NHL Draft Rewind: A look at the past 10 years
A total of 419 OHL players have been selected in the NHL Draft over the past 10 years, contributing to an overall total of 2,277 dating back to 1969, a number that represents nearly 22 percent of all players selected.
Producing such marquee names as Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers/Erie Otters), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks/London Knights), John Tavares (New York Islanders/London Knights) and Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning/Sarnia Sting), the Ontario Hockey League continues to develop world-class talent for the National Hockey League.
Take a look back through the OHL’s past 10 years at the NHL Draft, a span that has produced a number of superstars, steady contributors, and diamonds in the rough.
2016 NHL Draft (Buffalo, NY)
OHL Players Selected:48
OHL First Round Picks: 9
Positional Breakdown: 25 forwards, 19 defencemen, 4 goaltenders
Top OHL Team: London Knights (7 players selected)
A modern record-tying 48 OHL players were selected at the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo, with two first round selections making an immediate jump to the National Hockey League. Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Matthew Tkachuk (6th overall, Calgary) of the London Knights and defenceman Jakob Chychrun (16th overall, Arizona) of the Sarnia Sting played their first full seasons in the NHL as Tkachuk finished sixth in rookie scoring with 48 points (13-35–48). A former first overall pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection, Chychrun recorded 20 points (7-13–20) in 68 games with Arizona.
London Knights defenceman Olli Juolevi, a gold medalist with Finland at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship was the first OHL player chosen at fifth overall to the Vancouver Canucks. Juolevi joined Tkachuk and Max Jones (24th overall, Anaheim) as one of three Knights chosen in the first round. The Windsor Spitfires also featured three first round picks in defenceman Mikhail Sergachev (9th overall, Montreal), centreman Logan Brown (11th overall, Ottawa) and rearguard Logan Stanley (18th overall, Winnipeg).
Eventual 2017 CHL and OHL Player of the Year Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters was chosen in the second round (39th overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks while London Knights netminder Tyler Parsons (54th overall, Calgary) was the first OHL goaltender off the board.
In Chychrun, the Sarnia Sting produced a first round pick for the third straight year, the longest active streak of any team in the Canadian Hockey League. The Mississauga Steelheads had five players chosen led by Michael McLeod (12th overall, New Jersey), setting a new club record.
Historical picks were made as the 2016 NHL Draft featured the first Hamilton Bulldog ever taken in blueliner Cole Candella (140th overall, Vancouver), and the first two Flint Firebirds chosen by NHL clubs in Will Bitten (70th overall, Montreal) and Nicholas Caamano (146th overall, Dallas).
2015 NHL Draft (Sunrise, FL)
OHL Players Selected: 31
OHL First Round Picks: 7
Positional Breakdown: 18 forwards, 12 defencemen, 1 goaltender
Top OHL Team: Barrie Colts, Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds (4 players selected)
A player who may well turn out to be the OHL’s biggest contribution to the National Hockey League in some time, Erie Otters phenom Connor McDavid was chosen first overall by the Edmonton Oilers. The Newmarket, Ont. native marked the ninth consecutive CHL player to be chosen first overall in the NHL Draft.
The 2015 CHL and OHL Player of the Year and a World Junior gold medalist, McDavid was ready for the next level and, after an early season injury, burst onto the scene in Edmonton to record 48 points (16-32–48) in 45 games as a rookie. He was named Oilers captain at the young age of 19, becoming the youngest captain in NHL history. His 2016-17 season didn’t disappoint as he recorded 100 points (30-70–100) over a full 82 game schedule to capture the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer.
In addition to McDavid, the first round saw eventual OHL champion Dylan Strome (3rd overall, Arizona) of the Erie Otters and 2016 CHL and OHL Player of the Year Mitch Marner (4th overall, Toronto) of the London Knights chosen shortly thereafter.
Sarnia’s Pavel Zacha (6th overall, New Jersey), Kingston’s Lawson Crouse (11th overall, Florida) and Ottawa’s Travis Konecny (24th overall, Philadelphia), Barrie’s Rasmus Andersson (53rd overall, Calgary) and Sault Ste. Marie’s Blake Speers (67th overall, New Jersey) join McDavid, Strome and Marner as the eight players from the 2015 Draft to have made their NHL debuts.
2014 NHL Draft (Philadelphia, PA)
OHL Players Selected: 41
OHL First Round Picks: 10
Positional Breakdown: 26 forwards, 12 defencemen, 3 goaltenders
Top OHL Team: Plymouth Whalers (5 players selected)
An exceptional status player who began his OHL career with the Barrie Colts at the age of 15, big blueliner Aaron Ekblad blossomed into a first overall NHL pick, going to the Florida Panthers to begin the 2014 NHL Draft.
The OHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2012 and Defenceman of the Year in 2014, Ekblad’s rise to stardom in south Florida was swift. The Belle River, Ont. product earned the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2014-15, registering 39 points (12-27–39) in 81 games from the back end.
Another first round notable, OHL champion Robby Fabbri of the Guelph Storm was selected 21st overall by the St. Louis Blues. The 2014 OHL Playoff MVP made a smooth transition to the NHL, posting 37 points (18-19–37) as a rookie before building off that in an injury-shortened 2016-17 campaign that included 29 points (11-18–29) over 51 contests.
Other 2014 first rounders in Kingston’s Sam Bennett (4th overall, Calgary), Peterborough’s Nick Ritchie (10th overall, Anaheim) and Niagara’s Brendan Perlini (12th overall, Arizona) have also begun to establish themselves at the NHL level with Bennett completing his second full season in Calgary while Ritchie and Perlini both lit the lamp 14 times in their first NHL seasons with Anaheim and Phoenix.
2016 Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Christian Dvorak (58th overall, Arizona) of the London Knights and eventual OHL scoring champion Kevin Labanc (171st overall, San Jose) of the Barrie Colts both put themselves on the map with solid contributions this past season. Dvorak registered 33 points (15-18–33) in 78 games with the Coyotes while Labanc posted 20 points (8-12–20) in a 55-game showing with the Sharks.
2013 NHL Draft (Newark, NJ)
OHL Players Selected: 37
OHL First Round Picks: 8
Positional Breakdown: 27 forwards, 9 defencemen, 1 goaltender
Top OHL Team: London Knights (6 players selected)
While the 2013 NHL Draft presented the rare occurrence that an OHL player wasn’t chosen in the top five selections, the proceedings in New Jersey did yield eventual NHL returns.
Ottawa 67’s centreman Sean Monahan (6th overall, Calgary) and OHL Championship hero Bo Horvat (9th overall, Vancouver) of the London Knights made the quickest impact at the next level with Monahan scoring 22 goals as a rookie in 2014 before enjoying continued success over the next three seasons. Horvat made the jump to Vancouver in 2014-15 and recently wrapped up his third NHL season with 52 points (20-32–52) over 81 games.
Horvat’s London Knights teammate Max Domi (12th overall, Arizona), a two-time OHL champion, just finished his second NHL season, recording 38 points (9-29–38) over 59 games in the desert. Another first round notable, Ryan Hartman (30th overall, Chicago) of the Plymouth Whalers enjoyed his first full NHL season in 2016-17, recording 31 points (19-12–31) over 76 games.
The brightest spot on the blue line belongs to Darnell Nurse (7th overall, Edmonton) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds who has quickly developed into a reliable option in Edmonton after appearing in 44 games and 13 playoff contests with the Oilers this past season.
An eventual OHL champion a year later, Guelph Storm winger Tyler Bertuzzi (58th overall, Detroit) has yet to crack the NHL as a regular, but was recently named the MVP of the 2017 AHL Playoffs, leading the Grand Rapids Griffins to a Calder Cup title.
2012 NHL Draft (Pittsburgh, PA)
OHL Players Selected: 48
OHL First Round Picks: 11
Positional Breakdown: 30 forwards, 14 defencemen, 4 goaltenders
Top OHL Team: London Knights (6 players selected)
The Sarnia Sting made a big splash early, producing first overall pick Nail Yakupov (Edmonton) and third overall selection Alex Galchenyuk (Montreal), making them the fourth pair of teammates to ever be selected inside the top three picks.
Fast tracking a few years, the 2012 NHL Draft proved big for the host Pittsburgh Penguins, who called eventual back-to-back Stanley Cup champions in defenceman Olli Maatta (22nd overall) of the London Knights and goaltender Matt Murray (83rd overall) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds up to the stage. Maatta and Murray both played big roles in both the 2016 and 2017 Penguins championship efforts.
One of the prominent first round success stories from 2012 has been Los Angeles Kings winger Tanner Pearson (30th overall) of the Barrie Colts who was a former 14th round pick in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection. Pearson put up 44 points (24-20–44) this past season, prompting the Kings to ink him to a four-year contract extension last month.
Depth selections from 2012 that have enjoyed NHL success include eventual OHL Player of the Year Connor Brown (156th overall, Toronto) of the Erie Otters who recorded 36 points (20-16–36) as a rookie with the Maple Leafs this past season. Fourth round selections two-time OHL champion Josh Anderson (95th overall, Columbus) of the London Knights and Andreas Athanasiou (110th overall, Detroit) of the Barrie Colts also put themselves on the map this past season.
The 48 OHL players chosen in the 2012 NHL Draft marked a new modern draft record for the league and the highest total since 52 players were chosen in the nine round 1999 NHL Draft.
2011 NHL Draft (St. Paul, MN)
OHL Players Selected: 46
OHL First Round Picks: 11
Positional Breakdown: 32 forwards, 11 defencemen, 3 goaltenders
Top OHL Team: Oshawa Generals (5 players selected)
Swedish winger Gabriel Landeskog (2nd overall, Colorado) of the Kitchener Rangers headlined OHL players chosen in the 2011 NHL Draft while other forwards Ryan Strome (5th overall, NY Islanders), Mark Scheifele (7th overall, Winnipeg) and defenceman Dougie Hamilton (8th overall, Boston) followed close behind.
The Saginaw Spirit produced a pair of today’s high-end NHL forwards including eventual two-time Stanley Cup champion Brandon Saad (43rd overall, Chicago) and talented centreman Vincent Trocheck (64th overall, Florida) who had his number 89 retired by the Spirit last season.
A 33-goal scorer in the NHL this past season, Plymouth Whalers forward Rickard Rakell (30th overall, Anaheim) has quietly developed into a reliable source of offence while power centreman Boone Jenner (37th overall, Columbus) of the Oshawa Generals is an NHL regular as well.
A fan favourite during his days in the OHL, Andrew Shaw (139th overall, Chicago) rewarded the Chicago Blackhawks for selecting him in the fifth round as a 19-year-old, winning two Stanley Cups with the franchise following his OHL championship campaign with Owen Sound in 2011. He recorded 29 points (12-17–29) in his first stint with the Montreal Canadiens this past season.
2010 NHL Draft (Los Angeles, CA)
OHL Players Selected: 42
OHL First Round Picks: 9
Positional Breakdown: 27 forwards, 11 defencemen, 4 goaltenders
Top OHL Team: Ottawa 67’s, Owen Sound Attack, Windsor Spitfires (4 players selected)
Fresh off being named the MVP of the Mastercard Memorial Cup for a second straight year, Windsor Spitfires winger Taylor Hall (1st overall, Edmonton), led a list of three consecutive OHL players chosen to begin the 2010 NHL Draft.
Plymouth Whalers centreman Tyler Seguin (2nd overall, Boston) and Kingston Frontenacs defenceman Erik Gudbranson (3rd overall, Florida) followed as a total of nine OHL standouts were chosen in the first round including prominent current day NHLers in Jeff Skinner (7th overall, Carolina) of the Kitchener Rangers, Cam Fowler (12th overall, Anaheim) of the Windsor Spitfires and Austin Watson (18th overall, Nashville) of the Peterborough Petes.
Former OHL scoring champion Tyler Toffoli (47th overall, Los Angeles) has proven to be a solid second round choice by the host Kings, having scored 84 goals through 293 career NHL regular season contests since 2012. Another second round pick in Ryan Spooner (45th overall, Boston) of the Peterborough Petes has developed into an NHL regular, putting up 39 points (11-28–39) with the Bruins in his second full NHL season.
In goal, 67’s teammate Petr Mrazek (141st overall, Detroit) has developed into one of the top goaltenders selected in the 2010 Draft, appearing in 50 games with the Red Wings this past season.
2009 NHL Draft (Montreal, QC)
OHL Players Selected: 45
OHL First Round Picks: 7
Positional Breakdown: 27 forwards, 13 defencemen, 5 goaltenders
Top OHL Team: Guelph Storm, Windsor Spitfires (5 players selected)
The player who eventually became the leading goal-scorer in OHL history, John Tavares (1st overall, NY Islanders) of the London Knights led off the 2009 NHL Draft in Montreal. Tavares, who scored 215 career regular season goals between Oshawa and London, has gone on to big things in the NHL and has shone on the international stage, winning both Olympic, World Cup and World Junior gold as a member of Team Canada.
Brampton Battalion centreman Matt Duchene (3rd overall, Colorado) and Tavares’ London Knights teammate Nazem Kadri (7th overall, Toronto) also heard their names called early while eventual back-to-back Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Ryan Ellis (11th overall, Nashville) of the Windsor Spitfires was the first OHL defenceman off the board.
The 2009 Draft produced a number of steady NHL regulars in defenceman Calvin de Haan (12th overall, NY Islanders) of the Oshawa Generals, former first overall OHL Priority Selection choice Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall, Colorado) of the Erie Otters, crash and bang winger Kyle Clifford (35th overall, Los Angeles) of the Barrie Colts and centreman Casey Cizikas (92nd overall, NY Islanders) of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.
Seventh round (186th overall) Los Angeles Kings pick Jordan Nolan of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds has proven to be the best value pick of the 2009 Draft. The 6-foot-3, 220Ib. power winger has played in 292 career regular season games with Los Angeles, helping guide the franchise to Stanley Cup titles in 2012 and 2014.
2008 NHL Draft (Ottawa, ON)
OHL Players Selected: 46
OHL First Round Picks: 11
Positional Breakdown: 23 forwards, 16 defencemen, 7 goaltenders
Top OHL Team: Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, Sarnia Sting, Windsor Spitfires (4 players selected)
For the first time in the history of the NHL Draft, the first four selections all came out of the same league.
The OHL produced top selections Steven Stamkos (1st overall, Tampa Bay) of the Sarnia Sting, Drew Doughty (2nd overall, Los Angeles) of the Guelph Storm, Zach Bogosian (3rd overall, Atlanta) of the Peterborough Petes and Alex Pietrangelo (4th overall, St. Louis) of the Niagara IceDogs. All four have played in over 500 career NHL games.
Other prominent names from the first round include Mikkel Boedker (8th overall, Phoenix) of the Kitchener Rangers, Josh Bailey (9th overall, NY Islanders) of the Windsor Spitfires, Cody Hodgson (10th overall, Vancouver) of the Brampton Battalion and Michael Del Zotto (20th overall, NY Rangers) of the Oshawa Generals.
Chosen a year before he’d go on to win back-to-back Mastercard Memorial Cup titles, Adam Henrique (82nd overall, New Jersey) of the Windsor Spitfires has proven to be a great mid-round selection. The 2010 OHL Playoff MVP has gone on to play in 431 career NHL regular season games with the Devils, collecting 243 points (118-125–243) in the process.
Fourth round selection TJ Brodie (114th overall, Calgary) of the Saginaw Spirit and fifth round pick Matt Martin (148th overall, NY Islanders) of the Sarnia Sting have both put together solid NHL careers, with Brodie gaining a strong reputation on the blue line with the Calgary Flames and Martin becoming one of the NHL’s premier power forwards with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
2007 NHL Draft (Columbus, OH)
OHL Players Selected: 35
OHL First Round Picks: 3
Positional Breakdown: 23 forwards, 10 defencemen, 2 goaltenders
Top OHL Team: Erie Otters (5 players selected)
A three-time Stanley Cup champion, 2008 NHL Rookie of the Year as well as a 2016 recipient of the Hart and Art Ross Trophies, former London Knights winger Patrick Kane (1st overall, Chicago) has made his mark on the NHL.
Kane was the first overall pick of the 2007 NHL Draft, leading a first round that also included current day NHLers in Sam Gagner (6th overall, Edmonton) of the London Knights and Logan Couture (9th overall, San Jose) of the Ottawa 67’s.
Aside from Kane, the most impactful pick of the 2007 NHL Draft may have come in the second round as 2013 Norris Trophy recipient P.K. Subban (43rd overall, Montreal) of the Belleville Bulls came off the board. Subban helped lead the Nashville Predators to their first Western Conference title this past month, continuing a solid NHL career that has included 318 points (42-148–190) over 500 regular season games on the blue line.
An oft-overlooked NHL performer, big power winger Wayne Simmonds (61st overall, Los Angeles) of the Owen Sound Attack has developed into a perennial scorer, recording his second straight 30-goal season with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2016-17.
A former Soo Greyhounds teammate of Simmonds, sure-handed defenceman Jake Muzzin (141st overall, Pittsburgh) came out of the bargain bin in the fifth round. Though the Penguins never signed him, the 6-foot-3 rearguard would ink an entry-level deal with Los Angeles in December of 2009 and go on to hoist the Stanley Cup with the franchise in 2014.