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NHL Dream Draft
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NHL Dream Draft

Best pick at No. 21: Kevin Lowe, Oilers

Monday, 06.10.2013 / 12:00 PM / NHL Dream Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Kevin Lowe
CAREER STATISTICS
Goals: 84 | Assists: 347 | Pts: 431
Shots: 1,266 | +/-: 252

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first NHL Draft, NHL.com assembled a 13-member panel to select the best first-round picks of all time, based on selection number. NHL.com will feature one of the top first-round picks each day, beginning with the best No. 30 pick on June 1 and culminating with the all-time No. 1 pick on June 30, the day of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Today: The best No. 21 pick: Kevin Lowe, Edmonton Oilers, 1979

Kevin Lowe never had the same cachet as some of his more famous teammates, but his role on six Stanley Cup championship teams can't be overstated. While the names Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter drew headlines, Lowe was a defensive-zone stalwart and dressing-room leader.

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Best pick at No. 22: Claude Giroux, Flyers

Sunday, 06.09.2013 / 12:00 PM / NHL Dream Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Claude Giroux
CAREER STATISTICS
Goals: 91 | Assists: 200 | Pts: 291
Shots: 762 | +/-: 18

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first NHL Draft, NHL.com assembled a 13-member panel to select the best first-round picks of all time, based on selection number. NHL.com will feature one of the top first-round picks each day, beginning with the best No. 30 pick on June 1 and culminating with the all-time No. 1 pick on June 30, the day of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Today: The best No. 22 pick: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers, 2006

One of the funnier moments in the history of the NHL Draft came in the first round of 2006, when the Philadelphia Flyers stepped to the podium to announce their selection at No. 22.

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Best pick at No. 23: Ryan Kesler, Canucks

Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 12:00 PM / NHL Dream Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Ryan Kesler
CAREER STATISTICS
GOALS: 157 | ASST: 193 | PTS: 350
SOG: 1,318 | +/-: 40

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first NHL Draft, NHL.com assembled a 13-member panel to select the best first-round picks of all time, based on selection number. NHL.com will feature one of the top first-round picks each day, beginning with the best No. 30 pick on June 1 and culminating with the all-time No. 1 pick on June 30, the day of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Today: The best No. 23 pick: Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks, 2003

Prior to the start of training camp in 2006, the Philadelphia Flyers signed an unproven Vancouver Canucks restricted free agent center to a one-year, $1.9 million contract. The Canucks weren't ready to pay Ryan Kesler that kind of money, but their matching the offer looks like a no-brainer decision.

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Best pick at No. 24: Mike Richards, Flyers

Friday, 06.07.2013 / 12:00 PM / NHL Dream Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Mike Richards
CAREER STATISTICS
GOALS: 163 | ASST: 262 | PTS: 425
SOG: 1,422 | +/-: 34

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first NHL Draft, NHL.com assembled a 13-member panel to select the best first-round picks of all time, based on selection number. NHL.com will feature one of the top first-round picks each day, beginning with the best No. 30 pick on June 1 and culminating with the all-time No. 1 pick on June 30, the day of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Today: The best No. 24 pick: Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers, 2003

The Philadelphia Flyers were lucky enough to have two picks in the first round of the 2003 NHL Draft, which has emerged as one of the best in League history.

A trade the previous season with the Phoenix Coyotes netted the Flyers the No. 11 pick and allowed them to select center Jeff Carter.

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Best pick at No. 25: Cam Ward, Hurricanes

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 12:00 PM / NHL Dream Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Cam Ward
CAREER STATISTICS
Record: W: 214 | L: 155 | OTL: 47
GAA: 2.74 | Sv%: .910

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first NHL Draft, NHL.com assembled a 13-member panel to select the best first-round picks of all time, based on selection number. NHL.com will feature one of the top first-round picks each day, beginning with the best No. 30 pick on June 1 and culminating with the all-time No. 1 pick on June 30, the day of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Today: The best No. 25 pick: Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes, 2002

The Carolina Hurricanes were riding high after reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 2002, and that success carried over to the 2002 NHL Draft.

The first round in Toronto planted the seeds for even greater success a few years later.

The Hurricanes selected goaltender Cam Ward, and 11 years later, NHL.com's 13-member Dream Draft panel has voted Ward the best No. 25 first-round pick.

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Best pick at No. 26: Martin Havlat, Senators

Wednesday, 06.05.2013 / 12:00 PM / NHL Dream Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Martin Havlat
CAREER STATISTICS
GOALS: 224 | ASST: 333 | PTS: 557
SOG: 1,784 | +/-: 75

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first NHL Draft, NHL.com assembled a 13-member panel to select the best first-round picks of all time, based on selection number. NHL.com will feature one of the top first-round picks each day, beginning with the best No. 30 pick on June 1 and culminating with the all-time No. 1 pick on June 30, the day of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Today: The best No. 26 pick: Martin Havlat, Ottawa Senators, 1999

After watching Martin Havlat play in his native Czech Republic, the Ottawa Senators were sure the right wing wouldn't need much time before he could step into an NHL lineup.

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Best pick at No. 27: Scott Gomez, Devils

Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 12:00 PM / NHL Dream Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first NHL Draft, NHL.com assembled a 13-member panel to select the best first-round picks of all time, based on selection number. NHL.com will feature one of the top first-round picks each day, beginning with the best No. 30 pick on June 1 and culminating with the all-time No. 1 pick on June 30, the day of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Today: The best No. 27 pick: Scott Gomez, New Jersey Devils, 1998

Ups and downs are a part of every NHL career, whether you're a top-line superstar or a fourth-liner working to grind out one last shot at the big time.

Some, like Scott Gomez, have found themselves at both ends of the spectrum. From the high of two Stanley Cup championships to the low of having his contract bought out and struggling to find a job this season, Gomez was back on a high again, playing a key role for the San Jose Sharks.

It might not have been a smooth ride, but 12 of the 13 members of NHL.com's Dream Draft panel believe Gomez is the best No. 27 first-round pick.

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Best pick at No. 28: Corey Perry, Ducks

Monday, 06.03.2013 / 12:00 PM / NHL Dream Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first NHL Draft, NHL.com assembled a 13-member panel to select the best first-round picks of all time, based on selection number. NHL.com will feature one of the top first-round picks each day, beginning with the best No. 30 pick on June 1 and culminating with the all-time No. 1 pick on June 30, the day of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Today: The best No. 28 pick: Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks, 2003

Take a look at the rosters from any NHL All-Star Game after 2005, or the rosters from the 2010 Olympics. Or examine the rosters from the past half-dozen Stanley Cup champions, or the list of NHL award finalists from the past few years. One of the things you will find with absolute certainty is someone from the famed 2003 NHL Draft class in a prominent spot.

The NHL.com Dream Draft is no different, with eight players from the first round of that historic year earning a vote, and five of them being named the best at their draft slot.

However, only one was a unanimous selection: Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks, voted by all 13 members of the NHL.com Dream Draft panel as the best No. 28 first-round pick.

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Best pick at No. 29: Mike Green, Capitals

Sunday, 06.02.2013 / 12:00 PM / NHL Dream Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first NHL Draft, NHL.com assembled a 13-member panel to select the best first-round picks of all time, based on selection number. NHL.com will feature one of the top first-round picks each day, beginning with the best No. 30 pick on June 1 and culminating with the all-time No. 1 pick on June 30, the day of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Today: The best No. 29 pick: Mike Green, Washington Capitals, 2004

Going into the 2004 NHL Draft, the Washington Capitals had three first-round picks, giving them an opportunity to rebuild quickly after finishing 14th in the Eastern Conference in the 2003-04 season.

They started with the No. 1 pick, and the choice was Russian forward Alex Ovechkin. With the No. 27 pick, acquired from the Boston Bruins as part of a trade involving defenseman Sergei Gonchar, the Capitals selected defenseman Jeff Schultz from the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.

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Best pick at No. 30: Simon Despres, Penguins

Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 12:00 PM / NHL Dream Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first NHL Draft, NHL.com assembled a 13-member panel to select the best first-round picks of all time, based on selection number. NHL.com will feature one of the top first-round picks each day, beginning with the best No. 30 pick on June 1 and culminating with the all-time No. 1 pick on June 30, the day of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Today: The best No. 30 pick: Simon Despres, Pittsburgh Penguins, 2009

When the NHL added the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild as the 29th and 30th teams for the 2000-01 season, the 2000 NHL Draft featured a 30-team first round for the first time.

Therefore there is little NHL history associated with this pick and the majority of the 13 players taken at No. 30 have yet to make a significant impact in the NHL. It's also why the 13-member NHL.com Dream Draft panel named five players as the best No. 30 first-round pick.

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Quote of the Day

I've never seen anything like that. The great thing is I don't know how many times guys bailed me out where they had to score to keep it alive and they did every time. It was amazing. It's not the way we draw it up, to go 20 rounds here, but obviously it's a big win.

— Florida goalie Roberto Luongo after the Panthers defeated the Capitals in the longest shootout in NHL history on Tuesday
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series