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NHL Draft

2004 NHL Redraft: Ovechkin, Malkin again top two picks

Krejci moves up 59 spots to No. 4; Rinne goes from eighth round to top five @NHLdotcom

With the 2019-20 NHL season on pause due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, will reimagine one NHL Draft each week. Today, we look back at the 2004 NHL Draft, which was held at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, on June 26-27, 2004.

Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin were considered the two top players in the 2004 NHL Draft, and nothing has changed in that regard in the 16 years since.

Ovechkin, selected No. 1 by the Washington Capitals, and Malkin, taken with the next pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins, stayed in that same order for's 2004 redraft.

Forward Blake Wheeler, originally selected with the fifth pick, moved up two spots to round out an impressive top three. But that's where things changed, with center David Krejci, originally selected No. 63, and goalie Pekka Rinne, who went in the eighth round, jumping into the top five.

Who else would move up? Who would drop? Thirty staffers, using the draft order and class from 2004, and selected in random order, have answered those questions. Here are the results. For reference, here is how the original draft went.


[Redrafts: 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012]


1. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals (originally selected No. 1 by Washington Capitals) -- Even if he wasn't Capitals captain when they won their first Stanley Cup championship in 2018, Ovechkin still would've been the obvious choice here. Eighth in goals in NHL history with 706, he is first in the 2004 class in games (1,152), points (1,278), power-play goals (260), game-winning goals (110), hits (3,030), and shots on goal (5,545; third in NHL history). Ovechkin's individual trophy cabinet is overflowing. He has won the Rocket Richard Trophy for leading the NHL in goals nine of 21 seasons it's been awarded and has been voted the winner of the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP three times (2008, 2009, 2013), the Ted Lindsay Award as NHL most outstanding player three times (2008, 2009, 2010), the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2018 and the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year for 2005-06. He also won the Art Ross Trophy for 2007-08 for leading the NHL with 112 points (65 goals, 47 assists). Add in Ovechkin's undeniable charisma and star power, and you have a franchise icon. -- John Ciolfi, senior producer,

Video: WSH@NJD: Ovi, teammates sound off after 700th goal

2. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pittsburgh Penguins (No. 2 by Pittsburgh Penguins) -- Not only does the No. 1 pick remain the same in this redraft, the No. 2 does as well. The Penguins got a likely future Hockey Hall of Famer who has scored 1,076 points (416 goals, 660 assists) in 907 games, second in the class and 65th in NHL history, and helped them win the Cup three times (2009, 2016, 2017). Malkin has also averaged more than one point per game in the NHL playoffs with 168 points (63 goals, 105 assists) in 162 games). He has won the Art Ross Trophy twice (113 points in 2008-09, 109 points in 2011-12) and the Hart (2012), Conn Smythe (2009), Ted Lindsay (2012) and Calder (2007) once each. In a lot of redrafts, Malkin would be a surefire No. 1, but the Penguins were delighted to take him at No. 2 again. -- Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

3. Blake Wheeler, RW, Chicago Blackhawks (No. 5 by Phoenix Coyotes) -- Rinne was a solid option for the Blackhawks here, but knowing that they selected Corey Crawford in the 2003 NHL Draft, Wheeler was a no-brainer. I can only imagine Wheeler playing for Chicago with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa. The big, skilled forward (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) has scored at least 20 goals for the Winnipeg Jets each season since 2013-14 and had an NHL career-high 91 points two seasons in a row from 2017-19. He's third in the 2004 class with 761 points (264 goals, 497 assists) in 931 games for the Boston Bruins, Atlanta Thrashers and Jets. -- Guillaume Lepage, staff writer,

4. David Krejci, C, Carolina Hurricanes (No. 63 by Boston Bruins) -- Krejci might not have been in the conversation about elite NHL players in his prime, but maybe he should've. He led the NHL playoffs with 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) when the Bruins won the Cup in 2011 and with 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) when they lost to the Blackhawks in the 2013 Cup Final. Since 2005-06, the only other players to do that are Malkin (36 in 2009, 28 in 2017) and Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (20 in 2012, 26 in 2014). Krejci, who has played 911 NHL games, all with Boston, ranks in the top five in the 2004 class in goals (207, fifth), assists (479, fourth) and points (686, fourth), and his 103 points (36 goals, 67 assists) in the NHL playoffs are third behind Malkin and Ovechkin (126). Krejci as a strong No. 2 center behind Eric Staal would have given the Hurricanes an impressive foundation down the middle. -- Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor

5. Pekka Rinne, G, Phoenix Coyotes (No. 258 by Nashville Predators) -- The Coyotes took their franchise goalie here, selecting Rinne 253 spots before he went in 2004. He leads the draft class and is fifth in the League in wins (359) and third in shutouts (58) since his NHL debut in 2005-06. He was voted winner of the Vezina Trophy as best goalie in the NHL in 2017-18, when he was 42-13-4 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .927 save percentage for Nashville. Known for his puck-handling, Rinne became the 12th goalie in NHL history to score a goal Jan. 9 against Chicago. -- Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Video: NSH@CHI: Rinne launches home first NHL goal

6. Devan Dubnyk, G, New York Rangers (No. 14 by Edmonton Oilers) -- Despite having Henrik Lundqvist in the pipeline, the Rangers originally selected goalie Al Montoya after they finished 27th in the NHL in goals-against in 2003-04 (3.05 per game). This time around, New York took Dubnyk to improve their organizational depth at the position. Dubnyk is second in the 2004 class with 247 wins and 520 games (Rinne, 659). After being with four teams in less than a year, he broke out after being acquired by the Minnesota Wild in a trade from the Coyotes on Jan. 14, 2015, going 27-9-2 with a 1.78 GAA and .936 save percentage the rest of the season, helping the Wild make the playoffs, and finishing third for the Vezina and fourth for the Hart. He was voted winner of the Bill Masterton Trophy for 2014-15 for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Dubnyk had at least 31 wins five straight seasons from 2014-19 and is fourth in the 2004 class in GAA (2.58) and tied for fourth in save percentage (.915). -- William Douglas, staff writer

7. Mike Green, D, Florida Panthers (No. 29 by Washington Capitals) -- Green was the best offensive defenseman on the board by far. He has 150 goals, 51 more than the next defenseman from the 2004 draft (Alexander Edler). He has 351 assists, 13 more than the next defenseman in the class (Mark Streit). And he has 501 points, 67 more than the next defenseman in the draft class (Streit). At his peak, Green was a catalyst for one of the best teams and best offenses in the NHL. With Washington, he was runner-up in voting for the Norris Trophy as best defenseman in the League in 2008-09, when he had 73 points (31 goals, 42 assists) in 68 games, and again in 2009-10, when he had 76 points (19 goals, 57 assists) in 75 games. Those are two of the nine highest point totals by defensemen over the past 11 seasons. -- Nick Cotsonika, columnist

8. Alexander Radulov, RW, Columbus Blue Jackets (No. 15 by Nashville Predators) -- The Blue Jackets selected one of the most skilled forwards available. Radulov ranks fourth in the 2004 draft class with an average of 0.76 points per game (334 in 442 games over seven NHL seasons; 136 goals, 198 assists). After playing for Nashville from 2006-08, Radulov spent most of the next eight seasons in Russia, limiting his NHL statistics. Since returning to the League in 2016-17, he has 232 points (89 goals, 143 assists) in 288 games for the Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars, an average of 0.81 per game. His 178 points (71 goals, 107 assists) over the past three seasons are second most on Dallas behind Tyler Seguin's 208. -- Tom Gulitti, staff writer

9. Travis Zajac, C, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (No. 20 by New Jersey Devils) -- Anaheim took this solid two-way center who had a distinguished career at the University of North Dakota, including trips to the Frozen Four in 2005 and 2006. Zajac is second in the 2004 class in games (991), sixth in points (532) and seventh in goals (195). His career winning percentage on face-offs (53.5 percent) is better than that of Malkin (44.3) and Krejci (50.8), and he's been durable, including a stretch of 401 consecutive games from Oct. 26, 2006-April 10, 2011, a Devils record. -- Dave Stubbs, columnist

10. Alexander Edler, D, Atlanta Thrashers (No. 91 by Vancouver Canucks) -- He's fourth among 2004 defensemen with 401 points (99 goals, 302 assists) in 873 games and third in power-play points with 177 (46 goals, 131 assists). Atlanta originally selected defenseman Boris Valabik in this spot, indicating it was looking for help at the position, and Edler would have provided that in the form of consistent two-way play. His average of 23:02 of ice time since entering the NHL in 2006-07 is tops in the class, giving the Thrashers a building-block defenseman who would've played big minutes for them. -- Rob Reese, fantasy editor

11. Andrew Ladd, LW, Los Angeles Kings (No. 4 by Carolina Hurricanes) -- Considering Ladd has won the Stanley Cup twice, as a rookie with the Hurricanes in 2006 and again with the Blackhawks in 2010, this was a value pick by the Kings with him falling outside the top 10. Ladd, a physical forward with offensive ability, has scored at least 50 points in four NHL seasons, including a career-high 62 (24 goals, 38 assists) for the Jets in 2014-15. Ladd, who was the captain for Atlanta/Winnipeg from 2010-16, ranks fourth in the 2004 class in goals (249), fifth in points (538), third in games (950) and seventh in hits (1,550). -- Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor

Video: NYI@VAN: Ladd redirects Bailey's one-timer in front

12. Cory Schneider, G, Minnesota Wild (No. 26 by Vancouver Canucks) -- Recent history has not been kind to Schneider -- he was assigned to the American Hockey League this season after clearing waivers -- but he was one of the best goalies in the NHL from 2010-16, leading the League in GAA (2.13) and save percentage (.926) in that span (minimum 200 games). Don't forget, he took the No. 1 job from Roberto Luongo in Vancouver after replacing him in the 2012 playoffs, when he had a 1.31 GAA and .960 save percentage. Although Schneider lost the No. 1 job in New Jersey to Keith Kinkaid after going 0-10-2 in his final 12 games in 2017-18, he showed perseverance and mental toughness by reclaiming it during the playoffs and had a 1.78 GAA and .950 save percentage. With Minnesota aging at goalie in 2005-06 (Manny Fernandez, 31; Dwayne Roloson, 36), Schneider was the perfect fit here. -- Brett Amadon, staff writer

13. Mark Streit, D, Buffalo Sabres (No. 262 by Montreal Canadiens) -- Among 2004 defensemen, Streit is second behind Green with 338 assists, 434 points, 207 power-play points (47 goals, 160 assists) and an average of 0.55 points per game. Streit, who played 786 games in 12 seasons for the Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Penguins before retiring Oct. 30, 2017, became the first Switzerland-born captain in the NHL prior to the 2011-12 season with New York and won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2017. Streit would have been a one-two punch at defenseman with Brian Campbell for Buffalo. -- Matt Cubeta, Editor-in-Chief, International

14. Alex Goligoski, D, Edmonton Oilers (No. 61 by Pittsburgh Penguins) -- The Oilers needed help at defenseman and got it with Goligoski, who is third at the position from the 2004 draft with 407 points (80 goals, 327 assists) and second in rating at plus-29. At 34, he led the Coyotes with an average of 23:03 of ice time per game and their defensemen with 32 points (four goals, 28 assists) this season, and he helped them finish tied for third in the NHL in goals-against (2.61 per game) despite No. 1 goalie Darcy Kuemper missing two months because of injury. -- Jon Lane, staff writer

15. Brandon Dubinsky, C, Nashville Predators (No. 60 by New York Rangers) -- Before missing the 2019-20 season because of a chronic wrist injury, Dubinsky was considered one of the toughest two-way centers to play against in the NHL. He is eighth in the 2004 class with 438 points (153 goals, 285 assists), third with 21 shorthanded points (11 goals, 10 assists), 2,158 hits and 5,777 face-off wins, and 10th in game-winning goals (26). He has scored at least 40 points in seven of 12 seasons since becoming a full-time NHL player in 2007-08 and has never finished below 50.76 percent in face-off winning percentage. -- Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

16. Ryan Callahan, RW, New York Islanders (No. 127 by New York Rangers) -- With Dubinsky taken with the previous pick, the Islanders went with another solid two-way player with thoughts of grooming him to be a future captain, a role he had for three seasons with the Rangers (2011-14). He is ninth among forwards in the 2004 class with 386 points (186 goals, 200 assists) in 757 NHL games, including fifth overall with 15 shorthanded points (seven goals, eight assists), and seventh in average ice time (17:10). He has not played since April 16, 2019, because of a degenerative back condition. -- Barry Rubinstein, manager, assignments

17. Kris Versteeg, RW, St. Louis Blues (No. 134 by Boston Bruins) -- Versteeg scored 63 goals and 143 points in his first three full NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Flyers. He had 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 22 games in the 2010 playoffs to help Chicago win the Cup, something he did again with the Blackhawks in 2015. Versteeg finished his 11-season NHL career with 358 points (149 goals, 209 assists), 16th in the 2004 draft class. -- Frank Giase, staff writer

18. Drew Stafford, RW, Montreal Canadiens (No. 13 by Buffalo Sabres) -- Stafford's 196 goals in 841 NHL games are sixth in the 2004 class, and his 428 points are 10th. He has not played in the NHL since 2018-19 (57 games with the Devils) and was released by the Wild from a professional tryout contract during 2019-20 training camp. Stafford has eight seasons of at least 34 points, including an NHL career-high 52 (31 goals, 21 assists) in 62 games for Buffalo in 2010-11. -- Shawn P. Roarke, Senior Director of Editorial

19. Johan Franzen, RW, New York Rangers (No. 97 by Detroit Red Wings) -- Having traded for Jaromir Jagr in the middle of the 2003-04 season, the Rangers added a big forward (6-4, 232) who was happy to park himself in front of the net and screen the goalie. Franzen had 370 points (187 goals, 183 assists) in a 602-game NHL career that was cut short by concussions. He is 10th in the 2004 class with 118 power-play points (69 goals, 49 assists) despite ranking 24th in games. -- Tracey Myers, staff writer

20. Blake Comeau, LW, New Jersey Devils (No. 47 by New York Islanders) -- The Devils originally took Zajac here, but with him going much earlier in this redraft, New Jersey selected Comeau, who is 10th in the 2004 class with 852 games, 15th with 136 goals and 18th with 319 points. He had NHL career highs in goals (24) and points (46) for the Islanders in 2010-11 but has never reached 20 goals or 40 points again. He played in 55 of the Stars' 69 games this season and had 16 points (eight goals, eight assists). -- Bill Price, Editor-in-Chief

Video: NSH@DAL: Comeau finishes off the feed from Dickinson

21. Roman Polak, D, Colorado Avalanche (No. 180 by St. Louis Blues) -- Looking to rebuild an aging defenseman group, the Avalanche selected Polak, who has played 806 NHL games with the Blues, Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks and Stars. Though not a flashy pick, Polak is a sturdy, stay-at-home defenseman who is willing to sacrifice his body. He is second among 2004 defensemen with at least 350 games in hits per 60 minutes (7.98) and blocked shots per 60 minutes (5.59). His 1.35 giveaways per 60 minutes are the fewest in that group. -- Jim Cerny, senior editor

22. Troy Brouwer, RW, San Jose Sharks (No. 214 by Chicago Blackhawks) -- The Sharks needed to add a forward with some bite and scoring touch to their lineup. With Dubinsky, Callahan, Stafford and Franzen off the board, Brouwer was the best player available to fill that need. It helped that he's a winner too. Brouwer, who won the Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010, is sixth in the 2004 class in NHL playoff games (102) and 10th in postseason points (34; 15 goals, 19 assists). He's 15th in the class in points (363; 182 goals, 181 assists) and 11th in games (851). -- Dan Rosen, senior writer

23. Andrej Sekera, D, Ottawa Senators (No. 71 by Buffalo Sabres) -- The Senators, an up-and-coming team coming off a seven-game loss to the Maple Leafs in the 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, were happy to find a puck-moving defenseman like Sekera to give them depth behind Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden. Sekera has played 764 NHL games, 17th in the 2004 class, including 57 with Dallas this season. He is fifth among 2004 defensemen with 244 points (47 goals, 197 assists). -- John Kreiser, managing editor

24. Andrej Meszaros, D, Calgary Flames (No. 23 by Ottawa Senators) -- Reliable without being flashy, the versatile Meszaros would have added depth and stability for Calgary in front of goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. He is among the leaders in almost every category at his position from the 2004 draft: goals (63; fifth), assists (175; sixth), points (238; sixh), rating (plus-25; fourth), power-play goals (21; fifth) and power-play points (75; fifth). He and Edler are the only defensemen in the class to average more than two minutes of ice time on the power play and on the penalty kill. Meszaros, who has not played in the NHL since 2014-15, has spent the past five seasons in Europe. -- Sebastien Deschambault, managing editor,

25. Mikhail Grabovski, C, Edmonton Oilers (No. 150 by Montreal Canadiens) -- Grabovski was very productive before injuries derailed his career. After being acquired in a trade from Montreal on July 3, 2008, he scored 192 points (82 goals, 110 assists) in 292 games for Toronto from 2008-12 but had 95 (40 goals, 55 assists) in 215 games for the Maple Leafs, Capitals and Islanders his final four NHL seasons from 2012-16. He attempted a comeback with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18 but never played a game and announced his retirement June 19, 2019. -- David Satriano, staff writer

26. Thomas Greiss, G, Vancouver Canucks (No. 94 by San Jose Sharks) -- It took Greiss four teams and more than 10 years from the draft to establish himself in the NHL, but he has certainly done so with the Islanders. Greiss shared the William M. Jennings Trophy with Robin Lehner last season after the Islanders allowed the fewest goals in the League (191). He has played at least 41 games in three of five seasons since signing with New York prior to 2015-16, when he helped the Islanders win a playoff series for the first time since 1993. Greiss has had a save percentage of .913 or higher in all but one season with New York (.892 in 2017-18). -- Brian Compton, deputy managing editor

27. Carl Soderberg, C, Washington Capitals (No. 49 by St. Louis Blues) -- Soderberg didn't make his NHL debut until April 20, 2013, at the age of 27 for the Bruins, but he's been productive, averaging 0.51 points per game in his seven full seasons. He still is going strong with the Coyotes at 34, with 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) in 70 games in 2019-20. -- Tim Campbell, staff writer

28. Anton Khudobin, G, Dallas Stars (No. 206 by Minnesota Wild) -- Who knows how Khudobin's career would have gone if he was drafted by Dallas. He has been one of the better goalies in the NHL since signing with the Stars on July 1, 2018, to be Ben Bishop's backup. His .926 save percentage since the start of 2018-19 is tied for second with Kuemper among NHL goalies who have played at least 50 games (Bishop, .927), and his 2.42 GAA is sixth. He played an NHL career-high 41 games last season, and his .930 save percentage in 30 games this season led the NHL (minimum 23 games). Khudobin could have played the same role he does with Bishop sharing the net with Marty Turco in the second half of the 2000s. -- Pat Pickens, staff writer

29. Tyler Kennedy, C, Washington Capitals (No. 99 by Pittsburgh Penguins) -- Every team should have an agitator. Instead of being one for the Penguins for his first six seasons, Kennedy would have begun his NHL career in that role for their division rival. He had 215 points (89 goals, 126 assists) in 527 NHL games from 2007-16. In the 2009 playoffs, he had nine points (five goals, four assists) to help Pittsburgh win the Cup, including the winning goal in Game 6 of the Cup Final against the Red Wings. -- Sean McCullen, staff writer

30. Daniel Winnik, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning (No. 265 by Phoenix Coyotes) -- Coming off their first (and only) Stanley Cup championship, the Lightning had a place for Winnik, a smart and underrated defensive forward who played 798 NHL games (15th in 2004 class) for eight teams in 11 seasons from 2007-18. Not a bad career for a ninth-round pick. His plus-52 rating is eighth-best in the class, and his 251 points (82 goals, 169 assists) are 19th among 2004 forwards. -- Dan O'Leary, staff writer

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