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History Of The No. 2 Overall Pick

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
With the results of the NHL Draft Drawing officially being decided on Tuesday night, the Colorado Avalanche will hold the No. 2 overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

The pick will be the Avalanche’s highest since moving to Denver prior to the start of the 1995-96 NHL season. Colorado’s previous high draft pick came in 2009, when the club selected Matt Duchene at No. 3 overall.

Over the years, the No. 2 overall selection has furnished a number of good – or even great – players. Here, we look back at each of the No. 2 picks since the turn of the century.

Other No. 2 Picks
A handful of other players chosen in the No. 2 spot are still playing in the NHL, in Europe or in the American Hockey League

Still Playing In The NHL
Daniel Sedin (1999 – Vancouver)
David Legwand (1998 – Nashville)
Patrick Marleau (1997 – San Jose)
Chris Pronger (1993 – Hartford)

Currently  Playing In Europe/AHL
Wade Redden (1995 – NY Islanders)
*Connecticut Whale (AHL)

Oleg Tverdovsky (1994 – Anaheim)
*Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)

Alexei Yashin (1992 – Ottawa)
*SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)

Petr Nedved (1990 – Vancouver)
* HC Bílí Tygři Liberec (Czech Extraliga)

*current European/AHL club
2010 – Tyler Seguin (Boston Bruins)
After two stellar seasons with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, the center was drafted on June 25, 2010 and made Boston’s Opening Night roster just a few months later. Seguin had a bit of an up-and-down rookie campaign, totaling 22 points (11g/11a) in 74 games. The Bruins are the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, and there have been questions about how much ice time Seguin might receive during the postseason. Still, the former OHL Player of the Year has seemingly limitless potential and should take a big leap in his second season.

2009 – Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Selected one pick before the Avalanche tabbed Matt Duchene, the big Swedish defenseman has been solid during his first two seasons with Tampa Bay. Hedman made the Lightning’s roster out of training camp immediately following his draft year and posted 20 points (4g/16a) as a rookie. The blueliner increased his output to 26 points (3g/23a) in 79 games during the 2010-11 season, helping Tampa Bay earn a postseason berth in the process. He also improved his plus/minus rating from a -3 during his rookie season to a +3 in 2010-11.

2008 – Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings)
He recently completed just his third NHL season, but Doughty is already an established star for the Kings. Although his point production slipped from 59 points (16g/43a) a season ago to 40 (11g/29a) this year, the defenseman’s all-around game has been improving. A slick-skating blueliner, the 21 year old has a combined +33 plus/minus rating over the past two seasons after posting a -17 rating in 2008-09. Doughty has led the Kings in average ice time each of his first three seasons, including a career-high 25:38 in 2010-11.

2007 – James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers)
Along with No. 1 overall pick Patrick Kane, van Riemsdyk made history at the 2007 NHL Draft, as it marked the first time two American-born players had been selected with the first two picks. Instead of jumping straight to the NHL, van Riemsdyk spent two years at the University of New Hampshire to hone his game before turning pro. Having recently completed his second full NHL regular season, the power forward – who grew up idolizing Columbus’ Rick Nash – has totaled 75 points (36g/39a) in 153 NHL contests.

Lengthy Careers

No. 2 Selections With Over 1,000 NHL Games Played:

Patrick Marleau (1997 – San Jose)
Chris Pronger (1993 – Hartford)
Trevor Linden (1988 – Vancouver)
Brendan Shanahan (1987 – New Jersey)
Kirk Muller (1984 – New Jersey)
Brian Bellows (1982 – Minnesota)
Dave Babych (1980 – Winnipeg)
Ryan Walter (1978 – Washington)
Marcel Dionne (1971 – Detroit)

2006 – Jordan Staal (Pittsburgh Penguins)
A Stanley Cup winner during just his third year in the league, Staal proved early on that he could be an extremely effective third-line center for the Penguins. After averaging 0.51 points-per-game during his first four NHL seasons, Staal took a step forward and truly displayed his offensive talent this season. An injury delayed his season debut until New Year’s Day, but since that point Staal has taken on a larger offensive role with superstar centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin sidelined due to injuries of their own. In 42 regular season contests, Staal posted 30 points (11g/19a) while typically anchoring Pittsburgh’s top line.

2005 – Bobby Ryan (Anaheim Ducks)
Taken one pick after Sidney Crosby, Ryan didn’t play his first full NHL season until 2008-09. But since that time, the winger has been producing at a constant rate while playing alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on one of the league’s most dangerous lines. Ryan has topped the 30-goal plateau in each of his three full NHL seasons and posted a career-high 71 points (34g/37a) while appearing in all 82 games in 2010-11. In 250 NHL contests, the 6-foot-2, 209-pound forward has totaled 202 points (105g/97a).

Franchise No. 2's

The Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques franchise has never selected in the No. 2 position at the NHL Draft. However, three different players who were chosen in that spot have played for the franchise at some point.

Wilf Paiement (1974 – Kansas City Scouts)
The right winger dressed for seven different clubs during a 14-year NHL career, which included portions of five seasons spent with the Nordiques from 1982-86. In 280 games with the franchise, Paiement totaled 102 goals and 121 assists. He would finish his impressive NHL career with 814 points (356g/458a) and 1,757 penalty minutes in 946 contests.

Jacques Richard (1972 – Atlanta Flames)
Through his first seven professional seasons, Richard never topped the career-highs of 27 goals and 43 points he set in 1973-74 with Atlanta. However, his first full campaign in Quebec was something special. Richard scored 52 goals and added 51 assists in 78 games during the 1980-81 season to finish seventh in the league in goals and 10th in points. However, he would never regain that form and retired in 1983 after playing two more seasons with the Nordiques.

Marc Tardif (1969 – Montreal Canadiens)
One of seven Nordique/Avalanche players to have his number retired (four in Quebec, three in Colorado), Tardif served as Quebec’s first captain when the franchise joined the NHL in 1979. He played five seasons with the club in the World Hockey Association (1974-79) and four more after Quebec joined the NHL (1979-83). Tardif ranks as the WHL’s all-time leading goal scorer with 316 career goals. He also sits second in points (666) and third in assists (350).

2004 – Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)
A prime example of a superstar player selected in the No. 2 slot, the Russian-born center has been turning heads since making his debut in 2006-07. Malkin earned the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie that season after registering 85 points (33g/52a) in 78 games. A Stanley Cup champion, Malkin scored at better than a point-per-game pace in each of his first four seasons. That streak came to a halt when he suffered a season-ending injury this year after totaling 37 points (15g/22a) through 43 games.

2003 – Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes)
The eldest Staal brother has accomplished quite a bit after being selected in the No.2 spot behind goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The center has made four All-Star Game appearances (earning 2008 All-Star Game MVP honors), helped the Hurricanes capture the 2006 Stanley Cup championship, won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2007 IIHF Men’s World Championship and then added another gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Through his first seven NHL seasons, Staal has totaled 504 points (226g/278a) in 560 games.

2002 – Kari Lehtonen (Atlanta Thrashers)
Lehtonen is one of only two players on this list who no longer plays for the team that drafted him. When he was selected by the Thrashers, he became the highest-drafted European goaltender (and highest drafted Finnish player) in NHL history. Lehtonen came to North America for the start of the 2003-04 season and after five-and-a-half seasons in Atlanta, he was traded to the Dallas Stars on Feb. 9, 2010. The netminder had a very solid season in 2010-11, setting career bests in appearances (69), minutes (4,119), wins (34-tie) and goals-against average (2.55).

2001 – Jason Spezza (Ottawa Senators)
Despite suffering from numerous injuries during his NHL career (he’s played more than 70 games just three times in his seven full NHL seasons), Spezza has been a dynamic offensive player for the Senators. He’s failed to reach the 20-goal plateau just once in those seven full seasons and has hit the 30-goal mark on three occasions, including the 2007-08 campaign when he set career highs in goals (34-tie), assists (58) and points (92). Also a veteran of international play with Team Canada, Spezza has twice led the Senators in scoring, most recently during the 2010-11 season when he recorded 57 points (21g/36a) in 62 games.

2000 – Dany Heatley (Atlanta Thrashers)
Heatley’s career got off to a great start, as the forward won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie in 2001-02 after posting 67 points (26g/41a) in 82 games. He would spend three seasons in Atlanta before being traded to Ottawa, where he played for the next four years. His best season came with the Senators in 2006-07, when he set franchise records in goals (50, tying his own record) and points (105) en route to earning a spot on the NHL First All-Star Team. Heatley moved to San Jose prior to the 2009-10 season and has spent the past two years skating with the Sharks.
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