The game has changed a ton, so throw out anyone who was drafted before 1996. Although I might take Brad McCrimmon 4th overall, hard to say really.
Two, putting up points is not in and of itself a valuable skill - a defenseman who plays on the power play will put up points. The question is, is he affecting the power play in a positive way? Much tougher question to answer. If the Devils put Larsson on the power play, even with how bad he would be at that right now, he'd have more points for sure. But would he be a better player?
Duchene and Kane have wonderful offensive abilities but how much are they helping? Probably some, but not as much as you'd think. Evander Kane is on pace for a 56 point season and you're going gaga over this? He's better than Hedman who himself would be on pace for 36 points, including 9 goals, and who drives play forward in a way that Kane probably doesn't yet? I mean the argument you are making is that forwards are more valuable than defensemen. I don't believe that to be true.
My point is not that forwards are not more valuable, but let me choose between a forwards who's ceiling could be 70-80pts and be a dynamic threat, good defensively and can fight and that i could use on the PP and the PK
a 2way dman who will be playing our PP for sure, put up points, play on the PK and drive the play, hit people etc etc... then i'm gonna scratch my head.
But IMO it's more important to have dynamic players who can create stuff, guys like Fayne or any dmen in the league can shut down an offence and play a sound game and just play the system and have his job done and finish the night with no shots against or wtv. Not saying it's easy but it's easier to get the job done, especially when you have a goalie behind you to help you out.
Guys who can score 3 goals a game and contribute defensively too are really not growing on trees and you need extra skills and be able to do things that others cant in order to get those extra goals, those guys are usually found in the top picks.
so to me unless it's a surefire lidstrom, chara, pronger, letang in the making, i'd never pick a dman over a top dynamic talent cause you need goals to win games. Good defensive dmen are useless in shootouts too and thats something you have to think about too. (forget that hedman snipped one top corner though)