The 2004 NHL Entry Draft, held in Raleigh, North Carolina, was the last one comprised of nine rounds. It will go down as the Alexander Ovechkin/Evgeni Malkin draft, but as always there were some late-round gems as well.
The Florida Panthers, under Director of Scouting Scott Luce, got the highest average NHL games played out of their 2004 draft class, with an average of 60 games per pick. They made seven picks, and two of them became full-time players: Rostislav Olesz and David Booth, taken seventh and 37th respectively. Olesz has played 227 NHL games, to Booth’s 193.
Washington, who took Ovechkin first overall, came in second in average games per pick with 59. Buffalo was third with 51.63.
The Philadelphia Flyers had the worst return, with just .82 NHL games per pick. The Flyers had traded their first and second rounders, and began picking at 92nd overall. The Toronto Maple Leafs likewise started picking late — 90th overall — and came out with the third-worst return at just 2.29 games per pick.
But it’s the Los Angeles Kings who come out looking the worst. They held the 11th overall pick and ended up with the second-worst return at 1.11 games per pick. First rounder Lauri Tukonen played just five NHL games and has returned to Finland.
A.J. Thelen was the highest player taken in 2004 never to play an NHL game. He was taken 12th overall by Minnesota. The latest drafted player in 2004 to play in the NHL is Jannik Hansen, taken 287th by the Vancouver Canucks.
Clicking on the team name below will bring up the evaluation of each team.
|Team||No. of picks||No. of players 10+ games||Avg games per pick|
Best players from each round
2nd: David Booth (53rd overall to FLA), Brandon Dubinsky (60th overall to NY Rangers)
3rd: Johan Franzen (67th overall to Detroit)
4th: Ryan Callahan (127th overall to NY Rangers)
5th: Mikhail Grabovski (150th overall to Montreal)
6th: Roman Polak (180th overall to St. Louis)
7th: Chris Campoli (227th overall to NY Islanders)
8th: Greg Stewart (246th overall to Montreal), Pekka Rinne (258th overall to Nashville)
9th: Mark Streit (262nd overall to Montreal)