Number 7 Overall
(Toronto Maple Leafs 2009 Selection)
2008 - Colin Wilson C (Nashville) No NHL Experience
2007 - Jakub Voracek RW (Columbus) 80 Games, 9G, 29A, 38P
2006 - Kyle Okposo RW (NYI) 74 Games, 20G, 24A, 44P
2005 - Jack Skille RW (Chicago) 24 Games, 4G, 2A, 6P
2004 - Rostislav Olesz LW (Florida) 227 Games, 37 G, 49A, 86P
2003 - Ryan Suter D (Nashville) 311 Games, 23 G, 93A, 116P
2002 - Joffrey Lupul C (Anaheim) 372 Games, 102G, 109A, 211P
2001 - Mike Komisarek D (Montreal) 361 Games, 12 G, 46A, 58P
2000 - Lars Jonsson D (Boston) 8 Games, 0G, 2A, 2P - No Longer in NHL
1999 - Kris Beech C (Washington) 198 Games, 25G, 42A, 67P - No Longer in NHL
Best Pick at Number Seven: For such a high pick in the draft, the number seven spot has not produced a clear star in the past decade. But, with that said the best number seven in the past decade came in 2002 when Joffrey Lupul was selected by the Anaheim Ducks. Lupul broke into the the league after spending another year in the CHL and since then he has been a productive second line centre. He currently plays for the Philadelphia Flyers - his third team since entering the league - and helped lead the Flyers to a fifth place Eastern Conference finish this year while registering 50 points.
Biggest Bust: Hard to argue with Lars Jonsson as being anything but a bust. After being selected out of the Swedish Selects league by Boston it took him six years to finally play in his first NHL game and by then he was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. Even that stint did not last long, as he played in just eight games for the Flyers in the 2006-07 season while registering only two assists. Jonsson now plays for Brynas IF Gavle in the Swedish Elite League.
Rising Star: In what was a disastrous season for the Islanders, Kyle Okposo provided one of few bright spots. The 21-year-old winger from Minnesota appeared in 65 games for the Long Island club this year, scoring 18 goals while adding 21 helpers. Okposo should be a staple in the orange and blue in the foreseeable future and could prove to be an excellent line mate for the expected number one pick this year for the Isles, in John Tavares.
Pick Trend: A goalie has not been picked in the past 10 drafts out of the seven spot, and that is almost assured to continue this year if the Leafs hold onto the pick, as they have more pressing needs all over the ice.
An American has been picked five times in the past 10 years out of the seventh spot.
Number 8 Overall
(Dallas Stars 2009 Selection)
2008 - Mikkel Boedker LW (Phoenix) 78 Games 11G, 17A, 28P
2007 - Zach Hamill C (Boston) No NHL Experience
2006 - Peter Mueller C (Phoenix) 153 Games, 35G, 55A, 90P
2005 - Devin Setoguchi RW (San Jose) 125 Games, 42G, 40A, 82P
2004 - Alexandre Picard LW (Columbus) 58 Games, 0G, 2A, 2P
2003 - Braydon Coburn D (Atlanta) 216 Games, 19G, 57A, 76P
2002 - Pierre-Marc Bouchard C (Minnesota) 425 Games, 77G,190A, 267P
2001 - Pascal Leclaire G (Columbus) 125 Games
2000 - Nikita Alexeev LW (Tampa Bay) 159 Games, 20G, 17A, 37P
1999 - Taylor Pratt LW (NYI) 532 Games, 91G, 100A, 191A
Best Pick at Number Eight: Pierre-Marc Bouchard has been a staple on the Minnesota Wild roster since joining the team in his first year mid season and ended up playing in 50 games. Bouchard, who leads the number eight selections in assists and points is an easy choice for the best number eight in recent memory. Bouchard, the model of consistency, does not put up huge numbers, but is a constant contributor for a team that routinely competes for a playoff position. His game did regress a bit in 2008-09, with his lowest point total since 2003-04, but he also appeared in fewer games then he had since that same 2003-04 season. A solid second line player, Bouchard should continue to have a solid NHL career.
Biggest Bust: Alexandre Picard put up huge numbers in junior as a member of the Lewiston MAINEiacs, scoring 80 plus points in back to back seasons, which led many scouts to believe he was a safe pick at number eight. But those numbers have failed to translate to the NHL in a big way. Since his draft year Picard has only played in 58 NHL game while recording only two assists, an unbelievably low number for any forward in the league, let alone a top ten pick. Still a member of the Columbus franchise, Picard has bounced back and forth between the NHL and the AHL, but his time is surely running out with the team and all indications point to him never living up to his potential.
Rising Star: Lost and forgotten in the obscurity and messy situation of Coyote hockey, Peter Mueller has put up very good numbers in his first two seasons in the NHL. 90 points in two seasons for a lowly franchise is a solid output and when teamed with 2008 rookie star in the making, Mikkel Boedker (also a number eight overall pick) Mueller has a chance to be the face of a young Phoenix team for the near future, whether that face is in Phoenix or a new NHL city is a question that remains unanswered.
Pick Trends: Only one defense man has been selected eight overall in the past 10 years.
Only three players selected eighth overall have appeared in 200 or more NHL games.
Number 9 Overall
(Ottawa Senators 2009 Selection)
2008 - Joshua Bailey C (NYI) 68 Games, 7G, 18A, 25P
2007 - Logan Couture C (San Jose) No NHL Experience
2006 - James Sheppard C (Minnesota) 160 Games, 9G, 34A, 43P
2005 - Brian Lee D (Ottawa) 59 Games, 2G, 12A, 14P
2004 - Ladislav Smid D (Anaheim) 202 Games, 3G, 22A, 25P
2003 - Dion Phaneuf D (Calgary) 323 Games, 65G, 141A, 206P
2002 - Petr Taticek C (Florida) 3 Games, 0G, 0A, 0P
2001 - Tuomo Ruutu C (Chicago) 324 Games, 78G, 95A, 173P
2000 - Brent Krahn G (Calgary) 1 Game
1999 - Jamie Lundmark C (NYR) 259 Games, 35G, 52A, 87P
Best Pick at Number Nine: Without a doubt, Dion Phaneuf is the best number nine selection in the past decade. After losing a year due to the NHL lockout, Phaneuf broke out during his rookie campaign in 2005-06 and wound up third in rookie of the year voting behind two guys named Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. Phaneuf has not slowed down since then, as he has become a perennial all-star in the league. He can score with a blistering shot from the point, and forwards think twice before coming across the middle against him in fear of being the recipient of one of Phaneuf's devastating hits. Phaneuf is a top blue liner for Calgary and one of the faces of the team - if not the NHL. He is almost assured to be a member of the 2010 Canadian Men's Olympic Hockey Team.
Biggest Bust: A year before Calgary struck gold with Phaneuf, Florida was not quite as fortunate with Petr Taticek. Takicek, a Czech native who developed his game in the OHL as a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, was a point per game performer at the junior level. His skill set, along with his size (6'2") made him a desired commodity heading into the 2002 draft. But, Takicek's skills never translated to the professional level. He appeared in only three NHL games in his career, during the 2005-06 season with the Panthers - and he did not manage to register a point during those games. Taticek can now be found playing for Davos in the Swiss league, where he is no more than a role player for the club.
Rising Star: Joshua Bailey is one of those rare players who was able to make the jump directly from Canadian junior hockey to the NHL. As a member of the Isles, Bailey found himself in the right place to contribute early, with a team that was going no where in 2008-09 and developing for the future. Bailey stepped in right away and his on the fly learning experience paid dividends, as he produced 25 points in his rookie campaign. Much like Okposo, this Oshawa native looks to be part of the rebuilding project and a bright spot for the Islanders.
Pick Trend: A winger has not been selected in the nine spot during the past 10 drafts. Six centres, three defencemen and one goalie have been taken at nine.
A player from the CHL has been taken seven times in the past 10 years out of the nine spot; three from the OHL, three from the WHL and one from the QMJHL.
Number 10 Overall
(Edmonton Oilers 2009 Selection)
2008 - Cody Hodgson C (Vancouver) No NHL Experience
2007 - Keaton Ellerby D (Florida) No NHL Experience
2006 - Michael Frolik LW (Florida) 79 Games, 21G, 24A, 45P
2005 - Luc Bourdon D (Vancouver) Deceased
2004 - Boris Valabik D (Atlanta) 57 Games, 0G, 5A, 5P
2003 - Andrei Kostitsyn RW (Montreal) 186 Games, 52G, 56A, 108P
2002 - Eric Nystrom LW (Calgary) 122 Games, 8G, 12A, 20P
2001 - Dan Blackburn G (NYR) 63 Games - RETIRED
2000 - Mikhail Yakubov C (Chicago) 53 Games, 2G, 10A, 12P
1999 - Branislav Mezei D (NYI) 240 Games, 5G, 19A, 24P
Best Pick at Number Ten: The final pick of the first third of the round has failed to live up to the top ten billing and has been much more of a bust than a bang. Andrei Kostitsyn is the choice for best number 10 selection, by default due to lack of competition. Though he was drafted in 2003 it took until the 2007-2008 season for Kostitsyn to establish himself in the NHL. A direct correlation between his success in the league may be due to the fact that his brother, Sergei, also joined the Canadiens for the 2007-2008 season, providing Andrei a familiar and comforting presence on the team. Though his career high in points for a season was only 53 in the 2007-2008 campaign, Andrei remains the only player selected 10th overall in the last ten years to ever break the 100 career point mark. He should be able to contribute in the league in the future, as long as his rumored mob connections prove to be nothing more than rumors.
Biggest Bust: Dan Blackburn put up stellar numbers as a junior as a member of the Kootenay Ice, posting a record of 67-22-9 and a goals against average of 2.64 in two seasons. But, playing behind a solid team will hide the true value of a goalie and that turned out to be the case for Blackburn. Furthermore, the Rangers may have rushed Blackburn to the NHL, as he played in 31 games the same year he was drafted, posting a record of 12-16 with a 3.28 GAA and a save percentage under .900. By the end of the 2003 campaign Blackburn had amassed a career record of 20-32-4 in 63 games and that was the last time he appeared in an NHL game. He retired from the game of hockey in 2005 after a brief stint with the Victoria Salmon Kings of the East Coast Hockey League.
Rising Star: Cody Hodgson was one of the last cuts from this yearís Canucks squad and returned to the Brampton Battalion for one more year of junior hockey. He did not let the year go to waste, as he amassed 92 points in 53 regular season games while leading the Battalion to the second best record in the OHL, while also winning the OHL player of the year honors. You can be sure to see Hodgson in an NHL arena near you in the fall.
Pick Trends: Only three players selected tenth overall in the last 10 years have appeared in 100 or more NHL games.
Three of the past 10 number 10s no longer play in the NHL.
Number 11 Overall
(Nashville Predators 2009 Selection)
2008 - Kyle Beach LW (Chicago) No NHL Experience
2007 - Brandon Sutter C (Carolina) 50 Games, 1G, 5A, 6P
2006 - Jonathan Bernier G (Los Angeles) 4 Games
2005 - Anze Kopitar C (Los Angeles) 236 Hames, 79G, 125A, 204P
2004 - Lauri Tukonen RW (Los Angeles) 5 Games, 0G, 0A, 0P
2003 - Jeff Carter C (Philadelphia) 307 Games, 112G, 104A, 216P
2002 - Keith Ballard D (Buffalo) 315 Games, 25G, 96A, 121P
2001 - Fredrik Sjostrom RW (Phoenix) 358 Games, 41G, 47A, 88P
2000 - Pavel Vorobiev RW (Chicago) 57 Games, 10G, 15A, 25P
1999 - Oleg Saprykin LW (Calgary) 325 Games, 55G, 82A, 137P
Best Pick at Number Eleven: At just 24 years of age Jeff Carter is the ideal Philadelphia Flyer. If it were not for an injury shorten 2006-07 campaign, Carter would have improved his point totals every year in which he has been in the NHL. And this past season he proved that he has yet to reach his peek. Carter scored 46 goals to go along with 38 assists for a total of 84 points, which is a better than a one point a game average. He also had a career high in penalty minutes with 68. Along with other young snipers like Mike Richards, Carter should help lead the Flyers for years to come, with multiple playoff berths in the cards.
Biggest Bust: A year after the best pick at number 11 was taken, the Los Angeles Kings struck out with Lauri Tukonen. If it is five years after your draft year and you have still yet to record your first NHL point, you can officially be classified as a bust. The Finland native only appeared in five NHL games with the Kings over two seasons, but spend the 2008-09 season split between two teams in the Finnish League, where he will likely stay for the time being.
Rising Star: Brandon Sutter may never become an all star in the NHL, but he will likely develop into a solid third line or checking line centre. At 6'3" he has the build to do the dirty work any team is looking for. He dressed in 50 games for the Hurricanes this and recording six points in limited playing time. You can expect the playing time to increase over the next few years, but likely not to the top two lines barring a significant increase in his game.
Pick Trends: Only one defense man has been selected 11th overall in the past 10 years.
This yearís pick holder, Nashville, has never selected 11th overall.
Number 12 Overall
(Minnesota Wild 2009 Selection
2008 - Tyler Myers D (Buffalo) No NHL Experience
2007 - Ryan McDonaggh D (Montreal) No NHL Experience
2006 - Bryan Little C (Atlanta) 127 Games, 37G, 30A, 67P
2005 - Marc Staal D (NYR) 162 Games, 5G, 20A, 25P
2004 - A.J. Thelen D (Minnesota) No NHL Experience
2003 - Hugh Jessiman RW (NYR) No NHL Experience
2002 - Steve Eminger D (Washington) 283 Games, 11G, 58A, 69P
2001 - Dan Hamhuis D (Nashville) 405 Games, 27G, 110A, 137P
2000 - Alexei Smirnov C (Anaheim) 52 Games, 3G, 3A, 6P
1999 - Denis Shvidki RW (Florida) 76 Games, 11G, 14A, 25P
Best Pick at Number Twelve: The number 12 selection has failed to deliver an all star in the past 10 years. Therefore Bryan Little wins on recent play and potential. Little played 48 games for the Thrashers in the 2007-08 season, but had his coming out year just this past season, where he played in 79 games for the rebuilding Thrashers scoring 31 goals and adding 20 assists. The 21-year-old looks as though he will emerge as a true star in the league and if teammate Ilya Kovalchuk is traded or chooses to leave the team, then Little will likely take over as the face of the franchise, one that is desperate for some playoff success.
Biggest Bust: Alexei Smirnov, the big centre from Russia, never lived up to his potential in the league. He managed to play in 44 games in 2002-03 with the Ducks but only scored five points. An eight game stint in Anaheim during the 2003-04 campaign which netted a grand total of one point proved to be the last time that Smirnov would appear in an NHL game. Since then, Smirnov has bounced around the AHL, the ECHL and Russian leagues before settling in the KHL for the Voskresensk Khimik team where he scored 22 points in 55 games.
Rising Star: No One Currently.
Pick Trends: Six defencemen have been selected 12th overall in the past 10 years.
No European player has been selected in the spot since 2000.