IF you had the chance to redo the '04 draft today ... knowing that Alexander Radulov had just won the CHL Player Of The Year & Memorial Cup MVP - 2 other players in the history of the CHL have done this (Dale Hawerchuk & Brad Richards) ... Would you still want Cam Barker with the 3rd pick?
I pleaded for them to draft Radulov back then over Barker--no reason to change my opinion...
HOWEVER---teams drafting 4 through 14 ALSO passed on Radulov...so the Hawks were not the only foolish ones.
The direction the Hawks were going was D-men were seen as a priority...eg. Babchuk in '02,Seabrook in '03,and Barker in'04....of these Babchuk already busted with them and was dealt...Seabrook did work out fine,Barker--we'll see,but while he might be ok,I don't see Barker as a future all-star D-man candidate-I hope I'm wrong --but Radulov could be a future all-star winger in Nashville,so at this point I'm not that thrilled with the Barker pick.