Posted by: kristagolden | June 19, 2011

Who will be #1?

It’s a question on the minds and lips of everyone waiting for the Entry Draft this Friday. The young man chosen first will be the subject of much scrutiny: will he go to the minors or straight to the majors? What will he accomplish in the upcoming season? How will he help his new team? It’s a set of questions that’s asked every year, but finding out how they’re answered never fails to excite fans.

I thought I’d take the top three picks from the last five years, including this one, and see how they’ve fared since their respective drafts. Let’s see how they’ve done:

2006

1. Erik Johnson (St. Louis Blues)
2. Jordan Staal (Pittsburgh Penguins)
3. Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)

Johnson was the first American chosen first overall since Rick DiPietro in 2000. While Staal and Toews have each went on to win Stanley Cups with their respective teams, Johnson played with the Blues until this past February, when he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche.

2007

1. Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
2. James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers)
3. Kyle Turris (Phoenix Coyotes)

I think we all know what Kaner’s done since the draft – Calder Trophy winner, Olympic silver medalist, scored the goal that clinched the Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks. van Riemsdyk has been with the Flyers, helping them get to the 2010 Stanley cup Finals, while Turris is still with the Yotes, bouncing between them and their AHL team in San Antonio.

2008

1. Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)
2. Drew Doughty (L.A. Kings)
3. Zach Bogosian (Atlanta Thrashers)

Stamkos helped take his team to the Eastern Conference Final this year, falling to Boston. Doughty is still with the Kings, and not only won gold with Team Canada at the Vancouver Olympics but was a finalist for the Norris Trophy last year. And Zach Bogosian, aka Tumbleina, had been with the Thrashers through this past season. Where he’ll be in the fall is anyone’s guess.

2009

1. John Tavares (New York Islanders)
2. Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning)
3. Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche)

All three are still with their original teams, with Tavares and Duchene being the standouts between the trio in their short careers.

2010

1. Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers)
2. Tyler Seguin (Boston Bruins)
3. Erik Gudbranson (Florida Panthers)

Gudbranson is still playing with the Kingston Frontenacs in the OHL, while Hall went directly to the majors and had a promising rookie season till an ankle injury ended it in March. And Seguin? As you can see by the team who chose him, he had an amazing rookie season.

2011

1. ????? (Edmonton Oilers)
2. ????? (Colorado Avalanche)
3. ????? (Florida Panthers)

All signs are pointing toward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels to be the first overall pick. After that, the field isn’t as clear – those two slots are a toss up between Gabriel Landeskog of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, Jonathan Huberdeau of the Saint John Sea Dogs and Adam Larsson of Skelleftea in Sweden’s Elitserien.

If this year’s draft is anything like last year’s, I think we’ll be seeing quite a bit of the new crop of draftees.


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