List of first overall NHL draft picks

The NHL Entry Draft, originally known as the NHL Amateur Draft, is a collective meeting in which the franchises of the National Hockey League (NHL) systematically select the exclusive rights to available amateur players who meet the eligibility requirements to play professional hockey in the NHL. First held in 1963, the draft prior to 1969 was a shorter affair. Any amateur player who was 17 years of age and older and was not already sponsored by an NHL club was eligible to be drafted. In 1969 the rules were changed so that any amateur player between the ages of 17 and 20 was eligible to be drafted.[1] The draft has grown, and in 2017, 217 players were selected over seven rounds.[2]

A total of 54 different players have been selected first. Of those, 39 have been Canadian, 8 American, 3 Russian, 2 Czech, 2 Swedish and 1 Swiss. Every first overall pick taken between 1968 and 2010 has played in at least 299 NHL games.[3] Three players retired without ever having played an NHL game.

The Montreal Canadiens have had the most first overall picks of any other team, selecting five players first between 1963 and 1980. Five players have come from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, more than any other team. 11 players have won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year: Gilbert Perreault, Denis Potvin, Bobby Smith, Dale Hawerchuk, Mario Lemieux, Bryan Berard, Alexander Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Nathan MacKinnon, Aaron Ekblad and Auston Matthews. Eight have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame: Perreault, Potvin, Guy Lafleur, Eric Lindros, Hawerchuk, Lemieux, Mats Sundin and Mike Modano.

First overall picks

bold Active in the NHL
   Expansion team
 ^  Calder Memorial Trophy winner
 *  Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
 #  Calder Memorial Trophy winner and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
 ¤  No games played in the NHL[4]
Draft Selected by Player Nationality Position Amateur/junior/former club League
1963Montreal CanadiensGarry Monahan  CanadaForwardSt. Michael's Buzzers CJBHL
1964Detroit Red WingsClaude Gauthier ¤  CanadaForwardComité des jeunes (Rosemont) QC Midget
1965New York RangersAndré Veilleux ¤  CanadaForwardMontreal Rangers Jr. B QC Jr. B
1966Boston BruinsBarry Gibbs  CanadaDefencemanEstevan Bruins SJHL
1967Los Angeles KingsRick Pagnutti ¤  Canada DefencemanGarson Native Sons NOHA
1968Montreal CanadiensMichel Plasse  CanadaGoaltenderDrummondville Rangers QMJHL
1969Montreal CanadiensRéjean Houle  CanadaForwardMontreal Junior Canadiens OHA
1970Buffalo SabresGilbert Perreault #  CanadaForwardMontreal Junior Canadiens OHA
1971Montreal CanadiensGuy Lafleur *  CanadaForwardQuebec Remparts QMJHL
1972New York IslandersBilly Harris  CanadaForward Peterborough Petes OHA
1973New York IslandersDenis Potvin #  CanadaDefenceman Ottawa 67's OHA
1974Washington CapitalsGreg Joly  CanadaDefenceman Regina Pats WCHL
1975Philadelphia FlyersMel Bridgman  CanadaForwardVictoria Cougars WCHL
1976Washington CapitalsRick Green  CanadaDefencemanLondon Knights OHA
1977Detroit Red WingsDale McCourt  CanadaForwardHamilton Fincups OHA
1978Minnesota North StarsBobby Smith ^  CanadaForwardOttawa 67's OHA
1979Colorado RockiesRob Ramage  CanadaDefencemanLondon Knights OHA
1980Montreal CanadiensDoug Wickenheiser  CanadaForwardRegina Pats WHL
1981Winnipeg JetsDale Hawerchuk #  CanadaForwardCornwall Royals QMJHL
1982Boston BruinsGord Kluzak  CanadaDefencemanBillings Bighorns WHL
1983Minnesota North StarsBrian Lawton  USAForwardMount Saint Charles Mounties USHS-RI
1984Pittsburgh PenguinsMario Lemieux #  CanadaForwardLaval Voisins QMJHL
1985Toronto Maple LeafsWendel Clark  CanadaDefence 1Saskatoon Blades WHL
1986Detroit Red WingsJoe Murphy  CanadaForwardMichigan State Spartans CCHA
1987Buffalo SabresPierre Turgeon  CanadaForwardGranby Bisons QMJHL
1988Minnesota North StarsMike Modano *  USAForwardPrince Albert Raiders WHL
1989Quebec NordiquesMats Sundin *  SwedenForwardNacka HK Swe-2
1990Quebec NordiquesOwen Nolan  CanadaForwardCornwall Royals OHL
1991Quebec NordiquesEric Lindros *  CanadaForwardOshawa Generals OHL
1992Tampa Bay LightningRoman Hamrlík  CzechoslovakiaDefencemanHC Zlin CS-1HL
1993Ottawa SenatorsAlexandre Daigle  CanadaForwardVictoriaville Tigres QMJHL
1994Florida PanthersEd Jovanovski  CanadaDefencemanWindsor Spitfires OHL
1995Ottawa SenatorsBryan Berard ^  USADefencemanDetroit Junior Red Wings OHL
1996Ottawa SenatorsChris Phillips  CanadaDefencemanPrince Albert Raiders WHL
1997Boston BruinsJoe Thornton  CanadaForwardSault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL
1998Tampa Bay LightningVincent Lecavalier  CanadaForwardRimouski Oceanic QMJHL
1999Atlanta ThrashersPatrik Stefan  Czech RepublicForwardLong Beach Ice Dogs IHL
2000New York IslandersRick DiPietro  USAGoaltenderBoston University Terriers HEA
2001Atlanta ThrashersIlya Kovalchuk  RussiaForwardSpartak Moscow RUS-2
2002Columbus Blue JacketsRick Nash  CanadaForwardLondon Knights OHL
2003Pittsburgh PenguinsMarc-Andre Fleury  CanadaGoaltenderCape Breton Screaming Eagles QMJHL
2004Washington CapitalsAlexander Ovechkin ^  RussiaForwardDynamo Moscow RSL
2005Pittsburgh PenguinsSidney Crosby  CanadaForwardRimouski Oceanic QMJHL
2006St. Louis BluesErik Johnson  USADefencemanU.S. NTDP NAHL
2007Chicago BlackhawksPatrick Kane ^  USAForwardLondon Knights OHL
2008Tampa Bay LightningSteven Stamkos  CanadaForwardSarnia Sting OHL
2009New York IslandersJohn Tavares  CanadaForwardLondon Knights OHL
2010Edmonton OilersTaylor Hall  CanadaForwardWindsor Spitfires OHL
2011Edmonton OilersRyan Nugent-Hopkins  CanadaForwardRed Deer Rebels WHL
2012Edmonton OilersNail Yakupov  RussiaForwardSarnia Sting OHL
2013Colorado AvalancheNathan MacKinnon ^  CanadaForwardHalifax Mooseheads QMJHL
2014Florida PanthersAaron Ekblad ^  CanadaDefencemanBarrie Colts OHL
2015Edmonton OilersConnor McDavid  CanadaForwardErie Otters OHL
2016Toronto Maple LeafsAuston Matthews ^  USAForwardZSC Lions NLA
2017New Jersey DevilsNico Hischier   SwitzerlandForwardHalifax Mooseheads QMJHL
2018Buffalo SabresRasmus Dahlin  SwedenDefencemanFrolunda HC SHL
2019New Jersey DevilsJack Hughes  USAForwardU.S. NTDPUSHL
  1. Wendel Clark was drafted as a defenseman.

See also


  • "Entry Draft Historic First selections". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
  • "NHL Entry Draft–All-time first-overall picks". Slam! Sports. Archived from the original on 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  • "All-time No. 1 draft picks". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  • "Calder Memorial Trophy". National Hockey League. Archived from the original on 2006-04-23. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  • "List of honored Players". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  • "50 Years of the 1st pick". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
  1. "NHL Draft History". National Hockey League. Archived from the original on 2001-01-28. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
  2. "NHL Draft History–2017 Stats". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  3. Kreiser, John (2011-06-24). "Inside the Draft numbers". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
  4. "HHOF Time Capsure–The 1960s–10 High Draft Picks That Failed To Pan Out". Hockey Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2003-08-23. Retrieved 2008-06-20.

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