NHL Millennium Megadraft: Round Three
Sidney Crosby went first overall. Dion Phaneuf went at No. 31. Who will be picked at No. 61?
It's time for round three of the NHL Millennium Megadraft, a combination of the NHL Entry Drafts between 2001 and 2006.
If you've followed the first two rounds, you know that each round is a compilation of five players taken in a particular range in each of those drafts.
For example, round one was comprised of the players taken in the top five in each of those years, for a total of 30 players. It was the same deal for round two, except with the players taken between sixth and 10th overall.
Today, we'll do round three, which is made up of those players selected between 11th and 15th overall from 2001 to 2006.
Here are the players who will form round three of the NHL Millennium Megadraft:
2001: Fredrik Sjostrom, Dan Hamhuis, Ales Hemsky, Chuck Kobasew, Igor Knyazev
2002: Keith Ballard, Steve Eminger, Alexander Semin, Chris Higgins, Jesse Niinimaki
2003: Jeff Carter, Hugh Jessiman, Dustin Brown, Brent Seabrook, Robert Nilsson
2004: Lauri Tukonen, A.J. Thelen, Drew Stafford, Devan Dubnyk, Alexander Radulov
2005: Anze Kopitar, Marc Staal, Marek Zagrapan, Sasha Pokulok, Ryan O'Marra
2006: Jonathan Bernier, Bryan Little, Jiri Tlusty, Michael Grabner, Riku Helenius
Now we put all 30 players into a new list. The 61st overall pick was much harder to determine than the first overall or No. 31.
1. Anze Kopitar—First Slovenian NHLer became instant superstar
2. Ales Hemsky—Sublime playmaker coming off first 20-goal season
3. Alexander Semin—Dropped off last year, but dangles with the best of them
4. Alexander Radulov—May play in Russia, but still an incredible talent
5. Jeff Carter—Starting to put it all together; new long-term deal will help
6. Chris Higgins—Balanced player tallied career-high 27 goals, 52 points last year
7. Brent Seabrook—Steady presence on Hawks blueline; plenty of untapped offense
8. Dustin Brown—Tenacious winger broke out with 33 goals, 60 points
9. Dan Hamhuis—Hasn't found offense yet, but defensive play has improved
10. Marc Staal—Shutdown defender will look to crack Rangers' top pairing next year
11. Robert Nilsson—Bust no longer; speed and skill a perfect fit for Oilers
12. Keith Ballard—Offensive defenseman will take on more responsibility in Florida
13. Drew Stafford—All kinds of offensive potential, but ice time hard to get for Buffalo wingers
14. Chuck Kobasew—Not hitting expectations; trade to Bruins hasn't helped
15. Fredrik Sjostrom—Speedster has reinvented himself as energy forward
16. Bryan Little—Future captain was decent in 48 games with big club
17. Jiri Tlusty—Up-and-down season for Leafs rookie, but over a point-per-game at AHL level
18. Jonathan Bernier—Kings goalie of the future could be goalie of present too
19. Steve Eminger—Couldn't crack top six in Washington; that's never good
20. Riku Helenius—Another product of Finnish goalie system; has starter potential
21. Michael Grabner—Speedy Austrian sniper is a real wild card
22. Marek Zagrapan—Strong puck skills, but not making much impact at AHL level
23. Ryan O'Marra—Spent most of last year in ECHL; has long way to go to reach potential
24. Devan Dubnyk—Just completed first full AHL season due to Oilers' lack of an affiliate
25. Sasha Pokulok—Enormous blueliner still splitting time between AHL and ECHL
26. Lauri Tukonen—Development hindered by injury; recent trade to Dallas may rejuvenate him
27. Hugh Jessiman—24-year-old put up 40 points in AHL last year; looking like bust
28. Igor Knyazev—Played two AHL seasons before heading home to Russia
29. Jesse Niinimaki—North American resumé includes 24 AHL games, one assist
30. A.J. Thelen—Hometown boy so disappointing that Wild let him go as 20-year-old; now in ECHL
Check in next time as Josh tackles round four of the NHL Millennium Megadraft!
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