If you look at the great teams of the late 90's and early part of this decade their draft status is generally similar, lacking in quality first round picks. The commonalities between two of the best teams of that time, the Colorado Avalanche and today's centre of attention, the Dallas Stars, is eerie.
Dallas had 7 first rounders in the decade, the Avs had 6.
The difference is the Avs made a series of great depth picks and Dallas did not. In that respect they're a lot like Calgary too with a slew of first round picks in the 20-somethings, and not much to show.
Let's start at the beginning of the decade. 2001's pick of Jason Bacashiua 26th, just ahead of David Steckel and Derek Roy. 2002's Martin Vagner at 26 just ahead of Jarret Stoll. 2004's Mark Fistric, reliable as he has shown to be, was taken one spot ahead of Mike Green.
The Stars did stockpile second rounders though, with ten between 2002 and 2004, in which they turned up some talent. In 2002 they took Trevor Daley with their fourth pick of the second round; none of the players the Stars took before him ever played in the NHL. in 2003 they stole both Louis Eriksson and BJ Crombeen in the second round, and in 2004 they got Nick Grossman.
2005's late first rounder Matt Niskanen has been the centre of trade talks, never fully living up to expectations but not a bad late first round selection out of the US highschool ranks. But, the Stars did have five picks in the first five rounds that year, and all of them have some NHL experience to date. 2006 was a loss, and 2007 I don't give them much credit for taking a flyer on Jamie Benn in the fifth round...that's a gift.
In 2009 the Stars returned to the top ten at the draft table taking Scott Glennie of the Brandon Wheat Kings 8th overall. He hasn't made the leap to the AHL but his skillset is tantalizing. 2010 was actually impressive, for about the first time in the decade. The Stars snatched stud U.S. goalie Jack Campbell at 11th, and then made two good picks in Patrick Nemeth and John Klingber in the second and fifth rounds respectivel...not bad, but not good enough, hardly.
They hang on to a C rating, barely, for picks like Eriksson, Neal and Benn playing a huge role in their current roster and a surprising turnaround in the past two drafts, but I mean barely a C.