Every kid who plays hockey growing up one day dreams of hearing his name called at the NHL Draft. It's the culmination of years of grueling work and never-ending sacrifices and, quite simply, a night to be remembered for the rest of your life. You're sitting in the crowd with friends and family dressed to the nines in eager anticipation of hearing your name called by an NHL general manager, scout, or whoever is making the pick for the team. You might have been a hardcore Pittsburgh Penguins fan growing up, but even if it's the Arizona Coyotes that select you, it becomes irrelevant in the moment - the fact is you've accomplished a goal.
However, getting drafted into the NHL isn't the end of the hard work; rather, it's the start of a new chapter where nothing is guaranteed. Seventh-round picks have just as good of a chance at making the NHL roster as first-round picks if the hard work outshines talent. Furthermore, as big of an accomplishment as it is to be drafted, there's no guarantees of lasting long - or at all - with that team. Many of the players in this quiz played only a few games, if any at all, with the team that drafted them, while others have actually played their whole career with the team that drafted them.
The son of former longtime Winnipeg Jet Thomas Steen, Alex Steen is a Swede who happened to be born in Winnipeg in 1984, while his father was playing in the NHL. He has the benefit of good genes as he was a highly-touted player from a young age and was eventually selected 24th overall in the first round of the 2002 NHL Draft. To date, the 33-year-old has played 822 career games and scored 213 goals to go along with 319 assists for 532 points, which is an especially impressive total when factoring in he's primarily lauded for his defensive abilities.
Corey Perry was a prolific scorer in junior for the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights, but he came into the NHL without much fanfare after being selected 28th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft. He was the 13th forward on the Canadian World Junior team in 2005 (which, to be fair, also featured Sidney Crosby, Jeff Carter, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Richards, and Andrew Ladd) and had only 25 points as a rookie in 2005-06. However, it didn't take long for Perry to develop into a prolific goal-scorer; he tallied a career-high 50 goals in 2010-11 and won both the Rocket Richard Trophy and Hart Trophy as the league's MVP.
"Jumbo" Joe Thornton was a dominant playmaker for the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie - he recorded 81 assists in 59 games during the 1996-97 season - so it's no surprise he eventually became one of the league's premier playmaking centers. He struggled as a rookie, despite being the first overall pick in the 1997 NHL Draft, posting just seven points in 55 games, but the following year increased his production to 41 points. He had the best season of his career in 2005-06 with 92 points in only 58 games, leading the league in scoring and winning the Hart Trophy.
Despite being a potential James Norris Trophy winner as the league's best defenseman this past season, Brent Burns was actually drafted as a forward. Selected 20th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft, he debuted in the league as a winger to limited success, but later found his offensive touch as a defenseman. In fact, he has gotten even better with age; the 32-year old had a career-high 75 points in 2015-16 and topped that with 76 points. He's one point shy of 500 for his career.
A lot of times Russians will fall in the draft due to teams being concerned they might not come over to North America. Russian-born players can often earn more in the KHL. That wasn't quite the case with Vladimir Tarasenko, who was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2010, but it's easy to argue now that he should have been picked a lot higher. Tarasenko had just 19 points in his first season in the league, but the 25-year-old has recorded 70-plus points in each of the past three seasons, including a career-high 75 points in 2016-16.
Six-foot-five winger Blake Wheeler was drafted fifth overall in the 2004 NHL Draft despite playing low-level high school hockey. He played the following season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League and later developed his game through three seasons with the University of Minnesota. Given all that seasoning, Wheeler had a successful rookie campaign in 2008-09 with 45 points. Now the captain of the Winnipeg Jets, he has posted back-to-back 70-plus point seasons.
The 2005 NHL Draft was a great one for the league. Sidney Crosby was the first overall pick and the first goalie selected was Carey Price at fifth overall. The second goalie taken was Tuukka Rask, who went 21st overall and, given his talent between the pipes, should likely have gone much higher. Nonetheless, Rask has become one of the league's best goaltenders and has a career win-loss record of 206-124-51 to go along with a 2.24 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2013-14.
Swedish defenseman Anton Stralman was barely drafted, but he was drafted nonetheless. The 5-foot-11 rearguard was the 216th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, with only 14 players selected after, including Patric Hornqvist, who was the last pick in the draft. Stralman isn't the most offensively-talented blueliner, but he has been a consistent defensive force in each of the past three seasons. Through 622 games, he has 207 points with four teams. He had a career-high 39 points in 2014-15.
A dominant player in junior, Tyler Seguin recorded 106 points for the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers in his draft year, prompting the Taylor [Hall] vs. Tyler conversations as to who would be the first overall pick. That distinction eventually went to Hall, but Seguin was a very good consolation prize and is perhaps even better than Hall today. The 25-year-old right winger recorded a career-high 84 points in 2013-14 and, to date, has 427 points in 508 career games.
When he's not downing hot dogs, Phil Kessel happens to be one of the NHL's premier goal scorers. Over the past two playoffs, he leads all players in goals and, throughout his career, has 649 points in 832 games. The two-time Stanley Cup winner has become somewhat of a folk hero in Pittsburgh and throughout the league, developing a large following for his nonchalant mannerisms and easy-going personality. He won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 2007 after recovering from testicular cancer and missing only 12 games.
OK, before you answer this one, let us be clear that we're asking for which team Frederik Andersen was most recently drafted by. The Danish goaltender was first selected in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, but the two sides couldn't come to an agreement. He improved his draft stock in a dominant season with Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League and was later drafted in the third round in 2012. Since making his NHL debut in 2013, Andersen has played in 197 games and compiled a record of 112-43-29 to go along with a 2.46 goals against average and .918 save percentage.
Czech-born winger David Pastrnak was the 25th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and it didn't take him long to make an impact in the league. After playing with Sodertalje SK of the Swedish Hockey League, he made the jump to the American Hockey League upon being drafted and recorded 28 points in 25 games. He followed that up with two mediocre seasons but had a breakthrough year in 2016-17 with 70 points in 75 games. He has represented his country at the World Junior Championships, World Championships, and World Cup.
It's not often future franchise players are drafted in the fifth round of the NHL draft, but that was the case with Jamie Benn. Despite scoring 65 points in 51 games with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League in his draft year, Benn wasn't overly hyped by scouts due to a belief that his skating might not be good enough for the NHL. They couldn't have been more wrong. Benn is one of the league's best power forwards and the 27-year-old can certainly keep up with the pace of the game. He has 517 points in 585 career games and won the Art Ross Trophy in 2014-15.
Jeff Carter hasn't won any major awards in his 12-year NHL career, but the 32-year-old has been named to multiple All-Star teams and has 650 points in 877 games. His best asset is his ability to shoot the puck, evidenced by his 339 goals - he has scored at least 20 goals in 11 of his 12 seasons in the league and doesn't appear to be slowing down, having scored 32 goals in 2016-17, his highest total since 2010-11. Carter was drafted 11th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft and has since won two Stanley Cups.
Eric Staal was a prototypical big-bodied center in junior and a highly-touted prospect. The 6-foot-4 Thunder Bay, Ontario native recorded 98 points in 66 games for the Ontario Hockey League's Peterborough Petes in his draft year and was selected second overall in that June's draft. Throughout his career, Staal has accumulated 846 points in 1,011 games. He appeared to be on a downward trajectory in regard to offensive productivity, but had a bounce back season in 2016-17 with 65 points in 82 games.
Like his brother Eric, Jordan Staal was a second round pick in the NHL Draft, although he hasn't quite had as impressive of a career. Jordan is regarded more for his defensive capabilities as a center, but the 28-year-old does have offensive touch as a second-line center. He recorded a career-high 50 points in 2011-12 and notched 45 and 48 respectively in the past two seasons. To date, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound pivot has 187 goals and 249 assists in 764 games.
James van Reimsdyk
New Jersey native James van Riemsdyk is a veteran of 528 games, during which time he has accumulated 339 points. A highly-touted player prior to his draft year, van Reimsdyk played for the United States National Team Development Program, where he had 25 points in 12 games. He was drafted second overall in the 2007 NHL Draft and spent two seasons at the University of New Hampshire, where he recorded a combined 74 points in 67 points, before turning pro.
Cam Atkinson was a steal of a selection in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Draft. The Connecticut native was - and is still - undersized, which led to teams passing him over despite his obvious offensive abilities. After being drafted, the 5-foot-8 winger went to Boston University, where he recorded 19 points as a freshman. He broke through the next season, recording 53 points and, the following year, as a junior, tallied 52 points. He became a full-time NHLer by the end of the 2012-13 season and has since accumulated 227 points in 382 games.
One of the best players in the league from the Czech Republic, Jakub Voracek was a highly-touted prospect who took awhile to develop into a star, but he has been worth the wait. The 6-foot-2 right winger has at least 55 points in each of the past four seasons, including a career-best 81 points in 82 games during the 2014-15 season. He came to North America prior to his draft year to play for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and led the team in scoring with 86 points. The following year, after being selected seventh overall, Voracek returned to Halifax and again led the team with 101 points in just 53 games. He has 488 points in 686 career NHL games.
While not as talented as the last Forsberg to play in the league (Peter, no relation), Filip Forsberg has become a top-tier offensive player, having scored 30-plus goals in each of the past two seasons. The 22-year-old was drafted 11th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft and wasted little time in becoming a top-line player with the Nashville Predators, for which he recently helped reach the Stanley Cup Final. The native of Sweden has 191 points in 264 career games.
Russian center Artem Anisimov had just 10 points in 39 games in his draft year, but played limited minutes for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the KHL as opposed to playing 15-plus minutes a night for a junior team. As such, Anisimov was a late second round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, but came to North America shortly after and, after one season, became a point-per-game player in the AHL. He's not a dominant offensive threat, but he has topped 20 goals in three of the last four seasons and has a combined 279 points in 553 career games.
Ryan Kesler is the player everyone loves to hate, unless he's playing for your favorite team. The Michigan native was selected 23rd overall in the 2003 NHL Draft after a 31-point campaign with Ohio State University (OSU). Instead of returning to OSU, he turned pro the following season and split the year between the AHL and NHL, showing limited offensive abilities in both leagues. Kesler's strength is his defensive skills, so the lack of production wasn't a concern, but he has since developed a scoring touch. He recorded a career-high 75 points in 2009-10 and now has 551 points in 897 career games.
Evgeny Kuznetsov had just nine points in 35 games for Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL in his draft year, but scouts must have saw something in the Russian center as he was selected 26th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft and exploded offensively the following season, posting 32 points in 44 games. He played three more seasons in Russia before finally coming to North America, but it has been worth the wait. He had a pedestrian 37 points as a rookie, but broke out with 77 points in 2015-16. His production dipped to 59 points last season, but the 25-year-old is still in the prime of his career.
The younger brother of former Montreal Canadians captain Saku Koivu, Mikko Koivu is a Finnish center in the mold of a power forward. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound former sixth overall pick spent three seasons in Finland upon being drafted and developed his game in the country's top league. He accumulated 48 points as a rookie in the AHL during the 2004-05 season, but likely would have played in the NHL if not for the lockout. Primarily known as a two-way center, Koivu reached a career-high of 71 points in 2009-10 and currently has 614 points in 843 career games.
"El Nino" Niederreiter is a 24-year-old Swiss winger who has come into his own as a budding power forward in recent years. A fifth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, he scored just one goal and had no assists through 55 games in his rookie season, which seems almost impossible, especially for someone who scored 41 goals as an 18-year-old in junior. Yet, Niederreiter has continued to work at his game and, in the past three years, he has improved his point total, culminating in a career-high 57 points during the 2016-17 season.
A former 24th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, T.J. Oshie was a star in three seasons with the University of North Dakota. The native of Washington State recorded 45 points in 44 games as a freshman and the following season produced 52 points. He made his NHL debut in the 2008-09 season and had 39 points in 57 games. He primarily plays a gritty, physical game, but has offensive capabilities, as evidenced by his career-high 60 points in 2013-14. He also became an American legend with his shootout heroics against Russia in the 2014 Olympics.
American-born center Charlie Coyle had a breakout season last year, recording a career-high 56 points in 82 games. The former 28th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft attended Boston University for a season and a half before leaving college to play for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Saint John Sea Dogs, where he recorded 38 points in 23 games and 34 points in 17 playoff games. Coyle has been a consistent player through his first few seasons in the league and has 177 career points in 353 games.
Like Coyle above, J.T. Miller is a former college commit who played for the United States National Development Team and later decided to forego his college eligibility to play for the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers. The former 15th overall pick didn't exactly set the league on fire, but he has rounded out into a serviceable top-six forward at the NHL level. After bouncing between the NHL and AHL in his first few seasons as a pro, Miller played all 82 games in 2015-16 and recorded 43 points. He topped that in 2016-17 with 56 points.
A native of Dorchester, Massachusetts, Kevin Hayes is the younger brother of Jimmy Hayes and perhaps the more talented of the two. He played four seasons at Boston College and accumulated a team-leading 65 points as a senior. Hayes' transition to the NHL was quite smooth as well, as the six-foot-five center scored 17 goals and added 28 assists in his rookie season. He recorded a career-high 49 points in 76 games and, to date, he has 130 points in 234 games.
Jimmy Hayes was drafted two years prior to his younger brother Kevin, but didn't go quite as high in the draft. The elder Hayes was the 60th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft and played one season with his brother at Boston College, recording 33 points in 39 games that year. The six-foot-five winger had success with the United States at the World Junior Championship, but wasn't expected to thrive in the NHL due to a perceived lack of skating ability. It didn't hurt the early part of his career, but he had a career-worst season in 2016-17 with just five points in 58 games.
If it seems as though Radim Vrbata has been in the league forever, it's because he practically has. Kidding aside, the 36-year-old was a seventh round selection in the 1999 NHL Draft, and has since played for seven different teams throughout 1,015 games, while accumulating 609 points. Despite his career longevity, Vrbata has played for some pretty awful teams, having only appeared in 42 playoff games. The Czech Republic native played his junior hockey with Hull and Shawinigan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
New Westminster, British Columbia native Kyle Turris was a highly-touted prospect who has taken some time to develop, but it has been worth the wait as he has become a solid second-tier, top-line center. Turris dominated the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League in 2006-07, scoring 121 points in 53 games, and the following season recorded 35 points in 36 games with the University of Wisconsin. Throughout his 533 career games in the league, Turris has 133 goals and 178 assists.
The younger brother of defenseman Luke Schenn, Brayden Schenn played his junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League and recorded 88 points in his draft year, which led to him being the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. He returned to junior the following year and added 99 points in 59 games and made his NHL debut in 2010-11. Schenn spent some time in the minors on his way to becoming a legitimate NHLer, but he's now a solid top-six center. He had 55 points last season and has produced at least 40 points in each of his past four seasons.
A native of New Rochelle, New York, Kevin Shattenkirk is a puck-moving defenseman who starred three years for Boston University from 2007 to 2010. He made his NHL debut in 2010-11 and finished in the top 10 in Calder Trophy voting after posting 43 points in 72 games and has since developed into a top-pairing blueliner. The former 14th overall pick recorded 40-plus points in each of his past six seasons and has 298 points in 490 career games. A pending unrestricted free agent, he's due for a big pay day on July 1.
Minnesota native Derek Stepan has developed into a top-six center with quality leadership skills, but the 26-year-old wasn't exactly a highly-touted prospect prior to being drafted. Stepan was the 51st player selected in the 2008 NHL Draft, but he proved himself a dynamic offensive threat through two seasons with the University of Wisconsin, where he accumulated 87 points in 81 games. He turned pro the following season and finished fourth on his NHL team in scoring with 45 points. To date, Stepan has 360 points in 515 games.
The recipient of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 2013-14, Ryan O'Reilly is a two-way center who made the NHL in his first year after being drafted despite being a second-round pick. Even more surprising is the fact that O'Reilly scored just 16 goals and averaged less than a point-per-game in his draft year with the Ontario Hockey League's Erie Otters. And while his defensive capabilities stood out in his first few seasons in the league, his offensive game has vastly improved as he has recorded at least 55 points in each of the past four seasons. He also represented Canada at the 2016 World Cup.
The 15th overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, Alexander Radulov was a star on the rise in the first half of the 21st century who recorded an absurd 152 points in 62 games with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. It took him a season to adjust at the NHL level, but he recorded 58 points in his second season in the league before bolting back to Russia, where he could make more money playing in the KHL. He returned to the NHL in 2016-17 and proved himself still a decent offensive option after a 54-point season.
Ontario native Wayne Simmonds has undeniably been the best second-round pick in the 2007 NHL Draft. The six-foot-two power forward is a physical presence with an ever-evolving offensive game - he scored 30-plus goals in each of the past two seasons - but it took him a few seasons to find his footing offensively. In his first year in the league, Simmonds scored just nine goals and had 14 assists, but was an effective bottom-six checking winger. Throughout his career, he has 398 points in 687 games.
David Krejci was drafted with the 63rd overall selection in the 2004 NHL Draft after playing junior hockey in Czech Republic. It's not always easy to scout players overseas, but the gamble on Krejci paid off as he came to North America the following season to play for the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and recorded 63 points in 62 games. He followed that up with 81 points in 55 games and quickly earned a spot in the NHL after only playing 25 games in the AHL.
Duncan Keith was named one of the NHL's Top 100 players of all-time in the list it released as part of its centennial and with good reason. The Winnipeg native is a two-time winner of the James Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP in 2014-15. He has won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks and has been the team's anchor on defense. None of that was expected when he was drafted 54th overall in 2002, behind defenseman such as Keith Ballard, Ryan Whitney, Steve Eminger, Denis Grebeshkov, and Martin Vagner, who didn't play a game in the league.
Pittsburgh native Brandon Saad is a 24-year-old winger who has 232 points in 368 career NHL games and won a Stanley Cup in his rookie season. A 43rd overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Saad played his junior hockey with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League. In his first season after being drafted, Saad recorded 76 points in 44 regular season games and 17 points in 12 playoff games. Saad has been a consistent second-line producer in the past two seasons, having recorded 53 points in back-to-back seasons.
New York native Kyle Palmieri was the 26th player chosen in the 2009 NHL Draft and arguably the best player drafted in the bottom 10 of the first round. The United States National Team Development Program alumnus played one underwhelming season with Notre Dame University, recording 17 points in 33 games, but proved himself in the AHL the following season by recording 51 points in 62 games. It took him some time to become a full-time NHLer, but in the past two seasons Palmieri has topped 50 points.
Nick Foligno's father, Mike, is a former Toronto Maple Leaf and Buffalo Sabre who played over 1,000 games in the league and Nick is well on his way to accomplishing that feat. The 29-year-old is a former 28th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft and has played 696 NHL games through 10 seasons in the league, while scoring 154 goals and collecting 213 assists. An agitating, two-way forward, he also has 581 career penalty minutes and, in recent years, has proven his leadership abilities as a captain.
A strong second-line forward for the first four seasons of his career, Jakob Silfverberg had a breakthrough campaign in 2016-17 with a career-high 49 points in 79 games and 14 points in 17 playoff games. The 26-year-old Swede has blazing speed, which is seemingly a must in today's NHL, to go along with a quick, accurate shot - his goal total has improved in each of the past four seasons and he should be given every opportunity next season to improve upon the 23 goals he scored in 2016-17.
Ian Cole hasn't exactly lived up to the hype that comes with a first round pick, but the Michigan native has proved himself a serviceable NHL defenseman, especially after winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 28-year-old played three seasons with Notre Dame University before turning pro and recorded a combined 65 points in 111 games. It took him three years to become a regular in the NHL, but he has since played 338 games in the league and added 77 points and 280 penalty minutes.
Slovakian defenseman Andrej Sekera made his NHL debut in 2007, three years after being selected 71st overall in the draft. Like many Europeans hoping to play in the NHL, he came to North America as a teenager to play for the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League, where he was a high-scoring blueliner. He hasn't exactly been that in the NHL, but he has carved out a role as a puck-moving, shutdown player. Through 647 games in the league, Sekera has 224 points. Unfortunately, he has only played in 19 career playoff games, 11 of which were this past season.
A former 12th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, Ryan McDonagh has become a reliable, top-pair defenseman. The veteran of 467 games has scored 49 goals and added 163 assists in his career, while spending just 212 minutes in the penalty box, which is quite impressive for a defenseman who has averaged over 23 minutes per game for much of his career. The St. Paul, Minnesota native has finished in the top-15 in Norris Trophy voting in four of the past five seasons and should do so again this year.
A third round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, Ontario's Steve Mason came out of nowhere to win the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie in 2008-09. Mason posted mediocre numbers in junior for the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights, but finished the 2008-09 campaign with an impressive 33-20-7 record, a 2.29 goals against average, and a .916 save percentage. Unfortunately for Mason, he hasn't quite been able to replicate the success he had in his rookie season, but he is a capable starting goaltender who has a career record of 200-177-63.
Lloydminster, Saskatchewan's Braden Holtby is another goaltender to seemingly come out of nowhere to become a star, expect in Holtby's case he has been able to sustain his level of success. The former fourth overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft played his junior hockey with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League and posted strong numbers, but he battled through parts of four seasons in the AHL - including 12 games in the ECHL - before settling in as a legitimate starter in the NHL. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2015-16 after compiling a record of 48-9-7 and a goals against average of 2.20.
American-born defenseman Jake Gardiner isn't in the mold of a traditional defenseman. He's far from a physical threat on the ice, but he has impressive skating ability and can do incredible things on the ice. He's a high-risk player who has been a lightning rod for much of his career due to his ability to either wow or frustrate fans on any given night. Gardiner was selected 17th overall in the 2008 NHL Draft and played three seasons at the University of Wisconsin before turning pro in 2010.