Looking back at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft: Round 2-7

It’s day two of our look back at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, chosen because it was the last time the NHL Entry Draft was hosted in Vancouver. On day one, we looked at the WHL careers of Peter Mueller, Michael Grabner, Ty Wishart, and Leland Irving. Today we’ll be looking at players selected in rounds 2-7 in the Draft. There a few “misses” in this crop like Ondrej Fiala from the Everett Silvertips, but teams also hit home runs with players like Milan Lucic from the Vancouver Giants and Derek Dorsett from the Medicine Hat Tigers. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Ondrej Fiala (Everett Silvertips)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 14th overall (NA Skaters)

Selected by the Minnesota Wild in the second round, 40th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Ondrej Fiala joined Everett after being selected in the first round of the 2005 CHL Import Draft. Debuting in his NHL Draft eligible season, Fiala battled an early season knee injury but managed to pot an impressive 21 goals and 14 assists in just 51 games earning him a 14th overall ranking among NA Skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Returning to Everett for the 2006-07 season, Fiala once again saw limited game action with the Silvertips getting into just 39 games, but he did post impressive offensive numbers with 12 goals and 21 assists.

In his final year in the WHL, Fiala fell victim to the import and overage constraints in the WHL as he was dealt to the Saskatoon Blades for a conditional third-round pick in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft after just three games with the Silvertips. In 58 games with Saskatoon, Fiala had 20 goals and 32 assists.

Fiala did not sign with the Minnesota Wild and has not played a single game of North American pro hockey, instead opting to return to Europe to carve out a decent pro career for himself. He last played in the Czech Republic in 2017-18 with LHK Jestrabi Prostejov playing 44 games and scoring three goals and 10 assists.

Riley Holzapfel (Moose Jaw Warriors)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 37th (North American Skaters)

Holzapfel (photo-Amy’s WBS Page)

Riley Holzapfel is another player who hasn’t played a single NHL game since being selected by the Atlanta Thrashers with a second round pick, 43rd overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft from the Moose Jaw Warriors. Originally an eighth-round pick in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft by Moose Jaw, Holzapfel made an impact in his rookie season scoring 15 goals and 13 assists in 63 games.

In his NHL draft season, Holzapfel doubled his point total from the previous year with 19 goals and 36 assists along with 46 penalty minutes in 64 games with Moose Jaw. The Warriors made a deep playoff run in which Holzapfel contributed seven goals and nine assists in 22 games.

It was Holzapfel’s third WHL season in which he truly broke out and looked like a player who could be dangerous at the next level reaching 39 goals (fourth in the WHL) and 82 points (eighth). He also more than doubled his penalty minutes in the previous year with 94 in just 64 games played.

However, in his last season of junior hockey Holzapfel suffered a concussion which limited him to just 49 games in the WHL finishing with 18 goals and 23 assists. He was named to Team Canada for the 2008 World Junior Championship and was held pointless in seven games.

He spent the next five seasons in the AHL, unable to crack the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets before heading to Europe for the 2013-14 season. Last season he played with the Vienna Capitals in Austria and scored 19 goals with 34 assists in 53 games.

Ben Maxwell (Kootenay ICE)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 44th (NA Skaters)

Maxwell

Ben Maxwell was the first of back-to-back players to be selected from the WHL, as the Montreal Canadiens selected him with the 49th overall pick in the second round pick of the NHL Entry Draft.

He was a highly-touted player heading into the WHL Bantam Draft, selected by the Kootenay ICE with the second overall pick in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft, following Jonathan Toews going first overall to the Tri-City Americans.

In his rookie season in the WHL, Maxwell played a full season with the ICE and scored eight goals and added 10 assists in 68 games.

He exploded in his second season with the ICE moving into an expanded role and scoring 28 goals and 32 assists in 69 games with Kootenay. His play earned him a spot on the Canadian National Team at the U-18 World Championship where he had two goals and five assists in seven games before being drafted by Montreal

Maxwell returned to the ICE for the following season but saw action in just 39 games with Kootenay. He still managed to score 19 goals and 34 assists, seven shy of his 05-06 point total in 30 fewer games.

Playing another shortened season with the ICE in 2007-08, Maxwell was again close to a point per game player with nine goals and 18 assists in 37 games.

Turning pro for the 2008-09 season, Maxwell played seven games with the Canadiens but was held pointless. The following season he was held pointless once again in 13 games with the Canadiens. He was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2010-11 season along with a 2011 fourth round pick (which became Olivier Archambault) for defenseman Brent Sopel and forward Nigel Dawes.

Maxwell played 47 NHL games with the Canadiens, Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets and Anaheim Ducks and scored two goals and six assists before heading to Europe for the 2013-14 season. He spent last season with Spartak Moskva in Russia scoring 11 goals and 12 assists in 59 games.

Milan Lucic (Vancouver Giants) 

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 58th (NA Skaters)

Our biggest success story from the 2006 NHL Entry Draft from the WHL perspective has to be Milan Lucic who was selected from the Vancouver Giants by the Boston Bruins with the 50th overall pick in the 2006 Draft.

Lucic (photo-Chris Relke)

Lucic was never drafted in the WHL and ended up playing  Junior ‘A’ Hockey with the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express in the 2004-05 season putting up nine goals and 14 assists with 100 penalty minutes in 50 games. He caught the eye of the local Giants franchise, who signed him and got him into one game that season.

The following year Lucic put up mediocre offensive numbers for an NHL Draft-eligible prospect with just nine goals and 10 assists but his physical play helped him make a name for himself with 149 penalty minutes in 62 games on a Giants team that took home a WHL championship.

After being selected by Boston, Lucic returned to the Giants and found his offensive game, becoming a near point-per-game player with the Giants totaling 30 goals and 38 assists in 70 games with the Giants. His newfound offensive prowess did not hinder his physical play, as he earned 147 penalty minutes in the 06-07 season as the Giants plowed their way to a Memorial Cup Championship.

The Vancouver native made the Bruins the following season out of training camp and had eight goals and 19 assists in 77 games in his rookie season. He would go on to play eight seasons with the Bruins, winning a Stanley Cup against his hometown Canucks in 2011 before being traded to the Los Angeles Kings at the 2015 NHL Draft for goaltender Martin Jones, defenseman Colin Miller and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft (which became Jakub Zboril.) He has played 890 games in the NHL with the Bruins, Kings and Edmonton Oilers scoring 198 goals and 303 assists.

Codey Burki (Brandon Wheat Kings)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 18th (NA Skaters)

Our final player to be selected in the second round of the NHL Draft from the WHL was Brandon Wheat Kings forward Codey Burki who was taken by the Colorado Avalanche with the 59th overall pick in the second round.

Originally selected by the Wheat Kings in the first round of the 2002 WHL Bantam Draft with the 17th overall pick, Burki made his WHL debut in the 2002-03 season playing two games, seeing limited ice time.

The following season, Burki continued to see limited ice-time with the Wheat Kings, getting into just 53 games with Brandon but finishing second on the team in rookie scoring with one goal and 11 assists and earning himself a spot on Team Western at the 2003 World U-17 Challenge.

As a late birthday, Burki had already played one full season in the WHL when his fellow NHL Draft Class members entered the WHL. In his second full season in the WHL, Burki doubled his point total and saw more game action getting into 68 games and scoring 10 goals and 13 assists.

In his third season in the WHL, Burki burst on to the scene as an offensive talent with 27 goals (second on the Wheat Kings) and leading the Wheat Kings in assists (34) and points (61). His 61 points also helped crack the top-25 in points in the WHL for the first time in his WHL career.

Because of his late birthday, Burki only played one more season in the WHL, reaching career-highs in goals (36), points (85) and penalty minutes (83).

Burki turned pro for the 2007-08 season and would split the next three seasons between the AHL and ECHL before heading to Europe in 2010-11. He hasn’t played since the 2015-16 season when he suited up for EHC Olten in Switzerland, playing in just three games.

Ryan White (Calgary Hitmen)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 27th (NA Skaters)

White (photo-CHL.ca)

Moving into the third round of the Draft, we’re staying in the Eastern Conference of the WHL with Ryan White from the Calgary Hitmen who was selected by the Montreal Canadiens with the 66th overall pick in the third round.

White was a fourth-round pick of the Hitmen in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft. He made his debut in the 2004-05 season playing in 63 games with nine goals and 14 assists with an astounding 95 penalty minutes.

In his second year in the WHL, White came into his own as a consistent offensive producer in the WHL with 20 goals and 33 assists, also seeing his penalty minutes soar to 121. He quickly became a player the Hitmen could rely on in many different situations.

After being returned to the WHL by the Canadiens for the 2006-07 season, White continued to build upon his previous success reaching career highs in goals (34), assists (55) and points (89) while also seeing his penalty minute total drop back below 100 to 97.

In his final season in the WHL, White saw his point total dip slightly with 28 goals and 44 assists in 68 games, earning himself a spot on the WHL Eastern Conference second all-star team.

White turned pro in the 2008-09 season and played one year in the AHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs before cracking the Montreal Canadiens for the 2009-10 season. He saw game action in 16 games and registered two points while splitting time with the Bulldogs. He played parts of five seasons with Montreal before signing with the Philadelphia Flyers as a free agent in 2014. He has played 313 games in the NHL with the Canadiens, Flyers, Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild scoring 30 goals and adding 31 assists. He last suited up in the NHL in the 2016-17 season and has spent the last two seasons in the AHL, last playing for Manitoba Moose in the 2018-19 season where he had five goals and two assists in 27 games.

Brady Calla (Everett Silvertips)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking (28th overall)

Next up is Brady Calla who was selected by the Florida Panthers in the third round with the 73rd overall selection.

Our final Silvertip drafted, Calla joined the team as a fourth-round pick in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft. He made his WHL debut in the 2003-04 getting into three games with the Silvertips. He made his full-time debut in the 2004-05 season recording 11 games and 10 assists with 38 penalty minutes in 68 games. He also suited up for Canada Pacific at the World U-17 Challenge. In six games he had two goals and four assists.

In his second season in the WHL, Calla played on the Silvertips top line alongside Zach Hamill and John Lammers. In 66 games, he had eight goals and 25 assists with 52 penalty minutes.

Calla returned to the Silvertips at the beginning of the 2006-07 NHL season but was traded to the Moose Jaw Warriors after 29 games in which he had three goals and six assists. The trade saw Calla, along with defenseman Cody Thoring and a 2008 sixth round pick head to Moose Jaw for defenseman Jesse Zetariuk and forward Carter Smith. After being traded to Moose Jaw, Calla took on a larger role on a struggling team and saw his point total rise to 12 goals and 20 assists in 39 games.

He returned to Moose Jaw for the 2007-08 season and played in 14 games, scoring two goals and eight assists before being moved to the Kamloops Blazers for defenseman Keaton Ellerby. With Kamloops, Calla had 10 goals and 20 assists in 52 games.

After signing with the Panthers, Calla turned pro with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, playing in eight games and recording one assist before being returned to the Blazers. After recording five goals and eight assists with the Blazers, Calla was once moved in a mid-season trade, this time heading to the Spokane Chiefs for Seth Compton and a 2010 3rd round WHL Bantam Draft. Calla played 31 games with Spokane scoring 11 goals and 14 assists before turning pro full-time in the 2009-10 season. He bounced between the AHL and ECHL before his career ended after the 2013-14 season.

George “Bud” Holloway (Seattle Thunderbirds)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 40th overall

Holloway (Team Shared Photography)

Selected with the 86th overall pick in the 2006 Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, George “Bud” Holloway rounds out the group of players selected in the third round of the NHL Draft.

Holloway was selected by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft in the first round and joined the Thunderbirds for two games in the 2003-04 season.

Making his full-time debut in the 2004-05 season, Holloway saw ice-time alongside veteran Nate Thompson, playing in 67 games and scoring four goals and 11 assists.

In his NHL Draft season, Holloway found himself didn’t find any stability in the lineup as he was forced to play with a number of different linemates as the Thunderbirds faced injuries throughout the season. However, he still managed to score 21 goals and add 13 assists in 67 games.

In his third season in the WHL, Holloway started slow but ramped up his offensive totals with 27 goals and 38 assists in 71 games, hitting the scoresheet in almost every game he suited up for.

Holloway returned to the WHL for one more season in 2007-08 and led the Thunderbirds in both goals (43) and points (83) despite suffering from a mid-season concussion.

After turning pro, Holloway spent the next three seasons in the AHL or ECHL before heading to Europe for four seasons. He returned to North America for the 2015-16 season and played his first and only NHL game with the Montreal Canadiens. He headed back to Europe to stay for the 2016-17 season and is set to play with EC Salzburg in Austria for the 2019-20 season.

James Reimer

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 19th (NA Goalies)

Moving into the fourth round, the Red Deer Rebels continued their NHL Draft dominance as for the 14th consecutive year a Rebel was selected in the NHL Draft (a streak that is now at 26 consecutive seasons) as James Reimer was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the 99th overall pick.

Originally selected by Red Deer in the fifth round of the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft, Reimer didn’t join the Rebels until the 2005-06 season and at that point was only splitting duties in the net. His 2.81 GAA and .910 save percentage impressed the Leafs enough to take him in the fourth round.

He took over the Rebels starting job early in the 2006-07 season and didn’t look back, playing in 60 games, posting a 26-23-7 record and saw his GAA decrease to 2.66 while his save percentage rose to .912.

Once again splitting duties in the 2007-08 season, Reimer played just 30 games for the Rebels and posted a 2.73 GAA and .920 save percentage while posting an 8-15-0 record.

Reimer turned pro in the 2008-09 season splitting time between the AHL and ECHL before making the Leafs roster 2010-11 when he played 37 games with a 20-15-0 record, a 2.60 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He played six seasons with the Leafs before being traded to the San Jose Sharks along with forward Jeremy Morin for goaltender Alex Stalock, forward Ben Smith and a conditional 2018 4th round selection (which became Riley Stotts.) He has played 338 career games with the Leafs, Sharks and Florida Panthers.

Ben Wright (Lethbridge Hurricanes)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 59th overall

The other four round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft from the WHL was defenseman Ben Wright from the Lethbridge Hurricanes who was selected with the 113th overall pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Originally drafted by the Hurricanes in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft in the second round, Wright played three games in the 2003-04 season. In his first full season of junior eligibility, Wright spent most of his time with the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL but did see four games of action with the Hurricanes.

Wright entered the WHL full-time in his NHL Draft eligible season and played 55 games scoring five goals and adding 18 assists.

His best offensive came in the year after he was drafted, scoring 10 goals and 37 assists in 64 games adding 108 penalty minutes. His offensive numbers regressed in both of the next two seasons with four goals and 34 assists in 2007-08 and five goals and 27 assists in 2008-09 but keeping his penalty minutes with 105 in 2007-08 and 108 in 2008-09.

In 2009-10, Wright played 26 games with the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL before going the Canadian College route at the University of New Brunswick.

Ashton Rome (Kamloops Blazers)

Rome (Photo-Team Shared Photography)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 224th (NA Skaters)

The youngest of four brothers to play hockey, Ashton Rome was the first WHL player selected in the fifth round of the NHL, selected by the San Jose Sharks with the 143rd overall selection. This marked the second time Rome was drafted, as he was originally selected by the Boston Bruins in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Draft but was left unsigned by the club.

Rome was never drafted in the WHL but joined the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2002-03 as an undrafted player. In 61 games, the forward had five goals and 10 assists. In 2003-04, Rome more than doubled his point totals with 15 goals and 22 assists in 72 games before being selected by the Bruins.

After being selected by the Bruins, Rome returned to Moose Jaw and played 41 games scoring 10 goals and adding 17 assists before being moved to the Red Deer Rebels in a trade which saw Rome go to Red Deer along with forward Karey Pieper for forwards Blair Jones and Andre Herman. In 31 games with Red Deer, he had nine goals and 10 assists.

Rome returned to the WHL for his last season of junior hockey playing in 14 games with the Rebels, scoring 11 goals and six assists before once again being dealt in a mid-season trade along with a fifth-round pick in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft to the Kamloops Blazers for Kris Versteeg and Brennan Chapman. With Kamloops, Rome played 51 games, scored 19 goals and had 28 assists.

Because it was his second time through the draft, Rome was able to turn pro in his first season after the Sharks selected him. He would play six and a bit seasons in North American minor pro hockey before going to Germany in the 2012-13 season. He returned to North America in the 2016-17 season and retired after the 2017-18 season.

Jordan Bendfeld (Medicine Hat Tigers)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 99th (NA Skaters)

The other WHLer selected in the fifth round was Medicine Hat Tigers defenseman Jordan Bendfeld who was selected with the 152nd overall pick by the Phoenix Coyotes. Bendfeld was a fourth-round pick of the Tigers in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft. In his first season of junior eligibility, Bendfeld spent most of his time in midget with the Leduc Oil Kings but did play 16 games with the Tigers being held scoreless.

In his first full season in the WHL in 2005-06, Bendfeld netted two goals and 10 assists in 65 games with the Tigers.

Returning to the Tigers after being drafted, Bendfeld notched career highs in goals (9), assists (21) and points (30) and a whopping 136 penalty minutes en route to a WHL Championship with the Tigers.

Rejoining the Tigers for one more season in 2007-08, Bendfeld had six goals and 19 assists while seeing his penalty minutes rise to 160.

He turned pro in the 2008-09 and split three seasons between the AHL and ECHL before retiring after the 2010-11 season.

Levi Nelson (Swift Current Broncos)

Nelson (photo-Yorkshire Post)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 136th (NA Skaters)

The Boston Bruins held the 158th overall selection and used it to select Levi Nelson from the Swift Current Broncos. Another undrafted player in the WHL Bantam Draft, Nelson joined the Broncos as an undrafted player in the 2004-05 season after playing midget hockey with the Calgary Northstars Midget AAA team. He saw two games of action and had one goal.

In his first full season in the WHL, Nelson had a fantastic season with the Broncos, finishing second on the team in goals (21) and fourth in points (38). He was named the Broncos rookie of the year and finished in the top 15 in WHL for rookie scoring. He represented Canada at the U-18 World Championship but was held pointless in seven games.

The Bruins sent Nelson back to the Broncos for his second WHL season in which he led the Broncos in scoring for most of the season with 18 goals and 34 assists in 66 games. In his final WHL season, Nelson led the team in points (61) and penalty minutes (152) before graduating to the minor pro system.

Nelson split his pro career between the North American minor pro system and the European pro leagues. In 2018-19 he played for the Lacombe Generals in Alberta and had five goals and eight assists in 10 games.

Jesse Dudas (Prince George Cougars)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 53rd (NA Skaters)

The Columbus Blue Jackets held the pick following the Bruins and stayed in the WHL selecting Jesse Dudas from the Prince George Cougars.

Originally selected by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the fourth round of the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft, Dudas played 64 games with the Hurricanes over parts of three seasons and had one goal and 10 assists before joining the Cougars in a mid-season trade which also saw defenseman Kalvin Sagert join the Cougars in exchange for defensemen Randy King and Ryan King. Dudas played just six games in the 2005-06 season recording four assists.

After the selection by the Blue Jackets, Dudas returned for a limited season with the Cougars in which he only played 32 games but scoring two goals and adding 27 assists.

The following season, Dudas played 29 games with the Cougars scoring two goals with 19 assists before being dealt to the Swift Current Broncos in another mid-season trade along with Caitlin Foley for goaltender Ian Curtis. In 23 games with Swift Current, Dudas had three goals and 11 assists.

Dudas attended the Edmonton Oilers training camp in 2008-09 and sustained a knee injury causing him to miss a significant portion of the campaign. He was dealt to the Regina Pats in exchange for a 2010 fourth-round bantam draft pick. With Regina, he had three goals and 11 assists in 19 games.

Graduating from the WHL, Dudas turned pro at the end of the 2008-09 and spent the next five seasons playing various levels of minor pro hockey in North America before going over to Europe for the 2014-15 season. He is set to suit up for DVTK Jegesmedvék in Hungary for the 2019-20 season.

Dane Crowley (Swift Current Broncos)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 232nd (NA Skaters)

After being passed over in his first year of draft eligibility, Dane Crowley was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the 168th overall pick.

Undrafted in the WHL, Crowley found a home with the Saskatoon Blades in the 2003-04 season. He struggled to be a mainstay in the WHL playing 122 games with Saskatoon over three seasons recording two goals and 15 assists before being dealt to the Swift Current Broncos in a mid-season trade along with tough guy Brandon Tidball for defenseman Michael Hengen and Derek Price. With the Broncos, Crowley was able to assume a regular position in the lineup playing 29 games and registering a goal and 11 assists after the trade.

He was traded once again the following year at the trade deadline after 33 goals and potting four goals and 15 assists in 33 games with the Broncos. The Broncos traded him along with Jordan Mistelbacher, who tragically passed away at just 19 years of age, to the Everett Silvertips for defenseman Eric Doyle. Over the next year and a half with Everett, Crowley played 95 games and scored 14 goals with 32 assists.

Crowley played 55 games of minor pro hockey before going to school at the University of Manitoba. His hockey career saw a stop with the Altoma Maroons who he has spent the last four seasons with.

Eric Hunter (Prince George Cougars)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 235th (NA Skaters)

Another player to re-enter the NHL Entry Draft after being unsigned was Eric Hunter from the Prince George Cougars who the New York Rangers took a chance on him with a sixth-round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft after he was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the eighth round of the 2004 NHL Draft.

Hunter was originally selected by the Cougars in the 2001 WHL Bantam Draft and was the Cougars Rookie of the Year in 2002-03 with 16 goals and 18 assists in 66 games.

In his first NHL Draft eligible season, Hunter had 19 goals and 23 assists in 70 games. The following season he had 12 goals and 18 assists in 47 games and was released by the Blackhawks that spring, becoming eligible for the 2005 NHL Entry Draft in which he was undrafted.

This seemingly lit a fire under Hunter as he broke out with 40 goals and 32 assists in 72 games, earning him the team’s MVP selection and a selection by the Rangers.

His point total decreased the following season to 24 goals and 31 assists in 69 games, though it was good enough to put him atop the Cougars franchise points list with 233 points. Twelve seasons later, Hunter sits fourth on the list behind Jansen HarkinsChase Witala and Troy Bourke. Hunter decided to go to school at the University of Alberta after his WHL career before trying his hand in the pros. He last played in Austria with Villacher SV in 2016-17.

Derek Dorsett (Medicine Hat Tigers)

Dorsett (tigershockey.com)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 125th (NA Skaters)

The diamond in the rough from this draft class might be Derek Dorsett who was the Columbus Blue Jackets seventh-round pick, 189th overall, from the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Dorsett was another undrafted player in the WHL, who made a name for himself with the Kindersley Klippers of the SJHL where he had 12 goals and eight assists in 25 games before being picked up by Medicine Hat. He would play 51 games in the 2004-05 season registering five goals and 11 assists with 108 penalty minutes but went undrafted in the NHL Draft.

He put up decent offensive numbers in the 2005-06 season with 25 goals and 23 assists in 68 games but what really knocked people’s socks off was his physical play which earned him an incredible 279 penalty minutes which led the league and was almost double his closest teammate.

Dorsett would only play one more season in the WHL because of his age, scoring 19 goals and 45 assists in 61 games, once again cracking 200 penalty minutes with 206.

He played one season of minor pro hockey in the AHL before cracking the Columbus Blue Jackets roster. In his rookie season, he had four goals and one assist 52 games. He played five seasons with the Blue Jackets before being traded to the New York Rangers along with forward Derick Brassard, defenseman John Moore and a 2014 sixth-round pick (which became Chase Lang) in exchange for forward Marian Gaborik and defensemen Steven Delisle and Blake Parlett.

Dorsett was forced to retire in the 2017-18 season due to injury after 515 NHL career games with the Blue Jackets, Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. He finished with 51 goals and 76 assists and had 1314 penalty minutes.

Evan Fuller (Prince George Cougars)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking: Not Ranked

The lone player to be selected from the WHL and not make NHL Central Scouting was Prince George’s Evan Fuller who was selected by the Vancouver Canucks with the 197th overall pick.

A third-round pick of the Cougars in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft, Fuller managed to get himself into one game in the 2003-04 season. In his first full season in the WHL, Fuller had five goals and three assists with 66 penalty minutes in 55 games with the Cougars.

In the 2005-06 season, Fuller further showed that he could stand up for himself and his teammates when needed with 87 penalty minutes to go along with two goals and five assists in 56 games.

His third season in the WHL told a similar story to the first two as he earned 70 penalty minutes, though his offense saw an uptick with eight goals and 12 assists and he didn’t miss a single game suiting up for all 72 games the Cougars played.

Fuller was off to his best offensive start in the 2007-08 season with six goals and eight assists in 24 games before he was dealt along with defenseman Ty Wishart and a 2008 3rd Round Bantam Draft selection to the Moose Jaw Warriors for forwards Justin MaylanBrad Riege and a 2008 first round selection. He played 32 games with Moose Jaw in 2007-08 and had 33 penalty minutes with two goals and five assists.

He returned to Moose Jaw for his overage season but played just seven games with the Warriors before being dealt to the Chilliwack Bruins with defenseman Brett Ward for forward Brayden Metz and a sixth-round pick in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft and a fifth-round pick in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft. He left the Bruins after just four games, retiring due to groin injuries. He resurfaced briefly in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the Williams Lake Stampeders.

Cameron Cepek (Portland Winterhawks)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 83rd (NA Skaters)

Another player not afraid to drop the gloves from Cameron Cepek from the Portland Winterhawks who was selected by the Montreal Canadiens with the 199th overall selection.

Making it through the WHL Bantam Draft without being selected, Cepek joined the Winterhawks in the 2004-05 season recording two goals and two assists with 104 penalty minutes in 66 games.

In his draft-eligible season, Cepek was limited to just 21 games with the Winterhawks in which he had two goals and 10 assists and 71 penalty minutes.

2006-07 was another season where he saw limited game action suiting up for 49 games with one goal and eight assists with 87 penalty minutes.

When the WHL expanded in the 2007-08 season to add the Edmonton Oil Kings, Cepek was one of the players the Oil Kings drafted in the expansion draft. Cepek saw his offensive improve in 58 games with the Oil Kings, he had seven goals and eighteen assists.

Cepek was traded to the Prince George Cougars prior to the 2008-09 season along with a 2009 sixth round bantam draft selection for a 2009 3rd round bantam draft pick. With Prince George, he had his best offensive season with eight goals and 37 assists, adding 142 penalty minutes. He played three games in the AHL after Prince George’s season ended before retiring.

Logan Pyett (Regina Pats)

NHL Central Scouting Ranking – 130th overall

With the second last selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft (212th overall), the Detroit Red Wings selected our last WHL player from this draft class, Logan Pyett from the Regina Pats.

Pyett was a first-round pick of the Pats in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft, making his debut at the end of the 2003-04 season with an assist in two games.

In his rookie campaign, he had five goals and 19 assists with 67 penalty minutes which would be considered decent numbers for a rookie forward, but Pyett did it as a rookie defenseman.

He continued to show offensive talent in his second season in the WHL with 10 goals and 35 assists to go along with his 89 penalty minutes in 71 games with the Pats.

His best offensive season in the WHL was his third season in which 14 goals and 48 assists in 71 games and 89 penalty minutes.

Coming into his last season in the WHL, Pyett was named the captain of the Pats and broke 20 goals for the first time in his career with 34 assists in 62 games. He likely would have surpassed his totals from the previous but Hockey Canada came calling for the 2008 World Junior Championships where he had an assist in seven games.

Turning pro the following year, Pyett would bounce between North America and Europe for the next nine seasons. He was forced to take the 2016-17 season off after he was diagnosed with cancer, but after making a full return to health he returned to hockey in Japan in the 2017-18 seasons. Last season he split time between AHL and Finland.

That concludes our look back at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft from a WHL Bantam Draft. To recap, a total of 24 players from 16 different WHL teams were selected in this draft from a group of 44 skaters and eight goalies ranked by NHL Central Scouting.

 

 

DUBNetwork Forums Looking back at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft: Round 2-7

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