When NHL All-Star captains Zdeno Chara and Daniel Alfredsson select their teams during the second annual fantasy draft on Thursday in Ottawa, Toronto Maple Leafs sniper Phil Kessel, who has been among the league's leading goal-scorers all season, will be hoping he's done enough to avoid being picked last in consecutive years.
Granted, that potential scenario seems unlikely. But drafts are notoriously hard to predict.
That undeniable fact prompted us to revisit the much-ballyhooed 2006 entry draft, which some consider the deepest since the lockout. The Boston Bruins took Kessel fifth overall that year, but we wondered where he and others might go if teams could make their selections over again knowing what they do today.
To help us find the answer, we enlisted professional scouts from around the NHL to assist us with our picks, below. Some of the results may surprise you.
Picked: Erik Johnson, D
Revised pick: Jonathan Toews, C
Scout's take: "What else do you want? Toews is big, he can score, he's a leader -- he was a captain at 20 -- and he's already won a Stanley Cup. He's the total package."
Picked: Jordan Staal, C
Revised pick: Jordan Staal, C
Scout's take: "He's right up there with Toews. He's not quite as offensively gifted, but people around the league just love this kid. He's already won, too. You have to take that into account."
Picked: Jonathan Toews, C
Revised pick: Milan Lucic, LW
Scout's take: "Lucic is the scariest guy in the league. Nobody goes near that guy. He's a co-MVP of that team. If you're picking a forward, who would you rather have: Nicklas Backstrom or Milan Lucic? It's hard to believe he went 50th."
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