2003 NHL Re-Draft: Ryan Getzlaf Leapfrogs Staal For Second

Ha! Your fly is undone! Classic! (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/NHLI)

We had a bit of a false launch on this project, an unexpected issue with the graphics held us up and then we decided for the draft and free agency to quiet down a bit before bringing this back. For a look at what this Re-Draft is all about, check out the introduction here, followed up by the piece on the first overall re-pick, Shea Weber.

History

There isn't a lot of history to this pick. The Carolina Hurricanes followed up a surprise Prince of Wales Trophy win in 2002 with an epic flameout in 2002-03, finishing last in the NHL. The season appeared to go from disgusting to I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYONE when the Hurricanes didn't win the draft lottery, but as I explained in the first overall pick, amongst the teams that could've drafted first overall, Carolina got the best player when they picked Eric Staal, the first of the three Staal brothers to make the NHL. It was an excellent pick, and helped the franchise to a return to glory that happened quicker than anticipated with the 2006 Stanley Cup win. However, due to the complications caused by the NHL lockout, Carolina didn't get full value out of Staal. Because of this, another centre who won a Stanley Cup on his entry level contract delivered the second most value to his club.

The Pick

Ryan Getzlaf had a very good draft year as a junior for the Calgary Hitmen, but not a spectacular one. He potted 29 goals and 68 points in 70 games for the Hitmen, with only two points in five playoff games. He joined Team Canada for the U18s and was fairly disappointing. Perhaps because of this "unclutch" play, on draft day, Getzlaf dropped a bit. He was the fifth ranked North American skater by Central Scouting but was the 13th North American skater taken. He started his professional career with a surprise stint in the AHL, but mid-way through his first season he was called up and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were never the same (that was the last year of the 'Mighty' name). Anaheim made it to the third round in 2006 and then won the Cup the next year with Getzlaf playing a key role, but not a front line one. That would come afterwards, as he became one of the NHL's top playmakers.

After the jump, we'll look at his career progression in greater detail.

03_getzlaf_graphic_medium

Editor's Note: The stats above indicate league rank (forwards only) in each category except Games Played (GP) and Score. Score is defined in the introduction, on a scale of 0.5 to 6 with bonus half points given for year end awards.

Getzlaf may have started his pro career in the minors, but he quickly became an important piece for the Ducks as they rose quickly to Stanley Cup contenders after the lockout. Randy Carlyle deployed him in offensive situations for his first two years and his production was of first line value within a year as he dominated playing behind the likes of Andy MacDonald and Sami Pahlsson. After the Cup win in 2007, Getzlaf was forced into a starring role as the Ducks tried to figure out how to stay competitive as budget concerns started to kick in. Getzlaf excelled in this role for a few seasons, and is currently one of the most used forwards in the game. The minutes may be taking their toll, though, as last year Getzlaf saw a drop in production. It was still of first line value, but it was a notable drop, although partly due to a drop in shooting percentage (5.9%).

The (Mighty) Ducks used optimal asset management of Getzlaf, aside from maybe holding him back in the minors for the first half season. His overall score of 108 is as complete of a score as you'll find on here: from draft day to unrestricted free agency the Ducks saw the very best they possibly could out of Getzlaf and they look to be continuing to build around him as he has grown into a veteran star in the league. Of course, he had help in the form of his draft mate and near constant linemate, Corey Perry. We'll get to him shortly.

Originally Drafted:  19th overall by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Players Taken Ahead of Him That Were Better Picks: 0
Players Taken Behind Him That Were Better Picks: 1
Originally Taken in This Spot in 2003: Eric Staal, Centre, by the Carolina Hurricanes
NHL Salary Earned to Date (approximate): $22,450,000

#1: Shea Weber #2: Ryan Getzlaf #3: Corey Perry
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