Rumors 2009 NHL Draft Take Two: Fifth Overall Pick


They see me rollin'. They hatin'.
Staff member
Jul 28, 2004
Hindsight is an amazing thing, and allows us to look back and wonder “what could have been.” Though perfection is attempted, scouting and draft selection is far from an exact science and sometimes, it doesn’t work out the way teams – or players – intended. For every Patrick Kane, there is a Patrik Stefan.

We’re looking back at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and asking how it would shake out knowing what we do now. Will the first round remain the same, or will some late-round picks jump up to the top of the board?

The results of our redraft so far are as follows, with their original draft position in parentheses:

1st Overall: Victor Hedman, New York Islanders (2)
2nd Overall: John Tavares, Tampa Bay Lightning (1)
3rd Overall: Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado Avalanche (33)
4th Overall: Matt Duchene, Atlanta Thrashers (3)

Duchene doesn’t fall more than one spot past his original selection, winning the PHR reader poll by the slimmest margin thus far with only 29% of the total votes. Still, it’s hard to argue with the selection – Duchene remains a top-six threat and, despite his overall inconsistency, has scored upwards of 30 goals and 70 points on multiple occasions. In terms of career totals, he’s played in 123 more games than Evander Kane, Atlanta’s original pick at fourth overall, scored 14 more goals, and added a whopping 157 more assists.

The Los Angeles Kings are now on the clock at fifth overall in our 2009 redraft series. Things are looking up for the team after drafting names like Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Wayne Simmonds in recent years, but they’ve now missed the playoffs for six straight years and are feeling the pressure to exit their rebuild in the post-Luc Robitaille era.

With their third-straight top-five pick, they selected center Brayden Schenn from the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings. The burgeoning two-way talent had solid name recognition, and the Kings had passed on his older brother, defenseman Luke Schenn, the year prior. Luke went fifth overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs after the Kings selected Thomas Hickey with the fourth overall pick.

While Schenn developed into an established top-six force in the NHL with a fruitful career, it wasn’t with the team that drafted him. He played just nine games with the Kings in the following two seasons after the draft before they traded him (along with Simmonds) to the Philadelphia Flyers in a package for center Mike Richards in 2011. With the Flyers, it didn’t take Schenn terribly long to become a strong middle-six center, eventually earning more chances higher in the lineup once moved to the wing. He tallied 20-plus goals three times in a Philadelphia jersey and had some solid possession metrics, although he never received any Selke Trophy consideration.

His career truly took off in 2017 after another trade, this time to the St. Louis Blues. He immediately posted the best season of his career, scoring a career-high 28 goals and 70 points in 2017-18 and playing nearly 20 minutes per game. He took a small step back in 2018-19, but you won’t hear any Blues fans complaining about that – he would go on to record 12 points in 26 playoff games as the Blues won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.

Set to turn 32 in a few days, Schenn is actually posting the most consistently high offensive totals of his career, combining for 123 points in 144 games over the past two seasons. His two-way game is starting to decline, but nonetheless, he’s given his two longtime NHL homes some solid hockey over the past decade-plus.

That being said, is Schenn the best player left on the board, or are there other options that would have better served the Kings? Make your voice heard in the poll below:

Take Our Poll
If you can’t access the poll above, click here to vote!

Continue reading...
Top Bottom