With the 2020 NHL draft still in a state of confusion of when it will occur, there are still many drafts to look back on. A decade is a fairly long time, although at times it feels like it was only yesterday. Let’s jump forward a year to 2011 to see where each pick has turned out and where they are today!
1. Edmonton Oilers: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Hey! Look! The Oilers are back on this list! You’ll be seeing them a lot in these articles, sorry, Oilers fans. After drafting Taylor Hall in 2010, the Oilers finished the 2010-11 campaign with a record of 25-45-12. With 62 points they were the definitive worst team in the league once more.
However, teams that finish poorly have good odds at picking high in the draft to make them better overall. With the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, Edmonton Selected Ryan Nugent-Hopkins from the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL.
With 106 points in his first year of being draft eligible, Nugent-Hopkins was held to a very high regard as an elite centre. Nugent-Hopkins has had a very solid career with the Oilers as he put up 52 points (18 goals, 34 assists) in 62 games.
To date, Nugent Hopkins has averaged a 50 point scoring pace in his 9 years so far with the Oilers. In this past season alone he was having the best season as he was scoring a 76 point pace over an 82 game season.
While he may be looked at as less of a number one centre and more as a number two, Nugent-Hopkins proves to be a solid offensive talent in Edmonton with a career total of 443 points (169 goals , 274 assists) in 604 NHL games.
2. Colorado Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog
The Colorado Avalanche have had a lot of good fortune in the draft department over the years. Their selection in this years draft means no different when they selected Gabriel Landeskog second overall from the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL
Their now current team captain has had a very successful campaign in the rocky mountains. With 460 points (198 goals, 262 assists) in 633 games, as well as receiving the Caldar Memorial Trophy in 2012. Landeskog has paved his way as one of the best power forwards in the game today.
Last season during the 2018-19 campaign saw Landeskog Shine with a career high 75 points (34 goals, 41 assists) in 73 games. His playoff numbers are also very impressive with 19 points (10 goals, 9 assists) in 25 playoff games. A scoring pace of 76%. Needless to say that the Avalanche made out very well with this selection in the draft others to be covered later on.
3. Florida Panthers: Jonathan Huberdeau
Speaking of players who have had some success in recent draft history, we have the Florida Panthers. In my previous post I stated that the team had bad luck with Erik Gudbranson going third overall. This time Florida really needed to make sure they got a good player in the draft . Enter Jonathan Huberdeau from the Saint Johns Sea Dogs of the QMJHL.
Huberdeau was looked at in his draft report as a skilled play making forward who can drive scoring 5 on 5 and on the power play. Since being drafted, Huberdeau has played in 536 NHL games, and scored a total of 437 points (148 goals, 247 assists) in the process.
In the 2018-19 season, he scored a career high 92 points (30 goals, 62 assists) in 82 games. Huberdeau finished 4 points shy of team leader in points, Captain Aleksander Barkov. On Janurary 12th 2020, he became the highest scoring player in team history with an assist on goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
To say that Huberdeau has been one of the best offensive players to come out of the 2011 draft is an understatement. At only 26 years old and already the all time scoring leader, there are many more successful seasons for many years to come.
4. New Jersey Devils: Adam Larsson
Fun fact about this draft, the New Jersey Devils won the draft lottery which saw them to move up in the draft. The Devils moved up from originally picking 8th overall to 4th overall. Enter Adam Larsson into the mix.
Larsson had a huge ceiling upon being drafted into the devils organization, he was the first player the team selected in the top 5 since 1991 picking Scott Neidermayer. So needless to say, expectations were pretty high.
Unfortunately, things were not all success for Larsson. He wasn’t a bad player, he was a solid two-way defenceman who played big minutes for the team. He was a solid defender for the team, however will be more well known for a certain trade.
One June 30th 2016, Larsson was traded from the Devils to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Taylor Hall. A blockbuster trade that shocked the hockey world. While Larsson was a solid defender, his tenure in Edmonton was heavily scrutinized for his on ice play. While Hall became a multi time all star and picked up a Hart Memorial Trophy in 2019.
Larsson to date has played in 546 career games split between the Devils and Oilers and has recorded 127 points (21 goals, 106 assists) in that time span.
5. New York Islanders: Ryan Strome
Stromes skill level made him a perfect linemate with Tavares on paper and the two were set to be a dynamic duo. Sadly, after just one season of 50 points in 2014-15, Stromes production was underwhelming given the hype.
Strome averaged roughly 30 points during his tenure in Long Island before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers on June 22nd, 2017 in exchange for Jordan Eberle.
A painfully slow 2018-19 scoring pace of just 2 points in 18 games, Strome was dealt once more to the New York Rangers for Ryan Spooner. After hitting Broadway, Strome hit a new gear in his game.
In the past 2 seasons he has tallied 92 points (36 goals, 52 asssits) in 133 games with the Rangers. He tallied a majority this current season with a career high of 59 points in 70 games.
After a rocky few years of not living up to potential, Stromes shown potential to be a late bloomer and a huge contributor to getting a rebuilding Rangers team back to the Playoffs.
Strome currently has played 495 career NHL games and has put up 254 points split with the Islanders, Oilers and Rangers.
6. Ottawa Senators: Mika Zibanejad
The Sens took the best player of their draft class first with Mika Zibanejad going 6th overall. He rose high in the draft rankings substantially and looking back we can see why. Zibanejad had the potential of being a first line centre in Ottawa after guys like Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher left the organization.
Zibanejad broke out in the 2014-15 season with a 46 point campaign (20 goals, 26 assists) in 80 games. He followed that up with a 51 point season (21 goals, 30 assists) in 81 games in 2015-16.
On July 18th, 2016, a Trade involving Zibanejad along with a 2018 2nd round pick (Jonatan Berggren) to the New York Rangers in exchange for Derek Brassard and a 2018 7th round pick (Luke Loheit). The trade then landed him a 5 year $26,75 million dollar contract extension, an extension that almost looks like a steal today.
In 267 games with the New York Rangers, a total of 233 points (112 goals, 121 assists). Back to back 70 plus point seasons with a cap hit of under $6 million dollars with elite production has had Rangers fans feeling optimistic about their new team identity.
Over 528 games split between Canadas capital and Broadway, Zibanejad has recorded 384 points (176 goals, 208 assists).
7. Winnipeg Jets: Mark Scheifele
Hey the Jets! Winnipeg makes their first appearance in the NHL draft since the 1996 relocation to Phoenix. Since the Atlanta Thrashers move to Winnipeg in the summer of 2011, hockey was back to stay in Manitoba.
After the Thrashers had some bad luck with Alex Burmistrov in last years draft, this year they wanted redemption. Mark Scheifele was said redemption going 7th overall from the Barrie Colts.
Scheifele to many at the time was taken too early and had big shoes to fill, he drew comparables to Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Sharp with how he played. Big in size and build he had a mold to be quite the player, turns out many were correct.
The Jets really made a great selection here, Scheifele took a while to stick in the lineup but once he did, he tore it up. In 9 seasons in Winnipeg, 444 points (180 goals, 264 assists) in 419 NHL games.
He has also proven to be one of the best playoff producers in recent memory. 26 points in 27 playoff games is something I was not even aware of when writing this article, that just goes to show you how good of a player Mark is as he quietly puts up points and does his job so well its almost natural.
8. Philadelphia Flyers: Sean Couturier
The Flyers are an interesting team in this draft. This pick originally belonged to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but a deal was conjured to make it Philadelphia property.
This deal was a huge shock but draft season sees many trades happen a lot. Voracek emerged as the teams top playmaker along with captain Claude Giroux. Nick Couzins has flipped around from Philly, Arziona, Las Vegas and now currently Montreal.
While those players have had a lot of success, what about Sean Couturier? Well lets see, 8th overall was a huge drop for a original top 5 pick. A poor showcase at the World Juniors U18 tournament lead to that, but looking back now this was a steal.
Couturier and Giroux as a #1 and #2 centers were deadly to an already stacked Metropolitan division. It was a pretty awesome as a hockey fan seeing these two vs. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the battle of Pennsylvania.
Couturiers numbers in the good ol’ state of Philly have been interesting. In his 9 years in Philly, 647 games and 402 points (156 goals, 246 assists).
Despite no awards yet to his name, I see a Selke trophy or two potentially in this guys career.
9. Boston Bruins: Dougie Hamilton
Oh how this one is going to give me nightmares. Remember 2009? When the Leafs traded away not one but two first-round picks and a second-round pick to the Bruins? Good memories..
By now we all know that 2010 first-round pick was Tyler Seguin and that stung, but wait, there’s more! In the 2010-11 season, the Leafs finished 22nd with a record of 37-34-11. Naturally the team was good enough for the 9th overall selection, but sadly not the case.
The Boston Bruins Selected Dougie Hamilton from the Niagara Ice Dogs. Fast? Agile? A little bit of edge to his game? Perfect match! Hamilton was an interesting watch as a defender and even put up 42 points (10 goals,32 assists) in 72 games in the 2014-15 season.
Following that season, Dougie went from Boston to Calgary in for a first-round and two second-round picks. Three more seasons in Calgary and pretty elite production later, another trade sent Dougie, Micheal Ferland, and prospect Adam Fox to the Carolina Hurricanes for Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm.
Despite being flipped around twice in the last few years, Hamilton is still one of the best right-handed shot defensemen in the game today and his talent is unmatched. Dougie racked up 299 career points (96 goals, 203 assists) in 552 games split with the Bruins, Flames, and Hurricanes. Dougie really has that offensive itch doesn’t he?
10. Minnesota Wild: Jonas Brodin
We get now to the hometown hosts of the draft! Jonas Brodin is a name that often flies under the radar. When mentioning Sean Couturier earlier, I mentioned how his World Juniors tournament hurt his draft ranking. Brodin however had the reverse effect of that in he had a head turning tournament. He put up 4 assists in 6 games for team Sweden and many scouts were sold.
The final pick of the top 10 is a little different than the two other defenders that went before. While Larsson is more known as a typical defensive defender, and Hamilton more an offensive quarterback on the back end, Brodin is a mix of both. He may not be the biggest in size and strength, but he is a very elite skater and is great with puck possession and his passing decisions are very well timed and placed.
Brodin has been a member of the Minnesota Wild his whole career and has been a quiet player. While he is no Ryan Suter, the teams #1 defenceman, brodin is smart with his passsing on the powerplay and when jumping in on the rush. His skating makes it so he can defend and provide offense in any situation.
Scouts compared Brodin to another Swedish defenceman in Alexander Edler, which when comparing both of their games and the similarities that both players show on the ice. Jonas has put up 146 points (30 goals, 116 assists) in 555 NHL games to date.
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