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Is the 2008 Draft better than 2003?



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The 2003 draft has been known by many to be the best draft in recent history and rightly so. Big names like Shea Weber, Eric Staal, Ryan Kesler, Thomas Vanek, Dion Phaneuf, Marc-Andre Fleury and the list goes on and on.

But the 2008 draft is also turning out to be one of epic proportions. Although it's obviously too early to determine if it will best the 2003 young'uns, there are a lot of fantastic players already coming out of it.

Of the top 10 picks, only one (Filatov) has played less than 100 games. Only 4 players in the first round are without a single game, compared to 5 players in the 2007 draft, which was a year earlier, thus giving the players an extra year over the 2008 draftees. (Worth noting is that two of those 4 are goaltenders, which are known to take time to develop).

Where it gets really crazy is when you look at the caliber of the top drafted players.


Picks 2-5 consists of some fantastic defensemen in Doughty, Bogosian, Pietrangelo, Luke Schenn.

There are bound to be several Norris trophies won amongst those players. Don't forget Myers (12th), a Calder winner, and then of course, the 2012 Norris winner, Erik Karlsson (15th).

Gardiner (17th), Sbisa (19th), Del Zotto (20th) and John Carlson (27th) all have potential to be great defenders as well.

Slava Voynov (32nd) has just been coming out this year as a great offensive defender along with Justin Schultz (43rd).

Other notable defenders include Josi (38th), Hamonic (53rd), Scandella (55th), Brodie (114th), Spurgeon (156th) and Demers (186th).


Stamkos (1st), obviously, is the best pick thus far in this draft. He's a perennial 50-goal scorer and we've seen him hit 60 in a season when no one else hit 50.

Wilson (7th), Boedker (8th), and Bailey (9th) have all been decent players thus far.

Cody Hodgson (10th) has found his home in Buffalo and is producing well. The first complete bust thus far comes in here in Kyle Beach at 11th.

Eberle (22nd) has become arguably the best player on a young a talented Oilers team. Ennis (26th) is hitting his stride now and Stepan (51st) has become a key part of the Rangers.

Zach Smith (79th) and Matt Martin (148th) have both already put in considerable time in the NHL.

Other notable forwards include Boychuk (14th), Tedenby (24th), Henrique (82nd), McMillan (85th), Weise (111th), Calvert (127th), Rinaldo (178th),


As goaltenders take longer to develop, it's a bit early to expect great ones from a draft as recent as 2008.

Goaltenders from this draft that have played at least 5 games in the NHL are Markstrom (31st), Allen (34th), Holtby (93rd), Tokarski (122nd), Poulin (126th), Lindback (207th).

As you can see by this extensive list, the league is already largely populated by members of the 2008 draft and keep in mind, there may very well likely be more players that make the jump to the NHL.

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We'll see. I think the 2013 draft might be just insane with the players it produces. I can't remember a fight for 1st overall like this before. You have Jones, Drouin, and MacKinnon who are all currently in the running for 1st overall. Then you have guys like Nichushkin, Barkov, Monahan, Lindholm, Nurse, Zadorov, Rychel, Fucale, Ristolainen, Lazar, Pulock, Shinkaruk etc. that have been bouncing in and out of the top 5 or 10 all year. This years draft is borderline retarded for the talent it has in it.

Just a little off topic but the best draft EVER is the 1979 draft. That draft was flippin insane. 81% of the players drafted in 1979 played in the NHL. The exact number was 103 out of 126 guys drafted played in the NHL. Out of the first 50 picks 16 of those guys played 1,000 games or more. 28 of the first 50 guys drafted played at least 500 games in the NHL. 7 guys from that draft scored 1,000 points or more in their careers. That 1979 draft was just nuts.

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2003 Forwards

E.Staal, Horton, Vanek, Michalek, Carter, Brown, Parise, Getzlaf, Kesler, Richards, Perry, Eriksson, Bergeron, Backes, MacArthur, Pavelski, stempniak, Brodziak.

2008 Forwards

Stamkos, C.Wilson, Bailey, Hodgson, Ennis. Henrique

2003 Defense

Suter, Coburn, Phaneuf, Seabrook, Weber, Carle, Quincey, Enstrom, Byfuglien, Gervias.

2008 Defense

Doughty, Bogosian, Pietrangelo, Schenn, Myers, Karlsson, Del Zotto, Carlson, Schultz, Hamonic.

2003 Goalies

Fleury, Crawford, Halak, Elliott

2008 Goalies

Allen, Holtby, lindback. Up in the air still Markstrom (15gp, 3 wins, 10 losses, .907 SV%, 2.97 GAA), Tokarski (7gp, 1wins, 3 losses, .871 SV%, 3.54 GAA)

Besides maybe D which is still close. the rest isn't really close. Without the star power of Stamkos, Karlsson, Doughty I don't think this would be talked about

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