Patrice Bergeron was the 45th overall pick in the 2003 draft. The Boston Bruins' franchise center, a player who has climbed his way onto the list of arguably the top five centers in the NHL, was passed over 44 times before being picked. Hard to believe now.
"If you were going to start a franchise with a center ice man, I'm not sure there's many you put above him," said Mike O'Connell, who was the general manager in Boston when the Bruins drafted Bergeron. "He's a remarkable player. He's a pleasure to watch and he's mature. It's 'OK, let's go. Hop on.' Winning is the most important thing. It's his work ethic as much on the ice and off the ice. It's 'I'm here to win. Get out of my way.' "
Part of the reason for Bergeron's slip into the second round is because of how loaded the draft was. Every single first-round pick played in the NHL, and that round featured guys such as Eric Staal, Ryan Suter, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Mike Richards. So it was understandable if a smallish forward from the QMJHL who wasn't known for being a great skater got overlooked.
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