The top picks in the 2003 NHL draft
The 2003 NHL Entry Draft was held on June 21, 2003, at the Colisée Pepsi in Québec City, Quebec. A total of 2306 players were drafted.
In the first round, a total of 30 players were selected. In the second round, a total of 30 more players were selected. In the third round, 28 more players were selected. This went on until the ninth round where only 19 more picks were made. This was the first draft where lottery picks could not be traded.
The top three picks in this draft were Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, and Nathan Horton. Marc-Andre Fleury was drafted first overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins He is a goaltender who has played for the Pittsburgh Penguins his whole career so far. He has been to one Stanley Cup Finals and has won one Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. Eric Staal was drafted second overall by the Carolina Hurricanes He is a forward who has also played his entire career with the Carolina Hurricanes He was captain of the Carolina Hurricanes when they won the Stanley Cup in 2006. Nathan Horton was drafted third overall by the Florida Panthers He is a forward who has played for the Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets throughout his career.
Why these players were selected
1. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Eric Staal, C, Carolina Hurricanes
3. Nathan Horton, RW, Florida Panthers
4. Thomas Vanek, LW, Buffalo Sabres
5. Nikolai Zherdev, RW, Columbus Blue Jackets
6. Braydon Coburn, D, Atlanta Thrashers
7. Andrei Markov, D, Montreal Canadiens
8. Ryan Suter, D, Nashville Predators
9. Zach Parise, LW, New Jersey Devils
What impact they’ve had on their teams
Many NHL fans remember the 2003 draft like it was yesterday. It was a draft that saw many high-profile prospects go early, and many of them have made a big impact on their respective teams. Here is a look at some of the top picks from that draft and what impact they have had on their teams.
1. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins
Marc-Andre Fleury was the first overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins He has been the Penguins’ starting goaltender for much of his career, and he has been a big part of their success over the years. He has helped the Penguins win three Stanley Cups (2009, 2016, 2017), and he was named to the NHL All-Star team in 2014.
2. Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
Eric Staal was drafted second overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2003. He spent 12 seasons with the Hurricanes, and he was a big part of their 2006 Stanley Cup championship team. Staal is Carolina’s all-time leader in goals (328), assists (468), and points (796). He is now playing for the Minnesota Wild
3. Nathan Horton, Florida Panthers
Nathan Horton was drafted third overall by the Florida Panthers in 2003. He played six seasons with the Panthers before being traded to the Boston Bruins in 2010. Horton won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011, and he also helped them reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2013. He has since retired from hockey due to injuries.
How they’ve fared in the NHL so far
It’s been almost 17 years since the 2003 NHL Draft which means most of the top picks are well into their careers at this point. So, how have they fared?
Here’s a quick look at how the top 10 picks from that draft have performed in the NHL.
1. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Pittsburgh Penguins
Marc-Andre Fleury was the first overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s had a very successful career so far, winning three Stanley Cups with the Penguins (2009, 2016, 2017). He’s also a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2010, 2014).
2. Eric Staal, C, Carolina Hurricanes
Eric Staal was taken second overall by the Carolina Hurricanes. He had a great start to his career, winning a Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006. He also helped Canada win gold at the 2010 Olympics. Staal has since played for several other teams, including the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers He is currently captain of the Buffalo Sabres
3. Nathan Horton, RW, Florida Panthers
Nathan Horton was selected third overall by the Florida Panthers. He had a solid NHL career playing for several teams including the Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets Horton retired in 2016 due to injuries.
4. Nikolai Zherdev, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
Nikolai Zherdev was drafted fourth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets He had a decent NHL career but is probably best remembered for being traded for Rick Nash prior to Nash’s breakout season with Columbus in 2008-09. Zherdev last played in the NHL in 2011-12 and is now back home playing in Russia’s KHL.
5 Nikolay Kulemin, LW Los Angeles Kings Nikolay Kulemin was taken fifth overall by Los Angeles Kings . Kulemin had six seasons where he scored over 20 goals including 30 goals during 2010-11 season when he also added 30 assists for 60 points . After nine seasons with Islanders , Kulemin signed with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia s KHL where he has spent past four seasons . 6 Andrei Markov , D , Montreal Canadiens Andrei Markov was drafted sixth overall by Montreal Canadiens nd is still going strong more than 1decade later . Markov has played his entire 16 – year NHL career with Montreal and is currently tainedying 7th on franchise leaderboard among defenseman appearances ( 1264 ) while ranking 8th all – time among franchise defenseman scoring ( 572 points ). 7 Braydon Coburn , D , Atlanta Thrashers Braydon Coburn was selected seventh overall by Atlanta Thrashersh . Coburn became an immediate fixture on Atlanta s blueline and played parts of sevemooreason with club before being dealt to Philadelphia midway through 2007 – 08 campaign as part of Blockbuster Trade that saw team ship out several key veterans . Coburn has since remained iPhilly where he s currently into his 11th season with club and shows no signs of slowing down 8 Dustin Brown , RW , New York Islanders Dustin Brown wsa drafted eighth overall by New York Islanderss . Brown has proved to be Valuable Player for franchise during his 14 seasons on team s roster , serving as captain since 2008 – 09 campaign . Brown is enterinhis 15th season wiIslanders this year and remains one of team s key leaders both on annd off ice 9 Ryan Getzlaf , C , Anaheim Ducks Ryan Getzlaf was taken ninth overall By Anaheim Duckss . Getzlaf entered league immediately following 2003 – 04 lockout and has been prominent player for club ever since . He helped Ducks win Stanley Cup Championship during 2006 – 07 season and served as team captain from 2010 – 11 campaign until present day 10 Zach Parise , LW , New Jersey Devils The final pick among top 10 selections from 2003 Draft belonged to New Jersey Devils who used it take winger Zach Parisee . Like Getzlaf , Parise made his NHL debut during 2005 – 06 campaign following lockout and went ohave great rookie year that saw finish fourth Calder Trophy voting as league s top rookie behind only Sidney Crosby Alexandr Ovechkin Alex Morozov 20 goals 29 assists 49 points 1st round 2nd overall Chicago Blackhawks 53 GP 7 G A 25 Pts 2nd round 36th looking 38 Nashville Predators 202 GP 27 G 71 A 98 P 3rd round 95th Pittsburgh Penguins GM Lou Lamoriello took him 72nd Nashville Los Angeles Kings 1st round 11 Dallas Stars 206 GP 36 G 128A 164 P 2nd round 41st Colorado Avalanche 190 GP 28 G 116 A 144 P 3rd round 77th Detroit Red Jason Williams 358 GP 85G 207 A 292 P 158 Toronto Maple Leafs 313 GP 71G 164A 235 P Miroslav Satan 1390 GP417G1017A
What their future looks like
NHL scouts have their eye on many young prospects, but only a handful are chosen each year to join the ranks of the NHL.
1. Marc-Andre Fleury, G (Pittsburgh Penguins): Widely regarded as the best goaltender in his Draft Class Fleury has all the tools to be a franchise netminder in the NHL. He’s quick, athletic and has great reflexes. His biggest adjustment will be making the jump from Junior hockey to the pro ranks, but he has all the talent in the world and should be able to do it relatively easily.
2. Eric Staal, C (Carolina Hurricanes): A big Power Forward with great skating ability and soft hands, Staal is exactly what you look for in a future NHL star. He’s still filling out his 6’4″ frame, but when he does he’ll be an absolute force to reckon with. He needs to work on his faceoff skills and his defensive game, but those are things that can be easily corrected with some good coaching.
3. Nikolai Zherdev, RW (Columbus Blue Jackets): Zherdev is one of the most talented players in his draft class but his attitude leaves something to be desired. He’s an incredible skater with great hands and a nose for the net, but he doesn’t always seem interested in Playing Defense or working hard away from the puck. If he can get his head on straight, he has all the talent in the world to be a true superstar in the NHL.
4. Zach Parise, LW (New Jersey Devils): Parise is a gifted offensive player with great vision and playmaking ability. He’s not the biggest player on the ice at 5’11”, but he makes up for it with his great skating speed and willingness to go to tough areas of the ice. He needs to work on adding some muscle to his frame and become more consistent on a night-to-night basis, but he has all the tools necessary to develop into a top-line player in the NHL.
What other players were drafted in 2003
In addition to the top picks in the 2003 NHL Draft many other talented players were drafted. These include:
-Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks 19th overall)
-Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks, 28th overall)
-Zach Parise (New Jersey Devils, 17th overall)
-Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings, 13th overall)
-Brent Burns (Minnesota Wild, 20th overall)
-Jeff Carter (Philadelphia Flyers, 11th overall)
How those players have fared
It is considered the most important event in the NHL’s offseason, as it allows teams to replenish their rosters with young, up-and-coming talent.
Here is a look at how the top 10 picks from that draft have fared over their careers:
What the 2003 draft class has meant for the NHL
In 2003, the NHL Draft class was one of the most talented in recent memory. The top three picks – Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, and Nikolai Zherdev – have all gone on to have successful NHL careers. Fleury is a Stanley Cup champion and one of the league’s best goaltenders, Staal is a six-time All-Star and one of the league’s top scorers and Zherdev is a skilled winger who has played for several teams in his career.
The 2003 Draft Class has had a significant impact on the NHL. These three players were all taken with high expectations and they have more than lived up to those expectations. They have each had long and successful careers, and they have had a major impact on the teams that they have played for. The 2003 Draft Class is considered to be one of the best in recent memory, and it is clear that these three players are a big part of that.
Where the 2003 draft class ranks among other draft classes
NHL draft 2003: The Top Picks
-Patrick O’Sullivan, C, Mississauga (OHL)
-Nathan Horton, RW, Oshawa (OHL)
-Jeff Carter, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
-Boyd Gordon, RW, Red Deer (WHL)
-Dustin Brown, RW, Ile Bizard (QMJHL)
-Zach Parise, C, Shattuck St. Mary’s (Mn./USA)
-Marc-Antoine Pouliot, C, Rimouski (QMJHL)
-Bryan Little, RW, Barrie (OHL)
-Corey Perry, RW, Peterborough (OHL)
The legacy of the 2003 NHL draft
The 2003 NHL Entry Draft will be remembered as one of the most star-studded and deepest in recent memory. It featured future superstars like Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Zach Parise, and Ryan Getzlaf, and developing young talents like Dustin Brown, Ryan Kesler, and Brent Burns.
There were a total of 12 All-Stars drafted in the first round alone, with an incredible 25 players going on to play at least 500 games in the NHL. In fact, of the 30 first rounders that year, only one (Nikita Alexeev) has yet to play an NHL game
The 2003 draft was also notable for the number of Top Players who came from non-traditional hockey markets. Parise (New Jersey), Staal ( Carolina), Getzlaf (Anaheim), Kesler (Vancouver), and Burns (Minnesota) were all drafted out of US markets, while Fleury (Pittsburgh) and Patrice Bergeron (Boston) became stars for Canadian teams