#2 Andrew Ladd
The #4 overall pick by the Carolina Hurricanes back in the 2004 NHL draft, Andrew Ladd has put together a pretty solid NHL career. However, it wasn’t until after leaving the Hurricanes when he finally made his mark.
Although he won the Stanley Cup with the Canes in 2006, he wasn’t a main component on the team; nevertheless, the rookie Ladd put up a respectable 5 points in 17 games during the Cup run. He stuck around for 2 more seasons, but could never really find his groove, scoring just 39 points in 108 games.
At the trade deadline in 2008, the Hurricanes shipped Ladd off to Chicago in exchange for equally underwhelming Tuomo Ruutu, who would have a decent 6-year run with the Hurricanes. Ladd, however, really blossomed afterwards. He was a steady and effective forward for the Blackhawks, playing in the middle-6 of their lineup and was a key component in their playoff success, winning a Cup with Chicago in 2010.
Unfortunately, he became a cap casualty and was traded to Atlanta. He quickly became the heart and soul of the lost Thrashers franchise, and was named Captain just months after being traded there. He would remain as Captain after the team moved to Winnipeg, and held that position until 2016 when he was back to Chicago as an impending UFA.
Despite never having real playoff success as the Jets’ Captain (0 playoff wins), Ladd was signed to a 7-year, 38.5 million dollar by the New York Islanders in the summer of 2016, and he’s been a shell of himself since. Now at age 33, his best days are surely behind him, but he’s had a very respectable career thus far.
With 4 years left on his deal, who knows what the future holds. Considering his 248 career goals and 537 points, as well as his unquestionable leadership abilities, he’s surely a guy the Hurricanes wish they’d kept around.