Where are they now? The 2003 NHL Draft class

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 12:00am

In 2003, the National Hockey League brought its annual draft to Nashville — the first, and so far only, time it has been held in Music City.

It was the seventh pick that drew the loudest applause — the Predators selection of defenseman Ryan Suter — but many first-rounders that day have already made names in the NHL.

In fact, one just got to hoist the Stanley Cup over his head after a Game 7 win in Detroit on June 12.

Here’s a recap of the first round of the 2003 NHL Draft held in Nashville, with a brief update on each of the 30 players’ NHL progress thus far:

1. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Pittsburgh
Helped the Penguins to the Cup this year (remember his last-second save?); two seasons with at least 35 wins

2. Eric Staal, C, Carolina
Has two 40-goal seasons, one 100-point campaign, one Cup

3. Nathan Horton, RW, Florida
A five-year veteran who has scored more than 20 goals four times

4. Nikolai Zherdev, RW, Columbus (now with N.Y. Rangers)
An average of 25.3 goals over the last three seasons

5. Thomas Vanek, LW, Buffalo

Has never scored fewer than 25 goals in four NHL seasons

6. Milan Michalek, LW, San Jose
Four years in the league, at least 23 goals in each of the last three

7. Ryan Suter, D, Nashville

Point total has increased three straight seasons, a career-high 45 in 08-09

8. Braydon Coburn, D, Atlanta (now with Philadelphia)
Has 16 goals the last two seasons, eight of them on the power play

9. Dion Phaneuf, D, Calgary
Averages better than 50 points and 115 PIMs through four seasons

10. Andrei Kostitsyn, LW, Montreal
Back-to-back seasons with at least 23 goals.

11. Jeff Carter, C, Philadelphia
A career-high 46 goals in 08-09; an average of 28 for his career

12. High Jessiman, RW, N.Y. Rangers (now with Nashville)
Considered a top offensive prospect by the Predators

13. Dustin Brown, LW, Los Angeles
Averaging 9.5 power-play goals over the past four seasons

14. Brent Seabrook, D, Chicago
Consistent presence and performer who has a plus-36 rating the last two years

15. Robert Nilsson, C, N.Y. Islanders (now with Edmonton)
Had a career-high 41 points in 07-08

16. Steve Bernier, RW, San Jose
Consistent producer with 14, 15, 16 and 15 goals the last four seasons

17. Zach Parise, C, New Jersey
More than 30 goals in three straight seasons, 94 points in 08-09

18. Eric Fehr, RW, Washington
Had 25 points in 08-09, his first full NHL season

19. Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim
Point total has risen every year from 39 in 05-06 to 91 in 08-09

20. Brent Burns, D, Minnesota
Has had at least 25 points each of the last three seasons

21. Mark Stuart, D, Boston
Has appeared in all 82 games each of the last two seasons

22. Marc Pouliot, C, Edmonton
More than doubled his career total with 20 points in 08-09

23. Ryan Kelser, C, Vancouver
A top two-way performer with 47 goals the last two seasons

24. Mike Richards, C, Philadelphia
Has averaged 29 goals, 49 assists the last two seasons

25. Anthony Stewart, C, Florida
Became a full-time NHL player and appeared in 59 games in 08-09

26. Brian Boyle, C, Los Angeles
Still a part-time player, has four goals and one assist in back-to-back seasons

27. Jeff Tambellini, LW, Los Angeles (now with N.Y. Islanders)
Career-highs of seven goals, eight assists, 65 games in 08-09

28. Corey Perry, RW, Anaheim
Has 195 points and 322 penalty minutes in 286 career games

29. Patrick Eaves, RW, Ottawa (now with Carolina)
Scored 20 goals as a rookie in 05-06, a total of 25 since

30. Shawn Belle, D, St. Louis (now with Montreal)
Played nine games for Minnesota in 06-07

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