The 2006 National Hockey League Entry Draft was held at General Motors Place in Vancouver. With the first overall pick, the St. Louis Blues selected defenceman Erik Johnson.
At DUBNetwork, we’ll supply one of these features from now until Christmas Day, culminating with the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Here’s a look at the Western Hockey League players chosen in the first round, along with a few statistics.
|2006 NHL Entry Draft – Round 1|
|16||Ty Wishart||Prince George||San Jose||26||1||5|
Only Michael Grabner remains active in the NHL, currently a forward with the resurgent Arizona Coyotes. In 34 games this season, he has chipped in with seven goals and three assists.
Grabner appeared in 186 WHL games with the Spokane Chiefs, scoring 82 goals and adding 41 assists.
Peter Mueller, well known to followers of the annual World Junior Hockey championship, is remembered for an exciting shootout at the 2008 edition of the tournament.
In a semi-final match, Mueller’s Team USA and Team Canada went scoreless through overtime. When the shootout also solved nothing, each team was allowed to use the same shooter time and again until a winner was decided.
All told, Mueller shot three times, scoring twice for the Americans. Jonathan Toews scored three shootout goals and when Mueller was stymied by Carey Price, Canada advanced to the gold medal finale.
Coincidentally, Mueller and Price faced off during their respective WHL careers as both played in the U.S. Division. Mueller was a standout for the Everett Silvertips, while Price played between the pipes for the Tri-City Americans.
The other first round picks, defenceman Ty Wishart and goaltender Leland Irving, were unable to sustain NHL careers.
Among WHL players selected in 2006, forward Milan Lucic of the Vancouver Giants was tabbed by the Boston Bruins.
A year later, Lucic won a Memorial Cup championship as a member of the host Giants.
A controversial NHLer, Lucic has been generally productive as a professional. He recently scored his 200th career goal as a member of the Calgary Flames and is likely to play more than 1,000 games in the NHL.
|2006 NHL Entry Draft: Rounds 2-7|
|43||Riley Holzapfel||Moose Jaw||Atlanta|
|86||George (Bud) Holloway||Seattle||L.A.||1|
|4||99||James Reimer*||Red Deer||Toronto||351|
|5||143||Ashton Rome||Kamloops||San Jose|
|152||Jordan Benfeld||Medicine Hat||Phoenix|
|6||158||Levi Nelson||Swift Current||Boston|
|159||Jesse Dudas||Prince George||Columbus|
|168||Dane Crowley||Swift Current||Tampa Bay|
|174||Eric Hunter||Prince George||NY Rangers|
|7||189||Derek Dorsett||Medicine Hat||Columbus||515||51||76|
|197||Evan Fuller||Prince George||Vancouver|
(Paul Figler of DUBNetwork contributed to this article)