The 2020 NHL draft is almost upon us, making it a good time to look at how the NHL’s 31 teams have fared in the annual pick-a-palooza.
Specifically, here’s a team-by-team glance at every club’s highest pick in the past decade – from the 2010 NHL draft through 2019 – plus a peek at their other top-10 selections from the past 10 years.
The Edmonton Oilers selected first overall four times in the past decade, while the New Jersey Devils have twice held the No. 1 overall pick. St. Louis and Washington are the only two NHL teams that haven’t had a top-10 selection in the past 10 years – the Blues’ highest pick was Jaden Schwartz at 14th overall in 2010, while the Capitals drafted (and later ill-advisedly traded) Filip Forsberg at 11th overall in 2012.
Let’s get into it – here is every NHL team’s highest pick as well as the rest of their top-10 selections at the NHL draft from 2010 through 2019:
Highest pick in the past decade: Hampus Lindholm (6th, 2012)
Other top-10 picks: Lindholm has been a stalwart top-four defender in Anaheim for years. The Ducks have had two other top-10 selections since 2010, taking underwhelming power winger Nick Ritchie 10th overall in 2014 and promising center Trevor Zegras ninth in 2019. Anaheim also landed Cam Fowler at 12th overall in 2010.
Highest pick in the past decade: Dylan Strome (3rd, 2015)
Other top-10 picks: The Coyotes nabbed offensive cog Clayton Keller seventh overall in 2016 (as well as D-man Jakob Chychrun at No. 16) and up-and-coming center Barrett Hayton fifth overall in 2018.
Highest pick in the past decade: Tyler Seguin (2nd, 2010)
Other top-10 picks: The Bruins chose big-shooting defender Dougie Hamilton ninth overall in 2011, but it wasn’t long before he – like Seguin – got the Joe Thornton treatment. Both Hamilton and Seguin were traded after their third season in Boston.
Highest pick in the past decade: Rasmus Dahlin (1st, 2018)
Other top-10 picks: With the eighth overall selection in 2020, the Sabres are set to pick in the top 10 for the eighth consecutive draft. Buffalo had back-to-back No. 2 overall picks in 2014 and 2015, choosing Sam Reinhart in and Jack Eichel, respectively. The rest: Rasmus Ristolainen (eighth, 2013), Alex Nylander (eighth, 2016), Casey Mittelstadt (eighth, 2017) and Dylan Cozens (seventh, 2019).
Highest pick in the past decade: Sam Bennett (4th, 2014)
Other top-10 picks: The Flames have had two other top-10 picks in the past decade, and made them count with the selections of smooth center Sean Monahan (sixth, 2013) and agitating scorer Matthew Tkachuk (sixth, 2016).
Highest pick in the past decade: Andrei Svechnikov (2nd, 2018)
Other top-10 picks: The Canes have had four other top-10 picks since 2010, taking Jeff Skinner (seventh, 2010), Elias Lindholm (fifth, 2013), Haydn Fleury (seventh, 2014) and Noah Hanifin (fifth, 2015). Aside from Svechnikov, only Fleury remains in Carolina.
Highest pick in the past decade: Kirby Dach (3rd, 2019)
Other top-10 picks: The Hawks’ only other top-10 pick in the past decade came in 2018, when they took defenseman Adam Boqvist at No. 8. Both Dach and Boqvist are integral to the franchise’s success moving forward.
Highest pick in the past decade: Nathan MacKinnon (1st, 2013)
Other top-10 picks: The Avs have had five other top-10 picks in the past decade, and their power play is all the more lethal for it. They selected Gabriel Landeskog (second, 2011), Mikko Rantanen (10th, 2015), Tyson Jost (10th, 2016), Cale Makar (fourth, 2017) and Bowen Byram (fourth, 2019).
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Highest pick in the past decade: Ryan Murray (2nd, 2012)
Other top-10 picks: The Blue Jackets have had three other top-10 picks since 2010 and they grabbed frontline talent with each selection, in the form of Ryan Johansen (fourth, 2010), Zach Werenski (eighth, 2015) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (third, 2016). As a bonus, they turned Johansen into Seth Jones in a 2016 trade with Nashville.
Highest pick in the past decade: Miro Heiskanen (3rd, 2017)
Other top-10 picks: The Stars’ only other top-10 selection in the past decade was Valeri Nichushkin at 10th overall in 2013. He didn’t amount to much in Dallas but has found life in Colorado as a defensive forward who can chip in some goals.
DETROIT RED WINGS
Highest pick in the past decade: (tie) Filip Zadina (6th, 2018), Moritz Seider (6th, 2019)
Other top-10 picks: The Wings were ecstatic when scoring winger Zadina dropped to No. 6 two years ago and then they stunned observers when they took defenseman Seider at No. 6 last year. It goes without saying that the development of both players is vital for the franchise’s future. Detroit also took center Michael Rasmussen ninth overall in 2017. The Wings own the No. 4 overall selection in the 2020 draft – they haven’t picked that high since taking Keith Primeau third overall in 1990.
Highest pick in the past decade: (tie) Taylor Hall (1st, 2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1st, 2011), Nail Yakupov (1st, 2012), Connor McDavid (1st, 2015)
Other top-10 picks: Edmonton picked first overall three years in a row and then won the McDavid draft lottery in 2015. The only time in the past 10 drafts when the Oilers didn’t have a top-10 pick was in 2017, when they landed Kailer Yamamoto 22nd overall. Otherwise, they’ve been busy in the early stages of the first round: Darnell Nurse (seventh, 2013), Leon Draisaitl (third, 2014), Jesse Puljujarvi (fourth, 2016), Evan Bouchard (10th, 2018) and Philip Broberg (eighth, 2019).
Highest pick in the past decade: Aaron Ekblad (1st, 2014)
Other top-10 picks: After stumbling with Erik Gudbranson as the No. 3 overall pick in 2010, Florida snagged Jonathan Huberdeau at No. 3 in 2011 and then Aleksander Barkov at No. 2 in 2013, as well as promising winger Owen Tippett at No. 10 in 2017.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
Highest pick in the past decade: Alex Turcotte (5th, 2019)
Other top-10 picks: Turcotte is the Kings’ lone top-10 pick in the past decade, but they do have the No. 2 overall selection this year. The last time that happened, they ended up with Drew Doughty in 2008.
Highest pick in the past decade: Mathew Dumba (7th, 2012)
Other top-10 picks: Prior to picking Dumba, the Wild selected Mikael Granlund ninth overall in 2010 and Jonas Brodin at No. 10 in 2011.
Highest pick in the past decade: (tie) Alex Galchenyuk (3rd, 2012), Jesperi Kotkaniemi (3rd, 2018)
Other top-10 picks: Montreal drafted Mikhail Sergachev ninth overall in 2016, then traded him to Tampa Bay for Jonathan Drouin a year later. You have to believe they’d like that one back.
Highest pick in the past decade: Seth Jones (4th, 2013)
Other top-10 picks: Jones, who was dealt to Columbus for Johansen in 2016, is the Preds’ lone top-10 selection in the past decade. They took Kevin Fiala at No. 11 overall in 2014, ultimately trading him to Minnesota for Granlund in 2019.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Highest pick in the past decade: (tie) Nico Hischier (1st, 2017), Jack Hughes (1st, 2019)
Other top-10 picks: The Devils turned Adam Larsson, the No. 4 overall pick in 2011, into a Hart Trophy winner in Hall after a lopsided trade with Edmonton in 2016. New Jersey also selected Pavel Zach sixth in 2015. The Devils own the No. 7, No. 18 and No. 20 slots in the first round in this year’s draft.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Highest pick in the past decade: Griffin Reinhart (4th, 2012)
Other top-10 picks: The Isles had four top-five picks in a five-year stretch, but didn’t do much with the opportunity. They drafted Nino Niederreiter, Ryan Strome and Michael Dal Colle with the No. 5 overall pick in 2010, 2011 and 2014, respectively, plus Reinhart at No. 4 in 2012. Dal Colle, who’s still trying to break through as an NHL regular, is the only player who remains New York’s property.
NEW YORK RANGERS
Highest pick in the past decade: Kaapo Kakko (2nd, 2019)
Other top-10 picks: Dylan McIlrath (10th, 2010) was a tough defenseman who didn’t pan out. We’ll see what the future holds for prospect forwards Lias Andersson (seventh, 2017), Vitali Kravtsov (ninth, 2018) and Kakko. It looks bright.
Highest pick in the past decade: Brady Tkachuk (4th, 2018)
Other top-10 picks: The Sens’ only other top-10 selection in the past decade was Mika Zibanejad at No. 6 in 2011, but Ottawa is set to select third and fifth overall (and again at No. 28) in this year’s draft.
Highest pick in the past decade: Nolan Patrick (2nd, 2017)
Other top-10 picks: The Flyers are hoping Patrick can recover from concussion-like symptoms that have plagued his young career and develop into the type of player that Sean Couturier (eighth, 2011) has become. Philadelphia also scooped blueliner Ivan Provorov at No. 7 overall in 2015.
Highest pick in the past decade: Derrick Pouliot (8th, 2012)
Other top-10 picks: Forget top-10 picks, the Penguins have only had two first-round selections since taking Pouliot in 2012 – Kasperi Kapanen (22nd, 2014) and Samuel Poulin (21st, 2019). That trend is set to continue this year, with Pittsburgh’s first pick scheduled for the third round at 77th overall. After sending Kapanen to Toronto as part of the Phil Kessel trade in 2015, the Penguins reacquired him from the Leafs in August.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
Highest pick in the past decade: Jaden Schwartz (14th, 2010)
Other top-10 picks: The Blues haven’t had a top-10 pick in the past decade, but they scored Vladimir Tarasenko (16th overall) two picks after landing Schwartz in the 2010 draft. Since then, their highest pick has been Robert Thomas at No. 20 in 2017. St. Louis’ last top-10 pick was none other than team captain (and pending UFA) Alex Pietrangelo, at No. 4 overall in 2008.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
Highest pick in the past decade: Timo Meier (9th, 2015)
Other top-10 picks: Meier is the Sharks’ only top-10 selection since taking Logan Couture at No. 9 in 2007. Ottawa owns San Jose’s first-round pick this year – No. 3 overall – as part of the Erik Karlsson trade.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Highest pick in the past decade: Jonathan Drouin (3rd, 2013)
Other top-10 picks: Drouin’s career got off to a bumpy start in Tampa Bay, and the Lightning ultimately flipped him to Montreal for Sergachev in 2017. The Bolts selected depth center Brett Connolly at No. 6 in 2010 and depth defenseman Slater Koekkoek at No. 10 in 2012.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Highest pick in the past decade: Auston Matthews (1st, 2016)
Other top-10 picks: The Leafs’ core is highlighted by high picks in the form of Matthews, Mitch Marner (fourth, 2015), Morgan Rielly (fifth, 2012) and William Nylander (eighth, 2014).
Highest pick in the past decade: (tie) Olli Juolevi (5th, 2016), Elias Pettersson (5th, 2017)
Other top-10 picks: The Canucks are still waiting to see what they have in defenseman Juolevi, but they know they hit a home run with Pettersson. There’s a few other top-10 picks on the roster in captain Bo Horvat (ninth, 2013), winger Jake Virtanen (sixth, 2014) and rookie revelation Quinn Hughes (seventh, 2018). And prized prospect Vasili Podkolzin was taken at No. 10 in 2019.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Highest pick in the past decade: Cody Glass (6th, 2017)
Other top-10 picks: The Golden Knights have participated in only three NHL drafts, and Glass is their lone top-10 selection. They had two other first-round picks in their first draft in 2017, but traded Nick Suzuki (13th overall) to Montreal in the Max Pacioretty deal and Erik Brannstrom (15th) to Ottawa in the Mark Stone swap.
Highest pick in the past decade: Filip Forsberg (11th, 2012)
Other top-10 picks: They’d like a do-over on the infamous Forsberg-for-Martin-Erat deal, but at least the Caps found some forwards in Evgeny Kuznetsov (26th, 2010), Tom Wilson (16th, 2012), Andre Burakovsky (23rd, 2013) and Jakub Vrana (13th, 2014).
Highest pick in the past decade: Patrik Laine (2nd, 2016)
Other top-10 picks: The 2.0 version of the Jets made Mark Scheifele their first-ever draft pick at No. 7 overall in 2011 and followed up with Jacob Trouba (ninth, 2012) and Nikolaj Ehlers (ninth, 2014).