Which draft class is the best NHL Draft class ever? Plenty of drafts have produced tons of talent, but which one is clearer than the rest?
Best NHL Draft Category
It’s hard to know the best NHL Draft class at first. At the time of the draft, a group of players could be considered the most talented in the NHL draft, but it would take more than a decade to see if they actually met and exceeded expectations.
Some draft chapters had “The Greatest Class in NHL History” written all over it, while others proved years later to be greatly underrated at the time.
The 2005 class had some of the best NHL draft prospects of any draft.
The two players who stood out the most that year were Sidney Crosby’s first pick and fifth overall, Carrie Price. Crosby and Anzi Kopetar are the only two players from that draft to hit the 1,000 point mark.
In addition to Price, the 2005 draft featured a few other goalkeepers who have gone on to have great careers thus far. Touka Rask (21Street Overall), Jonathan Quick (72second abbreviation overall), and Ben Bishop (85The tenth Overall) they have crossed 200 career wins. Some of the other notable players drafted in 2005 are Kris Letang, Paul Stastny, and TJ Oshie.
Although Alexander Daigle, first drafted publicly in 1993, didn’t live up to expectations, the rest of the draft had plenty of stars.
The 1993 draft has two players currently inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Paul Karia, who finished with 989 points, drafted in 2017, while star defender Chris Brugger recruited in 2015.
There were eight players selected in 1993 who finished with at least 700 career points and three goalkeepers with at least 200 wins. Some of the greatest players in this category are Jason Arnott, Sako Koivu and Todd Bertozzi. Of the 286 players drafted that year, 137 were from Canada.
1990 isn’t the best NHL class, but it’s one of the deepest.
There were 11 draft players who had at least 700 career points and three had at least 1,000 career points. Jaromir Jäger, who was ranked fifth in 1990, finished with the second-most points in NHL history with 1,921 points. Keith Tkachuk and Doug Witt were the other two to finish with over 1,000 points.
The draft also featured one of the greatest NHL goalkeepers of all time.
Martin Browdor, the all-time leader in the league, was drafted by the Devils with a score of 20The tenth Pick up in 1990.
The 1980 draft contained a lot of players who went on to have great careers in the NHL.
Turns out, many of that year’s best players were draft stealers. One of those players was Gary Corey, who was inducted in the fourth round and went on to run into the Hall of Fame. Steve Larmer and Bernie Nichols were also late picks, and both went on to score over 1,000 career points.
Corrie wasn’t the only one inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, with Dennis Savard, Larry Murphy, and Paul Covey also receiving the honor. Six players drafted that year finished with at least 1,000 career points, and seven of them finished with more than 550 career passes.
The 1982 NHL Draft featured a lot of first-round busts, with five of the first 10 selected players having had fewer than 250 career points. However, the draft produced five scorers of 1,000 points and eight scorers of 300 goals.
The four ended up with Hall of Fame jobs, which included Doug Gilmour, Scott Stevens, Phil Housley and Dave Andreychuk. Gilmore was the draft stealer that year, being picked by the St. Louis Blues 134The tenth Inclusive.
Some of the other players selected in the 1982 draft were Pat Verbeek, Brian Bellows, Ray Ferraro, and Ron Hextal.
The 1982 draft was more in-depth, but 1983 featured two of the greatest players in NHL history.
With the fourth overall pick, the Detroit Red Wings picked center Steve Wasserman. He went on to score 1,755 points, the most of any player in the draft. Another NHL legend drafted that year was Dominik Hasek, who is arguably the greatest goalkeeper of all time. selected 199The tenth Generally by the Chicago Blackhawks.
There are seven players from the 1983 draft who have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. A few of them are known for playing abroad, while Cam Neely, Pat LaFontaine, Hasek and Yzerman are known for their amazing careers in the NHL.
The 1988 draft class had a lot of long-surviving players in the NHL. 19 players have played at least 800 games in the National Hockey League, while 13 players have played more than 1,000 games in the league.
The list of players who have scored at least 1,000 career points includes six names. The player with the longest career and the most points is Mark Ricky. Ricky played 1652 matches and scored 1533 points. Another big name from the draft is Teemu Selanne, who has averaged more than one point per game in his career.
In addition to Recchi and Selanne, Mike Modano’s first overall pick and fourth-round pick Rob Blake were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
It wasn’t the best NHL Draft class, but the 1984 class featured some of the game’s greatest players.
Four players ended up with Hall of Fame jobs. Two stood out from the others, with Mario Lemio and Patrick Roy both drafted in 1984. Lemieux went on to score 1,723 points in 915 games, while Roy had 551 career victories.
Lemieux wasn’t the only player recruited that year to score over 1,000 NHL points, as Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull each scored over 1,300 points in their Hall of Fame careers.
10 drafted players in 1984 finished their careers with over 750 points, and five of them scored over 400 career goals.
Arguably the greatest draft class in NHL history, 1979 featured seven players who finished their careers by more than 1,000 points.
Of those seven players, five ended up in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Two others have also had two careers that deserve to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Marc Messier had the greatest career in the entire draft class, scoring 1,887 points in 1,756 games. Ray Burke was the only other player from that class to score more than 1,500 points.
The other Hall of Fame Five include Mike Gartner, Michael Goult, Kevin Lowe, J Carbono, and Glenn Anderson.
The best class of the NHL ever is the class of 2003. The draft was loaded with talent starting, middle, and even end.
There are still many active players from the 2003 draft. As of June 2022, there are two players who have earned more than 1,000 points in their career, but there will almost certainly be at least one or two by the time everyone retires.
In addition to Eric Staal and Ryan Getzlaf, the current leading scorers from the draft, there are eight others who have at least 700 points in the NHL. Arguably the best player in the draft is Patrice Bergeron, who has 982 points in his career so far.
The 2003 draft also features some great goals. Marc-Andre Fleury was first drafted overall in 2003 and has gone on to win over 500 matches. Jaroslav Hulk, Brian Elliott, Corey Crawford, and Jimmy Howard were all drafted that year.