The best three-year stretch of first overall draft picks… in NHL history.
Welcome to the last Holding Court column on DobberHockey. Yup, you read that right; as you might've seen in one of Angus' recent Daily Ramblings I'm actually going to be taking over the weekly Cage Match column, stepping into the big shoes of Steve Laidlaw. You can look forward to a new DobberHockey columnist and new content in place of Holding Court.
I struggled in deciding on a topic for this last column. There were a few ideas I'd been considering for a while, but in the end there was one topic I'd always thought about tackling and that I think will give folks a lot to debate in the comments. Without further ado, this week's question – the final one for Holding Court – is what three year stretch of #1 overall draft picks is, was, or will be the best ever in terms of fantasy hockey performance.
If you look at the history of the No.1 overall pick since the inception of the NHL draft in 1963, it's hard to ignore that there are as many (if not more) misses as hits, including notable lowlights such as Doug Wickenheiser, Alexander Daigle, and Patrik Stefan. In fact, there are so many bad to mediocre #1 overall picks, that finding stretches of three consecutive years where all of the picks were fantasy studs is actually quite difficult. In the end, I narrowed down the list to five possible groups:
Group 1 – Guy Lafleur (1971), Billy Harris (1972), Denis Potvin (1973)
Group 2 – Pierre Turgeon (1987), Mike Modano (1988), Mats Sundin (1989)
Group 3 – Marc-Andre Fleury (2003), Alexander Ovechkin (2004), Sidney Crosby (2005)
Group 4 – Patrick Kane (2007), Steven Stamkos (2008), John Tavares (2009)
Group 5 – Steven Stamkos (2008), John Tavares (2009), Taylor Hall (2010)
As a first step, I wanted to try to pare down the list to just two groups, making it a heads-up debate (after all, I need the practice for Cage Match). And as much as I wanted the final debate to include some really "old school" players, the first elimination was Group 1. The reality