Historical Review of Draft Results
Short Recap / Summary
Please reserve comment for a future post wherein I will request commentary on the review as a whole.
The Atlanta Thrashers started out with a whole lot of nothing and it didn't get much better from there. From the work I have done I have to blame a lot of it on timing.
Think Expansion Draft lists for a second. The Thrashers Expansion Draft was held in 1999. Drafting one year AFTER the Thrashers one would think that the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild would be picking from the dregs of the pool yet the draft rules in place and the expiry of another year (in terms of player career timelines) meant that those teams actually did BETTER than Atlanta.
That meant that the Entry Draft had to be Atlanta's salvation.
Sadly, their first Entry Draft year was 1999. Quite possibly one of the weakest draft years of the modern (read: expansion) era. Atlanta took the best player they could and that player was Patrik Stefan.
Stefan was/is a good honest player. Just not that good. Exelby, the only other player of note to come out of that year had development timelines that reflected his draft pick; not a good thing.
Heatley and Kovalchuk were the obvious picks in their years but Lehtonen, as good as he was touted to be, was a serious mis-step. Coburn was a great pick but Atlanta management had performance issues and wasted the potential.
With a derth of quality coming out of their later round picks the team's staging years, from which the Thrashers could build a solid foundation for Stanley Cup contention, were wasted.
1. a poor starting point (the 1999 Expansion and Entry Drafts) with
2. a below par performance from the scouting staff** and
3. questionable trades with few pure 'winners' in the group
and it really didn't matter how good some subsequent 1st round picks were - they all had to be superstars for this team to succeed.
** note the fail marks per draft rounds 2 through 7
Despite the loss of Coburn, 2003 may actually mark the beginning of a new building program for the club as Enstrom has proven to be an effective driver of the powerplay, Valabik (2004) might actually have a career and Little (2006) is showing well in early results.
If Lehtonen can be the goalie he projected to be, albeit a few years later than needed, and the team can get a nice return on Kovalchuk then the future could be bright. If Pavelec is the goalie of the Thrashers future then all the better as that makes Lehtonen available for trade.
Could make for a nice next five.
In summary, from:
-- 1999 to 2003 (5 drafts) the team fared, at best, average but needed to do far better;
-- 2004 to 2008 (5 drafts) the team has a chance to start all over and maybe 2013 will be the magic year
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Introduction
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Draft Results Summation
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Yrs 1999 to 2003
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Yrs 2004 to 2008
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Draft Results By Year
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Draft Results By Round
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Draft Results By Pick
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Draft Results By Age
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Draft Results By Position
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Draft Results By League
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Draft Results By Country of Birth
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Player Grading System
Atlanta Thrashers 2008 HRDR - Graded Players Summary
Have a great evening everyone.