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Where Each Golden Knight Should Have Been Drafted

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

In 2022-23, the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights used 35 players. Among them were three Top 5 picks, five 1st rounders, and seven players who went undrafted.

Jack Eichel led the group as the highest-selected player going 2nd overall in the 2015 Draft. Alex Pietrangelo, Phil Kessel, Shea Theodore, and Brett Howden all also went in the 1st round. The undrafted group was headlined by Jonathan Marchessault, Zach Whitecloud, and Logan Thompson.

This summer, the great JFresh has been conducting surveys from fans to examine what a “re-draft” would look like from each season. With the knowledge of years of NHL games, it’s much easier to see now that Mark Stone shouldn’t have been a 6th rounder or Shea Theodore probably should have gone before Mirco Mueller, Frederik Gauthier, or Curtis Lazar.

JFresh’s surveys go all the way back to 2003 which means every drafted player on the Golden Knights roster was eligible for the re-draft from their corresponding draft year. Of course, undrafted players were ineligible, so Marchessault couldn’t fit into the Top 5 of the 2011 Draft, which we would have.

Here’s where each Stanley Cup champion Golden Knight fell in the re-draft from each season. The differential from their actual draft spot is listed in parentheses.

Jonathan Quick – 2005 – 6th (+66)
Phil Kessel – 2006 – 5th (0)
Alec Martinez – 2007 – 10th (+85)
Alex Pietrangelo – 2008 – 5th (-1)
Reilly Smith – 2009 – 15th (+54)
Robin Lehner – 2009 – 19th (+27)
Brayden McNabb – 2009 – 27th (+39)
Mark Stone – 2010 – 1st (+177)
William Karlsson – 2011 – 12th (+41)
Laurent Brossoit – 2011 – 39th (+125)
Chandler Stephenson – 2012 – 15th (+62)
Teddy Blueger – 2012 – 43rd (+9)
Ben Hutton – 2012 – 55th (+92)
Shea Theodore – 2013 – 4th (+22)
William Carrier – 2013 – 38th (+19)
Ivan Barbashev – 2014 – 20th (+13)
Michael Amadio – 2014 – 53rd (+37)
Jack Eichel – 2015 – 2nd (0)
Adin Hill – 2015 – 33rd (+43)
Nic Roy – 2015 – 39th (+57)
Keegan Kolesar – 2015 – 50th (+19)
Brett Howden – 2016 – 29th (-2)
Nic Hague – 2017 – 19th (+15)
Paul Cotter – 2018 – 52nd (+63)

Obviously, Stone leads the pack with an insane +177, but we also so impressive jumps from Alec Martinez, Laurent Brossoit, Ben Hutton, Chandler Stephenson, and Ben Hutton.

I’m not really sure what to gain out of this exercise, but it’s definitely neat to see how low a lot of these guys were selected only to go on to win a Stanley Cup many years later.

**To see each re-draft, click on the corresponding year. 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)


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  1. THE hockey GOD

    ThG was undrafted too

    then Jesus came along.

  2. Jailbird

    I’m not sure what that list means either, but it was an interesting read.

  3. Emmanuel

    What this list means is that draft picks are overrated, especially anything past the 15th pick.

    As a long time fan of the Senators id see fans say stupid things like “our 20th best prospect has a chance to be a first liner”, id be like are they high? The cutoff at every level up the chain is brutal. Longevity is another issue, some of the best players are done by 33YO. Most players will play under 400 games for a few years during their 24 to 27 age years which are their prime years.

    Note that most drafts have roughly 10 very good players and 20 useful players, thats very shallow. Most teams over a 5 year period might only draft 2 or 3 good players.

    The surveys are also a pretty good argument AGAINST trading a good player to a playoff team for a late 1st rounder, its unlikely that pick will pan out.

    • THE hockey GOD

      @ emmanuel

      “the FO really sucks” then ???


      Doc would like that FO doesn’t suck.

      • Emmanuel

        I think they are aware building thru the draft is a scattershot approach. Its better to tank and get top 2 picks, which they havent done yet. There are always cheap bodies to fill out the roster.

        Looks like the FO strategy is to trade for veteran (and if possible) two way players and flip excess salary to make room for the 2-3 million bottom of the roster guys.

      • Thg and Sorvino – l see were your buddy MAF only needs 8 wins to move into 2nd place of all time wins.. Pretty good for a piece of shit as you refer to him Just thought l would bring that to your attention since you have such great respect for him. No response necessary keep your blood pressure under control.

    • Sorvino

      So we are all good with Zach Dean for Ivan Barbashev.

  4. THE hockey GOD

    i like the zach dean burger with sweet potato fries at Green Valley Ranch

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