Photo Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

A decade’s worth of NHL Draft picks selected at 10th overall

With the NHL Draft coming up in just over a month, I wanted to take a look at the last decade’s worth of picks that have gone in the #10 slot to see if there’s anything we can learn. Did it work? We shall see.

Heading into this year’s Draft, there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not the Oilers will/should use their pick or try to move it for immediate help. There are holes in the roster that need filling and moving the pick could help remedy that, but, on the other hand, the prospect pool is still quite shallow and moving a 10th overall pick would do nothing in term of stocking the shelves. Is there a right or wrong answer? I don’t know but I was hoping that history could be our guide. With that in mind, I wanted to look at the past decade to see if there’s any pattern or information about the #10 pick that can help us find out what kind of player that we could be looking at. Can we learn anything from the past? Will looking at this list help us decide whether or not moving the pick is a good idea? Let’s find out.

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2017: Owen Tippett (RW) – Florida Panthers

The 2017-18 season: OHL: 51 GP – 36-39-75, AHL: 5GP – 1-1-2, NHL: 7GP – 1-0-1

Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

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“Arguably the best shot in the 2017 draft class, Tippett is a pure goal scorer. He has a lethal shot, it is quick, hard, and accurate and he is able to disguise his release very well. Besides taking a high volume of shots, Tippett is also a big player that uses his size, reach and strength to protect the puck, win board battles and provide a strong net presence. The other asset to his game is his above average skating, his breakaway speed and acceleration gives him separation ability and like all components of his game he uses all his skill to support his goal scoring tendency.” 

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2017-18 Mississauga Steelheads OHL 51 36 39 75 30 1
2017-18 Florida Panthers NHL 7 1 1 -6
2017-18 Springfield Thunderbirds AHL 5 1 1 2 2 2
NHL Totals 7 1 1

2016: Tyson Jost (C) – Colorado Avalanche

The 2017-18 season: AHL: 5GP – 1-1-2, NHL: 65GP – 12-10-22

Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

“With elite hockey sense, top-end skating, and a competitiveness that is off of the charts, Jost can be counted on to play heavy minutes in every situation with effectiveness. Able to protect the puck from checkers, he is capable of controlling the play by utilizing exceptional anticipation and finding seams to generate offense. Combining a wicked wrist shot that he is liable to release from anywhere and at any time, with the ability to thread a cross-ice pass, Tyson is a dangerous offensive player whenever he steps on the ice.” 

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Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2017-18 Colorado Avalanche NHL 65 12 10 22 26 -10
2017-18 San Antonio Rampage AHL 5 1 1 2 1
NHL Totals 71 13 10 23 26

2015: Mikko Rantanen (RW) – Colorado Avalanche

The 2017-18 season: NHL: 81GP – 29-55-84

Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

“He possesses a competitive motor, engages physically and wants to make a difference on every shift – all projectable character skills. Rantanen owns the size and willingness to engage physically in board battles and is efficient in high-traffic areas handling the puck. Beyond these impressive offensive attributes, Rantanen is a workhorse competitor, never giving up on a play.” 

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2017-18 Colorado Avalanche NHL 81 29 55 84 34 6 4 4
NHL Totals 165 49 73 122 58 6 4 4
Weekly Rumours: Are the Leafs and Oilers a good fit for a trade?

2014: Nick Ritchie (LW) – Anaheim Ducks

The 2017-18 season: NHL: 76GP – 10-17-27

Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

“Ritchie has all the makings of a prototypical, Eric Lindros-type power forward. A big bodied winger with smooth hands and a shooting touch, he is not overly aggressive to make the big hit, but when he does make contact he’s probably one of the smoothest hitters in the game. As with any player his size, his agility and flexibility are two areas that could improve. But he dominated at the junior level and should be effective as he continues to develop.”

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Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2017-18 Anaheim Ducks NHL 76 10 17 27 72 3 4 8
NHL Totals 186 26 33 59 171 19 4 4 54

2013: Valeri Nichushkin (RW) – Dallas Stars

The 2017-18 season: KHL: 50GP – 16-11-27

Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

“He’s a bull. A massive frame, with really good skating and speed, plus a boatload of skill and a great shot. He’s got a powerful skating stride and with a little more strength and conditioning we’ll probably see even more noteworthy breakaway speed from him. One thing that really sticks out that shows his understanding of how to be an offensive threat is his ability to change the tempo and shift a gear when he has the puck. He knows when to push it and he knows when to downshift and really mess with a defenseman’s gap and then burn him with strength, speed and skill.”

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2017-18 CSKA Moscow KHL 50 16 11 27 14 11 19 3 6 9 12
NHL Totals 166 23 41 64 22 16 1 2 3 4

2012: Slater Koekkoek (D) – Tampa Bay Lightning

The 2017-18 season: NHL: 35GP – 4-4-8

Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

“Koekkoek is primarily an offensively-oriented defenseman possessing a heavy and accurate shot.  He also has solid playmaking ability, with the ability to make a good first pass out of the defensive zone as well as accurate passing in open ice.  At this point, Koekkoek projects as a second-pairing defenseman with some potential to be a power-play quarterback.”

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Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2017-18 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 35 4 4 8 18 4
NHL Totals 76 4 9 13 30

2011: Jonas Brodin (D) – Minnesota Wild

The 2017-18 season: NHL: 73GP – 6-15-21

Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

“Brodin is a very mobile defender, who is an excellent skater and a decent passer. His average offensive instincts hold him back from being an elite package, but he is developing quickly. He is a very good skater and plays very mature game in his own end.  He gives a good opening pass and has good puck-handling skills but he needs to improve his shot to be a fantasy worthy player.” 

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2017-18 Minnesota Wild NHL 73 6 15 21 30 23 5 2 2 2
NHL Totals 404 24 76 100 108 44 1 7 8 14

2010: Dylan McIlrath (D) – New York Rangers

The 2017-18 season: AHL: 76GP – 7-10-17

Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

“McIlrath is a nasty, in-your-face defenseman who won’t back down and can clear the crease for his netminder. He is not afraid to fight or just intimidate, McIlrath has a good shot and his puck distribution has been improving but he needs to improve his skating and defensive positioning.” 

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2017-18 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 76 7 10 17 119 8
NHL Totals 43 3 2 5 94

2009: Magnus Paajarvi (LW) – Edmonton Oilers

The 2017-18 season: NHL: 79GP – 8-4-12

Deadline Targets: Battle-tested playoff veterans from the Los Angeles Kings

Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

“Paajarvi is a very speedy and skilled winger. His acceleration is top notch and what really characterizes his game is the way he drives to the net. In full speed, he gets around the opposing defenseman with ease and usually gets the puck on the net with a quick wrist-shot. Offensively, he is also blessed with above average hockey sense, nice technical skills and the ability to set up his teammates with passes. He is a creative player with smarts that usually scores quite spectacular goals and does things that are hard for the defensemen to read.” 

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2017-18 St. Louis Blues NHL 44 2 2 4 8 -3
2017-18 Ottawa Senators NHL 35 6 2 8 4 -8
NHL Totals 387 51 54 105 72 11 1 3 4 2

2008: Cody Hodgson (C) – Vancouver Canucks

The 2017-18 season: Did not play

Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

“Hodgson is a solid all around talent.  He does not possess blinding speed, or flashy moves, but he tends to get the job done.  He has developed into a fine two-way player.  Hodgson is an extremely smart player who uses all of his skills in both ends of the ice. Excellent skater, very strong on the puck, can quarterback the powerplay. Hodson has very good hands and excellent on ice-vision.”

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2015-16 Nashville Predators NHL 39 3 5 8 6 2
2015-16 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 14 4 7 11 1
NHL Totals 328 64 78 142 68 12 1 1 2


As I was putting this list together, all I could think about is how the NHL Draft is a blend of educated guessing and overall voodoo. I remember being in the building when Magnus Paajarvi scored a pre-season hat trick against the Lightning and thinking that he was going to be the best of the original H.O.P.E. bunch, so seeing where he wound up on the depth charts of the places he’s played was certainly surprising. Point being that you never really know what you’re going to get. As you can see, over the past 10 years, there has been a blend of forwards and defenceman selected with the #10 pick and the results have been a mixed bag.

After seeing the hits and misses over the past 10 years, it’s hard to say if putting this list together has really swayed me one way or the other in terms of using the pick or trading it. It seems like for every Jonas Brodin you get at #10 there are a handful of guys that don’t necessarily work out as planned. Obviously, some of these picks are still too early in their careers to make the call one way or the other, but putting this together does show that there’s no such thing as a sure thing. As you can see, some of the guys above were highly-touted but never ended up living up to their potential while others have gone on to be productive NHL players. What does all of this mean? I have no idea. All we can really do is hope and trust that the Oilers’ amateur scouts will get this right and that Chiarelli’s decision will be what’s best for the organization now and in the future. Get your crystal balls ready.

What do you guys think? Does seeing this list affect your thinking about what to do with the 10th overall pick?

  • The Real HardBoiledOil

    The Oilers are in a good position if they don’t trade the pick with forwards like Farabee, Veleno, Kotkaniemi or LD Ty Smith and perhaps RD Noah Dobson if he should fall a spot so if they make the pick I can’t see how even Chia can screw it up?

  • Sammy p

    Sorry to say trap hockey is back,first introduced by the Russians used extensively by Jacques Lemaire to win a couple of Stanley cups in New Jersey,is now honed to perfection by the Las Vegas Knightsthe 1-4 lockdown or trap is winning hockey but extremely dull to watch as season ticket holders around the league who have suffered through Minnesota games over the past years can attest to .Hard to watch it may well affect the seat sales throughout the league until something is done via rule changes to ease the boredom.
    Hope that I am wrong but coaches and managers with their jobs on the line and desperate for winning will no doubt accept the concept and go for it .

    • RexHolez

      I gotta disagree with you. I’ve been watching Vegas, and I don’t find them to be boring at all. They’re fast and aggressive. I enjoy watching there games

    • Oilman99

      Not sure what team you have been watching. The Knights play a full pressure game, forcing the play all over the ice. Nashville tried the trap every time they got up in a game, and look where they are now.

  • RexHolez

    I think they need a bunch of quality prospects badly. If I was gm only way I move the pick is to move back for more picks. Like say phillys 14&19th picks for 10 and our second rounder. Pretty sure philly would laugh at that offer, but something like that would make me happy.

  • Carbonrod

    A few weeks ago I looked at the players picked 9-11 in the drafts. Generally there was a player in that range that went on to be a star and a pick at 10 has had a player available in the range that turned into an amazing player for their position. Lots of good players available at ten most years. I would call it a win if 3 years from now we had a young d man with puck moving ability or a 2nd line F that’s getting around 40 points

  • billythebullet

    Trade for imidiete help. Do not over pay by packaging Klefbom or Nurse. If that’s the only trade available then use the pick we need the prospects as much as we need the help now. So it’s a 2 answer question!

  • Carbonrod

    The only way to draft good players is to scout well and make the picks you have. Our amateur scouting team is capable of getting more hits than misses i think. It’s going to be a given that 1 or 2 high first rounders are going to be duds. Any trade for our first made this year should only involve moving down or up because of our cap situation, weak prospect system, and looming expansion draft.

    The 100+ point 2016-2017 season distorted lots of people’s expectations for last year and this year. Looking back at the Oilers being called Stanley’s Cup favorited at the beginning of the season now is kind of funny, given how the holes in our lineup were exposed. Everything that could have gone right last that year did, and then this year everything that could go wrong did.

    Every trade we can make right now is robbing Peter to pay Paul. The players that we should be moving all have NMC’s, best to wait a year and get rid of Russel or Sek (who could be better next year) when they expire. If we want to win we need our youth.

    Draft and develop the players in our system. Sign some veteran FA’s to short term deals so we can keep the young players in the AHL until they are really ready to come up. We have players like Bear and Yamomoto who have NHL potential, but just aren’t ready yet, and Benson who could be a couple years away.

    • The Real HardBoiledOil

      Young drafted players don’t seem take as long as they used to to get to the NHL. It might be worth it to hang onto the pick and be what the Oilers have never been….patient !!

  • i don’t follow junior hockey enough to know what a 10th round pick will translate to. I can rattle off player names, but the fact is, even professional scouts get it right only 50% of the time at best.

  • CaptainCanada94

    Enjoyed the article, however I do think it is a little narrow-sighted.

    You hit the nail on the head, that you never know what you will get. However I do believe that our scouting has improved since Prendergast moved on to Buffalo, so I do have faith that we can draft properly. It also helps when you can throw more darts at a dart board, so trading picks is not ideal.

    That being said, I think it would be a better idea to look at who has been selected with the 10th -15th pick over the last decade. As you will see, there are several players in the 10-15 range that Oilers will have available for selection. To package this pick for immediate help will surely be a lost trade. Players include:

    2008= Erik Karlsson, Tyler Myers, Jake Gardiner.
    2009=Ryan Ellis ( Who we could have drafted instead of MPS)
    2010= Cam Fowler, Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko (16th)
    2011= ——
    2012= Filip Forsberg, Cody Ceci
    2013= Max Domi, Alex Wennberg
    2014= Kevin Fiala, Dylan Larkin
    2015= Mikko Rantanen, Jake DeBrusk
    2016= Charlie McAvoy

    • Glencontrolurstik

      As Oiler fan’s lets not mention that name ever again, OK?… Let’s look forward, as there is not much to look backwards for.
      Keep the picks, any picks you have.

  • Oilman99

    The prospect of a Rantanin being there is worth the gamble,if not,if the scouts have done their job they should still be able to draft a serviceable NHL player. They are going to need low budget players down the road to be able to stay within the cap, so it is imperative to keep the pick.

  • Arfguy

    IMO, the Oilers would be foolish to try and trade this pick. I feel like trying to get immediate help will blow up in their face. I cannot think of who they can make a play for by trading the draft pick. Even if they could get immediate help, they’ll need to get rid of a bad contract. Where does it go? Arizona? Buffalo? Vegas?

  • Spoils

    wow, I opened this up expecting to see much better players. Makes me kind of want to trade the pick for two lower picks… I say that because my mind remains completely set on the fact that NHL teams should be developing through the draft.

    It also makes me increasingly angry that PC didn’t make more out of the massive amount of talent he started with. Man is it hard to come by good players.

    We have McDavid locked up for a long time. I really hope we take a longer-term approach.

  • Spoils

    The thing I keep coming back to about picks in the salary cap era is you get super valuable CHEAP years out of the ones that work…

    last thought – here are the last 11 #1s:
    Hischier, Matthews, McJesus, Ekblad, MacKinnon, YakCity, Nugey, Hall, Tavares, Stamkos, Kane

  • RemendalovesSalt

    Little tired of the examination of the #10 pick. Even hearing Gregor talk about how valueless it is because of the bad picks that were selected. You can examine every pick and have the same conclusions. How about the all stars that were taken after the #10 pick. You just never know what’s going to pan out.