Last week, I introduced a series that looks back at David Poile’s drafts as general manager of the Nashville Predators, evaluating his selections and mentioning any opportunities he missed with each pick. The first installment looked at the franchise’s first draft, when they picked a franchise legend in David Legwand, but received little production from anyone else.
The 1999 Draft was when the Sedins went second and third overall to the Vancouver Canucks. The future Hockey Hall of Famers made this draft notable, although there was little talent in the draft in its entirety. Only four players from the draft played more than 1,000 games, only two goaltenders made at least 500 appearances and only the Sedins reached the 1,000-point threshold. So with that being said, let’s dig into each of the 15 players Poile selected in the 1999 Draft.
Related: Sedins’ Hall of Fame Credentials
Early Rounds (1-3)
Round 1, 6th Overall – Brian Finley, G (Barrie Colts, OHL)
Nashville’s first pick in the 1999 Draft was Brian Finley, a goaltending prospect out of the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Barrie Colts. In 1998-99, his draft season, he posted a .920 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.66 goals-against average (GAA) in 52 appearances. He was named the OHL’s goaltender of the year and to the Canadian Hockey League’s second All-Star Team at season’s end. He played two more seasons in the OHL and won OHL playoff MVP after the 1999-00 season.
A groin injury prevented him from playing during the 2001-02 season and he turned pro in 2002-03 with the ECHL’s Toledo Storm. He also played in the AHL and made his NHL debut that season. From 2003-04 through 2005-06, he mostly stayed in the AHL, but did make one NHL appearance in 2005-06. In total, he made two appearances with the Predators with an 0-1-0 record, an .815 SV% and a 5.62 GAA after he allowed 10 goals on 55 shots.
In Oct. 2006, he signed with the Boston Bruins and made two appearances as a Bruin with a 3.04 GAA and a .909 SV%. He also made 10 AHL appearances. He retired after the 2006-07 season. He accumulated zero point shares in his NHL career.
Missed Opportunity: Barret Jackman, D – Drafted 17th overall by the St. Louis Blues
The Blues drafted Jackman out of the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Regina Pats. He had a lengthy 14-season career, 13 of which were spent with the Blues and the other with the Predators. He won the 2003 Calder Trophy as rookie of the year and finished his career with 46.9 point shares.
Round 2, 33rd Overall – Jonas Andersson, RW (AIK, SEL)
Jonas Andersson was a right winger whom the Predators drafted out of the Swedish Elite League. With that league’s AIK, he posted three goals and 10 points in 16 games in 1998-99. After the draft, he played a season with the OHL’s North Bay Centennials and turned pro with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals at season’s end. He played for the Admirals in 2000-01 before making his NHL debut in 2001-02. He remained in Nashville’s system through 2003-04, although he missed the entire season with a wrist injury. He played five games with the Predators and registered no points and a minus-0.2 point share.
He returned to Sweden for the 2004-05 season and played in Europe through the 2009-10 season. He played in the Canucks system in 2010-11 before once again returning to Europe, this time in the KHL and Switzerland’s NLA through the 2014-15 season. He retired when the season concluded. In total, he appeared in nine NHL games and went pointless.
Missed Opportunity: Jordan Leopold, D – Drafted 44th overall by the Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks drafted Leopold after his freshman season with the University of Minnesota. He played three more seasons with the Golden Gophers and was a two-time finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s top collegiate hockey player, winning the award in 2002. He played 12 seasons in the NHL across eight teams and finished his career with 43.5 point shares.
Round 2, 52nd Overall – Adam Hall, RW (Michigan State University, NCAA)
Adam Hall is a player largely forgotten despite having a lengthy career. The Predators used a compensatory pick to draft him 52nd overall from Michigan State University after a 16-goal, 23-point campaign in 1998-99. He played three more seasons with the Spartans before making his NHL debut during the 2001-02 season. He became a full-time NHLer in 2002-03 and stayed with the Predators through the 2005-06 season before they traded him to the New York Rangers for Dominic Moore on July 19, 2006.
As a Predator, Hall accumulated 234 games played, 53 goals, 85 points and 7.0 point shares. He also played for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes. After the 2013-14 season, he left the NHL for Switzerland and remained there until he retired in 2017.
Missed Opportunity: None. Hall was a fairly productive player and there were only two spots between this pick and the Predators’ next selection.
Round 2, 54th Overall – Andrew Hutchinson, D (Michigan State University, NCAA)
Two picks after Poile drafted Hall, he took Hall’s Michigan State teammate, defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, also with a compensatory pick. As a freshman in 1998-99, he posted three goals and 15 points in 37 games. He too played three more seasons of college hockey before turning pro with the Admirals in 2001-02. He played in the AHL and ECHL in 2002-03 before making his NHL debut in 2003-04. He played the 2004-05 season in the AHL.
The Predators traded him to the Hurricanes on July 29, 2005 for a third-round pick. He totaled 18 games with the Predators and scored four goals and eight points and was worth 1.7 point shares. In addition to the Hurricanes, Hutchinson also played for the Lightning, Penguins and Dallas Stars. He left North America to play in the KHL in 2011-12 and stayed in Europe through 2014-15 before he retired.
Missed Opportunity: None
Round 2, 61st Overall – Ed Hill, D (Barrie Colts, OHL)
The second straight defenseman drafted by the Predators, Poile used another compensatory pick to select Ed Hill of the OHL’s Barrie Colts. In his draft campaign, he scored seven goals and 24 points in 53 games. He played two more seasons with Barrie through the 2000-01 season before turning pro in 2001-02. The Predators never signed him.
He later played in the Hurricanes, Blues, San Jose Sharks, New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks systems. He never reached the NHL and left North America for the EIHL in the United Kingdom in 2008-09 and retired at season’s end.
Missed Opportunity: Mike Zigomanis, C – Drafted 64th overall by the Buffalo Sabres.
Zigomanis had a great draft season with 29 goals and 85 points in 67 games. He never signed with the Sabres, and instead reentered the 2001 Draft where he was drafted 46th overall by the Hurricanes. He played seven NHL seasons for five teams and won the 2009 Stanley Cup with the Penguins. He retired after the 2013-14 season and was worth 1.4 point shares in his career. He was an assistant coach with the University of Toronto and analyst with Sportsnet as of the 2018-19 season.
Round 2, 65th Overall – Jan Lasak, G (HKM Zvolen, Slovakia)
The Predators’ fourth and final second-round pick in the 1999 Draft was also a compensatory pick. Poile used the pick on goaltender Jan Lasak from HKM Zvolen of his native Slovakia. In his draft season, he had a 2.12 GAA in 43 games. He played in the ECHL in 1999-00, was in the AHL in 2000-01 and made his NHL debut in 2001-02. He stayed in Nashville’s system through the 2002-03 season before he left for Europe, where he remained through 2016-17 when he retired. In his NHL career, he made six appearances, all with the Predators, and had an 0-4-0 record, an .874 SV%, a 4.04 GAA and was worth 0.3 point shares.
Missed Opportunity: Niklas Hagman, W – Drafted 70th overall by the Florida Panthers.
The Panthers drafted Hagman out of HIFK from Finland’s Liiga. He reached the NHL in 2002-03, played 10 NHL seasons for five teams and was worth 27.7 point shares for his career.
Round 3, 72nd Overall – Brett Angel, D/LW (North Bay Centennials, OHL)
Poile used the team’s only third-round pick on Brett Angel from the OHL’s North Bay Centennials after five goals and 14 points in 55 games in his draft season. He played three more seasons with the Centennials through 2001-02. He followed that up with a three-season stint with Acadia University. He never signed with Nashville and didn’t turn pro until the 2005-06 season. From 2005-06 through 2007-08, he played in the Lightning and Detroit Red Wings systems. He also played in the Central and Federal Hockey Leagues and retired after the 2017-18 season.
Missed Opportunity: Craig Anderson, G – Drafted 77th overall by the Calgary Flames.
The Flames drafted Anderson but he never signed with them. He reentered the 2001 Draft, where the Blackhawks drafted him 73rd overall. He reached the NHL in 2002-03 and was traded to the Panthers in 2006. As of 2018-19, he has played 16 NHL seasons for four teams and has been worth 115.4 point shares.
Middle Rounds (4-6)
Round 4, 121st Overall – Evgeny Pavlov, F (Tolyatti Lada, Russia)
The fourth-round pick Poile used on Evgeny Pavlov was originally the Toronto Maple Leafs’ selection. The Predators drafted Pavlov from Russia’s Tolyatti Lada, where he had 17 goals and 23 points in 28 games. He stayed in Russia through the 2000-01 season and played in the AHL and ECHL in 2001-02 after signing with Nashville. He returned to Russia in 2002-03 and remained there until he retired after the 2012-13 season. He never reached the NHL.
Missed Opportunity: None
Round 4, 124th Overall – Alexander Krevsun, LW (Samara CSK VVS, Russia)
Poile used a compensatory pick on another Russian in the fourth round, this time Alexander Krevsun. He had two points, both assists, in five games in his draft season. He stayed in Russia for the 1999-00 season and played in Nashville’s system in the AHL and ECHL in 2000-01. He passed away on July 3, 2002 from a brain hemorrhage. He had been planning on returning to Russia with Samara CSK VVS when he passed away.
Missed Opportunity: Derek MacKenzie, C – Drafted 128th overall by the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Thrashers selected MacKenzie out of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves. He made his NHL debut in 2001-02 and played 16 NHL seasons with three teams, including a two-season stint as Florida’s captain in 2016-17 and 2017-18. He accumulated 7.6 point shares in his career.
Round 5, 131st Overall – Konstantin Panov, RW (Kamloops Blazers, WHL)
When Poile drafted Konstantin Panov, he was coming off a point-per-game season with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers having scored 63 points in 62 games. He played two more seasons in the WHL before turning pro with the Admirals in 2001-02. He played in the AHL and ECHL in 2002-03 before returning to his native Russia in 2003-04 where he remained through 2017-18. As of 2018-19, he was in Romania’s Erste Liga with SC Csikzereda. He never reached the NHL.
Missed Opportunity: Ryan Miller, G – Drafted 138th overall by the Sabres.
Somehow a future Vezina Trophy winner slipped through four full rounds of the 1999 Draft. The Sabres drafted Miller out of the North American Hockey League’s Soo Indians. He played three seasons with Michigan State where he was the 2001 Hobey Baker Award winner and a 2002 finalist. As of 2018-19, he’s played 16 NHL seasons with four teams, won the 2010 Vezina Trophy and has accumulated 146.5 point shares.
Round 6, 162nd Overall – Timo Helbling, D (HC Davos, NLA)
The Predators drafted defenseman Timo Helbling from HC Davos of the NLA where he had zero points in 44 games in his draft season. He stayed in Switzerland in 1999-00, played in the OHL in 2000-01 and was in Nashville’s system through 2003-04. Poile traded him to the Lightning on Feb. 25, 2004 in exchange for an eighth-round pick they used on Pekka Rinne.
Helbling reached the NHL with Tampa Bay in 2005-06 and also played in the NHL with the Washington Capitals. He played in 11 NHL games in his career. He returned to Switzerland in 2007-08 and was still there as of 2018-19. Because this pick resulted in Rinne, it has been anything but a bust.
Missed Opportunity: None
Late Rounds (7-9)
Round 7, 191st Overall – Martin Erat, LW (Berani Zlin U20, Czech U20)
When Poile drafted Martin Erat, I doubt he believed he was landing a future franchise legend who would, in turn, yield one of the franchise’s most talented forwards. Yet that’s exactly what happened. In his draft season, Erat scored 21 goals and 44 points in 35 games. He played in the WHL in 1999-00 and 2000-01 before making his NHL debut in 2001-02.
He played 10 seasons with the Predators, accumulating 723 games, 163 goals, 481 points and 48.2 point shares. He was a three-time 20-goal scorer and a five-time 50-point producer. As of 2018-19 he remains third in franchise history in games played, goals, power play goals and game-winning goals and second in assists and points.
Poile dealt Erat to the Capitals at the 2013 Trade Deadline in a move that landed the Predators Filip Forsberg in what has been one of the most lopsided trades in recent history. Erat also played for the Arizona/Phoenix Coyotes. He finished his NHL career with 881 games, 176 goals and 545 points. He played in the KHL in 2015-16 and went to his native Czech Republic, where he remains as of 2018-19.
Missed Opportunity: None
Round 7, 205th Overall – Kyle Kettles, G (Neepaw Natives, MJHL)
Kyle Kettles was the third goaltending prospect Poile drafted in 1999. The Predators selected him from the Neepaw Natives of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. After being drafted, he played three seasons in the WHL. The Predators never signed him, but he played in the Wild system in the AHL and ECHL from 2002-03 through 2004-05. He never reached the NHL and retired after the 2004-05 season.
Missed Opportunity: Henrik Zetterberg, F – Drafted 210th overall by the Red Wings.
If Ryan Miller not being drafted until the fifth round was bad, future Hall of Famer Henrik Zetterberg not going until the seventh round is hard to believe. He reached the NHL in 2002-03, when he finished runner-up in Calder Trophy voting. He played 15 NHL seasons, accumulating 109.3 point shares. He won the 2009 Stanley Cup with the Red Wings, the same season he won the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Round 8, 220th Overall – Miroslav Durak, D (HC Topolcany U20, Slovakia U20)
The Predators drafted defenseman Miroslav Durak in the eighth round out of Slovakia’s second-tier league. He had two points, both assists, in 12 games his draft season. He played in the United States Hockey League in 1999-00 and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2000-01 and 2001-02. He played in the AHL and ECHL in Nashville’s system in 2002-03 before returning to Europe in 2003-04 where he played through 2015-16, after which he retired. He never reached the NHL.
Missed Opportunity: George Parros, RW – Drafted 222nd overall by the Los Angeles Kings.
George Parros, the NHL’s Head of the Department of Player Safety as of 2018-19, may not have had a productive playing career, but it was a lengthy one. He played nine NHL seasons with five teams and was worth 0.4 point shares. He won the 2007 Stanley Cup with the Ducks and retired after the 2013-14 season.
Round 9, 248th Overall – Darren Haydar, RW (University of New Hampshire, NCAA)
Poile used the Predators’ last pick of the 1999 Draft on forward Darren Haydar. Haydar had played with the University of New Hampshire where he had 31 goals and 61 points in 41 games his rookie season. He played three more seasons with UNH and was a 2001 Hobey baker Award finalist. He turned pro in 2002-03, when he reached the NHL, and remained in Nashville’s system through 2005-06.
He played two NHL games with the Predators, but went pointless and was worth minus-0.1 point shares. He also played in the Thrashers, Red Wings, Canucks and Colorado Avalanche systems before leaving North America for Europe in 2013-14 where he remained before retiring after the 2015-16 season. In total, he played in 23 NHL games, totaling one goal and eight points.
Missed Opportunity: None. Haydar made the NHL as a ninth-round pick. Only two players drafted later than him in the 1999 Draft did so.
*All stats from Hockey-Reference, Elite Prospects and HockeyDB
My name is Kyle, and although I’m from Pennsylvania and grew up a Penguins fan, I cover the Predators here at The Hockey Writers. And while I would consider myself a Predators fan, I really enjoy watching all hockey and try to always take an objective approach to things. In addition to covering the Preds, I write hockey history and some statistical analysis pieces as well as book reviews.