MONTREAL – With the NHL now comprised of 30 teams, the eyeballs scouring the planet for prospects is at an all-time high. Despite the increased flock of scouts piling into arenas since the turn of the millennium, there are still a few teams who have managed to stand out in the crowd when it comes to finding major league gems.
Nine Draft Days have come and gone since Minnesota and Columbus brought the NHL’s total up from 28 in 2000. In that time, of the 72 players the Canadiens have laid claim to, 27 have managed to crack an NHL roster.
Boasting a 38% graduation rate, the Habs are tied with the current Stanley Cup Champs in Pittsburgh for the No. 2 spot when it comes to picking future winners. Only the Boston Bruins have seen more young prospects make the jump to the big leagues, taking their place atop the podium with a 44% success rate, 31 of 70 players in all.
Though Boston leads in the quantity department, Minnesota is the uncontested champion when it comes to longevity. Marian Gaborik and Nick Schultz have suited up for over 500 games between them, helping the Wild pace the league since the 2000 Draft with 3,788 man games played. The Canadiens clock in at No. 7 on the list with 3,151 combined games played in the new millennium.
Despite earning a reputation for harvesting late-round sleeper picks, the 2009 Cup Finalist/2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings are at the bottom of the NHL barrel when it comes to their picks making the big jump. Just 23% – or 16 of 71 draftees – have gone on to play in The Show, piling up just 1736 games between them. Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com See also:Play our "Who is it?" contest Head of the Class Draftology