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Marleau gives Sharks deep bite

Sharks forward Patrick Marleau was the No. 2 pick in 1997, but this season, he's not playing second fiddle to anyone, according to ESPN.com's Brian A. Shactman.

Updated: January 13, 2001, 9:54 AM ET
By Brian A. Shactman | ESPN.com

Flash back to the spring of 1997.

As NHL draft talk perked up, Joe Thornton's name was bandied about almost as much as Eric Lindros' in his draft year. Thornton was the unequivocal top pick.

Marleau Thornton

Three-plus seasons later, it's clear Boston made a good choice. Although Thornton isn't exactly on a Hall of Fame career path – at least not yet – he's improved each season and looks poised to break out any year.

But the most interesting post-draft analysis ...

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