On June 22nd and 23rd the 2018 NHL Draft will take place, with the majority of experts agreeing that Rasmus Dahlin will be the No.1 pick. The Swedish defenceman, who looks like he will be headed to Buffalo, is rated as the most talented player available. He will, of course, join some illustrious company as the No.1 overall pick, including the likes of Mario Lemieux and Dennis Potvin. Indeed, the Sabres will be hoping that Dahlin works out something like their first-ever No.1 draft pick in 1970, Gilbert Perreault.
Below is a quick look at the last 10 No.1 picks with a line or two on how they are faring now:
2008 Steven Stamkos
Drafted to Tampa Bay ten years ago, Stamkos is the Lightning’s captain and a five-time All-Star. He is, of course, playing a big role in Tampa’s charge in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Bet365 make them 5/1 second-favourites after the Vegas Golden Knights. You can check the Bet365 betting app and promotions for Canadians to back them with free bets.
2009: John Tavares
Another No. 1 pick, another current team captain: Tavares has played his entire career for the New York Islanders and was made captain in 2013. His individual talent has not yet translated to success for the Islanders, who have faced a wait of over three decades to make the Stanley Cup Final.
2010: Taylor Hall
In 2010, Taylor Hall became the first of three successive years of No.1 picks for Edmonton. Hall had notable success with the Oilers, including breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record of two goals in nine seconds when achieving the feat in eight. Hall was traded to New Jersey in 2016. He has played in the All-Star Game for both the Devils and Oilers.
2011: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Now the Oilers alternate captain, Nugent-Hopkins has been in Edmonton for his entire career. The centre had a fruitful 2018 season, grabbing 24 goals in 62 games. However, the Oilers had a mediocre season, finishing sixth in the Pacific Division.
2012: Nail Yakupov
The last of the Oilers three consecutive picks, Russian right wing Yakupov now plays for the Colorado Avalanche. Yakupov helped Avalanche make the Playoffs for the first time since 2014 this year, but they went down 4-2 to Predators, who are still a 6/1 shot to win it all this season.
2013: Nathan McKinnon
McKinnon is another key member of the Avalanche team and has been with Colorado since being drafted in 2013. He has really come of age though in the last couple of seasons, appearing in the All-Star Game in 2017 and 2018.
2014: Aaron Ekblad
Ekblad is an alternate captain for the Panthers, where he has spent his entire career. He appeared in every game for the Panthers this season, in which they narrowly missed out on a postseason spot. Ekblad won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2015.
2015: Connor McDavid
21-year-old Oiler captain McDavid offers proof that the Oilers will be back at the very top of NHL sooner rather than later. He was nominated for the Ted Lindsay award this season (his second successive nomination) despite the Oilers’ struggles. The future is bright with McDavid in the side.
2016: Auston Matthews
The first No.1 pick from the USA since Patrick Kane (2007), Matthews has broken plenty of records enroute to becoming the Maple Leafs’ franchise star. He is well on his way to being on of the best players on the planet.
2017: Nico Hischier
Already an integral member of the New Jersey Devils roster, Hischier was the second-top scorer this season and help New Jersey make the Playoffs for the first time in six seasons. Unfortunately, Hischier revealed he had a wrist injury during the Playoffs (Devils were eliminated by Lightning), which means he will miss the World Championship for Switzerland. The Swiss are 50/1 outsiders for the tournament, with Canada favourites at 13/10 (odds from Bet365).
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 23: The New Jersey Devils select center Nico Hischier with the 1st pick in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft on June 23, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)