Re-Drafting the First Round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft

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TORONTO, ON - APRIL 04: Washington Capitals Center Nicklas Backstrom (19) in warm ups prior to the regular season NHL game between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs on April 4, 2017 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With the 2017 NHL Entry Draft Now Over, We Reflect on Draft’s of Year’s Past and Give Them a Re-Do. First Up the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Where Nicklas Backstrom Ends Up in a New Spot.

The 2006 NHL draft was definitely an odd one with a lot of players being taken in the first few rounds who didn’t quite live up to expectations, while the superstars we know of today were taken in later rounds. This actually happens more often than not and we don’t get to see it until years and years later.

There were also quite a few trades that happened during the draft. The Florida Panthers moved Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek and their 163rd overall pick (Sergei Shirokov) to Vancouver in exchange for Todd Bertuzzi, Alex Auld, and Bryan Allen. Next, the Atlanta Thrashers moved Patrik Stefan and Jaroslav Modry to Dallas for Niko Kapanen and the 210th pick (Will O’Neill). Colorado moved Alex Tanguay to Calgary for Jordan Leopold and the 59th pick (Codey Burki) as well as a conditional pick in either 2007 or 2008.

Montreal also made a move when they sent their 16th overall pick (Ty Wishart) to San Jose for their 20th pick (David Fischer) and their 53rd pick (Mathieu Carle). Los Angeles joined the fun when they sent Pavol Demitra to Minnesota for Patrick O’Sullivan and their 17th overall pick (Trevor Lewis). And finally one of the worst deals at the draft saw Toronto trade prospect Tuukka Rask to Boston for Andrew Raycroft.

In this re-draft players will be determined by team needs (for the 2017-18 season) and points per game averages, if there is a tie accomplishments will be used to break it. For goaltenders career wins will be used to determine the rankings of said goalies, if two or more goalies have the same amount of wins, accomplishments will be used to break the tie’s as well.

Re-Drafting the First Round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft

30th Overall – New Jersey from Carolina via St. Louis
Original PickMatt Corrente – D
Re-Draft Pick Shawn Matthias – C

The first draft bust of 2006, Matt Corrente didn’t accomplish much in the NHL or AHL for that matter. So what would have been a solid choice for the Devils? Shawn Matthias, as he would have provided the team with a solid third or fourth line center behind Travis Zajac, Adam Henrique, and Nico Hischier.

29th Overall – Phoenix Coyotes via Detroit
Original PickChris Summers – D
Re-Draft PickJhonas Enroth – G

In this re-draft, Phoenix’s first pick was spent on goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Now if they had selected backup Jhonas Enroth to help him that would have been a solid combo for the team. Instead, they chose Chris Summers, another guy who didn’t quite amount to much.

28th Overall – Ottawa Senators
Original Pick Nick Foligno – LW
Re-Draft PickCal Clutterbuck – RW

With Nick Foligno now gone in the re-draft, the Ottawa Senators need to look elsewhere for that additional scoring and tenacity. And Cal Clutterbuck would have been a solid choice to make since he can provide both anywhere from the top line to the fourth.

27th Overall – Dallas Stars
Original PickIvan Vishnevskiy – D
Re-Draft PickAndrew MacDonald – D

Ivan Vishnevskiy played a few games in the NHL, but nothing really made him stand out. Andrew MacDonald, on the other hand, has taken some time to grow but has become a top four defenseman, something the Stars really need at this moment in time.

26th Overall – Calgary Flames
Original Pick Leland Irving – G
Re-Draft PickMichael Grabner – RW

As stated above there were quite a bit of first round busts in 06’ and Leland Irving is another guy who is on that list. If the Calgary Flames drafted Michael Grabner and stayed the course, he would be playing alongside Sam Bennett and Troy Brouwer which is a pretty solid second line.

25th Overall – St. Louis Blues via New Jersey
Original PickPatrik Berglund – C
Re-Draft PickMichal Neuvirth – G

Now Patrik Berglund has grown into a solid center but due to the re-draft, he’s already gone. So who would have been a solid selection for the Blues at 25? Michal Neuvirth since the team is currently sporting Carter Hutton as a backup.

24th Overall – Buffalo Sabres
Original PickDennis Persson – D
Re-Draft PickNikolai Kulemin – LW

Dennis Persson is yet another player who didn’t make anything out of his chances. And the Sabres have needed depth scoring for quite some time now. If they had chosen Nikolai Kulemin instead, he would have easily filled a role anywhere in the bottom nine.

23rd Overall – Washington Capitals via Nashville
Original Pick – Semyon Varlamov – G
Re-Draft PickJeff Petry – D

Washington’s selection of Varlamov was a great one, but no one got to see how great he was until he left Washington. But since he’s already been selected this leaves Washington with a solid defensive choice in Jeff Petry who could still be playing on the Caps d-core today.

22nd Overall – Philadelphia Flyers
Original PickClaude Giroux – C/RW
Re-Draft PickChad Johnson – G

Looking back it’s a mystery how Claude Giroux slipped to 22nd but it could always be worse. The Flyers have needed goaltending help and they went out and acquired Steve Mason to provide that, but he left for Winnipeg, now the team has Brian Elliott. If Chad Johnson was selected he would have definitely helped the club with a solid backup in times of need.

21st Overall – New York Rangers
Original PickBobby Sanguinetti – D
Re-Draft PickMichael Frolik – RW

Bobby Sanguinetti was scouted to be a top tier defenseman which is why he was chosen where he was. But he never lived up to expectations and is now bouncing between the AHL and different European leagues. But today the Rangers do have a solid defense, but what they don’t have is a lot of depth scoring throughout all four lines, Michael Frolik could have provided that.

20th Overall – Montreal Canadiens via San Jose
Original PickDavid Fischer – D
Re-Draft PickMathieu Perreault – C

Yet another 2006 first round bust, David Fischer never made it to the NHL. So as stated before if a re-do was allowed, Mathieu Perreault would have been a solid selection he could have filled a third or fourth line role with the club. And who knows he would probably still be with the Canadiens today.

19th Overall – Anaheim Ducks
Original PickMark Mitera – D
Re-Draft PickChris Stewart – RW

Mark Mitera is another first round bust from 2006, and what the Ducks need is help on the wings since they have some solid centers in Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, and occasionally Rickard Rakell. Now, if the team had chosen Chris Stewart, he would have brought some second to third line scoring for a team that is thin on the right side after Corey Perry.

18th Overall – Colorado Avalanche
Original Pick – Chris Stewart – RW
Re-Draft Pick Artem Anisimov – C 

Chris Stewart was a decent player for Colorado but wasn’t there long before he was on the move. If the team had selected Artem Anisimov in the first round instead they would have a solid number three center behind Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene.

17th Overall – Los Angeles Kings from Edmonton via Minnesota
Original PickTrevor Lewis – C
Re-Draft Pick Nick Foligno – LW

Trevor Lewis is still playing with the Kings so that says something right there. But with first pick Brad Marchand and now Nick Foligno playing alongside Anze Kopitar, imagine the scoring the Kings would have right now.

16th Overall – San Jose Sharks via Montreal
Original Pick – Ty Wishart – D
Re-Draft Pick Patrik Berglund – C

Another player who didn’t amount to much in the NHL was defenseman Ty Wishart. The Sharks have a solid center in Joe Thornton and they had one in Patrick Marleau who was moved to the right side before leaving for Toronto. So the selection of Patrik Berglund would have been perfect for a team who really needed a bonafide number two center.

15th Overall – Tampa Bay Lightning
Original PickRiku Helenius – G
Re-Draft Pick Derick Brassard – C

Riku Helenius hasn’t done anything in the NHL so it’s safe to say he’s a first round bust. But in a re-do, the solid choice for the Lightning would be Derick Brassard who would most likely still be playing with the Lightning behind superstar Steven Stamkos to provide a shutdown line.

14th Overall – Vancouver Canucks
Original Pick Michael Grabner – RW
Re-Draft PickJames Reimer – G

Another team who needed goaltending help was the Vancouver Canucks, they acquired Roberto Luongo from Florida during the draft but they still needed a solid backup. James Reimer could have been that guy, and what do you know, now Reimer is in Florida.

13th Overall – Toronto Maple Leafs
Original PickJiri Tlusty – LW
Re-Draft PickBryan Little – C

Jiri Tlusty is another player who didn’t quite live up to draft expectations, that is until he left Toronto. But during that time, the Leafs really needed help down the middle and with the other picks in place, Little would have been their best option.

12th Overall – Atlanta Thrashers
Original Pick – Bryan Little – C
Re-Draft PickJonathan Bernier – G

With Atlanta/Winnipeg’s current goaltending issues if a re-do was allowed Jonathan Bernier might have been a solid selection for the team. Bryan Little has been good but with Mark Scheifele now playing those top line minutes Little has fallen as to where the Thrashers/Jets have always needed a solid goalie.

11th Overall – Los Angeles Kings
Original Pick Jonathan Bernier – G
Re-Draft Pick – Brad Marchand – LW

Now while Jonathan Bernier has won a Stanley Cup with the Kings as a backup goalie due to the emergence of Jonathan Quick. He’s still an alright netminder, but if the team chose Brad Marchand instead, he and Anze Kopitar would be a solid unit for the Kings every single year.

10th Overall – Florida Panthers
Original Pick – Michael Frolik – RW
Re-Draft PickErik Johnson – D

Michael Frolik has been an okay scorer in the NHL despite bouncing around. But what the Panthers have needed help on for quite some time is the blue line and if they had chosen Erik Johnson he would have helped right away. But who knows he could have been traded from there as well.

9th Overall – Minnesota Wild
Original PickJames Sheppard – C/LW
Re-Draft PickKyle Okposo – RW

As stated below, Okposo is a solid goal scorer and would provide a ton of help to the Minnesota Wild, a lot more help than what James Sheppard ever did.

8th Overall – Phoenix Coyotes
Original PickPeter Mueller – C
Re-Draft Pick – Semyon Varlamov – G

Phoenix/Arizona is another team that has been hurting in net for quite some time. Now, Varlamov didn’t really grow in Washington which seen him move to Colorado where he finally got comfortable and has been quite solid. With the Yotes rebuilding, if they selected Varlamov in the first round, they wouldn’t have to worry about what they need to do in goal.

7th Overall – New York Islanders
Original Pick – Kyle Okposo – RW
Re-Draft Pick – Steve Mason – G

It’s no question the Islanders have goaltending issues, and it’s no question that Kyle Okposo has grown into quite the goal scorer. But due to team needs the smart selection if a re-do was allowed would be to select goaltender Steve Mason.

6th Overall – Columbus Blue Jackets
Original Pick – Derick Brassard – C
Re-Draft PickJordan Staal – C

Derick Brassard has grown into a solid shutdown center for the Blue Jackets, Rangers, and Senators. But due to the re-draft Jordan Staal takes his place and that’s a solid playmaking center who would be putting up serious numbers alongside Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno.

5th Overall – Boston Bruins
Original PickPhil Kessel – RW
Re-Draft PickMilan Lucic – LW

Kessel was supposed to be a top tier scorer for Boston but ultimately lost him to Toronto before he could really flourish. And while Boston selected Milan Lucic in the second round of this draft, he moves into the first round taking the fifth overall selection.

4th Overall – Washington Capitals
Original PickNicklas Backstrom – C
Re-Draft Pick – Claude Giroux – C/RW

Now there is nothing wrong with the selection of Nicklas Backstrom for Washington obviously, him and Alex Ovechkin have been a dynamic duo for years. But due to the rules outlined for this re-draft Claude Giroux would be taking his place and that’s still a top tier center to play alongside Ovechkin.

3rd Overall – Chicago Blackhawks
Original PickJonathan Toews – C
Re-Draft Pick – Jonathan Toews – C

Jonathan Toews is the only player to end back up where he was initially drafted. He’s been one of the best players in the league and along with Patrick Kane, they have helped Chicago reach Stanley Cup glory.

2nd Overall – Pittsburgh Penguins
Original Pick – Jordan Staal – C
Re-Draft Pick – Phil Kessel – RW

Jordan Staal is a solid center but due to Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby he never really got a chance to shine it Pittsburgh. Now with the Carolina Hurricanes, Staal has been solid playing top line minutes. Now if Pittsburgh had drafted Phil Kessel in the first round instead of acquiring him years later through trade, they probably would have won at least one more Stanley Cup.

1st Overall – St. Louis Blues
Original Pick – Erik Johnson – D
Re-Draft Pick – Nicklas Backstrom – C

Erik Johnson was supposed to fix all of the defensive issues in St. Louis but he never really lived up to expectations and was shipped to Colorado. Now if the team had selected Nicklas Backstrom and everything still went its course, he and Vladimir Tarasenko would be a deadly combo for the team.

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