Top 10 No. 2 Overall Picks in NHL Draft History


Top 10 No. 2 Overall Picks in NHL Draft History The Bruins riled up the fan base this week, trading Dennis Wideman (and a couple of picks) away and receiving winger Nathan Horton (and Grergory Campbell) in return.

By Friday night, however, the fans will be a bit more excited.

That’s because, of course, the Bruins will be adding a young, dynamic offensive player in either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin. At this point, it seems clear that the team will be happy to add either player, and it’s equally clear that the No. 2 pick will not be traded away.

Both Hall and Seguin have been touted by scouts as the real deal, both ready to make an impact at the NHL level immediately. So, in anticipation of the draft on Friday night, let’s run through the top 10 No. 2 picks in the NHL.

(Note: Though the draft has been held since 1963, it was a private event until 1980. That year will serve as the benchmark for this list.)

Daniel Sedin, 1999, Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks made a splash in the ’99 draft, selecting brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin with the Nos. 2 and 3 overall picks, respectively. Both blossomed into superstars.

In 705 games — all with the Canucks — the left winger Daniel has netted 547 points and scored 36 game-winning goals. His most impressive number, however, is his plus-minus rating, which stands at an impressive plus-116. He also averaged 80.6 games per season until this past year.

Eric Staal, 2003, Carolina Hurricanes

Choosing one Stall over the other is challenging, but the edge here goes to Eric over Jordan. They’re both worthy, as both have won Stanley Cups in their young careers, but Eric was a star for Carolina in ’06.

Eric Staal registered nine goals and 19 assists in 25 games during that run. He was just 21 years old at the time, yet on a team loaded with veterans, he led the Canes in the playoffs with his 28 points. 

He’s been a consistent player ever since, scoring 23 game-winning goals and playing in but one game from 2003-09.

Patrick Marleau, 1997, San Jose Sharks

If you feel like Patrick Marleau has been a Shark forever, it’s with good reason. Drafted in ’97 behind future teammate Joe Thornton, Marleau has averaged 79.4 games played per season. He’s been highly productive in his time on the ice as well, scoring 320 goals, assisting on 373 others, posting a plus-22 rating in the regular season and netting 53 game winners.

Though the Sharks have had their issues in the playoffs, Marleau has still produced, with 45 goals and 30 assists in 106 games. Ten of those goals were game winners.

Jason Spezza, 2001, Ottawa Senators

Jason Spezza has been nothing but a star since joining the Senators. He averages more than a point per game, with 171 goals and 304 assists in his 464 career games. He’s no slouch in his own end, either, with a plus-73 rating in his seven NHL seasons.

Kirk Muller, 1984, New Jersey Devils

Kirk Muller played in the NHL from 1984-2003. In that span, he scored 357 goals and had 602 assists. He played in 127 postseason games, but he was never better than he was in the spring of 1993. During the Canadiens’ Stanley Cup run, he netted 17 points — behind only Vincent Damphousse and ahead of No. 5 on our list.

Brian Bellows, 1982, Minnesota North Stars

Brian Bellows starred in one of the funniest (and most profanity-laced) videos in Internet history, but that’s not why he made the list. It’s also not because he’s been confused with Brian Fellows.

Drafted one spot after the Bruins selected Gord Kluzak, Bellow had 1,022 points in his 17-season career. He was part of the ’93 Canadiens, netting 15 postseason points and registering a plus-6 rating on the way to the cup.

Dany Heatley, 2000, Atlanta Thrashers

For a decade now, Dany Heatley has been one of the most potent offensive forces in the game. Though his career was marred by his car crash in 2003, which took the life of teammate Dan Snyder, he’s been among the best scorers in the league.

In 589 regular-season games, he has 299 goals, 326 assists and a plus-61 rating. He led the league in the ’06-’07 season with 10 game-winning goals, and he set the Senators’ single-season franchise records for goals and points. He’s yet to hoist the Cup, but he’s been steady in the postseason with 48 points in 48 games. He won Olympic gold for Canada in 2010 with seven points in seven games.

Evgeni Malkin, 2004, Pittsburgh Penguins

Evgeni Malkin has won the Calder, Art Ross and Conn Smythe Trophies. He’s been in the league for just four seasons.

Needless to say, the kid’s well on his way to greatness, with 143 goals and 238 assists in just 309 games. The two-time All-Star has stepped it up in the postseason as well, with 73 points in 62 games. At just 22 years old, he had 36 points in 24 games on his way to earning the Conn Smythe Trophy for postseason MVP — the first Russian-born player to ever do so.

He also won the Art Ross Trophy that year for leading the league in scoring. The only other Penguin to do that? Mario Lemieux.

Chris Pronger, 1993, Hartford Whalers

At 35 years old, Chris Pronger is still a valuable commodity in the NHL, having helped lead the Flyers to the sixth game of the Stanley Cup Finals this month.

He’s played in 1,104 games with a plus-175 rating to show for it. He’s also been a part of 170 games in the playoffs, winning it all with Anaheim in 2007. The five-time All-Star won both the Norris and Hart Trophies in 2000, and he twice won Olympic gold for Canada, first in 2002 and again in 2010.

Brendan Shanahan, 1987, New Jersey Devils

Brendan Shanahan‘s remarkable career finally came to an end early in the 2009-10 season, bringing a close to a memorable 21 seasons in the NHL.

His stats say that he scored 656 goals and 698 assists in 1,354 games, but that’s only part of the story. He’s the only player in NHL history with 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes, he won three Stanley Cups with Detroit and an Olympic gold medal for Canada, registered 134 points in 184 playoff games, and he helped organize “The Shannahan Summit” during the 2004-05 lockout to help create new rules to enhance the game.

In every sense of the word, Shanahan was a true game-changer.

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