Once upon a time, the Dallas Stars owned a 1st round draft pick in arguably the best draft in history, the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
However, the Ducks felt they needed to move up a few spots in hopes of picking up their second possible future star. They were calling around with no luck, until the Stars picked up the phone. Anaheim owned the 36th and 54th overall selections in the draft, while Dallas was holding the 28th selection. The teams discussed possibilities until they reached a decision both teams were satisfied with.
The Corey Perry Pick Trade
The Dallas Stars agreed to trade the 28th overall pick to the Anaheim Ducks for the 36th and 54th overall picks, all picks in the 2003 NHL Draft. Little did Dallas know, they had just changed the course of the league for the next decade or so.
With the 28th pick, the Anaheim Ducks were very proud to select Corey Perry from the London Knights. At 36th overall, Dallas selected Vojtech Polak from Czech Republic. Lastly, at 54th overall, they picked B.J. Combeen of the Barrie Colts. The results of those picks could not have turned out anymore lopsided.
Results of the Corey Perry Pick Trade
Vojtech Polak, the 36th pick, went on to play a whopping 5 career NHL games, failing to register a single point. Since those not so memorable games, Polak has bounced around in European leagues. He’s had stints in the Czech league, Swiss A league, the KHL, and finally, SM-Liiga this season. It’s safe to say this pick did not pan out as they had hoped. The 54th overall pick, B.J. Crombeen, has become a consistent NHL player since the 2008-09 season. Unfortunately, that was the year Dallas would trade him away. In all, he played 23 career games as a Dallas Star, putting up a goal and seven points. In his career, Crombeen has been around for a very respectable 445 games.
On the other hand, the Ducks 28th overall selection has gone on to have an excellent career, and may just be in his prime right now. Perry jumped right into the NHL after being drafted, playing in 56 games for the Ducks. Growing alongside fellow 2003 1st round pick, Ryan Getzlaf, the pair have accomplished more than Anaheim could have ever imagined. In 2006-07, the Anaheim Ducks raised the Stanely Cup for the first, and only time, in franchise history. Corey Perry is now apart of possibly the most dynamic duo in the NHL today and has 722 career games to his account, along with 296 goals and 602 points. In 2010-11, Perry had his best season, scoring 50 goals to claim the Rocket Richard Trophy and also the elusive Hart Trophy.
Conclusions from the Corey Perry Pick Trade
Obviously, the Dallas Stars made a horrible mistake by trading away the 28th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft in the Corey Perry pick trade. They gave up their chance at a natural goal scorer, a very rare player to find in the league today. Of course, there’s no telling how development may have differed in Dallas, but Perry definitely always had the raw abilities to become a Star (no pun intended) in the NHL.
Just imagine today if the Stars also had Perry in their lineup. A roster with the likes of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn could make up, by far, the most powerful first line in the entire league. How would that change the fate of the Stars season? Perhaps they’d be pushing for a shot at the Stanley Cup!
All in all, it goes to show how underrated the scouts are for each NHL team. If your team has the upper hand on information on the available prospects, you can absolutely build your team from the roots up. For the Anaheim Ducks, that may have made the difference in capturing their only Stanley Cup.
This article was originally written in April, 2015.
Contributor for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Prospects. Scout with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. For questions, concerns, or comments, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @SlawsonTHW.