Expert re-drafts 2005 draft and Carey Price is not the first goalie to be selected

Jeff Drouin
April 18, 2022  (3:49 PM)

Hockey fans all remember the 2004-2005 season. In fact, we can't say that they remember the NHL hockey season of that year, because it was the year of the lockout that deprived us of our national sport for the whole season.

In the summer of 2005, the dispute was settled and we saw a real renaissance in the NHL with the introduction of shootouts and new rules to promote offense.
With the season cancelled, there was no way to determine which team would draft the Rimouski Oceanic's young sensation Sidney Crosby. For the occasion, a special lottery was held where all NHL teams had a chance to get the very first selection for the 2005 draft.
In the end, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the lottery and selected Crosby, who went on to become one of the best players of his generation. The Canadiens were lucky to get the fifth pick and goalie Carey Price was selected.
As reported by my colleague Alexandre Desrosiers, of Rumeursdetransaction.com, The Hockey Writers revisited the first round of that draft, but based on the careers of the players selected that year. Let's just say the results are sometimes surprising.
Unsurprisingly, we find #87 of the Penguins at the very top of the list, but surprisingly, at #2, we find goalie Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, ahead of Price, who is third on the list.
It must be said that the Kings' two cups won in 2012 and 2014 had a lot to do with this. Speaking of the Kings, Anze Kopitar comes in at number four and that brings us to number five, which is where the Habs selected Price in the real draft.
According to the revisited draft, the Habs would have selected James Neal before defenseman Kristopher Letang. I must admit that I didn't see that one coming. Ok, Neal had an interesting career in the NHL, but not to the point of selecting him before the Penguins defenseman.
Imagine if James Neal had been selected instead of Carey Price. Let's just say that the seasons would have been very different in Montreal.
Fortunately, this is just an exercise to have a little fun!
For the full list of the revisited 2005 first round draft
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Expert re-drafts 2005 draft and Carey Price is not the first goalie to be selected

Would James Neal have become an impact player if the CH had drafted him in 2005?

Yes6331 %
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