Wild West: Western Teams Draft History – Part Three of Three
With the break in the NHL, this is as good a time as any to post the final four teams in the West and look back at their draft history from 1999 on.
I've charted each year with the team's point total (blue), the NHL average point total (green), the average number of NHL games the team's draft picks have played in the NHL (brown), and the NHL average games played per pick (yellow).
The Blues are a team that didn't even draft in 1983 because they had a failing ownership group and not many will remember how close they came to moving. With a Stanley Cup last season, the team owes a lot to their drafting success from 2004 forward. The team averaged 7.9 picks per season just a little above average for the league, but pretty good for a mostly successful team. They have been pretty average at the draft since 2011 and this might hurt them a little in a few years, especially on defence.
2003 – 5th round 148th pick – Lee Stempniak (911) – Larry Pleau
2004 – 6th round 180th pick – Roman Polak (806) – Larry Pleau
2005 – 3rd round 85th pick – Ben Bishop (413) – Larry Pleau
2004 – 1st round 17th pick – Marek Schwarz (6) – Larry Pleau
Prior to this season, the Sharks were one of the most consistent teams in the NHL and were above average every year but one from 2003-2004. Knocking their draft picks out of the park in six years without a pick higher than 6th overall after 1998 helped the cause. Because of their success they have only averaged 7.0 picks per year compared to the average of 7.71.
1999 – 8th round 241st pick – Douglas Murray (518) – Dean Lombardi
2003 – 7th round 205th pick – Joe Pavelski (1,030) – Doug Wilson
2005 – 2nd round 35th pick – Marc-Edouard Vlasic (1,035) – Doug Wilson
2007 – 6th round 173rd pick – Nick Bonino (626) – Doug Wilson
2007 – 7th round 201st pick – Justin Braun (669) – Doug Wilson
2008 – 7th round 186th pick – Jason Demers (658) – Doug Wilson
2002 – 1st round 27th pick – Mike Morris (0) – Dean Lombardi
2004 – 1st round 22nd pick – Lukas Kaspar (16) – Doug Wilson
2006 – 1st round 16th pick – Ty Wishart (26) – Doug Wilson
With picking the Sedin twins in 1999 and very good draft years in 2001 and 2004, it helped set the Canucks up for a very successful stretch between 2009 and 2013. What didn't help was below average drafting and giving up picks from 2005 to 2013. The team appears to have righted the ship in 2017 and 2018 with Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes.
1999 – 1ST round 2nd pick – Daniel Sedin (1,306) – Brian Burke
1999 – 1st round 3rd pick – Henrik Sedin (1,330) – Brian Burke
2001 – 5th round 151st pick – Kevin Bieksa (808) – Brian Burke
2003 – 1st round 23rd pick – Ryan Kesler (1,001) – Brian Burke
2004 – 3rd round 91st pick – Alexander Edler (873) – Dave Nonis
2004 – 9th round 287th pick – Jannik Hansen (626) – Dave Nonis
2000 – 1st round 23rd pick – Nathan Smith (26) – Brian Burke
2007 – 1st round 25th pick – Patrick White (0) – Dave Nonis
2013 – 1st round 24th pick – Hunter Shinkaruk (15) – Mike Gillis
Atlanta moved to Winnipeg for the 2012 season, so from 1999 to 2011 the Thrashers made the picks and did not do so well after 2003. Once the team was in Winnipeg they have drafted very well, with only one season below average at this point (2017 is very early yet). It is no coincidence that Kevin Cheveldayoff took over and has made a huge difference albeit with some pretty high picks in the 1st round. But to be fair that is something Don Waddell had in abundance as well prior to 2011, but squandered from 2004 to 2010.
2003 – 8th round 239th pick – Tobias Enstrom (719) – Don Waddell
2012 – 5th round 130th pick – Connor Hellebuyck (270) – Kevin Cheveldayoff
1999 – 1st round 1st pick – Patrick Stefan (455) – Don Waddell
2004 – 1st round 10th pick – Boris Valabik (80) – Don Waddell
2005 – 1st round 16th pick – Alex Bourret (0) – Don Waddell
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