games played with a 2.33 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and 11 shutouts. In the playoffs, Crawford was just even better, posting a 45-29 record in 75 games with a 2.23 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage and five shutouts.

Since the team's last Stanley Cup win in 2015, the team had a could of years of success with Crawford in net, but the changing of the guard and the rebuild in Chicago has seen a decline in his numbers. In 220 games played since then, Crawford has posted a 113-83-19 record with a 2.57 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and 14 shutouts.

We'll see where the future direction of the team takes things with Crawford as he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He may have some gas left in the tank moving forward, but age certainly is not on his side as a goalie.

* - Crawford was taken with the 52nd overall pick in the second round by the Chicago Blackhawks.


17.) New Jersey Devils

Original selection: Zach Parise - Left Wing - University of North Dakota (NCAA)

Re-draft selection: Dustin Brown - Right Wing - Guelph Storm (OHL)

Dustin Brown has served his role extremely well with the Kings during his 16-year career in Los Angeles.

Mainly playing as a physical body with some offensive upside in the top-six, Brown has been able to stay healthy over the course of his career, playing in 1,183 games and scoring 299 goals and picking up 354 assists for 653 points. He served as team captain for eight seasons in Los Angeles, and was one of the leaders for the Kings in their runs to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014.

In the playoffs, Brown had often times stepped up his game to another level, scoring 19 goals and registering 47 points in 85 games.

Brown has actually had a spurt in production over the past few seasons with 61 points (28+33) in the 2017-18 season, 51 points (22+29) in 2018-19, and 35 points (17+18) in 66 games this season before the league suspended the season. It goes to show that Brown still has some more to give in his time in the NHL, and could continue that trend in the coming years.

* - Brown was taken with the 13th overall pick in the first round by the Los Angeles Kings.


Washington Capitals retro logo
18.) Washington Capitals

Original selection: Eric Fehr - Right Wing - Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Re-draft selection: Nathan Horton - Right Wing - Oshawa Generals (OHL)

It was a shame that Nathan Horton's career came to a premature end the way it did.

While he has not officially retired, it is unlikely that we ever see Horton play again due to a due to a degenerative back injury that he suffered early in his tenure with the Blue Jackets.

In his first six seasons in the NHL with the Panthers, Horton developed into a solid two-way player on the wing with more offensive upside. He was a big body at 6-foot-2 and 229 pounds that could bring a physical upside to his style of play while possessing good offensive skills to being some scoring in the top-six.

After playing in 422 games with the Panthers and scoring 142 goals and registering 295 points, Horton was traded to the Boston Bruins, where he became a Stanley Cup champion in his first year with the team in 2011. However, during the Stanley Cup Final, he took a vicious hit from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome that left him with a severe concussion.

He then suffered another significant concussion the next season, only playing in 43 games in the 2011-12 season.

After playing the entire lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, Horton decided to sign in Columbus to a massive seven-year contract. He only appeared in 36 games that season due to injuries, and then he was diagnosed with the degenerative back condition that has left him unable to play since.

Aside from all the injuries, Horton was a very well-respected player around the NHL, and he put up a respectable 421 points (203+218) in 627 games.

* - Horton was taken with the third overall pick in the first round by the Florida Panthers.


Mighty Ducks of Anaheim logo
19.) Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Original selection: Ryan Getzlaf - Center - Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

Re-draft selection: David Backes - Center - Lincoln Stars (USHL)

For several years, David Backes was a very strong two-way player down the middle with the ability to score, distribute the puck, and play in any type of key situation on the ice.

Backes spent the first 10 years of his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues, where he scored 206 goals and added 254 assists for 460 points in 727 games. However, his time in St. Louis never amounted to much as the Blues floundered time and time again in the playoffs and he never got the recognition that maybe he wanted.

Backes decided to test the free agent market in the summer of 2016 and signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Bruins. However, his production in Boston was a step back from the years spent in St. Louis as he ended up finding himself in a different role outside of the top-six. In parts of four seasons with the Bruins, Backes only put up 94 points (39+55) in 217 games.

The 35-year-old was traded during the trade deadline this season to the Ducks, but only appeared in six games before the season was put on hold due to COVID-19.

If he can get some quality ice time in Anaheim, maybe he can re-gain some of the numbers and success that he generated in his time with the Blues.

* - Backes was taken with the 62nd overall pick in the second round by the St. Louis Blues.


Minnesota Wild retro logo
20.) Minnesota Wild

Original selection: Brent Burns - Right Wing / Defense - Brampton Battalion (OHL)

Re-draft selection: Dion Phaneuf - Defense - Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

Dion Phaneuf was originally seen as one of the best defensemen to come out of this draft class with his offensive capabilities, as well as his lumbering size and physical play.

Things started off very well with an electric four seasons in with the Calgary Flames, where Phaneuf scored 65 goals and picked up 141 points for 206 points in 323 games. That included a rookie season where he scored 20 goals and finished third in the Calder Trophy voting behind Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. Phaneuf also finished second in voting for the Norris Trophy in 2008 where he put up a career-high 60 points (17+43) in 82 games.

During his fifth season in Calgary, the team traded Phaneuf to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he went on to have a roller coaster seven seasons, which included a massive seven-year, $49 million contract extension during a time where he was not at his top level of play. During his time in Toronto, Phaneuf served as team captain for parts of six seasons and went on to only score 45 goals and pick up 151 assists for just 196 points in 423 games.

Phaneuf ended up being moved again, this time to the Ottawa Senators, where he was able to rekindle some of his better play, especially in the 2016-17 season where he scored nine goals and ended up with 30 points in 81 games. In the playoffs, Phaneuf played well with a goal and four assists in 19 games, and ended up coming just a goal shy of making his first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.

The next two seasons saw Phaneuf take another decline in his play, and he ended up being traded again before having the final two years of his contract being bought out by the Kings.

He ended up not getting signed as a free agent this past offseason, and it may very well be that Phaneuf will never play in an NHL uniform again. However, he still brought some excitement to the game, especially in his early years in Calgary.

* - Phaneuf was taken with the ninth overall pick in the first round by the Calgary Flames.


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21.) Boston Bruins

Original selection: Mark Stuart - Defense - Colorado College (NCAA)

Re-draft selection: Jaroslav Halak - Goalie - Slovan Bratislava Jr. (Slovakia)

While maybe never getting the respect as a goalie at the NHL level over the years, Jaroslav Halak has put up some very respectable numbers in his 14 years in the league.

Halak came into the league and spent four years, primarily as a backup, in Montreal, where he helped lead the Canadiens to a deep playoff run in 2010 to the Eastern Conference Final. However, the Canadiens decided to go with Carey Price as their starting goalie going forward and proceeded to trade Halak to the Blues.

In St. Louis, Halak got more starts and was originally the primary starter, but ended up splitting time with goalie Brian Elliott in his three seasons spent with the Blues. In 159 total games played, Halak went 83-47-19, while posting a 2.23 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and 20 shutouts. However, team turned to Elliott for most of their playoff runs, and Halak only got the chance to play in two games in the postseason in St. Louis.

The Blues still wanted more in a goalie, so they traded Halak to Buffalo in 2014 to acquire Ryan Miller, but the Sabres immediately flipped Halak to the Washington Capitals, where he ended up appearing in 12 games on a rare Capitals team to miss the playoffs.

During the 2014 offseason, Halak's right were traded to the Islanders, where he signed a four-year deal and had some more productive years on Long Island. Halak ended up getting a good workload in four seasons with the Islanders, playing in 177 games while posting a 88-65-19 record with a 2.69 goals-against average, a .913 save percentage and 12 shutouts.

Halak has spent the past two seasons with the Bruins, where he has backed up goalie Tuukka Rask very well and recently surpassed the 500 career starts mark. His overall .916 save percentage and 2.48 goals-against average has given teams the comfort in trusting him with jobs year-in and year-out, and Halak could continue to be a nice backup piece to a contending team moving forward.

* - Halak was taken with the 271st overall pick in the ninth round by the Montreal Canadiens.


Edmonton Oilers retro logo
22.) Edmonton Oilers

Original selection: Marc-Antoine Pouliot - Center - Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

Re-draft selection: Loui Eriksson - Left Wing - Frölunda HC (SEL)

Although his later years in Boston and Vancouver have had more downs to his career than ups, Loui Eriksson was once seen as one of the brighter up-and-coming players in his younger days with the Stars.

Eriksson made his NHL debut with Dallas during the 2006-07 season, and really entered the spotlight in his third season in the NHL. He went on to put up a very solid four-year stretch in Dallas, where he put up point totals of 63 (36+27), 71 (29+42), 73 (27+46) and 71 (26+45) between 2008 and 2012.

After the lockout-shortened season in 2013, Eriksson was part of the Tyler Seguin that saw him heading to Boston as part of a package to send the youngster to Dallas. In his three years with the Bruins, Eriksson failed to live up to expectations with just 147 points (62+85) in 224 games played. His last season gave some fans in Boston optimism with a 30-goal, 33-assist campaign in 82 games, but the Bruins failed to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

He ended up taking that 63-point campaign and turning it into a nice pay day from the Canucks in the summer of 2016, but he has since been a shell of what he signed for. In his four years in Vancouver, Eriksson has produced a measly 38 goals and 51 assists for 89 points in 245 games.

Eriksson's better days are likely behind him, and for the Canucks, they still have two more years left on his deal worth $6 million per-year.

* - Eriksson was taken with the 33rd overall pick in the second round by the Dallas Stars.


Vancouver Canucks retro logo
23.) Vancouver Canucks

Original selection: Ryan Kesler - Center - Ohio State University (NCAA)

Re-draft selection: Mike Richards - Center - Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

Mike Richards was once seen as a very good two-way center in the NHL when he came on to the scene with the Flyers. His rookie seasons saw him scoring 11 goals and picking up 23 assists for 34 points in 79 games.

Richards became a staple of the Flyers' future in his third season when he put up a 75-point campaign (28+47) and help the Flyers advance to the Eastern Conference Final. The following year, Richards was named team captain and also earned a new 12-year contract worth $69 million. The 2008-09 season saw Richards put up a career-high 80 points (30+50) in 79 games.

Richards got his first crack at the Stanley Cup in 2010 when he helped lead the Flyers to the Final against Chicago, where they lost in six games to the Blackhawks. He ended up having a stellar playoff that year, averaging a point per-game with 23 points (7+16) in 23 games.

After one more season where he posted 66 points (23+43) in 81 games, Richards was traded to the Kings and ended up coming away with two Stanley Cup victories in 2012 and 2014. With the Kings, Richards did well for himself with 46 goals and 87 assists in 257 games over a span of four years.

However, his time came to an ugly end after the Kings terminated the rest of his contract for a breach of his contract following an arrest at the U.S.-Canada border for possession of oxycodone.

After one season with the Capitals in 2015-16, Richards was never signed by an NHL team again, thus ending his career in the NHL.

The nice mix of aggressive play and offensive production was what made Richards such an attractive player in his time in the NHL. 

* - Richards was taken with the 24th overall pick in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers.


24.) Philadelphia Flyers

Original selection: Mike Richards - Center - Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

Re-draft selection: Braydon Coburn - Defense - Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Braydon Coburn has developed into a very nice two-way defenseman in his 15-year career in the NHL.

Coburn started his career in the 2005-06 season, appearing in nine games for the Thrashers while spending the rest of the season in the AHL. He didn't spend too much time with Atlanta as he ended up being traded to the Flyers the next season at the trade deadline, where he ended up earning a full-time NHL role in his third season.

In parts of nine seasons for the Flyers, Coburn scored 37 goals and put up 161 points in 576 games on the Philadelphia blue line, and was part of the Flyers' 2010 roster that ended up reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

At the trade deadline in 2015, the Flyers moved the veteran defenseman to the Tampa Bay Lightning, where his role has fluctuated over the years. In 350 games over the course of six seasons with the Lightning, Coburn has 12 goals and 54 assist while serving more as a defensive defender than providing more of an offensive role as he tended to do in Philadelphia.

Coburn is just 36 games away from reaching the 1,000 games played milestone in his career, which seems like it could be attainable achievement with one more year remaining on his contract.

* - Coburn was taken with the eighth overall pick in the first round by the Atlanta Thrashers.


Florida Panthers retro logo
25.) Florida Panthers

Original selection: Anthony Stewart - Right Wing - Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

Re-draft selection: Milan Michalek - Left Wing - HC Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic)

Milan Michalek was certainly a talented player heading into the 2003 NHL Draft, going with the sixth overall pick to the Sharks. However, he never quite lived up to the hype even though he put up some decent numbers in the NHL.

Michalek made his NHL debut in the 2003-04 season, but became a full-time NHLer in the 2005-06 season, where he put up 35 points (17+18) in 81 games. Over the next three years in San Jose, Michalek ended up with 76 goals and 105 assist combined for 181 points in 234 games.

In the summer of 2009, Michalek was part of a trade to the Senators that saw the Sharks acquiring forward Dany Heatley. His tenure in Ottawa was a roller coaster, where he went on to play 412 games in parts of seven seasons and amass 224 points (115+109) in that time. His best season came in the 2011-12 season where he scored 35 goals and added 25 assists for 60 points in 77 games.

Michalek ended up wrapping up his NHL career with the Maple Leafs, where he appeared in just 18 games in parts of two seasons due to injuries 

* - Michalek was taken with the sixth overall pick in the first round by the San Jose Sharks.


Los Angeles Kings retro logo
26.) Los Angeles Kings

Original selection: Brian Boyle - Center - Saint Sebastian's School (USHS)

Re-draft selection: Matt Moulson - Left Wing - Cornell University (NCAA)

After playing four years of college hockey at Cornell University, Matt Moulson became a college free agent and ended up signing with the Kings in 2006. He ended up making his NHL debut the next season, and ended up racking up 29 games played in Los Angeles over the course of next two seasons from 2007 to 2009.

Moulson ended up making a name for himself with the New York Islanders in the 2009-10 season, where he ended up finding himself alongside John Tavares and scoring 30 goals and 48 points in 82 games. Over the next three seasons on Long Island, Moulson hit the 30-goal mark two more times, and put up 166 points (82+84) in 211 games.

Early during the 2013-14 season, the Islanders traded Moulson to the Sabres as part of a deal that saw Vanek go back the other was to Long Island. Moulson was able to score 11 goals and 29 points with the Sabres before being moved again at the deadline to the Wild.

Moulson ended up returning to the Sabres the very next season with a new five-year contract in hand, but he never re-lived the expectations that he once had when he had a good start with the Sabres after the trade. He had a respectable 41-point campaign (13+28) on an abysmal 2014-15 Sabres team, but then only managed to score 22 goals and rack up 53 points in 176 games.

In the 2017-18 season, he was eventually loaned to the Ontario Reign in the AHL, where he played out the rest of his contract.

It was a unique route for Moulson to get to the NHL, and he made the most of his journey while he could.

* - Moulson was taken with the 263rd overall pick in the ninth round by the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Los Angeles Kings retro logo
27.) Los Angeles Kings

Original selection: Jeff Tambellini - Left Wing - University of Michigan (NCAA)

Re-draft selection: Clarke MacArthur - Left Wing - Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

It is unfortunate with the way Clarke MacArthur's career came to an end in the NHL, but he still was able to be a respectable player on the wing in his time with the Sabres, Thrashers, Maple Leafs and Senators.

After two seasons of being called up from the AHL to start his career, MacArthur finally earned a full-time roster spot with the Sabres in the 2008-09 season, where he scored 17 goals and accumulated 31 points. As he was about to enter his restricted free agent year, the Sabres decided to trade him to Atlanta, where he did not produce much in just 21 games. That offseason, the Thrashers decided to not accept an arbitration award for MacArthur and made him an unrestricted free agent.

He then signed a one-year "prove it" deal with the Maple Leafs, where he had a career-year with 62 points (21+41) in 82 games and earned himself a two-year contract extension. After a 43-point campaign in 2011-12 season, his numbers declined in the lockout-shortened season, where he scored just eight goals and registered 12 assists for 20 points.

MacArthur then moved on to the Senators, where he had a great start in Ottawa before concussions derailed his entire career. He followed a 55-point campaign (24+31) in 2013-14 with a 36-point campaign (16+20) in 2014-15, but that year saw him suffer the first of several concussions in his time with the Senators. He  only played in four regular season games in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, but he did appear in 19 games during Ottawa's inspired run to the Eastern Conference Final in 2017.

Since then, MacArthur was never able to dress in another NHL game, but has not officially retired from the game because he is still under contract with the Senators through the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

* - MacArthur was taken with the 74th overall pick in the third round by the Buffalo Sabres.


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28.) Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Original selection: Corey Perry - Right Wing - London Knights (OHL)

Re-draft selection: Brian Boyle - Center - Saint Sebastian's School (USHS)

Brian Boyle has been around the NHL quite a bit, suiting up for seven different teams in his career.

Originally drafted by the Kings, Boyle only ended up playing in 36 games over the course of two seasons in Los Angeles before being traded to the Rangers.

Boyle spent the longest stretch of his career with the Rangers, where he played in 355 games while racking up 44 goals and 46 assists as a depth player on an often stacked roster. His best career year also came with the Rangers, where he had a 35-point season (21+14) in 82 games during the 2011-12 season. In his final year in New York, Boyle and the Rangers made a run to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost in five games to the Kings.

During the offseason, Boyle ended up signing a three-year contract with the Lightning, and ended up going back to the Stanley Cup Final again, only to fall this time to the Blackhawks. He did fairly well for himself in Tampa Bay, racking up 66 points (41+25) in 212 games before he was traded to the Maple Leafs at the trade deadline in the final year of his contract.

After a short and uneventful tenure in Toronto, Boyle went on to have short tenures with the Devils, Predators, and finally the Panthers, where he had six goals and nine assists in 39 games this season.

Boyle may be one of the better fourth line centers to play in the NHL and be able to help contribute consistently to a team's success.

* - Boyle was selected with the 26th overall pick in the first round by the Los Angeles Kings.


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29.) Ottawa Senators

Original selection: Patrick Eaves - Right Wing - Boston College (NCAA)

Re-draft selection: Lee Stempniak - Right Wing - Dartmouth College (NCAA)

Lee Stempniak was seen as quite the journeyman in the NHL, spending time with 10 different teams in his 14-year NHL career.

Stempniak's longest stretch of play with one team was with the Blues, where he played in parts of four seasons in St. Louis, scoring 57 goals and  registering 130 points in 233 games. From there, he went on to play parts of two seasons with the Maple Leafs, two seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes, parts of three seasons with the Flames, parts of a season with the Penguins, Rangers, Jets, Devils, and Bruins, and finally two seasons with the Hurricanes before wrapping up his career with two more games played with Boston in 2018-19.

Overall, Stempniak appeared in 911 games, scoring 203 career goals while racking up 469 points.

The West Seneca native was a very good depth player in his tenure in the NHL with the ability to step up when needed to play in a higher role in the lineup. Stempniak may never have been the flashiest of players, but he did work hard and earn every bit of playing time he got.

* - Stempniak was taken with the 148th overall pick in the fifth round by the St. Louis Blues.


30.) St. Louis Blues

Original selection: Shawn Belle - Defense - Tri-City Americans (WHL)

Re-draft selection: Eric Fehr - Right Wing - Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

While Fehr's time in the NHL has not been all that flashy, he is a respectable depth player with a rough-edged style of play.

Fehr spent the first nine seasons of his NHL career in Washington, where he racked up 174 points (87+87) in 419 games. He has since went on to spend time playing with the Penguins, Maple Leafs, Sharks and Wild, where he combined to put up another 44 points (24+20) in 198 games.

The veteran forward was also part of the 2015-16 Penguins roster that ended up winning the Stanley Cup.

* - Fehr was taken with the 18th overall pick in the first round by the Washington Capitals.

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