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History Of The No. 11 Overall Pick

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
In addition to holding the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft – which is set for June 24-25 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. – the Colorado Avalanche will also select in the No. 11 overall spot as a result of the trade that brought Erik Johnson and Jay McClement to Denver from the St. Louis Blues.

The last time a team selected twice within the first 11 picks at the NHL Draft was in 2002, when the Florida Panthers chose Jay Bouwmeester at No. 3 overall and then Petr Taticek with the No. 9 pick. The Nordiques/Avalanche franchise has selected twice in the top 11 picks once, having taken Curtis Leschyshyn at No. 3 and Daniel Dore at No. 5 in the 1988 NHL Draft.

Last week we examined the history of the No. 2 overall pick, which has produced many solid players as well as a handful of superstars. This week, we delve into the history of the No. 11 overall selection.

Being towards the end of the Draft Lottery, the No. 11 overall pick understandably doesn’t have quite the success rate as the No. 2 slot in terms of producing star players. Still, there have been a number of great picks in that position through the years.

The following is an examination of each No. 11 pick since the turn of the century , with some additional historical tidbits thrown in. Each of the 39 players selected in that spot from 1969-2007 have played in the National Hockey League, whether that means a short cup of coffee, a long distinguished career or something in between.

By The Numbers
A look at the history of the No. 11 overall selection dating back to 1969

1 – Times the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise has selected in the No. 11 spot. Quebec tabbed defenseman Randy Moller at that position in 1981

2 – Two players have been named to the NHL All-Rookie Team: Jeff Friesen in 1994-95 and Jarome Iginla in 1996-97

3 – The number of goalies selected at No. 11: Jonathan Bernier (2006), Trevor Kidd (1990) and Terry Richardson (1973)

6 – No. 11 selections that have played for the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche at some point in their career (Brian Rolston, Scott Young, Michel Petit, Randy Moller, John Anderson and Pat Price)

9 – The number of players who have skated in 1,000 or more NHL games (Iginla, Rolston, Young, Mike Sillinger, Dave Manson, Sylvain Cote, Mike Ramsey, Brad Marsh and Ivan Boldirev)

1006 – Iginla’s career point total, the highest ever by a No. 11 pick

1186 – The number of career games played by Rolston, which leads all No. 11 selections

2010 – Jack Campbell (Dallas Stars)
Ranked No. 2 among Domestic Goalies heading into the draft, Campbell was snatched up by the Dallas Stars early in the first round. The netminder has a strong pedigree, having first honed his skills at the U.S. National Team Development Program before joining the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires for the 2010-11 season. Campbell has made a name for himself in big situations, earning “Best Goalkeeper” honors at both the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship and the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship while playing for Team USA.

2009 – Ryan Ellis (Nashville Predators)
Ellis has spent the past four years with Windsor (including this past season as Campbell’s teammate) and helped the Spitfires earn back-to-back Memorial Cup titles in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The blueliner has been named to the OHL First All-Star Team (2008-09) and Second All-Star Team (2009-10) while also earning the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in 2008-09. Windsor’s captain for the 2010-11 season, Ellis is the franchise’s all-time leading point-getter among rearguards with 313 points (73g/240a) in 226 games. He’s also captured a gold medal (2009) and two silvers (2010, 2011) with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship.

2008 – Kyle Beach (Chicago Blackhawks)
A power forward, Beach was named the 2006-07 WHL Rookie of the Year after totaling 61 points (29g/32a) in 65 games with the Everett Silvertips. He would then register 60 points (27g/33a) and 222 penalty minutes in 2007-08 before being selected by the Blackhawks. Beach concluded his first full professional season in 2010-11 by ranking second among team rookies with 36 points (16g/20a) in 71 games for Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. Beach also placed second on the team overall with 163 penalty minutes.

2007 – Brandon Sutter (Carolina Hurricanes)
The son of Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter, Brandon has an enviable hockey lineage but is working on forging his own NHL path. After splitting time between Carolina and its AHL affiliate in 2008-09, Sutter has spent the past two years as a full-time member of the Hurricanes. He appeared in all 82 games this past season and posted 29 points (14g/15a). Sutter is also an accomplished international player, having represented Canada at a pair of IIHF World Under-18 Championships (2006, 2007) and then helping his country earn a gold medal at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic.

2006 – Jonathan Bernier (Los Angeles Kings)
The third of three consecutive No. 11 picks for Los Angeles, the goaltender made his NHL debut as the Kings’ Opening Night starter in 2007-08, but would play in just three other NHL games that season. With the emergence of fellow netminder Jonathan Quick, the Kings have been able to slowly develop Bernier. Widely considered one of the top young goaltenders in the game, Bernier has appeared in 32 NHL contests, posting a 15-11-3 record with a 2.56 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.

2005 – Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)
The highest ranked European skater heading into the 2005 draft, Kopitar’s name is one that every NHL fan now recognizes. The first-ever native of Slovenia to play in the National Hockey League, Kopitar burst onto the scene during his rookie season of 2006-07 by registering 61 points (20g/41a) in 72 games with the Kings. Now in his fifth NHL season, the All-Star forward has led Los Angeles in scoring each of the last four years and has totaled 358 points (138g/200a) in 393 NHL games.

2004 – Lauri Tukonen (Los Angeles Kings)
Since being selected by the Kings out of the Finnish SM-liiga, Tukonen has appeared in just five NHL games (four in 2006-07, one in 2007-08). He returned to the Finnish Elite League in 2008-09 and has remained there since, but is still considered an NHL prospect. Tukonen was traded to the Dallas Stars on July 21, 2008 and is currently a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s organization after being acquired in a trade on Nov. 30, 2008.

Hall Worthy
No players selected No. 11 overall have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (although Jarome Iginla has made a pretty solid case with the body of work he’s produced in his career and fellow star Anze Kopitar has proven to be a dynamic force in his first five NHL seasons). There is, however, one former No. 11 pick that has been honored by the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Defenseman Mike Ramsey (Buffalo, 1979) was inducted into the Eveleth, Minn.-based institution in 2001 and was also a member of the United States’ 1980 “Miracle on Ice” Olympic team, which was recognized as a group in 2003.

2003 – Jeff Carter (Philadelphia Flyers)
Philadelphia came away with a very solid player in what turned out to be a phenomenal 2003 NHL Draft. Every player selected in the first round that year has appeared in an NHL game, with several going on to establish themselves as stars. As for Carter, he has hit the 20-goal mark in five of his first six seasons and has reached the 30-goal plateau each of the last three years, including a career-high 46 tallies in 2008-09. The Flyers thought enough of his play to reward him with an 11-year contract extension on Nov. 13, 2010.

2002 – Keith Ballard (Buffalo Sabres)
A top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award during his junior season at the University of Minnesota, Ballard was traded twice before making his NHL debut (going from Buffalo to the Colorado Avalanche and then to the Phoenix Coyotes). Regarded as a two-way defenseman, Ballard has totaled 156 points (35g/121a) in 462 career games with Phoenix, the Florida Panthers and the Vancouver Canucks. He has also represented Team USA at four IIHF World Championships and one World Junior Championship.
2001 – Fredrik Sjostrom (Phoenix Coyotes)
The Coyotes traded up to take the speedy Swedish winger in the 2001 NHL Draft, giving up the No. 14 pick (Chuck Kobasew) and the No. 41 pick (Andrei Taratukhin). A high-scoring winger with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, Sjostrom has carved out an NHL career by reinventing himself as a defensive-minded forward. He made his NHL debut with Phoenix in 2003-04 and has since suited up for the New York Rangers, Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs, totaling 104 points (46g/58a) in 489 NHL games.

2000 – Pavel Vorobiev (Chicago Blackhawks)
Vorobiev came to North America for the 2003-04 season after spending four years in the Russian Super League, but his stint didn’t last long. The right winger split two seasons (2003-04 and 2005-06) between the Blackhawks and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals (while also spending the lockout season in Norfolk) before heading back to Russia to continue his career. He last played professionally in 2008-09 with Severstal Cherepovets of the KHL.
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