Pick by pick draft breakdown

Derek Morrison, Sun Media

, Last Updated: 5:37 PM ET

With the playoffs now out of the way, the NHL draft has become the number one priority for every team in the league.

With the draft being one of the important ways for teams to build for the future, Sun Media has decided to take a look at the history of the draft, spotlighting each slot in the first round. Using a 10- year time frame, each pick will be broken down to see what sort of success the teams may or may not experience from their respective spot in the draft order.

Number 1 Overall

(New York Islanders 2009 Selection)

2008 - Steven Stamkos C (Tampa Bay) 79 Games, 23G, 23A, 46P

2007 - Patrick Kane RW (Chicago) 162 Games, 46G, 96A, 142P

2006 - Erik Johnson D (St. Louis) 69 Games, 5G, 28A, 33 P

2005 - Sidney Crosby C (Pittsburgh) 290 Games, 132G, 265A, 397P

2004 - Alexander Ovechkin LW (Washington) 324 Games, 219G, 201A, 420P

2003 - Marc-Andre Fleury G (Pittsburgh) 235 Games,

2002 - Rick Nash LW (Columbus) 441 Games, 194G, 161A, 355P

2001 - Ilya Kovalchuk LW (Atlanta) 545 Games, 297G, 260A, 557P

2000 - Rick DiPietro G (NYI) 273 Games

1999 - Patrik Stefan C (Atlanta) 455 Games, 64G, 124A, 188P

Best Pick at Number One: There is no real way to pick the best player to be taken at number one, as all have generally lived up to their billing. Four of the players are perennial all-stars and two are the current faces of the league (Crosby and Ovechkin). Both goalies have shown flashes of brilliance during their time in the league and the most recent top picks are still developing but look as though they will become solid, if not spectacular, players in the league. It is hard to miss with the first pick in the draft, and the last 10 years proves that.

Biggest Bust: The player to have the least amount of impact from the top spot has been Patrik Stefan. Looking back, most believe 1999 was a weak draft and Stefan is the poster child for that statement. Trying to become the face of a new franchise, Stefan was never able to live up to the lofty expectations as injuries and inconsistencies eventually doomed him. He only played 70 or more games in a season three times and his highest point total for a season was a pedestrian 40 during the 2003-04 campaign. Stefan last played in the NHL in 2007 as a member of the Dallas Stars before returning to Europe to play in the Swiss Elite League in 2007. Stefan did not play anywhere in 2008-09.

Rising Star: All the players are household names – especially in Canada – so it would make the most sense to peg the most recent top choice as the rising star. Steven Stamkos started slow in his rookie campaign for Tampa, but finished his freshman year with a respectable 46 points in 79 games. Being the front man for a rebuilding franchise may not be the easiest assignment, but the relative obscurity of Tampa likely helped Stamkos. Look for Stamkos to almost double his offensive output next season.

Pick Trends: Only one defenceman has been taken first overall in the last 10 years – Erik Johnson went to St. Louis in 2006.

No Canadian franchise has selected first overall in the past 10 years.

All the top picks, except for Stefan, still play with the team that drafted them.

Number 2 Overall

(Tampa Bay Lightning 2009 Selection)

2008 - Drew Doughty D (Los Angeles) 81 Games, 6G, 21A, 27P

2007 - James Van Riemsdyk LW (Philadelphia) No NHL Experience

2006 - Jordan Staal C (Pittsburgh) 245 Games, 63G, 56A, 119P

2005 - Bobby Ryan RW (Anaheim) 87 Games, 36G, 31A, 67P

2004 - Evgeni Malkin C (Pittsburgh) 242 Games, 115G, 189A, 304P

2003 - Eric Staal C (Carolina) 409 Games, 164G, 194A, 358P

2002 - Kari Lehtonen G (Atlanta) 204 Games

2001 - Jason Spezza C (Ottawa) 404 Games, 148G, 270A, 418A

2000 - Dany Heatley LW (Atlanta) 507 Games, 260G, 283A, 543P

1999 - Daniel Sedin LW (Vancouver) 642 Games, 179G, 283A, 462A

Best Pick at Number Two: With apologies to Evgeni Malkin, a Hart Trophy candidate this year, the best number two overall selection from the past decade is Dany Heatley, who earned the honor due to his longevity and career resurrection. Heatley has averaged more than a point a game in his career. He has scored 100 points or more twice and has been a 50-goal scorer on two occasions (both milestones occurred in the 2006 and 2007 seasons). Heatley has also overcome adversity in his career. As a rising star in Atlanta he was the driver in a high speed car crash which killed teammate and friend Dan Snyder. He missed most of the 2003-2004 season recovering from injuries sustained in the crash and asked to be traded from Atlanta to start fresh.

Biggest Bust: As the only player taken second in the last 10 years with no NHL experience, winger James Van Riemsdyk is the default selection for biggest bust. That could change very soon, though. Van Riemsdyk has spent two seasons at the University of New Hampshire, where he averaged more than a point per game. Though he has had only 11 appearances at the professional level, all in the AHL, look for Van Riemsdyk to make the Philadelphia Flyers out of camp next year and contribute to what is already a strong nucleus of young players.

Rising Star: Rookie defencemen often take a bit longer to learn and excel at the NHL level, but Drew Doughty was the exception. Doughty made the team out of camp and never looked back. He appeared in 81 games and proved to be a rock-solid blueliner, who will be on the Lings’ number one pairing for years to come. His added offence – six goals and 21 assists – was a bonus for the Kings. If he continues to improve that side of his game, he will be a star in the league before long.

Pick Trends: Only one defenceman has been selected second in the past 10 years, Drew Doughty, 2008.

Only three European players have been selected second during that time.

Five of the number two picks have reached the Stanley Cup finals.

Number 3 Overall

(Colorado Avalanche 2009 Selection)

2008 - Zach Bogosian D (Atlanta) 47 Games, 9G, 10A, 19P

2007 - Kyle Turris C (Phoenix) 66 Games, 8G, 13A, 21P

2006 - Jonathan Toews C (Chicago) 146 Games, 58G, 65A, 123P

2005 - Jack Johnson D (Carolina) 120 Games, 9G, 13A, 22P

2004 - Cam Barker D (Chicago) 149 Games, 13G, 53A, 66 P

2003 - Nathan Horton C (Florida) 357 Games, 122G, 116A, 238P

2002 - Jay Bouwmeester D (Florida) 471 Games, 53G, 150A, 203P

2001 - Alexandr Svitov C (Tampa Bay) 179 Games, 13G, 24A, 37P

2000 - Marian Gaborik LW (Minnesota) 502 Games, 219G, 218A, 437P

1999 - Henrik Sedin C (Vancouver) 646 Games, 109G, 351A, 460P

Best Pick at Number Three: Ever since Jonathan Toews broke onto the scene with his shootout goals against the Americans at the World Junior Championship in 2007, it has a given that he would develop into the next great Canadian player. So far he has outperformed the two players selected in front of him in the 2006 draft. He was named captain of the Chicago Blackhawks last season, becoming the third-youngest player to receive the honor. He has averaged just under a point per game in his two-year NHL career, but look for that to improve as he gains more experience. Toews should be the leader on a team that contents for the next decade.

Biggest Bust: Alexandr Svitov did play more than two full NHL seasons, but as the third overall pick expectations were that he would score more than 37 points total. He was thought a risky pick at number three for Tampa and never reached his potential. In 74 games with the Lightning, Svitov managed just four goals and seven assists. He was traded to Columbus during the 2003-04 season where he would play parts of another two seasons. Svitov's career came full circle in 2007 when he returned to Omsk Avangard of the KHL to play for the team that he was originally drafted from in 2001.

Rising Star: Zach Bogosian made the Thrashers roster out of training camp and became the youngest player in franchise history to play in a NHL game. Though he had his season halved due to a broken leg, he did return strong and appeared in 47 games during his rookie season, amassing 19 points. The New York native proved that he can not only compete, but excel at the highest level and he should be a defensive cornerstone for Atlanta for years to come.

Pick Trends: Only one winger has been selected third in the last 10 years, Marian Gaborik, 2000.

A European has not been selected with the third pick since 2001.

Number 4 Overall

(Atlanta Thrashers 2009 Selection)

2008 - Alex Pietrangelo D (St. Louis) 8 Games, 0G, 1A, 1P

2007 - Thomas Hickey D (Los Angeles) No NHL Experience

2006 - Nicklas Backstrom C (Washington) 164 Games, 36G, 121A, 157P

2005 - Benoit Pouliot LW (Minnesota) 51 Games, 7G, 7A, 14P

2004 - Andrew Ladd LW (Carolina) 239 Games, 46G, 65A, 111P

2003 - Nikolai Zherdev RW (Columbus) 365 Games, 99G, 140A, 239P

2002 - Joni Pitkanen D (Philadelphia) 340 Games, 40G, 135A, 175P

2001 - Stephen Weiss C (Florida) 401 Games, 75G, 149A, 224P

2000 - Rostislav Klesla D (Columbus) 444 Games, 36G, 79A, 115P

1999 - Pavel Brendl RW (NYR) 78 Games, 11G, 11A, 22P

Best Pick at Number Four: After being selected fourth overall in 2006, Nicklas Backstrom needed another year of seasoning in the Swedish league. But, debuting in the NHL for the Caps in the 2007-2008 season, Backstrom has been a rock, appearing in all 162 games in the past two seasons. Teamed with fellow Europeans Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin has provided Backstrom the opportunity to score in bunches and he has delivered, racking up 157 points in his first two seasons. As long as Washington can keep the team together, Backstrom should enjoy a long and celebrated career.

Biggest Bust: It still might be too early to call Benoit Pouliot a total bust, but he has not done anything at the NHL level to justify the lofty expectations that come with being the fourth pick. Since being drafted, Pouliot has continuously shuffled between the Wild and their AHL affiliate in Houston. With just 48 games and 14 in two NHL seasons, Pouliot will need to step up his game to avoid becoming a huge disappointment for the Wild.

Rising Star: Alex Pietrangelo made the Blues out of training camp but suffered an early season injury that set him back. He appeared in eight NHL games before St. Louis sent him back to junior. Pietrangelo continued to excel at the junior level and was also a member of the gold-medal winning Canadian team at this year’s WJC. Look for Pietrangelo to be a fixture on the Blues roster next season.

Pick Trends: No Canadian team has owned the fourth pick in the last 10 years.

Six Europeans have been selected fourth in the last deacde.

Number 5 Overall

(Los Angeles Kings 2009 Selection)

2008 - Luke Schenn D (Toronto) 70 Games, 2G, 12A, 14P

2007 - Karl Alzner D (Washington) 30 Games, 1G, 4A, 5P

2006 - Phil Kessel C (Boston) 222 Games, 66G, 60A, 126P

2005 - Carey Price G (Montreal) 93 Games, 47-28-13

2004 - Blake Wheeler RW (Phoenix) 81 Games, 21G, 24A, 45P

2003 - Thomas Vanek RW (Buffalo) 318 Games, 144G, 116A, 260P

2002 - Ryan Whitney D (Pittsburgh) 273 Games, 34G, 126A, 160P

2001 - Stanislav Chisov LW (Anaheim) 196 Games, 19G, 42A, 61P

2000 - Raffi Torres LW (NYI) 358 Games, 79G, 67A, 146P

1999 - Tim Connolly C (NYI) 486 Games, 88G, 200A, 288P

Best Pick at Number Five: As the player who has accumulated the second-most points out of those drafted fifth, Thomas Vanek is an easy pick for the best number five pick in recent memory. The Austrian native spent one year in the AHL before making the jump to the big club in Buffalo and he has not looked back. Vanek has not played in fewer that 73 games in a season since joining the Sabres. He’s racked up 260 points in four seasons, is a regular threat to score and, at only 25 years of age, it looks as if he has a long career ahead of him.

Biggest Bust: Stanislav Chisov had a decent rookie campaign with the Anaheim Ducks in 2002-03, when he accounted for 12 goals and 18 assists in 79 games. But, since that season, he made no significant impact in the NHL. Between 2004 and 2007 he managed to score just 31 points while bouncing around the NHL and the AHL trying to find his place. at 5'9" he is an undersized forward that was unable to use his speed to his advantage - even in the new NHL. After not playing anywhere in the 2007-08 season, Chisov emerged in the KHL in 2008-09 as a member of Magnitogorsk Metallurg.

Rising Star: A case of good things come to those who wait, Blake Wheeler finally made his presence felt in the NHL during the 2008-09 campaign, though not as a member of the team that originally drafted him, Phoenix, but instead as a key piece to the Eastern Conference winning Boston Bruins. After three years at the University of Minnesota, Wheeler broke out as a member of the Bruins, playing in all but one game during the year, while scoring 45 points. Wheeler should continue to make up for the lost time in the years to come.

Pick Trends: An Eastern Conference team has selected fifth overall eight of the past 10 years.

Only two Europeans have been selected fifth overall in the past 10 years.

Number 6 Overall

(Phoenix Coyotes 2009 Selection)

2008 - Nikita Filatov LW (Columbus) 8 Games, 4G, 0A, 4P

2007 - Sam Gagner C (Edmonton) 155 Games, 29G, 61A, 90P

2006 - Derick Brassard C (Columbus) 48 Games, 11G, 16A, 27P

2005 - Gilbert Brule C (Columbus) 157 Games, 14G, 21A, 35P

2004 - Al Montoya G (New York) 5 Games, 3-1-0

2003 - Milan Michalek LW (San Jose) 317 Games, 91G, 123A, 214P

2002 - Scottie Upshall LW (Nashville) 230 Games, 46G, 60A, 106P

2001 - Mikko Koivu C (Minnesota) 282 Games, 57G, 127A, 184P

2000 - Scott Hartnell LW (Nashville) 598 Games, 147G, 167A, 314P

1999 - Brian Finley G (Nashville) 4 Games

Best Pick at Number Six: Scott Hartnell made the Predators team out of his first camp in the pros and has never looked back. Hartnell has proved that he can do a bit of everything - he can score, set up a play and he is not afraid to mix it up, as he has recorded more than 100 penalty minutes four times in his career. This past season Hartnell proved that he still has a lot left in him, as he posted career highs in goals, assists and points - registering 30 and 30 for a total of 60. Furthermore, Hartnell developed a huge fan following thanks to his afro that flowed out of his helmet. Fans would regularily show up at games with their own afros and root him on.

Biggest Bust: Goalies Brian Finley and Al Montoya are examples A and B as to why it is risky to select a goalie in the top 10. Together they combined to play in just nine NHL games. Finley last appeared in NHL in the 2006-07 season as a member of the Boston Bruins, dressing for two games and starting one. He has not played professional hockey since that season. Montoya never appeared in a single game for the team that drafted him, the New York Rangers and is now a member of the Phoenix Coyotes organization. There is still time and hope for Montoya, as he appeared in 5 games for the Coyotes this season, registering a 3-1 record, though he spent the majority of his season in the AHL. Montaya was a clear bust for the Rangers, though he still has time to try to prove that he was not a league wide bust.

Rising Star: Sam Gagner is already a well known name throughout Canada especially in the Western parts of the country. But, Gagner may have yet to reach his potential. He has scored 90 points in 155 games for the Oil as part of their youth movement. Though he took a step back in the scoring department, he did step up his physicality. Gagner should continue to mature and help lead the Oilers to the playoffs in the next few years, which will only help to establish himself further as a star in this league.

Pick Trends: A Western Conference team has selected sixth overall nine of the past 10 years.

Columbus has selected sixth overall three of the past four years.

No defense man has been selected sixth overall in the past 10 years.

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