2005 draft-Wild was poised to take Staal 4th overall
Minnesota traded Benoit Pouliot to Montreal yesterday. Came across this......
If anybody ever needed a change in scenery, it's Pouliot. He was under immense pressure here, constantly labeled as the guy taken fourth overall in 2005 before Setoguchi, Marc Staal and ... dare we say, Anze Kopitar. But a lot of teams would have made the mistake with Pouliot. He had a great junior career, and during the lockout, most teams saved money on European scouting, so Kopitar wasn't on a lot of team's radar. In fact, I've always been told that if the Wild didn't take Pouliot, it would have been Staal anyway, not Kopitar. And incidentally, a lot of people believe that if the Wild doesn't take Pouliot at No. 4, the Canadiens would have taken Pouliot at No. 5 instead of Carey Price.
We already know there was a split in Carolina's management between Marc Staal and Jack Johnson at #3. You know Jim Rutherford regrets taking Johnson.
Minny would have jumped on Staal at #4.
Staal has been inconsistent this season but the Rangers were very fortunate Staal fell and smart enough to trade up #12 from #16. If you look at some of the players taken in that draft(it's fair to look it now almost 5 years after),it's a crapshoot.
Actually I'd take issue with one point in Russo's piece. Poulliot didn't have a great junior career. He had one great junior season. Prior to his draft year he had missed a lof of time because of injuries and personal tragedy. A little similar to Andrew Ladd (and for that matter Lauri Korpikoski) in that he had a great year in his draft eligible year and not much before or since. There's a lot to be said about selecting players with a larger body of work.