Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks

History of the 4th overall pick

by Derek Jory @NoJoryous / Vancouver Canucks

Four at four. The Canucks have selected four players fourth overall in franchise history, namely Jere Gillis (1977), Bill Derlago (1978), Jim Sandlak (1985) and most recently Bryan Allen in 1998. Gillis, Sandlak and Allen combined for 1,034 games with the Canucks and 391 points.

There's a 34% chance Vancouver will draft fourth overall at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and if so, it's been a good spot for the Canucks. It's been a sweet spot historically for the NHL as well.

We'll find out where Vancouver picks on Saturday, April 29th, when the draft order is revealed. went back and took a look at some of the best players to ever lace them up that were drafted fourth. The list includes winners of the Selke Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy, Olympic gold and the Stanley Cup.

Take a look at some of the best:

Steve Yzerman, 1983, Detroit Red Wings

Stevey Y is considered one of the greatest players of all-time for good reason. The Hockey Hall of Famer played his entire 1,514 game NHL career with the Red Wings producing 692 goals and 1,063 assists. He won the Lester B. Pearson Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy, Frank J. Selke Trophy and Bill Masterton Trophy, captained the Red Wings to five Presidents' Trophy wins and hoisted the Stanley Cup three times.

Ron Francis, 1981, Hartford Whalers

Over 22 seasons in the NHL, Francis was as reliable as players come. In 1,731 games he picked up 1,798 points and when he called it quits in 2004, Francis stood second all-time in career assists with 1,249, behind only Wayne Gretzky. Francis, also a Hockey Hall of Famer, won the Frank J. Selke Trophy, King Clancy Memorial Trophy and was a three-time Lady Byng Trophy winner. In 1991 and 1992 he won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Paul Kariya, 1993, Anaheim Ducks

When the Anaheim Ducks were mighty, Kariya was perhaps the mightiest of them all. The fourth overall pick from the 1993 draft was the heart and soul of the Mighty Ducks for nine seasons, leading them to one Stanley Cup final appearance. Over the final six years of his career, Kariya played for Colorado, Nashville and St. Louis, finishing with 989 points in 989 games. But perhaps the most impressive feat of his career was appearing in D3: The Mighty Ducks. "Size isn't everything in hockey, Josh."

Roberto Luongo, 1997, New York Islanders

Luuuuuuuuuu! Canucks fans are very familiar with Luongo, who played 448 games in Vancouver from 2006 to 2014 becoming the team's all-time leader in wins and shutouts. The two-time Lester B. Pearson Award winner, three-time Vezina Trophy finalist and two-time Olympic gold medalist will hit the 1,000 game mark next season and at 38-years-old, he's still got plenty of gas left in the tank.

Nicklas Backstrom, 2006, Washington Capitals

One season after being drafted, Backstrom was a mainstay on offence for the Capitals and a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy. In his third season in Washington he surpassed 100 points and although he hasn't hit the mark since, he's nearly a point-a-game player with 642 in 652 games. The Olympic gold medalist is the Capitals all-time franchise leader in assists.

View More