While all eyes will initially be on the first-round picks currently at the disposal of General Manager Kent Hughes, a second-round start could prove intriguing.
Veterans like Ryan O’Reilly (2009), James Neal (2005), Loui Eriksson (2003), John LeClair (1987) and Bob Nystrom (1972) are ranked 33rd, so stay tuned.
Here’s a look at how good these selections are:
O’Reilly scored 672 points (240 goals, 432 assists) in 938 regular season games with Colorado, Buffalo and St. Louis. The daring striker won the Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019 and named Con Smith as the playoff player of the year. He also won the Selke Cup that season as the best defensive striker in the league. O’Reilly, a seven-time leading scorer with 20 goals and a three-time All-Star, is currently the Blues captain. The Clintons, Ontario boast two World Championship and World Cup hockey gold medals as well.
Neal scored 559 points (296 goals and 263 assists) in 869 regular season games with Dallas, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Vegas, Calgary, Edmonton and St. Louis. The smooth striker netted 40 goals and 81 points for the Penguins in 2011-12. Neil is a three-time All-Star who helped the Predators and Golden Knights reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Whitby, the ON native, has 58 points (33 goals, 25 assists) in 110 post-season games.
Ericsson scored 613 points (253 goals, 360 assists) in 1,050 regular season games with Dallas, Boston, Vancouver and Arizona. The Swedish winger reached a plateau of 30 goals on two occasions during his career and produced three consecutive campaigns of over 70 points between 2009 and 2012 with the superstars. The 36-year-old Gothenburg native has an impressive international résumé, including a gold, silver, and bronze at the World Championships, and an Olympic silver as well.
A household name to Canadian fans everywhere, LeClair was a major contributor to the Stanley Cup victory in 1993 when he scored two overtime winners in the Finals against Los Angeles. The five-time All-Star will continue to enjoy the best years of his career with the Flyers when he played on the left side of the “Legion of Doom” streak with Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg. LeClair’s Plateau scored the 50 goals in three consecutive seasons with Philadelphia between 1995 and 1998. The American sniper, who was also a good fit for the Penguins, finished with 819 points (406 goals, 413 assists) in 967 regular season games and 89 points. (42 goals, 47 assists) in 154 post-season appearances. The University of Vermont product was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
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Nystrom, a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the New York Islanders, scored the overtime winner to clinch the 1980 championship over the Flyers. The Swedish-born striker, who moved to Canada as a child, played his entire career with the Islands, scoring 513 points (235 goals, 278 assists) in 900 regular season games and 83 points (39 goals, 44 assists) in 157 play-off outings. . He ranks ninth in franchise history in terms of goals and 11th in points. Nystrom earned multiple nicknames during his time in the NHL, including “Thor” and “Mr. Islander”. The Bob Nystrom Award was created by the club in 1991 to honor a player who exemplifies drive, bustle and dedication.
Some of the other notable figures who have been drafted at number 33 include Arthur Kaliev (2019) by Kings, Ivan Barbashev (2014) by the Blues, and Valery Bure (1992) by The Canadians.