From teammates with the Kamloops Blazers to longtime competitors in the NHL, Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan were the crown jewels of the 1995 draft and they’re still going at it.
With Jarome Iginla scoring his 600th goal last night and Shane Doan on something of an offensive tear of late, we thought it would be interesting to reconfigure the 1995 draft, the one in which Iginla was taken 11th overall and Doan seventh.
Here’s how we’d do it all over again knowing what we know today. Hint: The top two picks would have been teammates with the Kamloops Blazers.
6. EDMONTON – Wade Redden (2nd by Ottawa) instead of Steve Kelly. With 1,023 career games, Redden played more NHL games than all Edmonton’s 1995 draft picks combined (845).
8. MONTREAL – Jean Sebastien Giguere (13th by Hartford) instead of Terry Ryan. The Canadiens lost Patrick Roy months later and Giguere could have picked up the torch.
9. BOSTON – Daymond Langkow (5th by Tampa Bay) instead of Kyle McLaren. Langkow took a while, but had a run of seven straight 20-goal seasons later in his career.
10. FLORIDA – Michal Handzus (101st overall by St. Louis) instead of Radek Dvorak. Who wouldn’t have been able to use a big two-way center?
12. SAN JOSE – Stephane Robidas (164th by Montreal) instead of Teemu Riihijarvi. An undersized but productive defenseman would have been preferable to a 6-foot-6, 204-pounder who never played an NHL game.
14. BUFFALO – Jay McKee, whom they took 14th overall. The Sabres did just fine with this pick.
15. TORONTO – Filip Kuba (192nd by Florida) instead of Jeff Ware. The Leafs were seduced by Ware’s size. One of many mistakes they made at the draft table in the 1990s.
16. BUFFALO – Jochen Hecht (49th by St. Louis) instead of Martin Biron. Hecht was a pretty consistent 40-point scorer over his career.
17. WASHINGTON – Danny Markov (223rd by Toronto) instead of Brad Church. Markov had his flaws, but he was the ultimate competitor.
18. NEW JERSEY – Kyle McLaren (9th by Boston) instead of Petr Sykora. McLaren would have been a great Devil – workmanlike, consistent and defensive.
19. CHICAGO – P.J. Axelsson (177th by Boston) instead of Dmitri Nabokov. Axelsson wasn’t flashy, but he was a capable defensive player who played almost 800 games.
22. PHILADELPHIA – Brad Isbister (67th by Winnipeg) instead of Brian Boucher. Grinder had one 20-goal season, his rookie year.
23. WASHINGTON – Jan Hlavac (28th by NY Islanders) instead of Miika Elomo. The Capitals got a grand total of four NHL games from their two first-round picks. They would have received 432 more from Hlavac.
24. PITTSBURGH – Aleksey Morozov, whom they took 24th overall. Had he stayed in North America, Morozov could have been great.