Bruins

Would Patrice Bergeron be No. 1 pick in 2003 NHL Draft redo?

Bruins

The 2003 NHL Draft featured one of the most talented and deepest classes in history, and it was a pivotal event for many franchises.

That includes the Boston Bruins, who selected center Patrice Bergeron with the No. 45 overall pick in the second round. The 2003 draft concluded June 22, making today its 18th anniversary.

Bergeron isn't the only player still playing from that draft, but he's the only one still performing at an elite level, at least among all the skaters chosen.

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The Bruins' top center tallied 48 points (23 goals, 25 assists) in 53 games during the 2020-21 regular season. It was his eighth consecutive season scoring 20-plus goals. He also was a finalist for the Selke Trophy for the 10th time.

If we did a 2003 redraft, would Bergeron be the No. 1 pick? You could make a strong case for the Quebec-born star.

Here's a look at the top 10 picks from the 2003 draft and how we would do these selections in a redraft.

Pick Team Real draft pick Redraft pick
1 Pittsburgh Penguins Marc-Andre Fleury, G Patrice Bergeron, C
2 Carolina Hurricanes Eric Staal, C Eric Staal, C
3 Florida Panthers Nathan Horton, RW Ryan Getzlaf, C
4 Columbus Blue Jackets Nikolai Zherdev, RW Shea Weber, D
5 Buffalo Sabres Thomas Vanek, LW Corey Perry, RW
6 San Jose Sharks Milan Michalek, LW Ryan Suter, D
7 Nashville Predators Ryan Suter, D Marc-Andre Fleury, G
8 Atlanta Thrashers Braydon Coburn, D Joe Pavelski, C
9 Calgary Flames Dion Phaneuf, D Jeff Carter, C
10 Montreal Canadiens Andrei Kostitsyn, RW Zach Parise, LW

The Bruins owned the No. 16 pick in Round 1 and traded it to the Sharks. Zach Parise was the next pick at No. 17 to the Devils, with Ryan Getzlaf (No. 19 to Ducks) and Brent Burns (No. 20 to Wild) going soon after.

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Boston picked at No. 21 as a result of the trade with San Jose. The B's selected defenseman Mark Stuart, who had a nice career. However, Ryan Kesler (No. 23 to Canucks), Mike Richards (No. 24 to Flyers) and Corey Perry (No. 28 to Ducks) were still on the board. Parise, Getzlaf, Perry, Burns, Kesler and Richards were all elite players for multiple seasons at one point in their careers.

 

The Bruins didn't pick again until No. 45 overall in Round 2. They hit a home run with Bergeron, who should one day be a Hockey Hall of Famer and have his No. 37 retired to the rafters at TD Garden. He's one of the best players in Bruins history and helped lead them to a 2011 Stanley Cup title.

Boston actually had a pretty solid four-year run in the draft from 2003 through 2006. During that span, the B's selected Bergeron (Round 2 in 2003), David Krejci (Round 2 in 2004), Phil Kessel (Round 1 in 2006), Milan Lucic (Round 2 in 2006) and Brad Marchand (Round 3 in 2006).