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Take your pick: History on Devils' side

A look at past fourth overall selections in the NHL Draft

Wednesday, 06.15.2011 / 4:08 PM / Draft
By Eric Marin
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Take your pick: History on Devils\' side
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Time will tell which way the Devils go on draft day, but they’re well-positioned to land an elite young player when they choose fourth overall on June 24.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the consensus top-ranked player and most mock drafts have him wearing an Oilers jersey once his name is called at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Colorado and Florida will also get their turn at the podium before the Devils announce their choice.

Will the Devils go with a center? A winger? A defenseman? History shows the pick has been used equally on all three. Exactly 10 prospects at each position have been selected fourth overall since 1980, plus one goaltender (Roberto Luongo, 1997). Click here to the see the full list.

The Devils, who won this year’s draft lottery to move up from eighth, will have their highest pick since 1991 when they selected Scott Niedermayer third overall.

The fourth selection has produced a wealth of top-level NHL talent, including several Hall of Famers. Of the 31 selections since 1980, 16 went on to play 500 or more NHL games, with six appearing in 1,000 and three reaching the 1,500-game plateau.

They’ve also accounted for a bundle of Stanley Cup rings.

Larry Murphy (1980) won four Cups, though none with the team that originally drafted him: the Los Angeles Kings. He was traded three times before going all the way with Pittsburgh in 1990-91 and 1991-92. He went back-to-back again with Detroit in 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Steve Yzerman (1983), who captained those Red Wings squads, added his third title in 2002. He finished his career with 692 goals, though that’s not the highest total by a fourth overall pick. That honor goes to Mike Gartner (1979, Washington) and his 708, which rank him sixth all-time.

Ron Francis (1981, Hartford), a two-time champion with the Penguins, has the most points (1,798; fourth all-time) and games played (1,731; third all-time).

Other Hall of Famers in the group include Steve Shutt (1972, Montreal), Lanny McDonald (1973, Toronto) and Clark Gillies (1974, NY Islanders). Shutt won five rings with the Habs, including four straight from 1975-76 to 1978-79. The next year, Gillies and the Islanders dynasty captured the first of four in a row. McDonald hoisted the Cup with Calgary in 1989.

Andrew Ladd (2004, Carolina) already has two Cups (Carolina, Chicago) in eight seasons. Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom (2006) is one of the game’s top centermen, cracking the 100-point mark in 2009-10.

Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (2008) potted 11 goals and 32 assists in 2010-11, his first full NHL campaign. Another blossoming star, Evander Kane (2009) has amassed 33 goals and 36 assists during his first two seasons with Atlanta.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51