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Best Top-Picks NHL Players Over the Past 20 Years

See which were the best first picks in the NHL over the Past 20 Years

Net Ice, British Ice Hockey

Every year, there is a lot of debate about who will be the first pick of the Hockey draft and, usually, there is no general consensus. This year, however, things are a little different.

The consensus seems to be obvious in the hockey world: Quebecer Alexis Lafrenière will be the first player to hear his name in the next draft of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He will probably be part of the list of top first picks in the future, maybe even be among the best players in the competition for the next seasons.

Thinking about that we prepared here the top 10 overall first picks from the past 20 years in the NHL.

  1. Connor McDavid

McDavid is hands down the best player of his generation. At 23, he has already accumulated 162 goals, 469 points, two Art-Ross trophies, two Ted-Lindsay and a Hart.

In 2015, few doubted McDavid’s potential when the Edmonton Oilers selected him number one. Five years later, many consider him the best player in the NHL.

  1. Sidney Crosby

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ first selection in 2005 is currently the third-highest career scorer among active players on the tour. But what’s even more impressive is that he’s sixth all-time in points per game average at 1.284.

Only Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr as well as Quebecers Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy and Marcel Dionne have done better in their careers among players who have played at least 500 games.

  1. Alexander Ovechkin

While Crosby is sixth in points average, Ovechkin is sixth in goals-per-game average among athletes who have scored 200 or more. Bossy, Lemieux, Cy Denneny, Cecil Dye and Pavel Bure did better.

The top pick in 2004 made sure to go down in history as he won the Stanley Cup with his Washington Capitals in 2018.

  1. Marc-André Fleury

The decision to draft a first-row goalie may seem like a bold one, but we have to admit that the Penguins got it right with Fleury in 2003.

The Sorel-born goaltender has won 466 NHL games, ranking fifth in history, and owns three Stanley Cup rings. Only 33 more victories would allow him to climb to third place in the goaltending standings in this chapter, behind Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy.

  1. Patrick Kane

Three Stanley Cups and an Art-Ross Trophy. The crop is already impressive and Kane, first pick for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007, is only 31 years old.

With 1,022 points on the clock, Kane is also set to climb to fifth place among all American skaters next season. In addition, only 370 points will be necessary for him to dethrone Brett Hull in the very first place.

  1. Nathan MacKinnon

MacKinnon took four seasons to really kick in, but right now the Colorado Avalanche’s first pick in 2013 is very dangerous.

Although he was limited to 69 games in 2019-2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nova Scotian has indeed passed the 90-point mark for a third consecutive season.

  1. Steven Stamkos

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s first pick in 2008 is a real goal scoring machine. Unfortunately slowed down by injuries a few times during his career, he still scored 422 goals in just 803 games.

  1. Auston Matthews

A skilled scorer, the 2016 First Selection has still failed to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to the second round of the playoffs.

The American was only making his fourth season in 2019-20, however, and was on his way to a 50-goal debut season when the NHL went out of business.

  1. Taylor Hall

The Oilers set their sights on Taylor Hall in 2010. Though talented, he never guided the Oilers to the playoffs in six seasons. Hall’s great misfortune was playing with poor quality teams.

Indeed, for almost 10 years, he has been limited to five small playoff games in the NHL. It was in 2017-18. The center, however, won the Hart Trophy that year for leading the New Jersey Devils to the playoffs.

  1. John Tavares

Without being the most dominant player offensively, the first player selected at the 2009 auction has averaged about one point per game since entering his third season with the New York Islanders.

Start Betting on Hockey

Many hockey fans also love to place sports bets on the matches of their favorite teams or leagues, and this is not a surprise. Despite not being among the most popular sports in the world – such as American football and the NFL (as stated here) – many people are passionate about Hockey.

And the truth is that anyone can start betting on hockey, whether in the NHL or any other world league, in an easy and simple way.

The first step is to choose a reliable and safe bookmaker or south african betting sites, and for that, our tip is to see the list available on the website of MightyTips.

With this list you can find some of the best bookmakers today, being analyzed by experts on the subject and giving notes to each of the features that are important when deciding which bookie to use. That is, things like:

  1. Credibility
  2. Bonuses
  3. Security
  4. Mobile Version

That way, you will surely find the perfect place for you to start your hockey bets today and enjoy this interesting ice sport even more.

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