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.