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05-27-2011, 12:39 AM
  #90
Teufelsdreck
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Nilan View Post
Disagree. You cannot go around saying "what if . . ." forever. You will always find guys picked after yours that became better players. Projecting players beyond the first 3-4 in the usual draft -- yes, 2003 is an anomaly, but more on that -- is never a certainty.

As for 2003, did you all forget that Corey Perry didn't go until 28? A whole pile of teams (Hugh Jessiman?) blew that one.

What has happened, though, is that I think the Canadiens have gotten much more careful in the first round after the disaster that was 1985-2000. They draft a player at that spot who is destined to play in the NHL. They are drafting for certainty in the 1st round. The one time they didn't do that was with Fischer, but if you recall that was a terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible draft year top-to-bottom! The problem of 1985-2000 was drafting for perceived need every year. We needed a big left winger who could score: Mark Pederson, Terry Ryan. We needed a big centre: Matt Higgins, Eric Chouinard, Jason Ward. We need a big right winger: Turner Stevenson, Lindsay Vallis, Jose Charbonneau. We had to have a big mean defenseman: Brent Bilodeau, Eric Charron, Brad Brown.

The only time they really drafted the best player was Koivu. We'll never know how good he could have been b/c of all the injuries and all the terrible linemates. Know this: as a 2nd year player he was leading the league in scoring WELL INTO THE SEASON only to have the 1st of many career shortening and altering injuries. Funny, but he was the best player available, not the big, bad man that the fans and pundits were yelling about. Funny how it's always people on this board and on TSN who yell for those guys, too.

The players the Canadiens have drafted in the 1st round have been NHL players, with one exception. Chipchura's ceiling fell a lot with his tendon injury -- remarkable he can skate as well as he does -- but he's hanging on. Hossa, Perezhogin, were also 2nd picks in the 1st round and you can gamble a touch on those. The latter is certainly an NHL player and the former could have been with a work ethic to match the rest of his set. Overall, I'm happy.

I also think they've done tremendously well in later rounds b/c you can gamble.

PS Want to see a track record of futility in the 1st round, check out Boston. Beyond the can't miss of Joe Thornton, they have been terrible for over 20 years!
Interesting points. Speaking of the 2003 draft, one of the poorer picks was Fleury at #1, and to think the Penguins actually traded up to get him. I can name several goaltenders the Penguins could have taken that year or in subsequent drafts who would have done just as well. In the meantime they might have had one more top six forward or top four forward witheir #1 pick.

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