To be fair to the Thrashers, they couldnt get a deal for the top two picks, or 2/3 and the Sedins were being adamant about playing with each other, and wouldn't play apart from eachother. Stefan was really the next best guy in the draft. I dont think alot of people doubted the Sedins were 1/2, but the Thrashers just couldnt get the picks, Stefan was really the next best choice, as off as that seems.
The poster who started the thread said nothing about being realistic.
I would have traded the pick to Detroit for Nick Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk.
that's right. the premise of the question precludes realism from being a factor.
hmmmm.... I would trade down and pick McCarthy, knowing that we were gonna end up with him anyway and that Stefan was gonna fade away. That was a joke, people.
Tampa made the smart move by giving up the 1st overall pick and getting out of the 1st round all together.
It is very interesting to go through the draft order and to see which pick some of these guys went at (and who the Thrashers picked):
23. Steve McCarthy - Chicago Blackhawks
26. Martin Havlat - Ottawa Senators
30. Luke Sellars - Atlanta Thrashers
42. Mike Commodore - New Jersey Devils
68. Zdenek Blatny - Atlanta Thrashers
76. Frantisek Kaberle - Los Angeles Kings
83. Niclas Hävelid - Anaheim Mighty Ducks
91. Mike Comrie - Edmonton Oilers
94. Chris Kelly - Ottawa Senators
98. David Kaczowka - Atlanta Thrashers
99. Rob Zepp - Atlanta Thrashers
115. Ryan Malone - Pittsburgh Penguins
128. Derek MacKenzie - Atlanta Thrashers
138. Ryan Miller - Buffalo Sabres
191. Martin Erat - Nashville Predators
210. Henrik Zetterberg - Detroit Red Wings
217. Garnet Exelby - Atlanta Thrashers
222. George Parros - Los Angeles Kings
245. Tommi Santala - Atlanta Thrashers
246. Ray DiLauro - Atlanta Thrashers
248. Darren Haydar - Nashville Predators
Here are some fun quotes....
The NHL's Central Scouting Service made the 205-pound Stefan the top-rated North American player eligible for the draft. He had 11 goals and 24 assists in 33 games last season for Long Beach of the International Hockey League, where he was one of the youngest players.
Only two of them -- No. 1 pick Patrik Stefan by Atlanta and No. 4 choice Pavel Brendl by the New York Rangers, both from the Czech Republic -- are expected to step right into the NHL next season.
"It's very important to have patience," Thrashers general manager Don Waddell said. "We're not worried about Patrik Stefan this year or next year. We're worried about Patrik Stefan five years from now."
And he's the draftee considered most prepared for the rigors of the NHL. Stefan had 11 goals in 33 games for Long Beach of the International Hockey League last season but missed much of it with two concussions that concerned some teams.
Waddell wasn't scared off.
"There's risk in any player you take," he said. "This player has an opportunity to be an elite player for a long time in the league."
Once three pre-draft trades were done -- all involving Vancouver -- the order of the first four picks had changed from Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Vancouver, Chicago to Atlanta, Vancouver, Vancouver, New York Rangers.
"Everybody got what they wanted in the whole thing," Waddell said.
He got Stefan, who eventually is expected to provide the offense Atlanta lacked after taking 26 players in Friday's expansion draft. None of them had more than nine goals last season.
Stefan, though, is a big power forward and the prize of the draft crop. He's also the first European taken No. 1 since Tampa Bay chose Roman Hamrlik, also of the Czech Republic, in 1992.