Five years is considered the appropriate time to
look back and judge a draft class. Over the past several weeks, Hockey’s
Future has examined each NHL team’s 2001 draft crop. The hyperlinks in the
table below lead to the individual articles.
While there were fewer stars at the very top of
the 2001 draft than in 2000, by at least one aggregate measure, the 2001 draft
produced more NHL talent. The average number of games played per pick by team
was 26 in 2001, compared to only 20
in 2000 (as of summer 2005), with both draft classes experiencing one year
of lockout in the five-year interval.
Another year, another big Islander trade, and in
2001 it was their first rounder to Ottawa as part of the Alexei Yashin deal. The
Atlanta Thrashers won the draft lottery, however, and leapfrogged from third to
the No. 1 spot. The Thrashers and Senators top the charts for games played
per pick in 2001, on the strength of Ilya Kovalchuk and Jason Spezza, but both
teams found value in later rounds as well, most notably goaltender Pasi Nurminen.
|Team||Avg. NHL games|
of picks to
|New York Rangers||39||12||6|
|Detroit Red Wings||10||7||1|
|less than 1||10||2|
Teams with the most opportunity lost include
Tampa Bay, having selected Alexander Svitov third overall, and Anaheim, having
selected Stanislav Chistov fifth overall. Svitov struggled to stick with
the NHL club before being traded to Columbus during the 2003-04 season.
Chistov played 135 games with Anaheim before returning to Russia to play. Three
of the top five picks in 2001 were Russian, but only Kovalchuk played the
2005-06 season in the NHL.
A few players from the 2001 draft remain very
promising and may yet live up to their potential, including goaltender Pascal
Leclaire (CLB) taken eighth overall and defenseman Carlo Colaicovo (TOR) taken
at No. 17.
Best value selections by round:
Round 2: Mike Cammalleri 49th overall to Los
Round 3: Patrick Sharp 95th overall to
Round 4: Christoph Erhoff 106th overall to San
Round 5: Jussi Markkanen 133rd overall to
Round 6: Pasi Nurminen 189th overall to Atlanta,
Marek Zidlicky 176th overall to NY Rangers
Round 7: Cristobal Huet 214th overall to Los
Angeles, Marek Svatos 227th overall to Colorado
Round 8: Martin Gerber 232nd overall to Anaheim,
Petr Cajanek 253rd overall to St. Louis
Round 9: Ivan Majesky 267th overall to Florida
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