NHL.com will take a look back at the NHL Draft from five, 10 and 20 years ago this week, leading up to the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. How would those drafts look today?
It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since the 2004 NHL Draft gave us three of the best players in the game today.
There was a bit of a delay for the elite crop selected that year in Raleigh, N.C. Players had to wait to make their NHL debut due to the lockout that cancelled the 2004-05 season.
The 2004 draft saw history made when Russian players were selected with the first two picks, the only time that's happened. It marked the final year the draft went longer than seven rounds; it went nine, and there was talent throughout.
Those first two players have gone on to have careers some members of the Hockey Hall of Fame would envy, and the best could be yet to come, with neither close to his 30th birthday.
Not every pick reached that level of stardom. So with 10 years of hindsight, how would that draft go if the players were made available today?
Note: Players listed with current team (pick number in parentheses).
Two Art Ross trophies, a Hart Trophy, a Conn Smythe, and a Stanley Cup give him the slight edge for No. 1.
Greatest goal-scorer of his generation; has sixth-best goal-per-game average of all-time.
Two-time Vezina Trophy finalist was steal in eighth round.
Few players have raised their play more in the postseason. Has been playoff scoring champion twice in the past four years, including Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup win.
One of best net-front players in League; key to Red Wings' 2008 Stanley Cup.
Fourth-round pick was consistent 20-goal scorer and captain for New York Rangers prior to trade.
Two-time Stanley Cup champion; at least 23 goals in three of four seasons with Thrashers/Jets.
Consistent top-line center played at least 80 games six times; double-figure goals six times in eight seasons.
Part of two Stanley Cup winners with Chicago Blackhawks; scored Cup-winning goal in 2013.
Power forward emerging as consistent scorer; career-best 28 goals this season, earned spot on U.S. Olympic team.
Key part of Blackhawks' 2010 Stanley Cup win; had career bests of 25 goals, 43 points this season.
One of better puck-possession players in League; three-time 20-goal scorer was drafted by Canadiens.
Power forward emerged during Blackhawks' 2013 Stanley Cup win.
One of seven defensemen in League history to score 30 goals in season; injures have slowed him.
Didn't arrive in NHL until he was 28, after draft by Canadiens; durable, productive offensive defenseman for past 10 seasons.
Stayed nine seasons in Sweden after drafted by St. Louis Blues; arrived in Boston last season and made easy adjustment to NHL.
Two-time 20-goal scorer a grinding, defensive-minded agitator who was drafted by Rangers.
Productive offensive defenseman has struggled along with Canucks past two seasons.
Tough, physical defenseman always among team leaders in blocked shots, hits.
Led Stars defensemen in points in each of three full seasons. Drafted by Penguins.
Had 31-goal season in 2010-11, hasn't been close since; 16 goals for Sabres last season could be start of comeback.
Scored 20 goals three times for Florida Panthers but hasn't with Canucks; new coach or new team could get him back on track.
Solid contributor when healthy, but hasn't been much of past few seasons. Drafted by Senators.
Supporting offensive performer gets lost behind strong cast. Drafted by Penguins.
Supplanted Cam Ward as starter with Hurricanes; fifth-best save percentage in League this season. Drafted by Wild.
Made mark as speedy, solid penalty killer and defensive-minded forward. Drafted by Rangers.
Trade from Buffalo Sabres meant upgrade in ice time, rewarded Carolina with production.
Shot-blocking machine had career-best 14 points this season. Drafted by Stars.
Used speed, versatility for solid NHL career; won Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010. Drafted by Bruins.
Missing first-round picks: Cam Barker (3), Al Montoya (6), Rostislav Olesz (7), Alexandre Picard (8), Ladislav Smid (9), Boris Valabik (10), Lauri Tukonen (11), A.J. Thelen (12), Devan Dubnyk (14), Alexander Radulov (15), Petteri Nokelainen (16), Marek Schwarz (17), Kyle Chipchura (18), Wojtek Wolski (21), Lukas Kaspar (22), Kris Chucko (24), Rob Schremp (25), Jeff Schultz (27), Mark Fistric (28), Andy Rogers (30)
Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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