Dec 6, 2011, 6:33 PM EDT
The “Did You Know?” series ties in the news of the day with some little-known hockey factoids and/or trivia. It’ll be fun. Trust me.
The 2003 NHL Entry Draft is regarded as one of the most talented groups of all time. There are others in the mix, like 1979 (Mark Messier, Ray Bourque, Mike Gartner, Glenn Anderson, Michel Goulet) and 1990 (Jaromir Jagr, Martin Brodeur, Keith Tkachuk, Doug Weight, Sergei Zubov) but given the NHL’s current landscape, 2003 is right near the top.
The first round was loaded with stars. It boasts THOMAS VANEK, Stanley Cup winners (Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Nathan Horton, Brent Seabrook, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry), guys that played in and lost Cup Finals (Braydon Coburn, Jeff Carter, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Jeff Tambellini) and then a whole bunch of really good-to-solid players: Brent Burns, Milan Michalek, Ryan Suter, Dion Phaneuf, Andrei Kostitsyn, Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, Brian Boyle and Eric Fehr.
(In fact, you could argue there were only seven first-round busts: Nik Zherdev at No. 5, Hugh Jessiman at No. 12, Robert Nilsson at No. 15, Steve Bernier at No. 16, Marc-Antoine Pouliot at No. 22, Tambellini at No. 27 Shawn Belle at No. 30)
But what sets the 2003 Draft apart is its depth. Let’s go round by round.
In conclusion, pretty solid draft.
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 15
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 18
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 16
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 50
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 57
- Wilson signs with Preds, leaving just four arbitration cases to go 5
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million 62
- Deal with the Devils: New Jersey re-signs Larsson to six-year contract 14
- Stepan seeks $7.25M in arbitration, Rangers counter at $5.2M 24
- Capitals investment: Holtby signs five-year, $30.5M deal 21
- Post expansion, could NHL realign with eight divisions? (138)
- NHL to ‘focus exclusively’ on expansion bids for Las Vegas and Quebec City (89)
- He’s baaaaaack: Leafs pull a stunner, hire Lamoriello as GM (Updated) (84)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (61)