NHL.com is celebrating 50 years of the NHL Entry Draft by deciding the best first round picks of all time, based on their selection number, “Dream Draft.” Their best 30th overall pick was defenseman Simon Despres of the Pittsburgh Penguins, which I really don’t get….at all. He hasn’t even spent a full season in the NHL. His career high in NHL games played for a season is 33, this season. I would argue that guys like Jim Slater or David Steckel would’ve been better choices. Their best 29th overall pick was defenseman Mike Green, which is a much better decision than Despres at 30. Anybody think that if they did this in a few years, they would chose Emerson Etem as the best over 29th overall pick??? Other guys they could’ve chosen for best 29th are Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings, Patrick Eaves of the Detroit Red Wings, or Steve Downie of the Colorado Avalanche.
Now, for 28th, they chose the Anaheim Ducks’ Corey Perry. He was selected 28th in the legendary 2003 NHL Entry Draft, which features five players in NHL.com’s “Dream Draft.” However, Perry was the only one of those five to be an unanimous selection by the 13-member board who vote for this “Dream Draft.” Here’s NHL.com Writer Dan Rosen on making this selection:
“It really came down to Perry and Justin Williams, who went to the Flyers at No. 28 in 2000. But really it was a no-contest. Williams is a clutch player who has won the Stanley Cup twice, but Perry was the hands-down winner for me. He has turned into a game-changer for the Ducks, a Hart Trophy winner, a Rocket Richard winner and a Stanley Cup champion. They got great value in Perry at No. 28 — and now they’re paying him for it.”
All Perry has done since being drafted by the Ducks is become one of the best power forwards in the entire league, score at least 30 goals three times, score at least 50 goals once, win 1 Stanley Cup, win 1 Rocket Richard Trophy and win 1 Hart Trophy. So far in his NHL career, he has totaled 220 goals and 245 assists for 465 points in 574 games played. He’s also posted 736 career PIM. He’s now a centerpiece for this Ducks franchise and will be a center piece for years to come.
Topics: 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Corey Perry, David Steckel, Detroit Red Wings, Emerson Etem, Hart Trophy, Jim Slater, Justin Williams, Mike Green, NHL, Niklas Kronwall, Patrick Eaves, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Rocket Richard Trophy, Simon Despres, Stanley Cup, Steve Downie