A Decade Later: Redraft 2006

It's been ten years since the Vancouver Island Norsemen selected Erik Johnson first overall. Was he the best player available? Hindsight is 20/20 (*cough*Toews)
by J.J. Jameson | October 2, 2016, 12:02 AM ET

Do we have time for one last draft-related article before we dive into Free Agency?  I think so. Based on ten years of hindsight, The Hockey Writers (http://thehockeywriters.com/) redrafted the 2006 first round.  Not surprisingly, the players who have had the most success were not necessarily the first ones picked in the SICHL draft that year. So how would the draft look if we could go back in time?

Reminder of actual 2006 Round 1 Draft Results:

Let's redraft:

1. Jonathan Toews (selected 5th overall by Chicago Buccaneers) - Vancouver Island Norsemen

It is clear who the Norsemen should have selected first overall. Few players in the current generation can match Toews for hockey and leadership skills. How would the fortunes of Vancouver Island have changed with a generational talent on their roster for the past decade rather than the slow-to-develop blueliner they actually drafted in Erik Johnson?

2. Claude Giroux (selected 12th overall by Acadia Golden Bears) - Chicago Buccaneers

Having ended up with Toews at 5th overall, it's hard to argue that the Buccaneers didn't come away with pretty much the best talent they could have with their two top-five picks in this draft: Toews and Phil Kessel.  But the fact that Giroux fell all the way to the Bears at 12 is one big reason Guy Flaming has become the most successful GM in SICHL history. We won't mention how many picks it took Guy to finally select Giroux...

3. Nicklas Backstrom (selected 4th overall by Fredericton Express) - Whitehorse Huskies

When the Huskies selected the can't-miss younger brother of Eric Staal with their 3rd overall pick, they certainly got a great two-way center. But there's no arguing now that Backstrom has been clearly the better player since.

4. Phil Kessel (selected 2nd overall by Chicago Buccaneers) - Fredericton Express

Well, fortunately for the Express they managed to land the 3rd best player in the draft with the 4th pick.

5. Erik Johnson (selected 1st overall by Vancouver Island Norsemen) - Chicago Buccaneers

Johnson wasn't the best player available in the draft, but he was the best defenseman available. He should have gone 5th overall.  Instead the Bucs (now Spartans) ended up with Toews with this pick.

6. Milan Lucic (selected 70th overall by Kansas City Krunch) - Stockholm Cougars

Our first real steal on this list. KC managed to pick up this generation's best power forward all the way near the end of the third round. Of course it doesn't seem like they realized how good they had it - Lucic never played a single game for the Krunch; in fact, he was traded four times before he played his first SICHL game.

7. Kyle Okposo (selected 7th overall by Amsterdam Admirals) - Amsterdam Admirals

Yep, Okposo went exactly where he should have. Amazing job by the Admirals.

8. Jordan Staal (selected 3rd overall by Whitehorse Huskies) - Acadia Golden Bears

So remember how we earlier saw how lucky the Bears were to select Giroux was down at 12? Well they first selected total bust Peter Mueller at 8th overall. Jordan Staal never turned into the number one center that his big brother did, but he has had a solid career nonetheless and should have still been a top-10 pick.

9. Derick Brassard (selected 6th overall by Stockholm Cougars) - Chicago Bucaneers

Wow, Chicago had so many top picks in this draft! Why don't they have a string of cups to show for it? Maybe because they actually selected Michael Frolik with this pick. But maybe not; there may have been other reasons, too; who can say? It took a few years after the draft, but Brassard has developed into a solid second line center with Stockholm.

10. Semyon Varlamov (selected 43rd overall by Moskva Reds) - Oslo Vikings

While he's had a streaky career, Varlamov was definitely the best goalie available in the 2006 draft, the fourth one selected behind such SICHL flops as Leyland Irving (ACA) and Riku Helenius (AMS).

11. Nick Foligno (selected 21st overall by Toronto Titans) - Acadia Golden Bears

We're all happy that Guy decided to take career backup Jonathan Bernier with this pick instead.

12. Brad Marchand (selected 68th overall by Acadia Golden Bears) - Acadia Golden Bears

You may notice that you're also seeing a lot of Bears picks in this draft. They made 19 selections that fall weekend in 2006. It's called "The Shotgun Method". It's taken Marchand basically his whole career to this point to find the right balance of agitator and pure skill, but he was definitely a steal in the third round.

13. Steve Mason (selected 102nd overall by Stockholm Cougars) - Les Canons de Québec

Mason was the second best netminder available on draft day 2006.  He ended up falling to the 5th round.

14. Patrik Berglund (selected 24th overall by Ottawa Slammers) - Kansas City Krunch 

Arguably the Kansas City Krunch would have been better off selecting basically anybody other than James Sheppard with this pick. But then again, they traded Sheppard for Jason Spezza (sort of), so it all kinda worked out for Kirk anyway.

15. Bryan Little (selected 10th overall by Oslo Vikings) - Hamburg Gladiators

Unfortunately for Henry, Bryan Little was selected early by the Vikings and so he wasn't available at this pick. But their selection of Jiri Tlusty wasn't a total waste at least.

16. Artem Anisimov (selected 51st overall by Fredericton Express) - Amsterdam Admirals

The Express wasted three second round picks on players that never panned out, but it was third round lucky with their selection of this talented Russian.

17. Jonathan Bernier (selected 11th overall by Acadia Golden Bears) - Philadelphia Fire Ants

At this point in the draft there begins a string of bad picks. Instead of any of the talented and successful players above that were still available at this slot, the Ants selected Ty Wishart.

18. Jeff Petry (selected 48th overall by New York Empire) - Edmonton Supersonics

Mike may have the simulator completely figured out, but he definitely missed the mark drafting total flop Bobby Sanguinetti with this pick.

19. Mathieu Perreault (selected 213th overall by Oslo Vikings) - Acadia Golden Bears

The Vikings picked up the steal of the draft when they grabbed totally serviceable forward Perreault with only five picks left in the draft. Meanwhile, the Bears drafted a goalie who never really amounted to much.

20. Matt Beleskey (selected 126th overall by Stockholm Cougars) - Amsterdam Admirals

With this pick, the Admirals have the distiction of having selected the first player in this draft to have never appeared in even a single SICHL game: goaler Riku Helenius. They could have instead picked this late-round gem. Belleskey is an under-rated, gritty forward who has been burried in the Cougars system.

21. Michael Frolik (selected 9th overall by Chicago Buccaneers) - Toronto Titans

Frolik had a great rookie year.

22. Chris Stewart (selected 13th overall by Les Canons de Québec) - New York Empire

Stewart has been a consistent, 40ish-point producer his whole SICHL career, but was picked a bit early at 13th.

23. Michal Neuvirth (selected 58th overall by Oslo Vikings) - Les Canons de Québec

It often takes goaltenders a very long time to develop, and that has been the case with Neuvirth. He's definitely established himself as a starting-level talent in this league now though. He would have been worth the wait to select him this late in the first round.  Certainly Andreas Nodl is not going anywhere for the Canons.

24. Leo Komaorv (selected 120th by Les Canons de Québec) - Ottawa Slammers

With Komarov's ties to real-life Toronto, it is doubtful that Pat could have cheered for him long enough to see him blossom into an NHL All-Star (*chuckle*).


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