What could have been: 2005 NHL re-draft


Sidney Crosby stayed in Pittsburgh during the 2005 NHL re-draft.

Heading into the 2005 NHL Draft, there was no doubt that Sidney Crosby was the best player. A decade later, that hasn’t changed.

With over 10 years in hindsight, we looked back at the deep 2005 draft class, a group that featured NHL stars such as Crosby, Carey Price, Anze Kopitar, and Tuukka Rask and major busts such as Gilbert Brule and Jack Skille.

So to complete our 2005 re-draft, we assigned three franchises each to 10 members of the Sportsnet web team.

The draft order remained the same as the 2005 NHL Draft and no trades were allowed.

Our criteria for the selections:
1) The picks do not account for the current roster of each team.
2) The picks do not account for the roster at the time of the 2005 NHL Draft
3) This is purely “best player available.”

1) Pittsburgh Penguins

2015 re-draft pick: Sidney Crosby, forward
Drafted by: Ryan McKenna (@RyanBMcKenna)
The rationale: Two-time Olympic gold medallist, Stanley Cup champion, two-time Hart Trophy winner, two-time Art Ross Trophy winner. Easy selection.
Penguins’ 2005 pick: Sidney Crosby
Crosby’s previous slot No. 1 overall

2) Anaheim Ducks

2015 re-draft pick: Anze Kopitar, forward
Drafted by: Mackenzie Liddell (@MackLiddell)
The rationale: Second in the draft class to Crosby in goals and points, Kopitar is the prototypical No. 1 centre you can build a championship team around.
Ducks’ 2005 pick: Bobby Ryan
Kopitar’s previous slot No. 11 overall

3) Carolina Hurricanes

2015 re-draft pick: Carey Price, goaltender
Drafted by: Steven Loung (@loung_s)
The rationale: He’s the best goalie on planet Earth. End of discussion.
Hurricanes’ 2005 pick: Jack Johnson
Price’s previous slot No. 5 overall

4) Minnesota Wild

2015 re-draft pick: Tuukka Rask, goaltender
Drafted by: Gary Melo (@Im_So_Legendary)
The rationale: He’s Finnish, he’s fiery and he’s entering his prime. Not only is Rask a Top 5 player in this draft, he’s a Top 5 goalie right now in the league.
Wild’s 2005 pick: Benoit Pouliot
Rask’s previous slot No. 21 overall

5) Montreal Canadiens

2015 re-draft pick: Jonathan Quick, goaltender
Drafted by: Geoff Lowe (@LoweDown21)
The rationale:: A two-time Stanley Cup champion, Conn Smythe winner and Vezina finalist, Quick was a steal for the Los Angeles Kings in 2005 and is still a steal for the Canadiens at No. 5 in the re-draft.
Canadiens’ 2005 pick: Carey Price
Quick’s previous slot No. 72 overall

6) Columbus Blue Jackets

2015 re-draft pick: James Neal, forward
Drafted by: Emily Sadler (@EmmySadler)
The rationale: OK, if I can’t take take a stopper, I’ll take a scorer. Big in stats and stature, I’m opting for Neal and his steady stream of points with my first pick.
Blue Jackets’ 2005 pick: Gilbert Brule
Neal’s previous slot No. 33 overall

7) Chicago Blackhawks

2015 re-draft pick: Kris Letang, defenceman
Drafted by: Mike Johnston (@MikeyJ_MMA)
The rationale: He is the best defenceman from this draft class. When speaking of elite, right-handed, offensive-minded NHL blueliners, Letang is right up there with Erik Karlsson and P.K. Subban.
Blackhawks’ 2005 pick: Jack Skille
Letang’s previous slot No. 62 overall

8) San Jose Sharks

2015 re-draft pick: T.J. Oshie, forward
Drafted by: Rory Boylen (@RoryBoylen)
The rationale: Nice, consistent playmaker that I was happy to get with the eighth overall pick. Thought about Bobby Ryan, who’s been trending down recently. Bonus: Oshie is great to have in shootouts.
Sharks’ 2005 pick: Devin Setoguchi
Oshie’s previous slot No. 24 overall

9) Ottawa Senators

2015 re-draft pick: Keith Yandle, defenceman
Drafted by: Mike Cormack (@MikeCormack)
The rationale: Marc-Edouard Vlasic may have the sexier name, but Yandle owns the sexier game. Gimme those points.
Senators’ 2005 pick: Brian Lee
Yandle’s previous slot No. 105 overall

10) Vancouver Canucks

2015 re-draft pick: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, defenceman
Drafted by: Jeff Simmons (@realjeffsimmons)
The rationale: Some questionable picks above. I guess some of you just sorted by points on Hockey Reference. When it comes to actual hockey, Vlasic is a terrific defenceman with exceptional skills in his own zone. I’d much prefer that to a one-dimensional scorer.
Canucks’ 2005 pick: Luc Bourdon
Vlasic’s previous slot No. 35 overall

11) Los Angeles Kings

2015 re-draft pick: Matt Niskanen, defenceman
Drafted by: Ryan McKenna (@RyanBMcKenna)
The rationale: Some of my colleagues gave me guff, but Niskanen has really come into his own as a top NHL defenceman. He’s proven that he can contribute offensively with a career-high in both goals (10) and points (46) in 2013-14 with the Penguins.
Kings’ 2005 pick: Anze Kopitar
Niskanen’s previous slot No. 28 overall

12) New York Rangers

2015 re-draft pick: Bobby Ryan, forward
Drafted by: Mackenzie Liddell (@MackLiddell)
The rationale: Niskanen? Really? Ryan is a steal at 12th overall. Although the talented winger leaves you wanting more at times, Ryan knows how to find the back of the net having scored 30 or more goals four times.
Rangers’ 2005 pick: Marc Staal
Ryan’s previous slot No. 2 overall

13) Buffalo Sabres

2015 re-draft pick: Patric Hornqvist, forward
Drafted by: Steven Loung (@loung_s)
The rationale: Started from the bottom now we 13th overall. Seriously, how did every NHL GM pass on this guy until the final selection of the actual 2005 draft? Scouting really is an inexact science, huh?
Sabres’ 2005 pick: Marek Zagrapan
Hornqvist’s previous slot No. 230 overall (Mr. Irrelevant)

14) Washington Capitals

2015 re-draft pick: Paul Stastny, forward
Drafted by: Gary Melo (@Im_So_Legendary)
The rationale: Stastny is coming off a down year, but he has too much offensive talent to ignore. Slot him on the second line and expect 60 points.
Capitals’ 2005 pick: Sasha Pokulok
Stastny’s previous slot No. 44 overall

15) New York Islanders

2015 re-draft pick: Marc Staal, defenceman
Drafted by: Geoff Lowe (@LoweDown21)
The rationale: Staal stays in New York! A defence-first player with the ability to chip in offensively, the Islanders build around Staal on the blueline.
Islanders’ 2005 pick: Ryan O’Marra
Staal’s previous slot No. 12 overall

16) Winnipeg Jets

2015 re-draft pick: Niklas Hjalmarsson, defenceman
Drafted by: Emily Sadler (@EmmySadler)
The rationale: He’s a reliable rearguard who eats up minutes, blocks a ton of shots and is a great penalty killer. Three Stanley Cups? Yes please.
Jets’ 2005 pick: Alex Bourret
Hjalmarsson’s previous slot No. 108 overall

*Note: Technically, it was the Atlanta Thrashers. But they don’t exist anymore.

17) Arizona Coyotes

2015 re-draft pick: Ben Bishop, goaltender
Drafted by: Mike Johnston (@MikeyJ_MMA)
The rationale: This is a steal at No. 17. Over the past three seasons, Bishop has an 88-36-13 record, a Vezina Trophy nomination and a Stanley Cup Final appearance where he proved he can play through a torn groin.
Coyotes’ 2005 pick: Martin Hanzal
Bishop’s previous slot No. 85 overall

18) Nashville Predators

2015 re-draft pick: Cody Franson, defenceman
Drafted by: Rory Boylen (@RoryBoylen)
The rationale: Was hoping Hjalmarsson would fall to 18, but big Franson is a nice consolation. He can log minutes, get points and use the body. Better all-around game than any D-man left on the board.
Predators’ 2005 pick: Ryan Parent
Franson’s previous slot No. 79 overall

19) Detroit Red Wings

2015 re-draft pick: Anton Stralman, defenceman
Drafted by: Mike Cormack (@MikeCormack)
The rationale: We all know that had the Red Wings initially taken him here, he’d probably be a two-time Norris winner by now.
Red Wings’ 2005 pick: Jakub Kindl
Stralman’s previous slot No. 216 overall

20) Florida Panthers

2015 re-draft pick: Kris Russell, defenceman
Drafted by: Jeff Simmons (@realjeffsimmons)
The rationale: Ach, the Panthers were preparing to take Stralman. However, Russell is a fine consolation prize. He’s really come into his own as a complete defenceman, especially blocking shots, and even offered a solid offensive output at the end of last season.
Panthers’ 2005 pick: Kenndal McArdle
Russell’s previous slot No. 67 overall

21) Toronto Maple Leafs

2015 re-draft pick: Justin Abdelkader, forward
Drafted by: Ryan McKenna (@RyanBMcKenna)
The rationale: A pure power forward that any team would want, Abdelkader has continued to improve offensively. He jumped from 10 goals in 2013-14 to 23 this year while almost doubling his point totals.
Maple Leafs’ 2005 pick: Tuukka Rask
Abdelkader’s previous slot No. 40 overall

22) Boston Bruins

2015 re-draft pick: Jack Johnson, defenceman
Drafted by: Mackenzie Liddell (@MackLiddell)
The rationale: Jack Johnson might not be the strongest in his own zone, but he’s a consistent point producer who logs a lot of minutes and runs the power play — not too shabby for a late first-round pick.
Bruins’ 2005 pick: Matt Lashoff
Johnson’s previous slot No. 3 overall

23) New Jersey Devils

2015 re-draft pick: Devin Setoguchi, forward
Drafted by: Steven Loung (@loung_s)
The rationale: Sure, go ahead and laugh. I get it. He hasn’t exactly had the best last three years, but guess what: He still has 249 career points, and that kind of production isn’t just a fluke. So while he’s struggled in recent years, he definitely ain’t no scrub.
Devils’ 2005 pick: Nicklas Bergfors
Setoguchi’s previous slot No. 8 overall

24) St. Louis Blues

2015 re-draft pick: Andrew Cogliano, forward
Drafted by: Gary Melo (@Im_So_Legendary)
The rationale: After a tough start to his career in Edmonton, the NHL’s current ironman has finally found the right checking role that best suits his speed and grit.
Blues’ 2005 pick: T.J. Oshie
Cogliano’s previous slot No. 25 overall

25) Edmonton Oilers

2015 re-draft pick: Adam McQuaid, defenceman
Drafted by: Geoff Lowe (@LoweDown21)
The rationale: McQuaid, a solid defenceman who can log big minutes, helps stabilize the blueline in Edmonton.
Oilers’ 2005 pick: Andrew Cogliano
McQuaid’s previous slot No. 55 overall

26) Calgary Flames

2015 re-draft pick: Benoit Pouliot, forward
Drafted by: Emily Sadler (@EmmySadler)
The rationale: Maybe I’m just being optimistic, but recent success (and — finally! — a long-term contract) has me thinking we could see more out of this big forward.
Flames’ 2005 pick: Matt Pelech
Pouliot’s previous slot No. 4 overall

27) Washington Capitals

2015 re-draft pick: Mats Zuccarello, forward
Drafted by: Mike Johnston (@MikeyJ_MMA)
The rationale: The fact Zuccarello went undrafted in 2005 and fell this far in the re-draft is a travesty. This Norwegian stud has evolved into a reliable two-way winger in the league.
Capitals’ 2005 pick: Joe Finley
Zuccarello’s previous slot Undrafted

28) Dallas Stars

2015 re-draft pick: Darren Helm, forward
Drafted by: Rory Boylen (@RoryBoylen)
The rationale: Love this guy. Lots of speed, terrific checker and even some offence in his game. Injuries have sidetracked his career, but I’d be very happy with a player like this at pick 28.
Stars’ 2005 pick: Matt Niskanen
Helm’s previous slot No. 132 overall

29) Philadelphia Flyers

2015 re-draft pick: Steve Downie, forward
Drafted by: Mike Cormack (@MikeCormack)
The rationale: Steve Downie and the Flyers. Because why mess with what was obvious hockey karma?
Flyers’ 2005 pick: Steve Downie
Downie’s previous slot No. 29 overall

30) Tampa Bay Lightning

2015 re-draft pick: Martin Hanzal, forward
Drafted by: Jeff Simmons (@realjeffsimmons)
The rationale: There wasn’t much left on the board, here. Ondrej Pavelec, Vladimir Sobotka, meh. So we turned to Martin Hanzal, a big proven NHL forward who is capable in all three zones. He hits, can score a bit and fits in nicely on our third line.
Lightning’s 2005 pick: Vladimir Mihalik
Hanzal’s previous slot No. 17 overall

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