The 2015 NHL Draft has come and gone, and free agency has begun. How many players from the Chicago Blackhawks championship team will still be around after Stan Bowman has to make moves due to salary cap restrictions? Will first overall pick Connor McDavid turn out to be as good as advertised? Will new head coach Mike Babcock finally get the Toronto Maple Leafs over the hump? There are a lot of offseason hockey stories to tide fans over until early October. In the meantime, here’s some NHL Draft trivia for you puckheads to wrap your brains around.
1. Who was the first Swedish player to be drafted #1 overall in an NHL draft?
2. What number, overall pick was Wayne Gretzky?
3. Who was selected after #1 overall Alexander Ovechkin in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft?
4. How many #1 overall NHL draft picks have gone on to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the top rookie?
5. Who was the first player ever drafted into the NHL?
6. The 5th overall pick in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft was Aaron Ward, selected by the Winnipeg Jets. What superstar was drafted with the next pick by the Philadelphia Flyers?
7. What Hall of Fame Major League Baseball pitcher was drafted into the NHL ahead of two other NHL Hall of Famers?
8. Only 3 goaltenders have been chosen with the first overall pick. Name them.
9. Including this year (2015), the Edmonton Oilers have had 4 of the last 6 #1 picks. Name them.
10. In this year’s Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning two first overall picks faced off against each other. Who were they?
While you tally up your answers, check out some moments from NHL Drafts of the past:
1. Mats Sundin by the Quebec Nordiques
2. None. “The Great One” was never drafted. He actually signed with the WHA’s Indianapolis Racers in 1978, as a 17 year old. The NHL’s minimum draft age, at the time, was 20, so Gretzky decided to go the WHA route three years earlier. One season later, Indianapolis folded, and Gretzky was sold to the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton then joined the NHL a year later, along with the Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques, and Winnipeg Jets in the WHA-NHL merger. Gretzky was then brought into the NHL when his team was.
3. Evgeni Malkin by the Pittsburgh Penguins
4. Ten. Gilbert Perreault of the Buffalo Sabres (1970), Dennis Potvin of the New York Islanders (1973), Bobby Smith of the Minnesota North Stars (1978), Dale Hawerchuk of the Winnipeg Jets (1981), Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins (1984), Bryan Berard of the Ottawa Senators (1995), Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (2004), Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (2007), Nathan McKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche (2013), and Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers (2014).
5. Garry Monahan, drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1963. He didn’t have a great career, bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the minor leagues quite often. In fact, the second pick in 1963, Peter Mahovlich, ended up being the only player in that four-round draft to ever win a Stanley Cup.
6. Peter Forsberg by the Philadelphia Flyers. Forsberg went on to have a Hall of Fame career, while Ward never amassed more than 14 points in a single season.
7. Tom Glavine was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the 4th round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He was chosen before Brett Hull (6th Round, Calgary Flames) and Luc Robataille (9th Round, Los Angeles Kings).
8. Michel Plasse (1968, Montreal Canadiens), Rick DiPietro (2000, New York Islanders), Marc-Andre Fleury (2003, Pittsburgh Penguins)
9. Taylor Hall (2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), Nail Yakupov (2012), and Connor McDavid (2015)
10. Patrick Kane (2007) and Steven Stamkos (2008)