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?
Heading into the 2008-09 season, there was little doubt center John Tavares was the best player available in the 2009 NHL Draft. Five years later, there's little question he's the best player from that talented group.
A few of the other forwards have made an impact, with more ready to as soon as next season, and some impressive defensemen have the look of budding stars.
Every player picked at the 2009 draft is at a different level of development. But with five 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).
Already among top players in League and looks to be improving.
After two down seasons rebounded in major way under new coach.
Breakout in 2013-14 has him set as long-term defensive cornerstone.
Played mostly on wing this season and set career highs in goals, assists and points; one minor penalty all season.
Offensive-minded defenseman getting stronger, better; 15 goals in 2013-14 fifth among NHL defensemen.
After minor-league wake-up call, had strong regular season and was solid in 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After injuries to Detroit veterans in 2013-14, scored 19 goals to earn full-time spot among top six next season.
Hasn't gotten back to 30-goal level of two seasons ago but brings rare blend of size and skating.
Surprise on Bruins' opening-day roster scored 20 goals and played all 82 games, then had four goals in 12 playoff games. Drafted by Stars.
Outstanding second half of 2013-14 was cut short by knee injury during playoffs.
Played 82 games for first time in 2013-14, led to first 20-goal season. Drafted by Kings.
Not as consistent in 2013-14 but provides offensive depth. Drafted by Wild.
Continued to improve with first 20-goal season in 2013-14.
Offensive skills will keep him part of young defense group.
Looking to match numbers from 2011-12 season, has skills to surpass.
Speedy fourth-line center, top penalty-killer given chances to play higher in lineup.
Second-line scoring option behind big guns. Drafted by Capitals.
Averaged more than 20 minutes per game past four seasons; career-best eight goals in 2013-14.
Raised offensive totals each of four seasons; with Teemu Selanne's retirement could see more ice time.
Powerful forward key part of fourth line, has talent to play higher in lineup if needed.
Speedy defenseman getting used to North American game; in five years could be higher on list.
In 60 games this season, finished in top five among rookie defensemen in goals, points.
Talent obvious but health has been issue going back to draft season.
Solid backup to Craig Anderson; 23 next month, going into fifth season could get more playing time.
Fourth-line forward had four goals in 13 playoff games this season.
Nine goals in first 10 NHL games; 13 goals, 35 points in 2013-14 nice foundation.
Power forward has size, talent to be strong net-front presence.
Third-pair defenseman who sees power-play time; strong skater developing game. Drafted by Blue Jackets.
Missing first-round picks: Scott Glennie (8), Jared Cowen (9), Magnus Paajarvi (10), Zack Kassian (13), Peter Holland (15), David Rundblad (17), Louis Leblanc (18), Jacob Josefson (20), Jordan Schroeder (22), Tim Erixon (23), Jordan Caron (25), Philippe Paradis (27), Dylan Olsen (28), Carter Ashton (29), Simon Despres (30)
Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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