If there’s one thing NHL scouts hate, it’s re-drafts. The reverse engineering and 20-20 hindsight make it all too easy for us to ask “What if?” and point out where everyone went wrong in evaluations. But unfortunately for those scouts, that’s also what makes re-drafts fun exercises.
There is no magic formula for teams to draft perfectly. They don’t have a crystal ball, and there always will be misses. Even so, we’ve seen fewer and fewer glaring mistakes in the first round of the annual NHL draft. Franchises might not get full value, but more often than not, they are drafting everyday NHLers on Day 1.
When we apply what we know today to the past 10 draft classes, we can paint a unique picture of each group. We revisited the top 10 picks of those draft classes, from 2010 to 2019, and reassigned picks. Some still are no-brainers today just as they were at the time — surprise, Connor McDavid still is the No. 1 selection in 2015! — but most picks land a new player. So let’s see how things stand based on our less fallible hindsight vision from 2010 to 2019, and what we’ve learned from the past decade of NHL drafting.
Note: Original picks are in parentheses. Draft order is the final order and takes trades into consideration.
2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014
2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019
1. Edmonton Oilers: Taylor Hall (Taylor Hall)
2. Boston Bruins: Tyler Seguin (Tyler Seguin)
3. Florida Panthers: Artemi Panarin (Erik Gudbranson)
4. Columbus Blue Jackets: Vladimir Tarasenko (Ryan Johansen)
5. New York Islanders: Evgeny Kuznetsov (Nino Niederreiter)
6. Tampa Bay Lightning: Mark Stone (Brett Connolly)
7. Carolina Hurricanes: Jeff Skinner (Jeff Skinner)
8. Atlanta Thrashers: Ryan Johansen (Alexander Burmistrov)
9. Minnesota Wild: John Klingberg (Mikael Granlund)
10. New York Rangers: Cam Fowler (Dylan McIlrath)
Other notable talents from 2010: Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Gallagher, Tyler Toffoli, Jason Zucker, Kevin Hayes, Justin Faulk and Brock Nelson