Selected: 14th overall in 2003 draft
Instead, Blackhawks select: D Brent Burns (20th overall, Minnesota Wild)
So now, we’re imagining the Blackhawks have taken Keith in the previous draft, but they didn’t take Seabrook in 2003. There are some really interesting forward options who were taken right after Seabrook in this draft — Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry (I’m not saying I would want all of these guys). But, again, let’s stick with the blue line.
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Burns is applying his craft with the San Jose Sharks, and applying it quite well. The heavily bearded one spent parts of seven seasons with the Wild, and until the last one (46 points), they were relatively nondescript. Things really started to click for Burns in 2013-14, as he collected 48 points and followed that up with seasons of 60 and 75 points.
Burns was a huge part of the Sharks’ run to the Stanley Cup Final last season, posting 24 points in 24 games while playing more than 25 minutes a night. He also finished third in Norris Trophy voting.
Trying to compare Burns and Seabrook is quite the task. Both guys are offensively predisposed from the blue line, and they’re both big bodies. Again, we have to look to Seabrook’s chemistry with Keith as a big selling point for him. And while Seabrook has maxed out at 49 points in a regular-season, he’s also come up with some gigantic postseason tallies, collecting three postseason game-winners in his career.
It would really be interesting to see a defense led by Keith and Burns, but having Seabrook around has certainly been beneficial to the Blackhawks.