A quick look back at 2002's 1st round.

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Habsfan18, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. Habsfan18

    Habsfan18 Registered User

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    1.Rick Nash - Has already won a Rocket Richard award so far in his young career. Looks to have a bright future as the Bluejackets franchise player and powerforward of the present/future. Struggled a bit this season with only 13 goals so far but look for him to pick it up.

    2.Kari Lehtonen - Injury problems have been a worry for Thrashers fans throughout his career so far. If he can stay healthy he'll be a top goaltender. Was perhaps the best goalie in the league for the first few weeks of the season. Look for him to have a bright future in Atlanta for years to come (if healthy). A future Vezina trophey winner perhaps?

    3.Jay Bouwmeester - In the early stages of his career it didn't seem like he'd be the offensive minded defenseman many people thought he'd be with only 36 points in his first 2 seasons. He doesn't seem like he'll score much throughout his career, though it may be a bit early to say such a thing. 46 points last year and 22 so far this year means he's showing more of an offensive upside. He's been a dependable d-man so far for Florida and is a top pairing d-man. Though imo he won't be one that'll put up much points.

    4.Joni Pitkanen - Many people, including me, believe Pitkanen will have a better career than Bouwmeester. 46 points in 58 games last year for the young d-man is incredible. Struggling a bit this year playing for the struggling Flyers, he still has pretty good numbers (22 points in 40 games, though only 1 goal). I can see him being a top defenseman in the league for years to come. 50/60 points a year sounds reasonable imo.

    5.Ryan Whitney - A good young defenseman that is looking like a very good pick by the Penguins. Doesn't seem to get enough credit, though it is understandable with him playing on the same team as Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Fleury etc..With 64 career points in 110 games he is quietly making an offensive mark to go along with his steady defensive play.

    6.Scottie Upshall - Currently injured I believe. I'm not calling him a bust but I do believe he was picked too high. When he gets a regular spot in the lineup and if he's placed with the right linemates I can see him being a decent 2nd/3rd line player. I see him being a 50 point guy.

    7.Joffrey Lupul - Originally drafted by Anaheim, he had a solid rookie campaign back in 03/04 putting up 13 goals. He followed that up buy netting 28 goals last year and playing very well in the playoffs. Was traded to Edmonton this past summer and is struggling with only 12 goals and 18 points in 44 games. I do believe he'll pick it up soon though as I see him being a regular 30-40 goal sniper.

    8.P-M Bouchard - Seems to be a keeper for Minny and was a very good pick imo. I do believe he was rushed to the NHL though. He is more of a playmaker than a goalscorer and I don't think he'll score alot of goals but the points will be there. I see him scoring 15-20 goals per year, with about 50-60 assists. Solid playmaker with an ability to score goals, just not that many.

    9.Petr Taticek - Bust. Never lived up to expectations. Has only played in 3 NHL games and is now back in Europe.

    10.Eric Nystrom - Has been injured for most of the season so can't say too much about him for this year. I don't expect him to be a scorer but I can see him being a solid 3rd liner for Calgary in the future.

    11.Keith Ballard - Was one of the few bright spots for Pheonix last year. Looks like he'll have a solid career ahead of him. Buffalo will regret dealing him imo, and I see him being a top 2 pairing d-man throughout his career.

    12.Steve Eminger - Has been very inconsistent throughout his career so far and has had his fair share of brain cramps in his own zone. If he can get it together he'll become a decent defensive defenseman. I consider him a bust, so far...

    13.Alexander Semin - What.a.player! Has been very impressive so far this season and it's a crime that he isn't in the all-star game...or even the youngstars game for that matter. I can see him fighting for the Rocket Richard trophy regularly. With him, Ovechkin, and Backstrom the future is looking bright in DC.

    14.Chris Higgins - Maybe it's because I'm a Habs fan, but man do I consider him a major steal. Had an awesome 2nd half last year playing on a line with Koivu and Ryder and was picking up right where he left off before he got injured early in the season. Has 14 goals in 27 games so far this year and many Habs fans believe he could have hit 40 goals this year had he not gotten injured. Future Habs captain imo and I'm very happy he's part of the CH. He can play in all situations and he's the type of player coaches love.

    15.Jesse Niinimaki - Well, all I can say is bust...

    16.Jakub Klepis - Seems to have found a home in Washington. He'll never be a big scorer imo but he's the type of guy that you'd want for your bottem 2 lines. I don't really think he's 1st round material, but I don't think he's a bust. Maybe he'll surprise me and become a decent 2nd line player.

    17.Boyd Gordon - I don't know much about him. All I know is that he had 81 points in 56 games in the WHL back in 02/03 and that I thought he'd have more than 18 career points in the NHL so far. With that being said, I can see him being a checking line forward with leadership abilities. A first rounder? What do you Caps fans think?

    18.Denis Grebeshkov - Was a highly touted prospect before returning to Russia. I can see him having a future as a 2nd pairing d-man if he returns to the NHL.

    19.Jakub Koreis - Bust? The guy can't seem to put up points in the AHL so I can't really see him putting up much points in the NHL.

    20.Dan Paille - I can see him becoming a very good 3rd liner. He doesn't have much offensive upside but I can see him being able to score 15 goals a year and Sabres fans seem happy that he's in their system.

    21.Anton Babchuk - Has been a regular in Carolina this year due to injuries to the back end. Has pretty good offensive potential but hasn't really shown it yet. Is a big d-man (6'5, 202 pounds) with a big shot from the point, but must show more consistency if he wants to be an NHLer.

    22.Sean Bergenheim - Showed promise while in NA, he is now back in Europe. I believe he is done with the Islanders but I think other NHL teams will look to sign him. He has pretty good offensive potential and I think he'll become a 30 goal scorer if he pans out and realizes his potential.

    23.Ben Eager - Will never be a goal scorer in the NHL but he'll be a decent 3rd liner. His skating ability is questionable but is a very physical forward that fits the Flyers system.

    24.Alexander Steen - Had a very good rookie campaign last season, putting up 45 points. He struggles out of the gate this year but has picked it up recently. He currently sits with 19 points in 45 games. He'll be a very good 2nd liner, putting up 60-70 points per year. He owns very good hockey sense which Leafs fans love.

    25.Cam Ward - Was amazing last year in the playoffs and has been decent this season so far. I believe the expectations for him were a little much after the playoffs but I do think he's Carolina's goalie of the future. Great pick late in the round.

    26.Martin Vagner - B to the u to the s to the t.

    27.Mike Morris - Has had a pretty good college career so far and Sharks fans still haven't seem to have given up on this kid. I'll admit to knowing virtually nothing about him.

    28.Jonas Johansson - Career AHL'er imo.

    29.Hannu Toivonen - Had a solid rookie season last year which had Bruins fans very excited. Seems to have let them down this year though, with a 4.24 SV% in only 11 games. From the games that I've seen of him, he was very impressive with his lateral movement and quick reflexes. From my understanding, Bruins fans consider Rask their goaltender of the future, not Hannu.

    30.Jim Slater - He had a very good college career but hasn't put up much numbers in the NHL yet. I believe the scoring will come though as he does have offensive potential. I was at the Montreal/Atlanta game last week and I was very impressed by his play.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Please feel free to leave comments. I'm no scout or anything like that but I thought I'd do a quick little write up about my opinion looking back at the 02 draft.
     
  2. amjay13

    amjay13 Registered User Sponsor

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    Very nice list.

    As a Caps fan I can say that Klepis is a bust, probably a fringe NHLer at best. Gordon will eventually be (might be already) a solid checking line center. Eminger has shown signs of improving lately, I think he'll top out as a solid 3rd or 4th defenseman. None of the 3 were probably first round material though.
     
  3. Atlas

    Atlas Registered User

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    Klepis is not a bust. He has high-end skills and a good attitude. He'll be fine in a year or two.
     
  4. OrrNumber4

    OrrNumber4 Registered User

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    Firstly, great list. It must have taken a while to think of and write. Although I think you are a bit optimistic about some of the picks...

    1.Rick Nash - I agree, super steal. Perennial Rocket Richard contender. Needs to improve his consistency, but he is still very young.

    2.Kari Lehtonen - I still think that Lehtonen was picked too high. I think he will have a great future, and will definitely be a number one guy, but still, I believe top-end goalies can be picked later.

    3.Jay Bouwmeester - This guy was being pedeled as a future Norris trophy winner. He's taken a long time to develop (or one could say he was rushed) and I think he's going to be a very key part of Florida's future for the next five years. I don't think he will be a consistent Norris candidate. Their are a lot of talented defensemen in the league, and I don't think that Bouwmeester is that good.

    4.Joni Pitkanen - I agree, someone who will almost certainly earn a Norris in the future. He has developed relatively quickly, and is extremeley lethal offensively. One of the league's best.

    5.Ryan Whitney - Always been solid offensively, and is getting better defensively. IDK if i'm recalling correctly, but this guy was a monster physically whilst with Boston. I think his future is still up in the air, although I am certain that, at the very least, he will be a top four defenseman.

    6.Scottie Upshall - I always forget how young this guy is. Honestly, I think Upshall will make a career out of being a top bottom-six player. He's a great in the corners.

    7.Joffrey Lupul - Another guy who has to find some consistency. I think he will have some 40+ goal seasons and will probably at least be a consistent 20+ goal threat...we'll have to see if he deserves to be called a first-line winger.

    8.P-M Bouchard - I don't think anyone really knows about this guy. He had a great year last year after two mediocre seasons (where he was rushed). A first line player who gets 20-25 goals and 50-60 assists is not out of the question. One has to wonder if he could have produced more with a better team.

    9.Petr Taticek - This guy never had an NHL future IMO

    10.Eric Nystrom - Haven't seen enough of him too tell. I sort of forgot about this guy, really. He could be a late bloomer, like many college players...

    11.Keith Ballard - Had a very good year last year. I think he has developed his defensive game furthur than expected. He's already a top defenseman in Phoenix, and I think he's got the potential to be a second-pairing defenseman on a good team. IMO, I think he's hit his limit offensively, but I could very well be wrong.

    12.Steve Eminger - Had so much promise...Washington may not be the ideal place for him to grow, but Eminger has not shown much of his talent.

    13.Alexander Semin - The most disappointing thing about this guy was that he spent so much time in Russia. Honestly, I thought he was done for when he went back to Russia. I think he is the player that Alex Korolyuk could have become. He's can do everything offensively. I could see an Art Ross in the future, as well as multiple ASG.

    14.Chris Higgins - This guy is great. A great pick who might replace Saku Koivu one day as Montreal's leader?

    15.Jesse Niinimaki - I agree with you here

    16.Jakub Klepis - Yeah, he could surprise, but I think Klepis is on the fourth line on a playoff-bound team. He was very raw when drafted, and he simply has not really improved his game. He is an above average playmaker, so IDK.

    17.Boyd Gordon - He had a very slow start, but this guy has a lot of energy. His future is still in the air.

    18.Denis Grebeshkov - Will he pull a Semin? Even if he comes back to the NHL, I think it will be as a third-pairing guy. Had great offensively skills, good hustle and was smart in the defensive zone.

    19.Jakub Koreis - Yeah, he has not had succes for a while. He has to start producing soon... another big guy who couldn't put it all together.

    20.Dan Paille - Another guy who has come along slowly. I saw him in a game last year; he had an assist, was great along the boards, and carried the puck into the zone very well.

    21.Anton Babchuk - I agree, he has a lot of offensive potential with a strong shot, but as far as I and my fantasy team can see, he hasn't really met it. He has shone tantalizing glimpses of his potential, but IMO he is never going to crack the top 3 of a contending team.

    22.Sean Bergenheim - I agree that even though he is in Europe, he has a lot of potential. I think he could be a second-line winger, but since I got Steve Bernier for him on my fantasy team, I am pretty happy :)

    23.Ben Eager - Yeah, he is a very physical guy who I think Ken Hitchcock would have liked. Third/Fourth line player.

    24.Alexander Steen - Is future is still in the air. I think with a better team, he could develop into a legit top line threat. My opinion on this guy is constantly changing, as in some games he's really good and in others he is nothing special.

    25.Cam Ward - He's already got a great career. A SC and the Hart. Seriously, he was a bit overrated, and this year is proving that. I think he will be a number one goalie for a long time, but I don't think he is going to be a perennial Vezina candidate.

    26.Martin Vagner - Yeah, a bust. Part of the 'Canes organization now.

    27.Mike Morris - Has had horrible luck with injuries. It was morbidly funny when I heard Morris recently recovered from an appendectomy, after ovecoming the flu, which he had gotten immediately after a minor injury sidelined him for two-weeks. He had a concussion (hockey related) that kept him out for a while, and then another concussion he suffered in a car crash kept him out for the entire year. He has great hands and is shifty in the offensive zone, and he is solid but unspectacular in the defensive zone. Could play in a team's bottom six right now due to his keen defensive awareness.

    28.Jonas Johansson - Ah, this is a guy people thought would score 40 goals some day. He still might, but perhaps in the UHL.

    29.Hannu Toivonen - Another guy with an up-and-down career. This looks like a draft of goaltenders, as IMO Toivonen is going to be one of the better goalies in the nHL.

    30.Jim Slater - He had a decent rookie season, and is very athletic. His future is still up in the air.
     
  5. Outstanding job. You did your homework. :)
     
  6. SoundwaveIsCharisma

    SoundwaveIsCharisma Moderator

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    I like that Hitchcock is challenging Rick Nash, telling him he needs to be a better player everywhere and that there's more than just scoring to hockey.

    As for Jay Bouwmeester, I think he'll end up as the best defenseman in the draft. He took a different developmental route than a lot of defenseman now in that he really concentrated on his defensive game from the get-go basically. He's built up his confidence by getting better and better in the defensive end, and now he is starting to put it together offensively. He's going to be one really great defenseman.
     
  7. Warm Cookies

    Warm Cookies Oh!

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    Nice list.

    But as a Pens fan, I'd like to propose a trade. Real life Whitney for Habsfan18's 2002 1st Round Review Whitney. ;)
     
  8. UAGoalieGuy

    UAGoalieGuy Registered User

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    Where is the Rangers #1 pick from 2002? Oh wait they traded it for Pavel freaking Bure. Where they could have selected one of Chris freaking Higgins, Keith Ballard, or Alexander Semin. *******! :banghead: Freaking Sather....
     
  9. triggrman

    triggrman Registered User

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    Upshall's problem is his likes to play physical but gets hurt at the drop of a hat.
     
  10. J17 Vs Proclamation

    J17 Vs Proclamation Registered User

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    To everyone still knocking Bouwmeester, watch him more often. Defensively he is already awesome and his offense is picking up. Already 8 Goals and 18 assists this year.

    Im still annoyed when i think of the 02 draft. We got a franchise Dman but we also drafted Taticek at #9. Dear god, we could have had Bouwmeester and Semin in one draft.
     
  11. Habsfan18

    Habsfan18 Registered User

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    thank you :)
     
  12. Langway

    Langway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I agree with all of the above. Klepis is looking like a bust and would be much better off playing in Hershey for the rest of the year. The only way I see him getting a jersey for the rest of the year is because of injuries up front.

    Gordon has impressed me this year as a smart, 'new NHL' grinder...sound positionally, has some speed and is disciplined. Still a reach in the first round but he's looking like the second best pick for the Caps in that round. Eminger has been better of late but is still far too inconsistent and unconfident for me to get a good read on his potential. He showed last year that he could be a second pairing guy and he's shown it in flashes this year but that hasn't been backed up by the kind of poise and consistency that you'd like.
     
  13. VanW27

    VanW27 Registered User

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    I wouldnt say his future is in the air. He played the first 30 games with Peca and played an ultraconservative defense first game, as a result he didnt score. Now that hes back in an offensive role he is showing what he can do in the offensive zone as well as his all around game.
     
  14. LeafDangler

    LeafDangler Registered User

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    How can the #1 overall pick be considered a steal?

    Great work by the original poster. This board needs more posts like this rather than off the cuff opinions.
     
  15. Seachd

    Seachd Registered User

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    It can't. Ever.
     
  16. Pivot King

    Pivot King Registered User

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    One thing on Ben Eager though Habsfan18, his skating is top notch. Part of the reason he was a first round pick at all is because he is so big but also very fast. He was never a big scorer, but with his powerful skating a size, he has that upside.
     
  17. thestonedkoala

    thestonedkoala Everyone! PANIC!

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    Minnesota doesn't regret picking PM Bouchard :D...He's been a great player.
     
  18. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Some thoughts on 2002 as a whole...

    -Entering the draft, it was perceived as a weaker draft. We were coming off 2001, which was perceived as a strong draft, and the entire scouting fraternity was licking their chops at the 2003 draft. While nobody will tell you that this draft is going to be as good as 2003, it has turned out to be a better overall draft than 2001, which had a lot of players that did not pan out.
    -The strength of this draft is in net. Lehtonen is a star. Ward has a Conn Smythe and will be one of the game's top five for years to come. Toivonen has had his struggles, but give him time. He'll be an elite goalie. And in the second round, you have Josh Harding, who'll be a top 10 goalie in the NHL.

    And now some thoughts on those selected...

    -Bouwmeester vs. Pitkanen. I think both players could use a change of scenery, or at least a change in situations. Florida is a disaster and that program should be completely revamped. Keep Horton, Jokinen, Olesz and J-Bouw. Ship out everybody else. Philly's got a toxic team, and nobody plays to potential in a situation like that. I still think Bouwmeester will be the better player. I think he can be a bigger version of Scott Niedermayer.
    -I don't know what happened to Lupul this season. I think he's got the ability to be a 40-goal scorer. But he's the type who needs someone to get him the puck; he's not the type who's going to do it all on his own on a consistent basis. Is it a question of nobody who can get him the puck, or is it reflective of feeling the pressure of playing in his hometown, and being the centrepiece of a trade for an in-his-prime HHOFer.
    -I don't think Nystrom will ever be a big point producer. He'll be a solid third or fourth liner, but that's it.
    -Niinimaki was an off the board pick. He was ranked 50th among Europeans by CSB. In draft's that are viewed as weak, you'll often see a team go off the board in the first round. Edmonton did that in this draft. And in the first year, it looked like the gamble paid off. But Niinimaki got hurt, and his career was derailed.
    -Boyd Gordon will be a good, serviceable player, but that's it. Washington knew what they were getting when they took him.
    -Steen won't be as good of a player as his father, but he'll be a solid second line forward for years to come.
    -Grebeshkov disappointed me. He had a great year in the AHL during the lockout, but his play tailed off last year, and now he's back in Russia. When he was drafted, he was projected as a rock-solid defenceman. He didn't show any of that last year.

    Other players from the draft...
    -Jarrett Stoll and Matthew Lombardi were re-entry picks. So their development is a little further along than other players picked in 02. Stoll has certainly shown himself to be a very capable second line scorer. One of the hardest shots in the league. If Lombardi's hands ever catch up with his feet, he'll be one of the most dangerous players in the league.
    -Josh Harding is one of hockey's premier goaltending prospects. As stated earlier, he'll be a top 10 goalie in the league in the future.
     
  19. Reaper45

    Reaper45 Registered User

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    Grebs was never smart in the defensive zone.
     
  20. Habsfan18

    Habsfan18 Registered User

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    was wondering if you guys would like me to do a similar writeup of the 03 draft in the near future?
     
  21. Dread Clawz

    Dread Clawz LAWSonic Boom

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    Yeah, at the risk of sounding like a couple of homers, Bouw is most certainly Norris material in the future. He is already a true #1 defenseman(and not just for Florida) at age 23. And offensively, he scored 46 pts. last year and is on pace to score almost the same amount this year. Anybody who watches him consistently can see that the offense will pick up. He has some 50-60 point seasons in his future, if not more. He is already a very, very good all-around defenseman and will be a great one.
     
  22. hybridforce

    hybridforce Registered User

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    Not sure about the others, though I bet they would agree, I'd personally enjoy reading one on the '03 draft. Always enjoy reading about prospects and I agree you did a very good job on this one. :thumbu:
     
  23. Blindside

    Blindside Registered User

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    That would be awesome. I really loved this recap of the '02 draft, and doing one for the '03 crop as well would be great. :D
     
  24. Pax Macioretty

    Pax Macioretty Registered User

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    we'l wait another year for that:)
     
  25. WILDTATE10

    WILDTATE10 Registered User

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    the wild couldnt have made a better pick. PMB is a only going to get better and will be a star.
     

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