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FEATURE: An In-Depth Look at the History of Seventh Overall

Take a look at seven great players who were taken seventh overall in the NHL Draft

by Amanda Stein amandacstein /

On Friday night, the New Jersey Devils finally found out their positioning for the 2020 NHL Draft. New Jersey will make their selection with the seventh overall pick. It's been said that this year is one of the deepest draft's scouts have seen in a while, which an exciting prospect when picking within the Top 10, there should be a valuable player in the mix when the Devils make their selection. 

And at seven, there have been many slam-dunks, especially in recent years. 

Video: 3-ON-3 | Devils Pick at Seven

Dating back to 2009 the impact of seventh overall selections in the NHL Entry Draft have been prominent players on their rosters, big-time contributors, and also bred several franchise cornerstones. Along with several outlined in detail below, you can add the names of Jeff Skinner ('10), Matt Dumba ('12), Darnell Nurse ('13), Ivan Provorov ('15), and Clayton Keller ('16) as players who have made significant impacts in recent years. While picking seventh may seem less of consolation after difficult seasons, the recent influx of talent selected at the seven-spot have been high-impact players, something the New Jersey Devils hope to find themselves at the 2020 NHL Draft. 

Here is a list of seven notable players selected at seven, each contributing to the success of their teams in different ways: 

Bernie Federko - 1976

With the seventh pick in the 1976 NHL Entry Draft, the St. Louis Blues are proud to select from the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL, Bernie Federko.

After a record-breaking Western Hockey League season, Foam Lake, Saskatchewan native Bernie Federko was taken with the seventh pick in the 1976 amateur draft. The Canadian forward was a standout in the WHL between 1973 and 1976. In 249 games, Federko scored 411 points including 245 assists. In his final year with the Blades, Federko scored a team record 115 points, a record that continues to hold to this day. 

Federko played in the NHL for fourteen seasons, thirteen of which were with the St. Louis Blues, the team that drafted him. He was called up in his rookie season mid-way through the 1976-77 NHL season making an instant impact. He played 31 games that season, recording three hat-tricks and 23 points. 

Over the course of his career, Federko scored 100+ points on four separate occasions and 90+ point on three occasions. 

A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, inducted in 2002, Federko retired with 1000 NHL games with 1130 regular season points. In 95 playoff games, Federko was over a point per game player once again with 101 points. On March 19th, he became just the 22nd player in NHL history to record 1000 career points. 

In 1991, Federko had his number 24 retired by the St. Louis Blues. 

Shane Doan - 1995

With the seventh pick in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, the Winnipeg Jets are proud to select from the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL, Shane Doan. 

Shane Doan retired from the NHL at the end of the 2017 NHL season, it marked an end to a 21-year career. Doan wasted little time getting his NHL career underway, making his NHL debut months after he was drafted, jumping from major-junior hockey right into the Winnipeg Jets lineup.

After his one year in Winnipeg, the franchise relocated to Arizona where Doan would spend the remainder of his career. During the 2007-08 NHL season, he recorded his highest point total with 78 points, including 50 assists. The following season, he tallied his highest assists total (31). 

In 2015, Doan became just the 15th player in NHL history to score two hat tricks after turning 35. 

Although Doan's numbers may not be as flashy as others on this list, but Doan's points are still notable. He continues to hold all scoring and point records for the Coyotes franchise, which includes the first incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets. He retired with 402 goals, 570 assists for 972 points. He was a talented playmaker from the moment he stepped foot in the NHL, he was the face of the Coyotes franchise until his retirement. He captained the team from 2003 until 2017, playing an important mentorship role for the next generation of players in Arizona. 

Nazem Kadri - 2009

With the seventh pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs are proud to select, from the London Knights of the OHL, Nazem Kadri

Most players don't make the instant jump from their draft year right into the NHL, and Nazem Kadri was one of them. But that also doesn't mean they won't be impact players for their clubs in the future. Kadri was cut from Maple Leafs training camp in 2009 and sent back to his junior club for the 2009-10 season. 

It wasn't until the shortened 2012-13 NHL season where Kadri became a regular in the Leafs lineup, where he scored 44 points in 48 games and added another four in seven post-season games. After spending close to a decade with the Leafs, he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. It was a significant move, giving the Avalanche a second-line center, who possesses the physicality, scoring touch and edge to his game. 

Kadri's ability to contribute to a 200-foot game makes him a true asset to any lineup where he can play a solid shutdown role while also adding on the offensive side of the puck.

Mark Scheifele - 2011

With the seventh pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Winnipeg Jets are proud to select, from the Barrie Colts of the OHL, Mark Scheifele.

Mark Scheifele was the first first-round selection by the Winnipeg Jets after the team relocated from Atlanta. It wasn't until two seasons later and two additional seasons playing junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League that Scheifele became a regular in the Jets lineup and took off as one of their young leaders. 

The 27-year-old really hit his stride in his third professional season, with 61 points in 71 games, including 29 goals. During the 2018-19 season, Scheifele set a career-high in points with 84, including a 38 goal output. He's become one of the top centers in the entire NHL and a threat every time he's on the ice as the Jets top-line center. 

Jason Arnott - 1993

With the seventh pick in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select from the Oshawa Generals in the OHL, Jason Arnott…

A player that needs little introduction to New Jersey Devils fans, Jason Arnott was also a seventh overall selection. Arnott entered the NHL with a bang, off of his draft suiting up for the Oilers in 78 games during the 1993-94 season. His rookie year was a standout performance with 33 goals and 35 assists. Arnott finished second in voting for the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year, losing out to Martin Brodeur. 

Arnott was a model for consistency over his career, where he could be counted on to provide at least 40-plus points a year. On only three occasions in his career did he fall short of the 40 point mark in a full season, including the final two years before his retirement in 2013. 

He is of course best known to Devils fans as a member of the 'A-Line' while also scoring the Cup-winning goal in double overtime against the Dallas Stars for the 2000 Stanley Cup Championship.  

Ryan Suter - 2003

With the seventh pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, the Nashville Predators are proud to select, from the USNTDP, defenseman Ryan Suter. 

Some pretty important defensemen have been drafted with the seventh overall pick in NHL Entry Draft's, including current Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter. Suter was drafted by the Predators where he was a staple on the blueline, after spending one season at the University of Wisconsin after his draft year and another in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals. 

Seasoning his game with a year of NCAA and AHL hockey set Suter up for a career in the NHL where he logs major minutes and is a gifted passer. Teamed up with Shea Weber from his rookie season, Suter's defensive pairing was one of the most feared in the NHL, Suter would often be found successfully setting up Weber's heavy shot. 

To date, Suter has played in 1142 NHL games and has contributed 498 assists and 90 goals. 

Doug Risebrough - 1974

With the seventh pick in the 1974 NHL Entry Draft, the Montreal Canadiens are proud to select from the Kitchener Rangers, forward Doug Risebrough. 

Doug Risebrough was drafted onto an NHL team that was one of the longest dynasties in NHL history. Risebrough joined the Montreal Canadiens of the 1970's, and quickly won four consecutive Stanley Cups between 1976 and 1979. Risebrough played in a secondary role, providing the grit, played the role of an agitator, and often lined up against the opposition's top lines. 

His gritty style led to 1542 penalty minutes in his 740 career NHL games with Montreal and Calgary. He was one of only 15 players from his draft year to win at least one Stanley Cup. Only two players drafted ahead of Risebrough (Clarke Gillies, 4th overall and Wilf Paiement, 2nd overall) played more games in their NHL career than Risebrough. 

Honorable Mention: Quinn Hughes - 2018

We have to mention Jack Hughes' older brother here. Quinn Hughes is a rising star for the Vancouver Canucks, after he was drafted seventh overall in the 2018 draft. Quinn Hughes is currently in the running for the 2020 Calder Trophy, at 20-years-old, scoring points in his rookie campaign in 68 games. 

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