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2003 Draft: Proof of why Kostitsyn wasn't actually a bad pick

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07-27-2010, 05:47 PM
  #1
Lucius
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2003 Draft: Proof of why Kostitsyn wasn't actually a bad pick

It's like clockwork here. Every month or so, we have the old 2003 First Round thread where people whine about Kostitsyn going 10th overall over people like Carter, Brown, Seabrook, Parise, Getzlaf, Richards, etc.

So I got bored and decided to demonstrate as best I could why this is ridiculous and out of hand. Using total 20/20 hindsight, which is what people who argue this being a terrible choice do, I re-ranked the first round. This is just my opinion and I put zero consideration into team needs. I just ranked the players as I would have picked them if I were god. Disagree or not with my assessments - and I admit the goalie rankings are especially arbitrary as they're impossible to compare to players (Halak over Fleury I'd do, but I accept that may be a minority opinion, for example) - but let's redo the draft just for fun....

First is who I would have taken with 20/20 hindsight and second is who they actually took.

# - TEAM - COULDA - ACTUAL
1 - Pittsburgh - Getzlaf - Fleury
2 - Carolina - Eric Staal - Staal
3 - Florida - S. Weber - Horton
4 - Columbus - Richards - Zherdev
5 - Buffalo - Parise - Vanek
6 - San Jose - Perry - Michalek
7 - Nashville - Seabrook - Suter
8 - Atlanta - Carter - Coburn
9 - Calgary - Kesler - Phaneuf
10 - Montreal - R. Suter - Kostitsyn
11 - Philly - Bergeron - Carter
12 - NY Rangers - Vanek - Jessiman
13 - LA Kings - Brown - Brown
14 - Chicago - Burns - Seabrook
15 - NY Isles - Phaneuf - Nilsson
16 - San Jose - Halak - Bernier
17 - New Jersey - Pavelski - Parise
18 - Washington - Horton - Fehr
19 - Anaheim - Fleury - Getzlaf
20 - Minnesota - Backes - Burns
21 - Boston - Coburn - Stuart
22 - Edmonton - Byfuglien - MA Pouliot
23 - Vancouver - M. Michalek - Kesler
24 - Philly - M. Carle - Richards
25 - Florida - Kostitsyn - A. Stewart
26 - LA Kings - Fehr - B. Boyle
27 - LA Kings - Howard - Tambellini
28 - Anaheim - Enstrom - Perry
29 - Ottawa - Bernier - Eaves
30 - St. Louis - MacArthur - Belle

So let's break this down in some highlights:
  • Montreal: -15 Spots
  • Pittsburgh: -19 Spots
  • Carolina: Even
  • Los Angeles: Even (Brown)
  • Florida: -15 Spots
  • Calgary: -7 Spots
  • Philly: +3 Spots (Carter)
  • Philly: +20 Spots (Richards)
  • Anaheim: +18 Spots (Getzlaf)
  • Anaheim: +22 Spots (Perry)

There are countless others. But the only people who took that would have went higher than their pick, given 20/20 hindsight, which is to say... made great picks... are:
  • Philly (Carter, Richards)
  • Chicago (Seabrook)
  • New Jersey (Parise)
  • Anaheim (Getzlaf, Perry)
  • Minnesota (Burns)
  • Vancouver (Kesler)

The following teams picked guys who could easily be called busts....
  • NY Rangers: Jessiman
  • NY Islanders: Nilsson
  • Edmonton: MA Pouliot
  • Florida: A. Stewart
  • LA (2nd pick): B. Boyle
  • St. Louis: Belle

And the players not selected in round one who in retrospect should have been:
  • Halak
  • Pavelski
  • Backes
  • Bergeron
  • Byfuglien
  • Carle
  • Howard
  • Enstrom
  • MacArthur
  • Moulson

And on top of the six total busts, the following players never would have made the first round today:
  • 4 - Columbus - Zherdev
  • 21 - Boston - Stuart
  • 27 - LA - Tambellini
  • 29 - Ottawa - Eaves

My point? Stop whining about this pick. No, obviously it wasn't perfect, but more teams picked guys way earlier than they would today and only a couple teams actually picked someone ahead of where I would put them.

Bottom line:
  • Six teams beat expectations in Round #1. (Two twice)
  • Six teams drafted total busts.
  • Four teams got guys that wouldn't go in Round #1 today.
  • 20 of the 30 picks were higher than I would have put them.

Next time you're tempted to use 20/20 hindsight, make sure to apply it to every team at the draft, not just Montreal.

It's not "we could have had Getzlaf" in that fantasy world. At best, we could have had: Suter, Bergeron, Vanek, Brown, Burns, Phaneuf, or... Halak... to name the 10 through 16 picks if done with hindsight. Still better than Kostitsyn, but if we traded him 1 for 1 for any of those players... I don't think our team would suddenly be carting the cup around this coming spring.

So, was Kostitsyn perfect? No, but all told, I think we did statistically average with that choice.


Last edited by Lucius: 07-27-2010 at 06:05 PM.
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07-27-2010, 05:53 PM
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The Gal Pals
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But but but he's epileptic...not that there's anything wrong with that.

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07-27-2010, 06:01 PM
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Please explain how Coburn would not make the 1st round? He is a very solid defenceman. I'd take him rather than players like McIlrath.

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07-27-2010, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ruski17 View Post
Please explain how Coburn would not make the 1st round? He is a very solid defenceman. I'd take him rather than players like McIlrath.
I could argue, but I'll be honest...

I totally confused him with Ryan Parent when I did this list!



(editing OP)

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07-27-2010, 06:04 PM
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It's not a bad pick really....and every team makes a bad pick in the 1st round...but the Habs have had 1 really good/great pick in the 1st round in the last 15 years - Koivu.

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07-27-2010, 06:08 PM
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Thank you for the effort. But I honestly don't see the point. All this just to tell us that Kostitsyn was an "average" pick, and not an "awful" one? I think we already knew that.

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07-27-2010, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
It's not a bad pick really....and every team makes a bad pick in the 1st round...but the Habs have had 1 really good/great pick in the 1st round in the last 15 years - Koivu.
Carey Price could easily be another one!

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07-27-2010, 06:10 PM
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Lucius
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Originally Posted by Partisan du CH View Post
Thank you for the effort. But I honestly don't see the point. All this just to tell us that Kostitsyn was an "average" pick, and not an "awful" one? I think we already knew that.
More or less to debunk the "we could have had Getzlaf!" arguments.

The reality of the situation is we couldn't have (assuming 20/20 hindsight was provided to all 30 teams).

And given the way things would shake out, Kostitsyn is at worst average and more likely an above average pick.

Think of it this way... if you were offered the following trade: ability to look 7 years into the future at the draft and the 16th pick overall in exchange for the 10th... Any GM would take it. Any.

...and that's basically what MTL did given that Halak would probably fall about six picks after our pick

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07-27-2010, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Theran189 View Post

Carey Price could easily be another one!
Now, even I've been critical of Price.. Perhaps too critical.

But given the fact that Price is a goaltender and he's still very young, he still has 2-3 seasons to prove his worth so let's not get off calling him a bad pick yet. He still had respectable numbers last year, Halak was just better.

You may be right, but even I am not ready to call Price a bad pick.

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07-27-2010, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Theran189 View Post

Carey Price could easily be another one!
He could be. I personally hated the pick at the time mainly because they had more pressing needs but Price could end up being the best pick over the last 20 years or a dud. Can't judge the pick for another 3 years or so.

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07-27-2010, 06:26 PM
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I think this thread has more potential for lulz than it's cousin, the chipchura thread. Although now I have an overwhelming urge to create a ' Fischer can still be great' thread.

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07-27-2010, 06:29 PM
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I think this thread has more potential for lulz than it's cousin, the chipchura thread. Although now I have an overwhelming urge to create a ' Fischer can still be great' thread.
I usually don't like your posts, but this one is a good one.

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07-27-2010, 06:32 PM
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PArise should be a top 3 or even 2

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07-27-2010, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Partisan du CH View Post
I usually don't like your posts, but this one is a good one.
I think if you look at my post history you'd like a lot more than you think you would.

That being said, I am flattered

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07-27-2010, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucius View Post
More or less to debunk the "we could have had Getzlaf!" arguments.

The reality of the situation is we couldn't have (assuming 20/20 hindsight was provided to all 30 teams).

And given the way things would shake out, Kostitsyn is at worst average and more likely an above average pick.

Think of it this way... if you were offered the following trade: ability to look 7 years into the future at the draft and the 16th pick overall in exchange for the 10th... Any GM would take it. Any.

...and that's basically what MTL did given that Halak would probably fall about six picks after our pick
Not to be a crank, but I think you prove the "We should have drafted Getzlaf" arguments even more.

Not to mention that Gainey was looking for a big, right-handed centerman.

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07-27-2010, 08:42 PM
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Not to be a crank, but I think you prove the "We should have drafted Getzlaf" arguments even more.

Not to mention that Gainey was looking for a big, right-handed centerman.
Sure, but that assumes we get to see the future and they don't. My point was, judging with hindsight is easy and if you look at it from a global perspective... We don't get a hugely better player than Kostitsyn.

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07-27-2010, 09:52 PM
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Not to be a crank, but I think you prove the "We should have drafted Getzlaf" arguments even more.

Not to mention that Gainey was looking for a big, right-handed centerman.
Yeah, but Getzlaf is under 30 and already balding quite a bit so that makes his value and talent/skill worthless...

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07-27-2010, 10:26 PM
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It was an horrible pick, in the way that you DON'T pick an enigmatic, epileptic guy with high upsides but huge question marks on spot #10, on what might be (and what was known to be at the time) the best draft in decades, just to go for the "safe pick" the next year, when the weak draft in 2004 was the ideal time to get off the charts and bet on an underdog.

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07-27-2010, 10:27 PM
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Kostitsyn was a terrible pick


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07-27-2010, 10:35 PM
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To be honest I wanted Phaneuf and when he went the pick before I was pissed. After that I wanted Carter, a tall center with upside. When they took a gamble on a russian with an illness I wasn't happy but thought he had a lot of upside.

Still, it's not a bad pick, I think the team that picks a player has to develop them the right way. Carter may have stunk developing in our system while Kostits could have become a superstar developing with another squad.

You never know, they are kids and it takes a real good scouting staff to pick good/great players consistently year after year ie NJ, Flyers etc. Habs just don't nail it in the 1st round but always have good later round pick ups.

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07-28-2010, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Lucius View Post

So, was Kostitsyn perfect? No, but all told, I think we did statistically average with that choice.
I understand where you're trying to go: If every team had picked perfectly, we would not have had much better than Kosty at 10th anyway.

But that's not the point that people who are upset at that draft are trying to make re Kosty.

The point is this: Other teams make mistakes in drafting, sure. What is important is that as often as possible the Habs must not, and therefore gain advantage in the draft.

The Flyers and Ducks benefited hugely from that draft because they did not make mistakes, and most other teams did, including the Habs.

It is not how you draft, it is how you draft relative to other teams, and the Kosty pick was sh-it compared to that of many other teams. Why can't people just admit this?


Last edited by bsl: 07-28-2010 at 01:23 AM.
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07-28-2010, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
It's not a bad pick really....and every team makes a bad pick in the 1st round...but the Habs have had 1 really good/great pick in the 1st round in the last 15 years - Koivu.
Koivu was definitely a good pick, but as hard as it is to believe, he wasn't drafted in the last 15 years. Koivu was the 1st player we drafted after our last Stanley Cup, back in 1993.

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07-28-2010, 07:06 AM
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With the benefit of hindsight, give the Habs Parize and Bergeron in 2003 instead of Kostitsyn and Urquhart, and we'd already have our 25th Cup.

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07-28-2010, 07:28 AM
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With the benefit of hindsight, give the Habs Parize and Bergeron in 2003 instead of Kostitsyn and Urquhart, and we'd already have our 25th Cup.
+ Giroux instead of Fischer

+ Eller and Perron instead of McDonagh and Pacioretty.

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07-28-2010, 08:38 AM
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Lucius, I appreciate the effort you put into your original post in this thread.

IMO, there's really only one argument that needs to be made in favor of the selection of Akost. TSN reported at the draft that virtually all of the scouts had him in the top 10. He was considered to have elite talent within a strong draft. The only concerns people had about him going into the draft was his health. The Canadiens did a thorough check and were confident that it wouldn't be an issue. To my knowledge, it hasn't been.

Were there players selected after him that have had more success? Yes. That happens EVERY year wrt the draft. My eyes were on Parise. I liked what I saw, and what I read. There were 17 plus teams that passed on him, likely because of his size. Were I a scout, he's who I'd have pushed hard for.

That said, I still don't blame the Canadiens for taking a chance on Andrei. They admitted at that time of the draft it was something of a home run swing, even if scouts league wide had his talent at an elite level. We didn't have a potential 40 40 man in the system for the wing, and of the players available at the time he certainly projected to be that type of player.

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