3. Erik Johnson
This one is more about who the Blues could have had rather than the one they took. Still, 2006 will live in infamy as one of the low points in Blues draft history.
Erik Johnson’s time in St. Louis seemed doomed from the start. After the Blues took him first overall in the 2006 NHL Draft, we still fooled ourselves thinking he would be the linchpin of a championship team.
Then, prior to his rookie season, he injured his knee. We later found out he did it screwing around on a golf cart during the offseason. The Blues lost their top pick because they were probably drunk and not even in a hockey related incident.
Johnson has gone on to an OK career with the Colorado Avalanche. He’s not what you would call a sure-fire top pick, but he’s been good. Also, the Blues picked up Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk in that trade, so it was not a total bust.
The reason this move ranks so high up there is that draft. There were so many players the Blues could have taken, in hindsight, and been so much better off.
Phil Kessel, Nick Backstrom, Jordan Staal, Semyon Varlomov, Kyle Okposo and Milan Lucic were all involved in that draft. That is not even the worst of it.
The name that will be forever seared into our brains is Jonathan Toews. The captain that led the hated Chicago Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup championships could have been on the Blues.
Similarly to how the Chicago Bulls stole the NBA draft when they took Michael Jordan second overall, the ‘Hawks got Toews third.
The Blues needed a defenseman and Johnson was most analysts’ consensus top pick. Still, it is a kick to the nuts every time you think the Blues could have had one of the league’s current greats and settled for a player that is just OK and not even on their team anymore.