Unlike the 2001 and 2002 drafts, the 2003 version has Edmonton well behind in terms of having the best player taken in the division (Phaneuf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler and Brad Richardson are all clear of 100 NHL games) but 5 is a pretty big number considering one of the seasons since summer 2003 was the lockout.
Here’s the NW games played:
MINNESOTA: Brent Burns (185), Patrick O’Sullivan (44)
CALGARY: Dion Phaneuf (161)
EDMONTON: Marc Pouliot (54), JF Jacques (44), Zack Stortini (29), Kyle Brodziak (16), Mathieu Roy (17)
VANCOUVER: Ryan Keslert (158), Nathan McIver (1)
COLORADO: David Liffiton (3), Brad Richardson (114)
- Minnesota 229
- Calgary 161
- Edmonton 160
- Vancouver 159
- Colorado 117
- Calgary drafted 9th overall and had 9 picks.
- Minnesota drafted 20th overall and had 9 picks.
- Edmonton drafted 22nd overall and had 12 picks.
- Vancouver drafted 23rd overall and had 10 picks.
- Colorado drafted 63rd overall and had 8 picks.
- Minnesota again had the best draft so far, and Patrick O’Sullivan is just getting started.
- Calgary got Phaneuf.
- Edmonton got 5 guys, with Pouliot likely the best of the 5.
- Vancouver got a nice player in Ryan Kesler.
- Colorado did a nice job picking up Richardson despite not choosing until 63rd.
This was a very deep draft, the deepest of the three we’re looking at right now. The Oilers dealt down in an effort to get another pick (JFJ) but gave up the chance to select Zach Parise. I don’t think this is a draft we can point to as being a weak spot for the Oilers.
One final note here: I noticed in the comments section of the 2001 draft a mention or two of Jean Francois Jacques and his ineffectiveness at the NHL level. While I can agree he’s been quite poor, it’s important to remember what an unusual prospect he is, and despite the poor play his skills should eventually make him an NHL regular.
Jean Francois Jacques hasn’t looked it at the NHL level, but he’s an extremely unique player.