Watching the playoffs, you can't help but notice the impact of the 2003 draft. Already, it stands among the best classes in league history. I thought it might be interesting to see what it might look like if the teams got another shot at it today.
I re-ranked all of the talent based on what we know today about these players and slotted them 1-30. I didn't take team need into consideration -- it's just a true ranking -- but we included the teams that owned the corresponding pick in 2003 so you can fantasize a little about what these squads might have looked like had the draft unfolded a little differently.
One more note about my rankings: I valued centers and defensemen a little higher because I think most teams do now, particularly after the post-lockout rule changes. So keep that in mind before the yelling starts.
That said, I think the first round might look something like this.
3. Florida Panthers: Shea Weber, Predators (2003: No. 49). He has developed into a Norris Trophy contender. He can hurt you with his physical game or his heavy shot. He makes a major jump to the elite end of the class.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets: Mike Richards, Flyers (2003: No. 24). I moved Richards to this point because of the impact he has on the game as a strong two-way center who also plays big special teams minutes.
5. Buffalo Sabres: Zach Parise, Devils (2003: No. 17). If he were a center, I would have placed him ahead of Richards. I think that means something when building a team. He's become a star for the Devils, who traded up to make the pick. Smart!
Things are just getting good. Want to see how far then-No. 1 pick Marc-Andre Fleury falls in this re-grade? Want to see where these guys could have gone? Sign up for ESPN Insider today.