DRAFT

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 ET / 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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59