How about right after the 2007 NHL Draft ended.
[RELATED: How 2008 Draft shaped NHL | Complete NHL Draft coverage]
"We felt that we had to find that center iceman," said Jay Feaster, the Lightning general manager at the time. "We still had (Vincent) Lecavalier, but we had traded (Brad) Richards (at the 2008 NHL Trade Deadline). Having a player that we thought could be a franchise player at that point and having him at that position, we were focused on that very, very early."
The Lightning famously unveiled a multiplatform advertising campaign called "Seen Stamkos?" to introduce the Tampa region to the young center not long after winning the 2008 NHL Draft Lottery.
What Lightning fans have seen in 10 seasons from Stamkos has been an elite goal-scorer who has won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy twice and scored at least 20 goals nine times, including this season, when he finished with 86 points (27 goals, 59 assists).
"[Stamkos] has suffered through catastrophic injuries that has caused him to miss an extended period of time," Feaster, the Lightning's executive director of community hockey development, said in January. "This year he's healthy, and what I've seen this year is how much better he makes other players who play with him. I look at it from the context of [Nikita] Kucherov and Brayden Point. When [Kucherov] is with him, he's lights-out. Then [coach Jon Cooper] changes it up and he puts Point with him and Point lights it up. I think that goes a little under the radar for [Stamkos]. You don't necessarily recognize that. You see his point totals but he's actually making the players that play with him better."
Not every player picked that weekend in Ottawa has reached lofty status. With 10 years of hindsight, how would that draft go if the same players were made available today?
Note: Players listed with teams that drafted them; original draft position in parenthesis
1. Steven Stamkos, C, Tampa Bay Lightning (1)
Stamkos, 28, leads all players from his draft class with 668 points, and his 348 goals are second to Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (444) among all players since the 2008-09 season. Stamkos scored 60 goals in 2011-12, the most by any player in a season since 2007-08.
2. Drew Doughty, D, Los Angeles Kings (2)
Doughty, 28, helped the Kings win the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. He's a Norris Trophy finalist for the fourth time and won the award in 2016. Doughty has played 770 games, the most of any player selected in 2008. His 422 points (102 goals, 320 assists) are second to Erik Karlsson among defensemen in his draft class.
3. Erik Karlsson, D, Ottawa Senators (15)
Karlsson, 28, leads defensemen and is second among all players drafted in 2008 with 518 points (126 goals, 392 assists). He's won the Norris Trophy twice (2012, 2015) and led defensemen in scoring four times. His 82 points in 2015-16 are the most by a defenseman since 1995-96, when Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers had 85 points and Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins had 82.
4. Roman Josi, D, Nashville Predators (38)
Josi, 28, is fourth among 2008 defensemen with 78 goals and fifth with 292 points, and his 0.61 points per game average is second to Karlsson (0.83) among defensemen. Josi is one of two NHL defensemen with at least 12 goals and 40 points in each of the past five seasons; Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks is the other.
5. Braden Holtby, G, Washington Capitals (93)
Holtby, 28, leads goalies drafted in 2008 in wins (225) and shutouts (32). His 188 wins since 2013-14 lead all NHL goalies. He's also been a big-game player; Holtby is fourth with a 2.04 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 82 Stanley Cup Playoff games since 2008-09 (minimum 10 games played). He had a 2.16 GAA and .922 save percentage in 23 games to help the Capitals win the Cup this season.
Video: How Braden Holtby made that big save in Game 2
6. John Carlson, D, Washington Capitals (27)
Carlson, 28, led defensemen in scoring during the regular season (68 points) and playoffs (20 points). He's the third player to do that since the 2001-02 season, along with Nicklas Lidstromof the Detroit Red Wings in 2001-02 and Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012-13. His 333 points (77 goals, 256 assists) are fourth among defensemen drafted in 2008.
7. Alex Pietrangelo, D, St. Louis Blues (4)
Pietrangelo, 28, is third among defensemen drafted in 2008 in goals (80) and points (357). He set personal NHL highs with 15 goals and 54 points this season, and his five game-winning goals tied him for first among all defensemen. He also played in his first NHL All-Star Game this season.
8. Josh Bailey, RW, New York Islanders (9)
Bailey, 28, had NHL career highs in goals (18) and points (71) this season, and he played in the NHL All-Star Game for the first time. His 715 games played are second among players drafted in 2008, and he's sixth with 377 points (124 goals, 253 assists).
9. Jordan Eberle, C, Edmonton Oilers (22)
Eberle, 28, was traded to the Islanders on June 22 and scored 25 goals this season, the fourth time in eight seasons he's scored that many. His 190 goals are second to Stamkos among players picked in 2008, and his 441 points are third behind Stamkos and Karlsson.
10. Cam Atkinson, RW, Columbus Blue Jackets (157)
Atkinson, 29, is third among players drafted in 2008 with 145 goals. He scored 24 goals this season, his fifth straight with at least 20; he's one of 20 NHL players with at least 20 goals in each of the past five seasons. His 35 goals in 2016-17 are the most by a player picked in 2008 not named Stamkos.
11. Adam Henrique, C, New Jersey Devils (82)
Henrique, 28, was third in voting for the Calder Trophy in 2011-12 when he finished third among NHL rookies with 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists), and tied for the NHL lead with four shorthanded goals. He was traded to the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 30 and tied for second on the team with 20 goals in 57 games. He's tied for fourth among players drafted in 2008 with 142 goals, and is first with 14 shorthanded goals.
12. Jake Allen, G, St. Louis Blues (34)
Allen, 27, has won at least 20 games in each of the past four seasons, and has helped the Blues reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs three times. He slumped this season, but from 2014-15 to 2016-17 he was one of six goaltenders with at least 22 wins, a 2.42 GAA and .913 save percentage all three seasons.
13. Derek Stepan, C, New York Rangers (51)
Stepan, who turns 28 on Monday, was traded to the Arizona Coyotes on June 23 after seven seasons with the Rangers. He was second on the Coyotes with 56 points (14 goals, 42 assists), his fifth straight 50-point season. Stepan is one of 22 NHL players, and the only forward from the 2008 draft class, with at least 50 points in each of the past five seasons. His 416 points (142 goals, 274 assists) are fifth among players picked in 2008.
14. Jared Spurgeon, D, New York Islanders (156)
Spurgeon, 28, was drafted by the Islanders in the sixth round but never signed with them. He became an unrestricted free agent after five seasons with Spokane of the Western Hockey League, signed with the Minnesota Wild on Sept. 23, 2010, and became a regular during the 2010-11 season. Spurgeon's 56 goals are seventh among defensemen drafted in 2008, and his 205 points are 10th.
15. Justin Schultz, D, Anaheim Ducks (43)
Schultz, 27, was selected by the Ducks in the second round, but after three seasons at the University of Wisconsin he left college, became an unrestricted free agent and signed with the Oilers on July 1, 2012. He was traded to the Penguins on Feb. 27, 2016, and helped them win the Stanley Cup. Schultz had his best offensive season in the NHL in 2016-17 (51 points; 12 goals, 39 assists) and helped the Penguins win the Cup again.
Video: PIT@PHI, Gm3: Malkin earns milestone on Schultz's PPG
16. Tyler Myers, D, Buffalo Sabres (12)
Myers, 28, won the Calder Trophy in 2010 after finishing third among NHL rookies with 48 points (11 goals, 37 assists). He hasn't scored at that level since, but since being traded to the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 11, 2015, he's become a key shutdown defenseman and played a significant role in the Jets reaching the Western Conference Final this season.
17. Jake Gardiner, D, Anaheim Ducks (17)
Gardiner, 27, was shifted from forward to defenseman in his draft year and did well enough that the Ducks selected him in the first round. He never played for them, though; the Ducks traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 9, 2011. He had an NHL career-best 52 points (five goals, 47 assists) this season, and his 215 points (42 goals, 173 assists) are seventh among defensemen drafted in 2008.
18. Gustav Nyquist, RW, Detroit Red Wings (121)
Nyquist, 28, had at least 40 points for the fifth straight season in 2017-18, and his 21 goals were his most since he scored 27 in 2014-15. His 109 goals are tied for eighth among players picked in 2008.
19. Mikkel Boedker, LW, Arizona Coyotes (8)
Boedker, 28, has provided solid secondary scoring for the Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche and Sharks for 10 seasons. His best season was 2013-14 with the Coyotes, when he had 51 points (19 goals, 32 assists) in 82 games. His 618 games played are sixth among 2008 draft picks, and his 288 points (109 goals, 179 assists) are 11th.
20. Travis Hamonic, D, New York Islanders (53)
Hamonic, 27, has been a solid, physical presence for eight seasons with the Islanders, who selected him in the second round, and the Calgary Flames, who acquired him in a trade June 24. He's seventh in hits (942) and fourth in blocked shots (1,007) among defensemen drafted in 2008.
21. TJ Brodie, D, Calgary Flames (114)
Brodie, 28, had 32 points (four goals, 28 assists) this season, his fifth straight with at least 30 points. He's been a solid top-four defensemen for the past five seasons, and his 213 points (35 goals, 178 assists) are eighth among defensemen picked in 2008.
22. Michael Del Zotto, D, New York Rangers (20)
Del Zotto, 27, was a big point producer early in his NHL career, scoring 21 goals in his first three seasons with the Rangers. His best offensive season since then was 2014-15 with the Philadelphia Flyers when he had 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists). Del Zotto had 22 points (six goals, 16 assists) with the Vancouver Canucks this season. His 211 points (53 goals, 158 assists) are ninth among defensemen in his draft class.
23. Marco Scandella, D, Minnesota Wild (55)
Scandella, 28, was traded to the Sabres on June 30 after seven seasons with the Wild. He was second among Buffalo defensemen with 22 points (five goals, 17 assists), and was the only Sabres defenseman to play 82 games.
24. Luca Sbisa, D, Philadelphia Flyers (19)
Sbisa, 28, made the Flyers the season after being drafted, then was traded to the Ducks on June 26, 2009. He's also played for the Canucks and was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. Injuries limited him to 30 games this season, but he averaged 16:07 in 12 games during the postseason to help Vegas reach the Stanley Cup Final.
25. Zach Bogosian, D, Atlanta Thrashers (3)
Bogosian, 27, has been a solid contributor with the Thrashers, Jets and Sabres when healthy but that's been rare. He's played more than 70 games twice in 10 seasons, and not at all since 2010-11. A hip injury limited him to 18 games this season. His 49 goals are ninth among defensemen picked in 2008.
Video: BUF@MTL: Bogosian hammers OT winner off iron and in
26. Colin Wilson, C, Nashville Predators (7)
Wilson, 28, reached double figures in goals five times in eight seasons with the Predators, including an NHL career-high 20 in 2014-15. He was traded to the Avalanche on July 1 and had 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 56 games this season. His 255 points (101 goals, 154 assists) are ninth among forwards drafted in 2008.
27. Matt Martin, LW, New York Islanders (148)
Martin, 29, has scored 10 goals once, in 2015-16, but he's been among the most physical players in the NHL during his nine seasons with the Islanders and Maple Leafs. He has the three highest single-season hits totals since the stat was first recorded in 2002-03, topped by 382 in 2014-15. His career average of 4.3 hits per game leads all NHL players who've played 300 or more games.
28. Tyler Ennis, LW, Buffalo Sabres (26)
Ennis, 28, scored at least 20 goals three times in five seasons between 2010-11 and 2014-15. Injuries have slowed him the past three seasons, including this season with the Wild, who acquired him in a trade with the Sabres on June 30. His 105 goals are 10th among players drafted in 2008.
29. Zack Smith, LW, Ottawa Senators (79)
Smith, 30, was two months shy of his 20th birthday when the Senators selected him in the third round in 2008. He became an NHL regular in 2011-12, and had his best offensive season in 2016 with 36 points (25 goals, 11 assists).
30. Jason Demers, D, San Jose Sharks (186)
Demers, 30, has been a dependable two-way presence for nine NHL seasons with the Sharks, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers and Coyotes. His 573 games are sixth among defensemen drafted in 2008.
Missing first-round picks: Luke Schenn, No. 5, Toronto Maple Leafs; Nikita Filatov, No. 6, Columbus Blue Jackets; Cody Hodgson, No. 10, Vancouver Canucks; Kyle Beach, No. 11, Chicago Blackhawks; Colton Teubert, No. 13, Los Angeles Kings; Zach Boychuk, No. 14, Carolina Hurricanes; Joe Colborne, No. 16, Boston Bruins; Chet Pickard, No. 18, Nashville Predators; Anton Gustafsson, No. 21, Washington Capitals; Tyler Cuma, No. 23, Minnesota Wild; Mattias Tedenby, No. 24, New Jersey Devils; Greg Nemisz, No. 25, Calgary Flames; Viktor Tikhonov, No. 28, Phoenix Coyotes; Daultan Leveille, No. 29, Atlanta Thrashers; Tom McCollum, No. 30, Detroit Red Wings