Right around the middle of the season, I love looking back at one-year drafts and seeing who went where. There are always players who fall much further than they should and the more you can snag, the better your team will perform. Since many draft rankings are based on the prior year's performance, it's easy to lose names in the draft day madness. Here are some Eastern Conference picks that might be ranked lower than they should.
David Krejci – Center – Boston
With Marc Savard's career likely over, Krejci will assume the top line duties in Beantown. Although his 62 regular season points tied for the team lead in scoring, his 23 postseason points in 25 games also led Boston. Last year, Krejci's shooting percentage (8.3) was his lowest since his rookie season.
Rich Peverley – Center/Right Wing – Boston
With the move to Boston, Peverley struggled to replicate the offensive touch he found in Atlanta. With the departure of Mark Recchi though, Peverley's only real competition for a top-six spot is Tyler Seguin. Rich will almost certainly be available as a late-round pick as you search for depth options.
Drew Stafford – Right Wing – Buffalo
Although Stafford scored only 52 points, he did it in an impressive 62 games. That's a 69-point pace, which would have placed him seventh overall in Eastern Conference scoring and 25th overall in the league. Stafford also scored 31 goals in that stretch, prorating to a 41-goal campaign.
Derek Roy – Center – Buffalo
Roy was limited to only 35 games last season, but was scoring at a point-per-game clip, which would have been his second 80+ season of his career. Roy is 28 years old and averaged 73 points over each of the previous three seasons.
Marc-Andre Gragnani – Defense – Buffalo
It's not likely that Gragnani's three points in nine games last season have him ranked very high on draft day, but his postseason performance was just a hint of what he's capable of. Gragnani was a first team AHL All-Star last year, while capturing the Eddie Shore Award (AHL's best defenseman) while leading the league in defensive points (60) and assists (48), despite playing in only 63 games. He would have played more if it were not for the nine-game cup of coffee he received with the Sabres.
Jussi Jokinen – Left Wing – Carolina
Two years ago, Jussi Jokinen reached the 30-goal, 65-point plateau, setting a career high. During that time, he saw the majority of his shifts with Eric Staal, but he also had to fight Erik Cole for ice time. With Cole out of town, Jokinen should see a lift in ice time with or without Staal, and could certainly break the 60-point barrier once again.
Tomas Fleischmann – Left Wing – Florida
Fleischmann's status is still uncertain for the beginning of the year, but if he is healthy enough to play, he should make a great depth winger on your squad. Flash was much more successful while playing left wing last year (21 points in 22 games) than playing center (10 points in 23 games) and it's likely that he will remain playing the wing in Florida.
Mike Santorelli – Center – Florida
Santorelli looked to be the odd man looking in on the Florida roster last year, but despite having only 32 games and three NHL points to his resume, he took hold of the second-line center position and never looked back. On an offensively weak team, Santorelli's 41 points were the second most in Florida, a team has added significantly more talent for the coming year.
Max Pacioretty – Left Wing – Montreal
Fans have been waiting patiently for Pacioretty to arrive and in 2010-11, he was doing just that. Although he was limited to only 37 games, Max scored at a 53-point pace over a full season. He'll be fighting Erik Cole and Andrei Kostitsyn for top-six time, but it should only be a matter of time before he starts producing the way he did last year.
Andrei Markov – Defense – Montreal
Although Andrei Markov's been hit with the injury bug the last couple seasons, he's still a strong offensive defenseman when in the lineup. Last season, Markov was only able to dress for seven games, though he did score three points. If you're not worrie