Heading into the 2007 draft, there was not one clear cut prospect like in some years, 2008 (Stamkos) and 2009 (Tavares) for example. In 2007, there were plenty of good players, but towards the draft it filtered down to three prospects at the top of the class. According to NHL’s Central Scouting, the top three (in order) were Kyle Turris, Patrick Kane, James van Riemsdyk. It seemed like those three would be the top choices, but in which order? And to which teams?
Turris, from Burnaby of the BCHL, was touted as a great skater with a combination of skill and hockey smarts. Kane’s biggest knock was his size (5’10, 160) but was a scoring machine for London of the OHL. Van Riemsdyk was a big scoring winger from the US National Development Program that hadn’t finished growing yet.
Philadelphia was in the midst of their worst season in team history and Phoenix had finished its’ third straight season near the bottom of the standings. Chicago finished last place in their division, but with a bit of luck, won the NHL draft lottery, giving them the #1 pick, followed by the Flyers and Coyotes.