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NHL Draft

2006 NHL Redraft: Marchand, Lucic make big leaps

Forwards each enter first round; Toews jumps to No. 1, followed by Giroux

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

With the 2019-20 NHL season on pause due to the concerns surrounding the coronavirus, NHL.com will reimagine one NHL Draft each week. Today, we look back at the 2006 NHL Draft, which was held at General Motors Place in Vancouver on June 24, 2006.

It's hard to imagine Jonathan Toews wearing anything but a Chicago Blackhawks jersey.

In his 13 NHL seasons, the Blackhawks captain has won three Stanley Cup championships (2010, 2013, 2015) and been voted winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (2010) and the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL (2012-13). Toews has 815 points (345 goals, 470 assists) in 943 regular-season games and 110 points (40 goals, 70 assists) in 128 Stanley Cup Playoffs games, and he was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players during the League's Centennial celebration in 2017.

 

[RELATED: 2005 NHL Redraft]

 

Now picture him doing that for the rival St. Louis Blues.

Toews was selected No. 3 by the Blackhawks in the 2006 NHL Draft, but with 14 years of hindsight, our NHL.com panel has him going with the No. 1 pick to the Blues. Though he jumps just two spots, the biggest leap in this redraft was Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand, who was selected by Boston in the third round (No. 71) but goes No. 5 here.

Who else would move up? Who would drop? Thirty NHL.com staffers, using the draft order and class from 2006, and selected in random order, have answered those questions. Here are the results. For reference, here is how the original draft went.

1. Jonathan Toews, C, St. Louis Blues (originally selected No. 3 by Chicago Blackhawks) -- What's the goal of this or any other draft? To build a winner. So there is no other choice at No. 1 than Toews, who has three Stanley Cup championships. Toews has been productive throughout his NHL career, beginning as a rookie in 2007-08 with the first of 12 consecutive seasons with at least 20 goals. He had 54 points (24 goals, 30 assists) in 64 games his first season and has had fewer than that just once in a full NHL season (52 points in 2017-18). Toews has been captain of the Blackhawks since he was 20 and belongs at the top of this draft. Leaders lead. -- Tim Campbell, staff writer

Video: CHI@OTT: Toews rifles wrist shot for OT winner

2. Claude Giroux, C, Pittsburgh Penguins (No. 22 by Philadelphia Flyers) -- There were several great options here -- with Marchand, Nicklas Backstrom and Phil Kessel in the mix -- but Giroux was the pick as much for his versatility as his skill. Giroux, who is tied with Toews for third in the 2006 draft class with 815 points and is fourth with 257 goals, could give the Penguins a dominant one-two-three punch at center with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, or he could be a perfect fit playing with either on the wing. No matter his position, Giroux would play in all critical situations for the Penguins, as he has with the Flyers; 5-on-5, power play, penalty kill and in the face-off circle, where he's won 55.2 percent of his face-offs in the NHL. Being a respected leader on and off the ice only adds to his value. -- Jim Cerny, senior editor

3. Nicklas Backstrom, C, Chicago Blackhawks (No. 4 by Washington Capitals) -- I debated between Backstrom and Marchand here, but the prospect of getting a franchise center whose career could one day be worthy of Hockey Hall of Fame consideration was too enticing to pass up. Backstrom, who leads the 2006 draft class with 917 points, is fourth among active players in assists with 684. He's the seventh Sweden-born player to reach 900 NHL points, joining Mats Sundin (1,349), Daniel Alfredsson (1,157), Nicklas Lidstrom (1,142), Henrik Sedin (1,070), Daniel Sedin (1,041) and Henrik Zetterberg (960). Backstrom has at least 50 assists in nine of his 13 NHL seasons, won the Stanley Cup in 2018, and is one of the most underrated players of this generation. -- Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

4. Phil Kessel, RW, Washington Capitals (No. 5 by Boston Bruins) -- With Alex Ovechkin's real-life running mate Backstrom off the board, Marchand would be an interesting pick here, but not the fun one. The prospect of adding Kessel's scoring ability to the Capitals, who already had Ovechkin from the 2004 NHL Draft, was too good to pass up. Throw any center you want out there between those two, and watch the offensive fireworks. Kessel has the most goals of anyone in the 2006 draft class (371) and is second in points (861). And don't forget, "Phil Kessel is a Stanley Cup champion." -- Dan O'Leary, staff writer

5. Brad Marchand, LW, Boston Bruins (No. 71 by Bruins) -- I'm not going to let this talented annoyance sit out there any longer. Marchand is the guy every fan loathes unless he's on their team, a player fashioned in some ways from the cloth left over from the Bruins jerseys of Terry O'Reilly and Stan Jonathan. He can score (290 goals), set up others (356 assists), mix it up to the delight of Boston fans (756 penalty minutes), and serve as a constant thorn in the opponent's side. There's not a better fit in this draft for Boston than Marchand, coming to a market that loves its silky players but also adores the sandpaper that he has in abundance. -- Dave Stubbs, columnist

Video: BOS@TBL: Marchand deflects puck home with skate

6. Milan Lucic, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets (No. 50 by Bruins) -- Sure, the returns the past few years have not been ideal, but let's not forget the force Lucic was for the first eight seasons of his career while playing in Boston. A big, bruising forward, Lucic (6-foot-3, 231 pounds) had at least 42 points in seven of his first nine full NHL seasons, including his only with the Los Angeles Kings and his first with the Edmonton Oilers. He scored an NHL career-high 30 goals in 2010-11, when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, and played an integral role in their punishing forechecking style. Lucic has 70 points (28 goals, 42 assists) in 114 playoff games, showing a propensity to succeed on the biggest stages. -- Shawn P. Roarke, Senior Director of Editorial

7. Jordan Staal, C, New York Islanders (No. 2 by Pittsburgh Penguins) -- As tempting as it is to give the Islanders their current No. 1 goalie, Semyon Varlamov, Staal is the pick. He has 537 points (225 goals, 312 assists) in 961 games and has had at least 40 points in eight of his 14 NHL seasons. Staal also brings shut-down defense (plus-41 rating in NHL career) and leadership, serving as captain or alternate captain with Pittsburgh, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2009, and the Carolina Hurricanes. -- William Douglas, staff writer

8. Semyon Varlamov, G, Phoenix Coyotes (No. 23 by Washington Capitals) -- Getting Varlamov as the last line of defense is the way to go here. Varlamov is 232-183-56 with a 2.67 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 493 NHL games. Add him to what the Coyotes already had in the mix with forward Shane Doan and defenseman Ed Jovanovski and on the way with center Martin Hanzal (No. 17 pick in 2005 NHL Draft) and defenseman Keith Yandle (No. 105 pick in 2005 NHL Draft), and Varlamov would've shored things up in net for seasons to come. -- Tracey Myers, staff writer

9. Nick Foligno, LW, Minnesota Wild (No. 28 by Ottawa Senators) -- The Wild, then coached by Jacques Lemaire, were a team that was built around hard work and accountability in all zones. Foligno would have been a perfect fit for them with his intensity, physicality, leadership and often underrated offensive skills. His 196 goals are tied for ninth in the 2006 draft class, and he is the only forward from the class with at least 1,500 hits (1,921), 700 penalty minutes (737), 1,500 shots on goal (1679) and 500 blocked shots (507). -- Sebastien Deschambault, managing editor, LNH.com

10. Erik Johnson, D, Florida Panthers (No. 1 by St. Louis Blues) -- Someone had to be the first team to select a defenseman, and the Panthers made perfect sense because putting Johnson, a righty, with Jay Bouwmeester, a lefty, would form an elite shut-down pair. Johnson's 303 points and 0.39 points-per-game average are the most among defensemen in the 2006 draft class. Johnson has been a force on the power play and penalty kill, and despite averaging 60 games per season over his 13 NHL seasons, all with the Colorado Avalanche, his 1,351 blocked shots are the most in his draft class, and his 22:06 of ice time per game is second behind Jeff Petry (22:12). -- Matt Cubeta, Editor-in-Chief, NHL.com International

11. Bryan Little, C, Los Angeles Kings (No. 12 by Atlanta Thrashers) -- This was a tough call between Little and Kyle Okposo. Little, who can play both center and wing, would help the Kings, who had two wings score more than 28 points the previous season (Michael Cammalleri, 55, and Alex Frolov, 54). Little gets the nod for his versatility, with 146 of his 521 NHL points on special teams. He scored 31 goals in his first full NHL season with Atlanta (2008-09) and has averaged 0.64 points per game for the Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets beginning with that season. -- Frank Giase, staff writer

12. Jeff Petry, D, Atlanta Thrashers (No. 45 by Edmonton Oilers) -- Okposo was also an interesting option for this pick, but a quick glance at the Thrashers lineup shows that their needs were mainly at defenseman at the time. Atlanta already had three big offensive weapons, Marian Hossa, Vyacheslav Kozlov and Ilya Kovalchuk. Petry would have made this attack even more dynamic thanks to his offensive skills and ability to drive the power play. -- Guillaume Lepage, staff writer, LNH.com

Video: MTL@NYI: Petry buries wrist shot through traffic

13. Kyle Okposo, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs (No. 7 by New York Islanders) -- Lepage's loss was my gain, particularly since Okposo could provide the Maple Leafs with some needed depth scoring on the wing. When healthy, Okposo possesses the skill and power to create offense; the right-hand shot is a three-time 20-goal scorer. He is fifth in power-play points (162) and ranks in the top 10 in goals (196), points (506), overtime goals (seven) and takeaways (479) among players drafted in 2006. He can scale a lineup and play with the best of them; Okposo was a key setup man for John Tavares for nine seasons with the Islanders, when he had 230 assists and 369 points in 529 games from 2007-16. -- Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

14. Derick Brassard, C, Vancouver Canucks (No. 6 by Columbus Blue Jackets) -- Though he's never had more than 60 points in a season, and the Canucks had plenty of centers in 2006, Brassard was the best player available here, so I took him. His best three-season stretch to this point was from 2013-16 with the New York Rangers when he had 45, 60 and 58 points. Brassard is 10th in points with 483 (186 goals, 297 assists), eighth in points per game (0.57) and fifth in playoff games (99) among the 2006 draft class. -- Bill Price, Editor-in-Chief

15. Artem Anisimov, C, Tampa Bay Lightning (No. 54 by New York Rangers) -- You can't have enough solid two-way centers, which is why I jumped at the chance to select Anisimov, who has reached double digits in goals 10 times in the NHL and is a four-time 20-goal scorer. Twelve players have more points than Anisimov (367) from his draft class, but he's played fewer games (752) than all but Marchand (751) in that group. Anisimov had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 20 playoff games in 2012, when the Rangers fell one win shy of the Stanley Cup Final. -- Brian Compton, deputy managing editor

16. Michael Grabner, RW, San Jose Sharks (No. 14 by Vancouver Canucks) -- One thing the Sharks didn't lack was offensive firepower (3.23 goals per game in 2005-06, seventh in NHL), so a solid defensive forward is the pick here. Grabner did score 34 goals in his rookie season with the Islanders in 2010-11 and has four seasons with at least 20 goals, but what sets him apart are his 22 shorthanded goals since the 2010-11 season, second most in the NHL in that span behind Marchand (27). He can play on the power play if needed and is very disciplined, having never had more than 16 penalty minutes in a season. -- David Satriano, staff writer

17. Leo Komarov, RW, Los Angeles Kings (No. 180 by Toronto Maple Leafs) -- The Kings needed help killing penalties after they finished last in the NHL in 2005-06 (78.7 percent). It's where Komarov has made a major impact, beginning when he helped the Maple Leafs jump from 28th (77.3 percent) in 2011-12 to second (87.9 percent) in the 48-game 2012-13 season and reach the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. He joined the Islanders in 2018-19, and they killed 79.9 percent of their penalties (tied for 16th) compared to 73.2 percent (last) the season prior. Komarov can play all three forward positions, a valuable commodity to have in the bottom six. -- Jon Lane, staff writer

18. Mathieu Perreault, LW, Colorado Avalanche (No. 177 by Washington Capitals) -- Perreault would fit perfectly into the Avalanche's high-octane offense. He's a versatile forward who can play on either wing or at center, and he's a high-percentage goal-scorer with a shooting percentage of 13.1 percent for his NHL career, including 15.8 percent last season, when he had 15 goals on 95 shots. He has come close to being a 20-goal scorer on multiple occasions, topping out at 18 in 2014-15 and hitting 17 as recently as 2017-18. Perreault has proven valuable on the power play, averaging five goals and 14 points there from 2014-18. His 324 points are 15th among players drafted in 2006. -- Dan Rosen, senior writer

Video: VGK@WPG: Perreault swats puck home on power play

19. Michael Frolik, RW, Anaheim Ducks (No. 10 by Florida Panthers) -- On the way to winning their only Stanley Cup title in 2006-07, the Ducks have plenty of offense with Teemu Selanne, Andy McDonald and Chris Kunitz, as well as Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger anchoring the defensemen, so Frolik is the choice here to solidify the bottom six and offer a threat on the penalty kill. Over the past six seasons, 13 of his 83 goals have been shorthanded (15.7 percent), and he has scored at least two shorthanded goals in each of those seasons. The fact that Frolik's 384 points (159 goals, 225 assists) are 12th among players selected in the 2006 draft make him a good value in this spot. -- Barry Rubinstein, manager, assignments

20. Patrik Berglund, C, Montreal Canadiens (No. 25 by St. Louis Blues) -- Berglund provides value here. In the 2006 draft class, he ranks 16th in games (717), 14th in goals (170), 18th in assists (156) and 14th in points (326). He stands out on special teams, ranking 11th in power-play goals (39) and tied for 12th in shorthanded goals (five). Berglund also ranks 12th in game-winning goals (28). At 6-4, 215 pounds, he also addresses one of the Canadiens' oft-cited shortcomings: size up front. -- Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

21. Chris Stewart, RW, New York Rangers (No. 18 by Colorado Avalanche) -- Although there are some goalies still on the board, that's the last thing the Rangers needed, given that Henrik Lundqvist was just settling in after his rookie season. So the Rangers would opt for Stewart, the physical forward who has played for seven teams over 11 NHL seasons. His 322 points (160 goals, 162 assists) rank 16th among players drafted in 2006, and he had two 28-goal seasons early in his career, which could have helped a then-middling Rangers offense. -- Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

22. Steve Mason, G, Philadelphia Flyers (No. 69 by Columbus Blue Jackets) -- Searching for a future No. 1 goalie, the Flyers are pleased to select Mason, who was voted winner of the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year for 2008-09 after he had an NHL-leading 10 shutouts. His 2.29 GAA in his first season was second among NHL goalies to play at least 30 games (Tim Thomas, Bruins, 2.10). Mason's 205 wins from 2008-18 rank 19th in the NHL. Acquired by the Flyers in a trade from the Blue Jackets on April 3, 2013, he could have provided Philadelphia with more consistent goaltending much sooner. -- Rob Reese, fantasy editor

23. Jonathan Bernier, G, Washington Capitals (No. 11 by Los Angeles Kings) -- The Capitals addressed scoring with the fourth pick, so they would use this spot in the goalie-deep draft to find the heir apparent to stalwart Olaf Kolzig. Bernier, the top-ranked goalie prospect entering the 2006 draft, would fit the bill. His 370 games are third most among goalies in the 2006 class (Varlamov, 493; Mason, 476), and his .912 save percentage ranks third. -- Pat Pickens, staff writer

24. James Reimer, G, Buffalo Sabres (No. 99 by Toronto Maple Leafs) -- The Sabres had Ryan Miller firmly established as their No. 1, but it can never hurt to have goaltending depth, and for that reason, I'm selecting Reimer. Although he has never had the opportunity to be a consistent No. 1, outside of the shortened 2012-13 season with the Maple Leafs, when he went 19-8-5 with a 2.46 GAA and .924 save percentage, Reimer has been fairly solid everywhere he's played and has shown no signs of slowing down with the Hurricanes this season at the age of 32. Among goalies in the 2006 draft, Reimer ranks third in wins (158) behind Varlamov and Mason, and he is second in save percentage (.914) behind Varlamov (.915), making him a great addition for Buffalo this late in the round. -- Brett Amadon, staff writer

25. Cal Clutterbuck, RW, St. Louis Blues (No. 72 by Minnesota Wild) -- The Blues gave up the third-most goals in the NHL in 2005-06 (284), so after picking up Toews with the first pick, acquiring a gritty defensive forward seems to be a good call here. Clutterbuck has spent much of his career on the fourth line with the Wild and Islanders, but as New York coach Barry Trotz will tell you, Clutterbuck is far from your average fourth-liner. Known for his persistence and his work ethic, Clutterbuck leads players selected in the 2006 draft in hits (3,142) and ranks fifth in shorthanded points (22). -- John Ciolfi, senior producer, LNH.com

26. Nikolay Kulemin, RW, Calgary Flames (No. 44 by Toronto Maple Leafs) -- The Flames needed offense after finishing first in the Northwest Division but losing to the Ducks in the 2006 Western Conference Quarterfinals. The pickings were getting slim at this stage, but Kulemin, a 20-year-old left wing, had showed promise with Magnitogorsk in the Russian Super League (the predecessor of the Kontinental Hockey League). He scored a goal in his first NHL game, finished with 15 as a rookie, 16 in his second season, and then had 30 in 2010-11. He's 18th in the 2006 draft class in goals (121) and 19th in points (274). Kulemin also became a solid defensive player and penalty-killer during 10 seasons in the NHL. Not a bad addition for this stage of the first round. -- John Kreiser, managing editor

27. Michal Neuvirth, G, Dallas Stars (No. 34 by Washington Capitals) -- Marty Turco was still going strong as the Stars' No. 1 goalie in 2006, but by the 2010-11 season, they would need a replacement. That was when Neuvirth emerged as the No. 1 for Washington (because of injuries to Varlamov), going 27-12-4 with a 2.45 GAA, a .914 save percentage and four shutouts. Injuries probably prevented Neuvirth from reaching his potential, but he went 105-93-26 with a 2.71 GAA, a .910 save percentage and 11 shutouts over 11 NHL seasons with the Capitals, Sabres, Islanders and Flyers before returning to his native Czech Republic this season. -- Tom Gulitti, staff writer

28. Andrew MacDonald, D, Ottawa Senators (No. 160 by New York Islanders) -- At this point, you hope to find a player who had a meaningful NHL career of 500-plus games. MacDonald certainly did in his 11 seasons with the Islanders and Flyers, playing in 586 games and ranking third in points (161) among defensemen selected in the 2006 draft. The 2006-07 Senators were a 105-point team loaded with talent, including four 35-plus point scoring defensemen. But by 2009-10, when MacDonald finally cracked the League, there would've been plenty of opportunities for him in Ottawa. -- Paul Strizhevsky, columnist, NHL.com/ru

29. Trevor Lewis, C, Phoenix Coyotes (No. 17 by Los Angeles Kings) -- Considering Lewis was drafted 12 picks higher in reality and won the Stanley Cup twice with the Kings (2012, 2014), he would have been a great pick this late. His 163 points (70 goals, 93 assists) in 674 regular-season games may not jump off the score sheet, but his longevity and versatility would have been invaluable to the Coyotes. Lewis has played all 12 of his NHL seasons with the Kings and ranks among the best centers from his class in shorthanded goals (six; sixth), hits (1,239; second) and blocked shots (280; eighth). -- Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor

Video: OTT@LAK: Lewis buries own rebound from the doorstep

30. Viktor Stalberg, LW, New Jersey Devils (No. 161 by Toronto Maple Leafs) -- Much like Jensen's pick, I put a lot of weight on Stanley Cup championships, and Stalberg was a solid depth player for the Blackhawks when they won the Cup in 2013. In 2012-13, he averaged 11:53 of even-strength ice time in 47 games but was on the ice for 26 even-strength goals, more than Patrick Sharp, Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell, who each had a more prominent role on that team, and his plus-17 even-strength goal differential was tied for fourth. Stalberg had three assists in 19 playoff games, and although he hasn't played in the NHL since 2017, he's 23rd among forwards selected in the 2006 draft in goals (82) and points (168). -- Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor

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