Whirlwind of 1999 draft-day trading action pays off

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:33 AM ET

Some bold moves a dozen years ago have paid off handsomely for the Vancouver Canucks.

The 1999 draft was known for plenty of promising top-end European talent. The Canucks ended up with the two who became stars in Daniel and Henrik Sedin, thanks to some incredible wheeling and dealing by then-GM Brian Burke. And it's playing a big part in the team's success now.

Vancouver originally held the third selection and acquired the fourth-overall pick from Chicago in exchange for defenceman Bryan McCabe and Vancouver's first-round pick in either 2000 or 2001. The Blackhawks selected Pavel Vorobiev 11th overall in 2000.

The Canucks then swapped the fourth pick for the Lightning's first-overall selection and tossed in two 1999 third-round picks (75th overall, Brett Scheffelmaier, and 88th overall, Jimmie Olvestad).

Vancouver then gave Atlanta the first pick, along with a conditional 2000 draft choice, for the Thrashers' second-overall pick, and the promise Atlanta would bypass Daniel Sedin.

Atlanta selected Patrick Stefan first overall and traded the conditional pick, a third rounder, to New Jersey, and the Devils took Max Birbraer.

Vancouver used the second and third picks to take the Sedin twins.

The Lightning then gave up their fourth-overall selection to the Rangers in exchange for goalie Dan Cloutier and forward Niklas Sundstrom and the Rangers first-and third-round picks next year. The Lightning used those picks to take Nikita Alexeev and traded the other to the Maple Leafs, who took Mikael Tellqvist.

The Rangers used that No.-4 selection to take Pavel Brendl.

In short, the only team who had success from all that wheeling and dealing was the Canucks.


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