Trucking right along, we find ourselves leaving what possibly could be the worst draft in team history behind us and moving toward a brighter future. Right? No? Uh-oh. I am guessing the fans are going to start getting restless here pretty quick.
By the way, a shout out to Woody Wommack, beat writer for the Florida Everblades. He is following the series. If anyone out there has interest in ECHL level hockey, you should be reading his stuff.
Make the jump, let's revisit 2005.
First Round: Benoit Pouliot - Benny's value to the franchise turned out to be an amazing trade for Guillaume Latendresse. Looking at Pouliot's actual on ice contributions, there are very few. He was drafted for his size, a prototypical power forward. Crash the net, camp out front, take the abuse and score goals. He did none of this and found himself on permanent patrol in Houston. He was handed several chances to make his case, and showcased his laziness on every attempt. After being traded to the Canadiens for Lats, he was beginning to figure it out until he was injured.
Result: Two results here. He was an absolute bust under the old regime. The new regime turned him into Lats, which is a huge win.
Second Round: Matt Kassian (L) - Judging by the numbers, Kassian looks to have developed into a defensive forward. He has five points in 47 games with the Aeros this season. His value to the franchise looks to be in a checking line role. The question that needs to be answered is this, do you use a second round draft pick to bring a checking line forward into the organization?
Third Round: Kristopher Westblom (G) - Here we are again. Josh Harding playing his way up the ranks, goalies at the NHL level playing well, and He Who Shall Remain Nameless uses another high pick to draft a goalie. Westblom never played a professional game. Anywhere. He left the WHL after 2007-08 never to be heard from again.
Fourth Round: Two picks this round after trading Brad Brown and the sixth round in this draft to Buffalo for an extra pick in this round.
Kyle Bailey (C) - Bailey also never played a professional game anywhere. After leaving the WHL, Bailey went to the University of New Brunswik where he played two seasons before hanging up the skates.
Morten Madsen (C) - Mad Mort played two seasons with the Aeros, where he put up respectable, if not noticeable, numbers. This season he is playing in the Swedish Elite League, and his North American hockey career looks over.
Fifth Round: Anthony Aiello (D) - A rare venture into an NCAA pick for the old regime, Aiello turned out to be a disappointment. After leaving Boston College, he went to the ECHL, where he made a stop with the Everblades this season and is now with the Stockton Thunder.
Round Six: No pick. See fourth round.
Round Seven: Riley Emmerson (LW) - Another late round pick by the Wild playing for the Stockton Thunder. A strange coincidence. Emmerson has 43 AHL games under his belt, but looks to be a career ECHLer.
Summary: Seven picks. One of which is still with the organization. Pouliot's value only came via trading him away, and only after a new GM stepped in and said "enough." We thought the last draft was bad? If it is possible, this one was worse. Final grade: F.
(Author's note. I will be attempting to tame the Dead Sea, aka Mille Lacs, for the next two days. We'll pick this series back up on Friday.)
Wild trade Brad Brown and a sixth in this draft to Buffalo for a fourth round in this draft