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Youngblood: How’s your team done with its draft pick?

In an amusing attempt to bring light to an often intense and serious draft day, we take a look at how each NHL team has fared through the history of the NHL Entry and Amateur Drafts at the position they currently occupy in the first round. The fluctuations in team success over the history of the NHL have some teams in familiar drafting positions while others are in unfamiliar spots. For example, the New York Islanders have selected in the 5th overall position six times since 1992 so making their picks early isn’t anything new. In the cases where teams have never held that exact draft pick, we examine draftees that have landed close by. Go on and take a look at how your favourite team performed and maybe you’ll be content with their current position or be inclined to encourage them to move the pick.


Florida Panthers (1st overall)

The Florida Panthers have sat in a familiar position atop the draft board before and in 1994 used their 1st overall selections to grab former Windsor native Ed Jovanovski in the 1994. Ironically,. Ironically, it’s a Windsor native and defenseman in Aaron Ekblad who’s projected to be the top target for the 2014 NHL Draft.


Buffalo Sabres (2nd overall)

The Sabres have never owned the 2nd overall selection and the closest draftees were Gilbert Perreault (1970) and Pierre Turgeon (1987), who were both 1st overall selections turned Sabres legends.


Edmonton Oilers (3rd overall)

Comfortable selecting in the top spot, Edmonton has never selected 3rd overall and the closest comparable would be their 1994 4th overall selection in Jason Bonsignore who skated in 79 NHL games.


Calgary Flames (4th overall)

Shockingly, the Calgary Flames have never drafted higher than 6th in the NHL Entry Draft and Cory Stillman (1992), Daniel Tkaczuk (1997), Rico Fata (1998) and Sean Monahan (2013) were as high as the organization ever got at 6th overall.


New York Islanders (5th overall)

The Islanders are no strangers to selecting in the fifth slot. Most recently, New York picked Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Strome in back-to-back drafts in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Darius Kasparaitis (1992), Eric Brewer (1997), Tim Connolly (1999) and Raffi Torres (2000) have all donned the Islanders jersey as 5th overall selections in the past.


Vancouver Canucks (6th overall)

With no history of selecting in the unlucky 6th spot, we turn to the selections of journeyman Rick Vaive (5th overall, 1979), Rick Lanz (7th, 1980), Dan Woodley (7th, 1986) and Alek Stojanov (7th, 1991) as closest landing areas. For the sake of Canucks fans, let’s hope whomever they select turns out with careers mimicking Vaive and Lanz rather than the latter two.


Carolina Hurricanes (7th overall)

The Hurricanes struck gold the last time they were sitting in the 7th overall draft slot. In 2007, Carolina decided to go with Jeff Skinner and he went on to win the Calder Trophy the following season.


Toronto Maple Leafs (8th overall)

Leafs fans will be hoping this year’s 8th overall pick pans out like its 1970 pick of Darryl Sittler instead of Brandon Convery (1992), who never found his way in the NHL after 72 games.


Winnipeg Jets (9th overall)

The Winnipeg Jets don’t have to venture too far back in history to find their last 9th overall pick as it was back in 2012 when Jacob Trouba joined the organization, immediately making them look like masterminds.


Anaheim Ducks (10th overall)

It was a pair of European defensemen in Russian Ruslan Salei (1996) and Czech Ladislav Smid (2004) that mark the closest that Anaheim has ever been to drafting in the 10th spot. Salei and Smid were taken 9th overall.


Nashville Predators (11th overall)

Back in 2009, the Nashville Predators jumped on the chance to draft high-decorated OHL defenseman Ryan Ellis from the Windsor Spitfires. The Predators are hoping to land another talented prospect when their team is announced to the podium.


Arizona Coyotes (12th overall)

The Coyotes title will officially change from Phoenix to Arizona when the 2014 NHL Draft kicks off and the desert dogs will be picking 12th overall for the second straight draft. It was highly skilled forward Max Domi who joined the organization as the 12th player to hear his name called last year.


Washington Capitals (13th overall)

It was Alexander Semin who landed in the 13th spot when the Washington Capitals held back-to-back picks at the 2002 draft following Steve Eminger in the number 12 slot.


Dallas Stars (14th overall)

Towering defenseman Jamie Oleksiak was announced as the Dallas Stars’ 14th overall selection at the 2011 draft and he’s been improving with each passing developmental year, seeing action with the Stars in seven games this past season.


Detroit Red Wings (15th overall)

It was nine years ago that the Red Wings drafted inside the top 20 and it was Jakob Kindl who was selected 19th overall. Head back to the 1982 and 1988 drafts to locate Murray Craven and Kory Kocur and those are the two 17th overall draftees were the closest that Detroit has come to the 15th spot.


Columbus Blue Jackets (16th overall)

In the 14year history of the Blue Jackets’ franchise, Columbus has only picked outside of the Top 10 twice, once in 2009 with John Moore being taken 21st and again last year when Alexander Wennberg was picked 14th in the first of three opening round selections made by first year GM Jarmo Kekalainen.


Philadelphia Flyers (17th overall)

Heading the Flyers draft as newly appointed GM is former Flyers’ fan favourite goaltender Ron Hextall. Philadelphia has selected in the 17th location twice and it occurred in back-to-back years when Mark Suzor and Kevin McCarthy (former teammate of Hextall’s) suited up for their draft days in 1976 and 77, respectively.


Minnesota Wild (18th overall)

Barring any trades, the Wild will be selecting in an unfamiliar slot in Philadelphia with them holding the 18th pick. In 2007, Minnesota pegged Colton Gillies as their 1st round target in the 16th position and two years later (2009) Nick Leddy heard his name called in the same location.


Tampa Bay Lightning (19th overall)

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was snatched up at the 2012 draft when the Tampa Bay Lightning last held the 19th pick and if Steve Yzerman can land another promising franchise player, the sun will shine brighter in Florida.


San Jose Sharks (20th overall)

Slotted in the 20th position in 2001, San Jose selected German forward Marcel Goc and he panned out nicely for the Sharks over four seasons. The Sharks will be looming in the waters looking for another draft day gem come draft day.


St. Louis Blues (21st overall)

Having never owned the 21st pick, St. Louis’ selection of defenseman Marty Ruff out of the Lethbridge Broncos program is the closest example when the Blues took him 20th overall in 1981 from the draft that produced Dale Hawerchuk, Ron Francis, James Patrick Al MacInnis and Chris Chelios.


Pittsburgh Penguins (22nd overall)

Theres a new boss in charge with Jim Rutherford at the GM position, after Ray Shero received his walking papers. Knocked for its underwhelming drafting abilities recently, Pittsburgh hopes to strengthen its depth chart through drafting, just like the team did in 2012 when Olli Maatta was selected in this same 22nd position. Defenseman Todd Charlesworth was also selected 22nd overall (albeit, it landed in the 2nd round) of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.


Colorado Avalanche (23rd overall)

One would have to head back to the Quebec Nordiques days to locate a similar draft position for the Avalanche. Normand Rochefort (22nd, 1980), Adam Foote (22nd, 1989), Ryan Hughes (22nd, 1990), Jeff Kealty (22nd, 1994) and Rene Corbet (24th, 1991) were Quebec’s selections to reflect upon from the former Nordiques era.


Anaheim Ducks (24th overall)

Kyle Palmieri (2009) and Shea Theodore (2013) were both drafted in the 26th position and while it’s not the identical 24th point, the Ducks would be ecstatic to discover similar talents with their second pick in the 1st round.


Boston Bruins (25th overall)

The Boston Bruins made strong selections with their 25th overall picks when drafting Kevyn Adams (1993) and Jordan Caron (2009) but it was Mark Howe (1974) who highlights the best of their three picks in this position.


Montreal Canadiens (26th overall)

When the Canadiens selected Claude Lemieux 26th overall in 1983, it’s unlikely they knew how special he was eventually going to be. With Claude’s son Brendan Lemieux projected to be a late 1st round selection, there is a chance that history repeats itself if the Habs brass fancies Lemieux in the 26th position.


Chicago Blackhawks (27th overall)

The Blackhawks haven’t traditionally lucked out when they’ve held the 27th selection as Jeff McDill (1976) and Mike Speer (1989) combined to play a total of one NHL game.


Tampa Bay Lightning (28th overall)

Having never owned the 28th in the history of the franchise, we look at several players who have flanked the spot with Vladislav Namestnikov (27th, 2011), Carter Ashton (29th, 2009) and goaltender Tyler Moss (29th, 1993) as the nearest picks.


Los Angeles Kings (29th overall)

The combination of winning the Stanley Cup and New Jersey being penalized for their Kovalchuk signing has the Kings slated to pick 29th. Los Angeles has held this selection once in their tenure and former London Knight Dean Hopkins who donned the Kings jersey in 1979.


New Jersey Devils (30th overall)

Eight drafts ago, New Jersey selected tough defenseman Matt Corrente 30th overall and with the Devils capping off the opening round, it’s safe to conclude that the team is looking for more of an impact from their 30th overall this time around.


The Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers do not own their 1st round selections. As a result, let us examine their first picks of the draft and the history behind them.


Ottawa Senators (40th overall)

The Senators have never drafted in the 40th position but current Senator Patrick Wiercoch was taken 42nd overall at the 2008 NHL Draft and has developed into a serviceable defenseman since that memorable draft day.


New York Rangers (59th overall)

After trading for Martin St. Louis and giving up their 1st round selection, the Rangers’ will have to wait until late into the 2nd round to make their first selection, thanks to a long playoff run. A trio of players have been selected in the 59th position including Dave Silk (1978), David Inman (1999) and Cristoval Nieves (2012). It’s Dave Silk who has the most NHL experience with 249 NHL career games played. Nieves heading into his third season at the University of Michigan and appears to be a long term investment.


Thanks for reading and be sure to follow @RossyYoungblood on Twitter for #NHLDraft coverage.