The “Did You Know?” series ties in the news of the day with some little-known hockey factoids and/or trivia. It’ll be fun. Trust me.
The 2003 NHL Entry Draft is regarded as one of the most talented groups of all time. There are others in the mix, like 1979 (Mark Messier, Ray Bourque, Mike Gartner, Glenn Anderson, Michel Goulet) and 1990 (Jaromir Jagr, Martin Brodeur, Keith Tkachuk, Doug Weight, Sergei Zubov) but given the NHL’s current landscape, 2003 is right near the top.
The first round was loaded with stars. It boasts THOMAS VANEK, Stanley Cup winners (Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Nathan Horton, Brent Seabrook, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry), guys that played in and lost Cup Finals (Braydon Coburn, Jeff Carter, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Jeff Tambellini) and then a whole bunch of really good-to-solid players: Brent Burns, Milan Michalek, Ryan Suter, Dion Phaneuf, Andrei Kostitsyn, Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, Brian Boyle and Eric Fehr.
(In fact, you could argue there were only seven first-round busts: Nik Zherdev at No. 5, Hugh Jessiman at No. 12, Robert Nilsson at No. 15, Steve Bernier at No. 16, Marc-Antoine Pouliot at No. 22, Tambellini at No. 27 Shawn Belle at No. 30)
But what sets the 2003 Draft apart is its depth. Let’s go round by round.
Round 2: Shea Weber, Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Loui Eriksson, Matt Carle, Corey Crawford, Jimmy Howard, Maxim Lapierre, Kevin Klein, BJ Crombeen.
Round 3: Clarke MacArthur, Dan Carcillo, Ryan O’Byrne, Colin Fraser.
Round 4: Paul Bissonnette, Jan Hejda, Kyle Quincey, Corey Potter, Philippe Dupuis.
Round 5: Lee Stempniak, Brad Richardson.
Round 6: Marc Methot, Mark Flood, Drew Miller, Bruno Gervais.
Round 7 : Joe Pavelski, Kyle Brodziak.
Round 8: Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom, Shane O’Brien.
Round 9 (and this is kinda nuts): Matt Moulson, Jaroslav Halak, Brian Elliott, David Jones, Tanner Glass, Chris Porter.
In conclusion, pretty solid draft.