The 2006-07 season marked the beginning of the end for the Edmonton Oilers, and kicked off a ten-year playoff drought in which the team managed a record of only 298-398-90. Over the course of that ten-year window, the Oilers selected 76 players in the NHL entry draft, and a total of 13 were selected in the first round.
In hindsight, the 2007 draft was a colossal failure on behalf of management as they went on to select three players who failed to make an impact on the long-term success of the organization. Sam Gagner, the sixth overall pick in the draft was coming off of a monster season playing alongside first overall pick Patrick Kane where he was able to put up 118 points in the regular season while chipping in another 29 in the playoffs.
Even now, it’s hard to argue the selection as he was clearly one of the most skilled players in the draft class, however, he was never able to become that elite playmaking forward at the NHL level. Alex Plante, the fifteenth pick had a short-lived, ten game NHL career, where he was never able to transfer his defensive defenceman style to the NHL game. Riley Nash was the Oilers final selection in the first round, and though he’s begun carving a role as a bottom-six NHL forward, the fact the Max Pacioretty was the next pick will forever loom over them.
As we’ve learned from looking back at drafts in years past, it’s a hit and miss exhibition, with the best of the best having notable misses throughout their career. Taking that into account, with the respect to hindsight, this re-draft focuses on which player would have made the greatest impact on their new team, rather than who will accumulate the most amount of points. So take a look, and let me know what you think.
2007 NHL Re-Draft
1. Chicago Blackhawks – Selected: Patrick Kane
Re-Pick: Patrick Kane
No-brainer here, he’s one of the league’s elite and has been since he stepped into the NHL.
2. Philadelphia Flyers – Selected: James Van Reimsdyk
Re-Pick: Jamie Benn (DAL / 129th)
There were two elite level forwards in this class, and Jamie Benn would have been a more natural duo than democrats and Kleenex back in November.
3. Arizona Coyotes – Selected: Kyle Turris
Re-Pick: P.K. Subban (MTL / 43rd)
With Yandle on the way up, and Ekman-Larson soon to be acquired, the Yotes could’ve rolled with one of the strongest defensive corps in the west for a few years.
4. Los Angeles Kings – Selected: Thomas Hickey
Re-Pick: Jakub Voracek (PHI / 7th)
This pick would not have only bolstered the Kings offense, but would have saved them money down the stretch on a player like Marian Gaborik.
5. Washington Capitals – Selected: Karl Alzner
Re-Pick: Ryan McDonagh (MTL / 12th)
The Caps have always seemed to be stronger on the right side, and adding a player like McDonagh to the mix with Mike Green and eventually, John Carlson would have been huge.
6. Edmonton Oilers – Selected: Sam Gagner
Re-Pick: Max Pacioretty (MTL / 22nd)
Pacioretty has really emerged into a solid two-way scorer, with the leadership skills that would have likely expedited the rebuild, even if only by a year or two.
7. Columbus Blue Jackets – Selected: Jakub Voracek
Re-Pick: Kevin Shattenkirk (COL / 14th)
With Voracek off the board, Shattenkirk fills an obvious hole in Columbus as their number one defenceman. For years they struggled with an average defensive group, Shattenkirk helps there.
8. Boston Bruins – Selected: Zach Hamill
Re-Pick: Wayne Simmonds (LA / 61st)
Not only does Simmonds play match what current management is trying to achieve, he’s also one of the most uniquely valuable players in the league given what he brings to the table.
9. San Jose Sharks – Selected: Logan Couture
Re-Pick: Logan Couture
He’s fit into their system quite well, and though he likely won’t ever be considered an elite playmaker, he’s efficient at his role.
10. Florida Panthers – Selected: Keaton Ellerby
Re-Pick: Jake Muzzin (PIT / 141st)
The Cats have struggled to find consistency with their defense, and Muzzin brings a lot of tools that would really stabilize the blue line. Muzzin-Ekblad would be a nice pair.
11. Carolina Hurricanes – Selected: Brandon Sutter
Re-Pick: Kyle Turris (ARZ / 3rd)
In a mix with the two Staals, Carolina would have had one of the deepest center corps in the east and would have had an easy replacement following Eric’s trade to New York.
12. Montreal Canadiens – Selected: Ryan McDonagh
Re-Pick: James Van Riemsdyk (PHI / 2nd)
Having their original pick in McDonagh would be ideal for their team today, JVR brings a Pacioretty-like game to the Habs.
13. St. Louis Blues – Selected: Lars Eller
Re-Pick: Karl Alzner (WSH / 5th)
Alzner’s defensive two-way game would have made him an easy fit in the Blues system, especially now next to one of Pietrangelo or Parayko.
14. Colorado Avalanche – Selected: Kevin Shattenkirk
Re-Pick: Nick Bonino (SJ / 173rd)
Though the reason many recognize Bonino because he was part of the HBK line, his hard nosed two-way play and ability to occasionally chip in offensively would help in the West.
15. Edmonton Oilers – Selected: Alex Plante
Re-Pick: Brandon Sutter (CAR / 11th)
The fact that the Oilers would be considered likely final four (maybe top eight) candidates with the added center depth Sutter brings makes this an easy pick.
16. Minnesota Wild – Selected: Colton Gillies
Re-Pick: David Perron (STL / 26th)
Adds some scoring to the top six, and depth on the wing was missing from Minny for quite a while. He’s a player that leaves you wanting more but still, brings some good tools.
17. New York Rangers – Selected: Alexei Cherepanov
Re-Pick: Carl Hagelin (NYR / 168th)
They nailed the pick, only in round six instead of round one. Hagelin’s speed and puck skills allow him to be a consistent offensive threat, glad he’s found success in Pittsburgh.
18. St. Louis Blues – Selected: Ian Cole
Re-Pick: Alex Killorn (TB / 77th)
Killorn gives just about any team in the league a boost in the 3C spot as he’s proven to be a scoring two-way center who can be relied upon in a number of situations.
19. Anaheim Ducks – Selected: Logan MacMillan
Re-Pick: Carl Gunnarsson (TOR / 194th)
There are few defenceman in the league who play a consistent defensive defenceman style, but Gunnarsson has managed to be effective in that role for more than a few years.
20. Pittsburgh Penguins – Selected: Angelo Esposito
Re-Pick: Sam Gagner (EDM / 6th)
If Gagner could have instant, sustained success anywhere, it likely would have been on the right side next to Crosby. He’s proven he can put up points, now carving out a depth role in CBJ.
21. Edmonton Oilers – Selected: Riley Nash
Re-Pick: Justin Braun (SJ / 201st)
Braun is one of the more under appreciated defenders in the league and has proven to be a consistent two-way defenceman for the Sharks. The fact he’s a righty helps the current Oilers quite a bit.
22. Montreal Canadiens – Selected: Max Pacioretty
Re-Pick: Alec Martinez (LA / 95th)
So Montreal gets ripped off in the re-draft, BUT Martinez addresses an area where the Habs weren’t overly strong at for a number of years. If that makes up for losing Subban, McDonagh, and Pacioretty…
23. Nashville Predators – Selected: Jon Blum
Re-Pick: Mikael Backlund (CGY / 24th)
They had a chance to take him at the time, and he would have looked good in a Preds jersey. Backlund is a decent offensive two-way player who fills a 3C role and can step into the 2 hole with injuries.
24. Calgary Flames – Selected: Mikael Backlund
Re-Pick: Lars Eller (STL / 13th)
Eller has had an alright NHL career and has been leaned upon to be a consistent defensive third line player. Replaces the loss of Backlund quite easily.
25. Vancouver Canucks – Selected: Patrick White
Re-Pick: Scott Darling (ARZ / 153rd)
This pick is primarily based on value, and the fact that seeing another goalie added to the Luongo/Schneider saga would have been added comedy.
26. St. Louis Blues – Selected: David Perron
Re-Pick: Brendan Smith (DET / 27th)
Smith doesn’t “bolster” their defence, but he makes them much more competitive in what would likely have been a number five spot. He’s a decent number four NHL defenceman.
27. Detroit Red Wings – Selected: Brendan Smith
Re-Pick: Thomas Hickey (LA / 4th)
Would have been interesting to see what Detroit could have done for the development of Hickey, who is now showing he’s a fairly reliable two-way defender.
28. San Jose Sharks- Selected: Nick Petrecki
Re-Pick: Patrick Maroon
Though he never fully hit his stride until he was on McDavid’s wing, Maroon next to a guy like Joe Thornton might have been too powerful a duo for even Western conference teams to stop.
29. Ottawa Senators – Selected: Jim O’Brien
Re-Pick: Ian Cole (STL / 18th)
Cole has really carved out a role in Pittsburgh, providing a (somewhat) consistent two-way game, currently playing in the number five spot.
30. Arizona Coyotes – Selected: Nick Ross
Re-Pick: Dwight King (LA / 109th)
King has proven to be a strong bottom six player in LA, and clearly, has value on the open market.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to let me know who you would have taken in this draft and why. The top five was loaded with high-end players, so I’m sure the Benn vs. Subban debate will be heated!