Looking around at summer ideas for blogging, Peter Tessier's idea of reviewing the history of top draft picks is one that got. Besides being a hockey fan, history is something I enjoy almost as much.
Since the Columbus Blue Jackets draft third in the 2016 NHL Draft, I will be looking back in the past to see who was draft in this spot in previous drafts.
Today, it will be from 2010-2015.
2010: D Erik Gubdransson (Florida Panthers)
In a talented pool of young and talented players this draft had, the Panthers went to fulfill a need on the backend by acquiring a big bodies defenseman. Gubdransson played with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). The 6' 5" defenseman has size and grit which kept him in the Top 4 in Florida. He also logs a lot of minutes and is physical against the other teams' top lines, and at the same time, takes and kills penalties.
It was only recently that the Panthers moved him, and they got a heavy return for him. In a trade with the Vancouver Canucks, the Panthers got back Jared McCann, a second round pick, and a fourth round pick. In the same deal, the Panthers gave up a 5th round pick from the New York Islanders.
2011- LW Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers)
The reclamation project in Florida had the Panthers selecting at Number Three for another year. With selecting other young players in the previous draft, the Panthers felt the need to draft a young winger. From the Saint John's Ice Caps of the Quebec Major Hockey League (QMJHL), the Panthers selected left winger Jonathan Huberdeau. The Panthers have improved under the young winger, and gotten into the playoffs, however, he has not been the playoff performer yet. At such a young age, there is no reason to scrutinize Huberdeau yet as the sky is the limit for him.
2012- C Alex Galchenyuk (Montréal Canadiens)
After a very poor season by the Montreal Canadiens, the Habs finished in a very rare position for the most successful franchise in the NHL's 100 year history, near the bottom of the league. With their low finish, they selected Alex Galchenyuk from the Sarina Sting (OHL). In Quebec, the young center has not been a young center, as head coach Michel Therrien has put him some nights on the wing, and others at center. He has the potential of 65-70 points, but he needs more offense around him, and that is the biggest weakness the Canadiens have.
2013- RW Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Similar to the Montreal Canadiens of 2012, there was the Tampa Bay Lightning of 2013. Not long after making the Eastern Conference Finals, head coach Guy Boucher (now head coach of the Ottawa Senators) lost the room that he possessed then. With finishing near the bottom, the Bolts selected winger Jonathan Drouin from the Halifax Mosseheads (QMJHL).
With Drouin, he has become a controversial figure around the NHL this year. Due to a lack of ice time in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs and during the 2015-2016 NHL Regular Season, he was assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL), and asked for a trade. Due to the injury of one of their top players, he was recalled and has helped the Lightning get back to the Eastern Conference Finals, even though they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
2014- C Leon Drasatil (Edmonton Oilers)
The poor years in Edmonton continued (and continues), and they added center Leon Drasatil from the Prince Albert Whalers of the Western Hockey League (WHL). In his rookie year, the highest drafted German played half the year with the Oilers, and the other half with the Kelowna Rockets, after his rights were traded.
In his sophomore season, he had a breakout year after the injuries to Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. At one point, he played with Taylor Hall on the top line. But as a team, they finished near the bottom of the standings yet again.
2015- C Dylan Strome (Arizona Coyotes)
The Arizona Coyotes admitted they were tanking last year, but they finished third worst. Even though they did not get a generational player, they got a teammate of the generational player. Strome played with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, and was overshadowed by Connor McDavid. This year, some can say Alex DeBricant is overshadowing Strome. Besides being drafted third, he has a brother on the New York Islanders, Ryan Strome. Dylan was kept in Erie for an additional year of development. With a 26 year old general manager, John Chiaka in charge, there could be more changes coming to Arizona.
What are your thoughts on the Third Overall draft picks?
More to come…