With tonightís draft just hours away I thought I would share with Leaf fans the recent history of teams drafting 5th overall. Among these picks you will see some stars, busts, hits and misses. Draw what conclusions you will, but one this is certain, the teams with the best drafting history tended to make the most out of these picks. It isnít a lock and teams that tend to stumble seem to over think these picks. Letís start off with a tough one:
The Washington Capitals saw Larry Murphy selected at 4th overall and had to make the tough decision between Darren Veitch and Paul Coffey. In the end they went with Veitch and the rest is history.
With the fifth pick the Toronto Maple Leafs picked Jim Benning after just missing out on Ron Francis. The Leafs thought Benning was the way to go. A few key players they passed on were Al MacInnis and Grant Fuhr.
The Washington Capitals went on to select Scott Stevens.
Buffalo selected Tom Barrasso.
The Montreal Canadiens with a rare early pick selected Petr Svoboda.
The Hartford Whalers stumbled selecting Dana Murzyn instead of Vincent Damphousse and Brian Leetch.
The Sabres selected Shawn Anderson from a weak draft.
The Pittsburg Penguins scouts were very high on Chris Joseph. He went on to play in 506 career NHL games and netting 156 points. However, their excitement for the defensemen
caused them to miss out on Joe Sakic.
The Quebec Nordiques selected Daniel Dore with the 5th overall pick after Mike Modano and Trevor Linden were already off the board. However, Roenick, Brind'Amour, Selanne were still all available at the time.
New Jersey rightfully selected Bill Guerin over Scott Thornton.
The Pittsburgh Penguins seletced Jaromir Jagr immediatly before Scott Scissons with the 5th overall pick. Perhaps a wise choice.
This was the year that the Winnipeg Jets rolled the dice on Aaron Ward. A solid career followed, but Peter Forsberg was still available at the time.
The New York Islanders have chosen the 5th Overall pick more times than any othere team. With this pick they selected stalwart Darius Kasparaitis instead of Sergei Gonchar.
Rob Niedermayer was selected by the Florida Panthers.
The Hartford Whalers selected Jeff O'Neill who'd stay with the franchise all the way to Carolina and win a Stanley Cup in 2006.
Interestingly in this draft the Tampa Bay Lightening selected Daymond Langkow over Jarome Iginla. In the end it didn't matter as the Lightening would beat both players to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup a decade later.
The Dallas Stars picked Richard Jackman.
In 1997 the New York Islanders were back at it again selecting Eric Brewer over Roberto Luongo and Marian Hossa.
Anaheim picked forward Vitaly Vishnevsky.
The New York Islanders picked Tim Connolly.
Yep, the New York Islanders picked Raffi Torres.
The Anaheim Ducks with a rare miss. Years before his brother would suit up for the Ducks Mikko Koivu was passed over in the place of Stanislav Chistov.
Pittsburgh took Ryan Whitney immediatly after the Hurricanes selected Joni Pitkanen.
The Sabres selected Thomas Vanek after Nikolai Zherdev went 4th overall.
Phoenix took Blake Wheeler
Montreal back after almost two decades selected Carey Price.
Boston selected future Toronto Maple Leaf Phil Kessel.
This draft Washington tripped up again by selected a solid defensemen in Karl Alzner following a huge World Junior Championship tournament, but missed out on Logan Couture as part of a series of trades starting with sending Veska Toskala to Toronto.
In one of the best drafts in recent memory the Toronto traded up to take Luke Schenn. They dodged a bullet in not selected Nikita Filatov. However, they missed out on Cody Hodgson, Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, Michael Del Zotto, Jordan Eberle. Interestingly, they still ended up with fellow draftees*Joe Colborne and*Jake Gardiner due to later trades.
The Los Angeles Kings began their march to the 2012 Stanley Cup by selecting Brayden Schenn. Of course he would be the centrepiece of the deal that would send Mike Richards to Hollywood.
It may be too early to call this one, but given the Islanders history in the 5th pick, it doesn't bode well for Nino Niederreiter who was selected before Brett Connolly, Jeff Skinner, Alexander Burmistrov, Mikael Granlund, Jack Campbell and Cam Fowler.
Again it may be too early to tell but the New York Islanders took Ryan Strome over Sean Couturier and Doug Hamilton both players poised to make a bigger NHL impact before the young forward.
So, what do you think will happen with the 5th overall pick this year? Who would you take if you were Brian Burke?
Coach Matthew Perry
Fantasy Hockey Coach Home