Wild West: Western Teams Draft History – Part Three of Three

Grant Campbell

2020-03-23

With the break in the NHL, this is as good a time as any to post the final four teams in the West and look back at their draft history from 1999 on.

I've charted each year with the team's point total (blue), the NHL average point total (green), the average number of NHL games the team's draft picks have played in the NHL (brown), and the NHL average games played per pick (yellow).

St. Louis

The Blues are a team that didn't even draft in 1983 because they had a failing ownership group and not many will remember how close they came to moving. With a Stanley Cup last season, the team owes a lot to their drafting success from 2004 forward. The team averaged 7.9 picks per season just a little above average for the league, but pretty good for a mostly successful team. They have been pretty average at the draft since 2011 and this might hurt them a little in a few years, especially on defence.

Notable hits:

2003 – 5th round 148th pick – Lee Stempniak (911) – Larry Pleau

2004 – 6th round 180th pick – Roman Polak (806) – Larry Pleau

2005 – 3rd round 85th pick – Ben Bishop (413) – Larry Pleau

Notable misses:

2004 – 1st round 17th pick – Marek Schwarz (6) – Larry Pleau

San Jose

Prior to this season, the Sharks were one of the most consistent teams in the NHL and were above average every year but one from 2003-2004. Knocking their draft picks out of the park in six years without a pick higher than 6th overall after 1998 helped the cause. Because of their success they have only averaged 7.0 picks per year compared to the average of 7.71.

Notable hits:

1999 – 8th round 241st pick – Douglas Murray (518) – Dean Lombardi

2003 – 7th round 205th pick – Joe Pavelski (1,030) – Doug Wilson

2005 – 2nd round 35th pick – Marc-Edouard Vlasic (1,035) – Doug Wilson

2007 – 6th round 173rd pick – Nick Bonino (626) – Doug Wilson

2007 – 7th round 201st pick – Justin Braun (669) – Doug Wilson

2008 – 7th round 186th pick – Jason Demers (658) – Doug Wilson

Notable misses:

2002 – 1st round 27th pick – Mike Morris (0) – Dean Lombardi

2004 – 1st round 22nd pick – Lukas Kaspar (16) – Doug Wilson

2006 – 1st round 16th pick – Ty Wishart (26) – Doug Wilson

Vancouver

With picking the Sedin twins in 1999 and very good draft years in 2001 and 2004, it helped set the Canucks up for a very successful stretch between 2009 and 2013. What didn't help was below average drafting and giving up picks from 2005 to 2013. The team appears to have righted the ship in 2017 and 2018 with Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes.

Notable hits:

1999 – 1ST round 2nd pick – Daniel Sedin (1,306) – Brian Burke

1999 – 1st round 3rd pick – Henrik Sedin (1,330) – Brian Burke

2001 – 5th round 151st pick – Kevin Bieksa (808) – Brian Burke

2003 – 1st round 23rd pick – Ryan Kesler (1,001) – Brian Burke

2004 – 3rd round 91st pick – Alexander Edler (873) – Dave Nonis

2004 – 9th round 287th pick – Jannik Hansen (626) – Dave Nonis

Notable misses:

2000 – 1st round 23rd pick – Nathan Smith (26) – Brian Burke

2007 – 1st round 25th pick – Patrick White (0) – Dave Nonis

2013 – 1st round 24th pick – Hunter Shinkaruk (15) – Mike Gillis

Winnipeg

Atlanta moved to Winnipeg for the 2012 season, so from 1999 to 2011 the Thrashers made the picks and did not do so well after 2003. Once the team was in Winnipeg they have drafted very well, with only one season below average at this point (2017 is very early yet). It is no coincidence that Kevin Cheveldayoff took over and has made a huge difference albeit with some pretty high picks in the 1st round. But to be fair that is something Don Waddell had in abundance as well prior to 2011, but squandered from 2004 to 2010.

Notable hits:

2003 – 8th round 239th pick – Tobias Enstrom (719) – Don Waddell

2012 – 5th round 130th pick – Connor Hellebuyck (270) – Kevin Cheveldayoff

Notable misses:

1999 – 1st round 1st pick – Patrick Stefan (455) – Don Waddell

2004 – 1st round 10th pick – Boris Valabik (80) – Don Waddell

2005 – 1st round 16th pick – Alex Bourret (0) – Don Waddell

If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know below and/or follow me on Twitter @gampbler15.

UPCOMING GAMES

Mar 29 - 12:03 PHI vs PIT
Mar 29 - 15:03 CHI vs L.A
Mar 29 - 15:03 N.J vs CAR
Mar 29 - 15:03 WPG vs VGK
Mar 29 - 19:03 STL vs MIN
Mar 29 - 20:03 EDM vs ANA
Mar 29 - 21:03 COL vs NSH
Mar 29 - 22:03 S.J vs ARI

STARTING GOALIES

  • No data at this moment.

HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency DAL Players
10.1% BLAKE COMEAU RADEK FAKSA MATTIAS JANMARK
9.7% JASON DICKINSON DENIS GURIANOV ROOPE HINTZ
6.3% JAMIE BENN JASON DICKINSON TYLER SEGUIN

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