Was the 2003 NHL Draft the best draft class in the last twenty years?

Every once and awhile I will dig back into the NHL and pick some random topic to write about. Anyways, this was a topic on the Spittin Chiclets podcast today. They talked about it briefly but after looking at this draft class. Was it the best or were their better?

2003 Draft Class 

Taking a look at the first two rounds of the 2003 NHL draft and the 68 picks players taken. Names like Marc Andre Fleury (1), Eric Staal (2), Ryan Suter (7), Dion Phaneuf (9) Jeff Carter (11), Dustin Brown (13), Brent Seabrook (14), Zach Praise (17), Ryan Getzlaf (19), Brent Burns (20), Ryan Kesler (23), Brian Boyle (26), Corey Perry (28), Patrick Eaves (29), Patrice Bergeron (45), Shea Weber (49), Corey Crawford (52) David Backes (62), Jimmy Howard (64). We get the picture right?

Before we get started, to think the first round went by without Patrice Bergeron being drafted and players like Brain Boyle got chosen over him. What a mistake by the 44 picks before that turned their head on this guy.

Anyways, looking at some of these names like Ryan Suter who has played in 1004 NHL games with 505 points, Dion Phaneuf has played in 994 games with 488 points, Jeff carter who has played in 917 games with 681 points, Seabrook who has played in 1019 games with 627 points, Burns who played in 975 games with 631 points, Getzlaf who has played in 926 games with 776 points, Perry with 957 games and 766 points. Patrice Bergeron has 976 games and 753 points, finally Shea Weber 867 games and 501 points.

But was this class the best class in the last twenty years? Looking at these names I have above and a few missing out, all of them have went on to play great careers, borderline hall-of-fame careers. Of the 19 players listed above, if I am not mistaking 9 of them have won the Stanley Cup and on top of that they have all played in 800+ games and all have 500+ career points. This draft class was one of the more remarkable draft classes, but let’s take a look at the 2008 draft class.

2008 NHL Draft Class
2008 NHL Draft started with Steven Stamkos (TBL), Drew Doughty (LAK) and Zach Bogosian (ATL)

2008 Draft Class 

2008 was a year to remember for the NHL, the Atlanta Thrashers were still a franchise! This was a special draft and consisted of some good players that are still playing today. Taking a look at some notable names, the first round started with Steven Stamkos (1), Drew Doughty (2), Zach Bogosian (3), Alex Pietrangelo (4), Josh Bailey (9), Tyler Myers (12), Erik Karlsson (15), Jake Gardiner (17), Jordan Eberle (22), John Carlson (27), Roman Josi (38), Derek Stepan (51).

The above names are familiar but do they hold the same value as the players in the 2003 draft class? Perhaps, Karlsson, Stamkos, Doughty, Josi, Carlson have had great careers but it seems the 2003 draft class has the edge here. What about the 2009 draft class though?

2009 Draft Class

2009 consisted of four studs right out the gate and one of the players who recently left the team that drafted him went first overall that year. It started with the Islanders Jesus and Savior at the time John Tavares (1), Victor Hedman (2), Matt Duchene (3), Evander Kane (4), pretty solid top four! After those four, some other notable players were Nazem Kadri (7), Ryan Ellis (11), Nick Leddy (16), Chris Kreider (19), Kyle Palmieri (26), Ryan O’Reilly (33), Jakob Silvferberg (39), Richard Panik (52), Tomas Tartar (60), Tyson Barrie (64), Reilly Smith (69).

While this draft seemed to be pretty deep it was not as deep as Patrice Bergeron going 45th overall. The 2009 draft class maybe ranks up with the 2003 but at the end of the day the 2003 draft class does have six years on the 2009 draft and five on the 2008 draft class. Either way though, I may have to go with 2003 draft class as best one in the last twenty years.

 

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