Third Pick

An already deep prospect pool will soon be accepting new members to the ranks.

It's no secret Anaheim's rebuild has constructed through the NHL Draft, and Friday night the Ducks will add another key figure to that young core.

Over the past five years, Anaheim has tabbed Leo Carlsson, Pavel Mintyukov, Mason McTavish, Trevor Zegras and more with early first-round selections.

The action for Anaheim begins at number three, so today takes a look at the last 10 players selected with that pick.

2023 - Adam Fantilli, Columbus
49 NHL games, 12-15=27 points, -21 rating

The debate across the hockey world last summer centered on who would become Anaheim's second-overall pick, Swedish center Leo Carlsson or American forward Adam Fantilli. Anaheim ultimately selected Carlsson, who went on to earn 29 points in his initial 55 NHL games as a rookie.

Like Carlsson, Fantilli immediately stepped into Columbus' NHL lineup and showed flashes of the elite talent that made him a consensus top-three selection. The former Hobey Baker winner finished fifth among qualified NHL rookies in points-per-game (.55) but had his season cut short by a calf laceration in late January.

2022 - Logan Cooley, Arizona
82 NHL games, 20-24=44 points, -13 rating

Cooley also completed his rookie campaign in 2023-24, appearing in all 82 games for the Coyotes in what would become the club's final season in Arizona. Cooley's 44 points were good for fourth among NHL rookies, and second among first-year forwards.

Now in Utah, Cooley figures to be a key part of Utah's young core moving forward.

2021 - Mason McTavish, Anaheim
153 NHL games, 38-50=88 points, -39 rating

The only third overall pick in Ducks history, at least until Friday night, McTavish took on an increased role in his second full NHL season, becoming a fixture of Anaheim's top-six. The 21-year-old forward battled through nagging injuries to finish with 42 points in 64 games, including goals in each of last two appearances of the year.

In total, McTavish finished third on the Ducks in points and goals, while pacing the team in faceoff percentage (51.7%), a nearly 10-point jump from his rookie year (42.3%).

McTavish also became the second Duck aged 21-or-younger to record a seven-game point streak, joining Hockey Hall of Famer Paul Kariya.

2020 - Tim Stutzle, Ottawa
285 NHL games, 91-156=247 points, -65 rating

Ottawa nabbed Stutzle third overall in 2020 after an impressive pre-draft season with Adler Mannheim (DEL) in his native Germany. Since then, Stutzle has established himself as one of the game's most dynamic wingers, now with 50-plus assists in each of the last two seasons.

Since entering the NHL in 2020-21, Stutzle leads Ottawa in assists (156) and power-play points (83), while trailing only captain Brady Tkachuk in goals (91), points (247) and even-strength points (160).

2019 - Kirby Dach, Chicago
212 NHL games, 33-66=99 points, -22 rating

Dach, selected by Chicago in 2019 out of Saskatoon of the Western Hockey League, lasted just three seasons in the Windy City before a stunning offseason trade sent him to Montreal. The 6-foot-4 Alberta native posted 38 points in 58 games with the Habs in 2022-23, but missed almost the entire 2023-24 campaign with a torn ACL and MCL.

Dach began skating again this spring and is expected to return to Montreal's lineup in the fall.

2018 - Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Montreal
319 NHL games, 52-82=134, -2 rating

Like Dach, Kotkaniemi has seemingly found his pro hockey home at stop number two. For the Finnish forward, that stop was Carolina in 2021, when the Hurricanes signed the then-restricted free agent forward to a one-year contract, surrendering first and third-round picks in the process.

Known for his two-way prowess and defensively responsible game, Kotkaniemi has become a valued role player for the Canes, helping the club to the second round of the postseason in each of his three seasons there.

Kotkaniemi inked an eight-year extension in the summer of 2022.

2017 - Miro Heiskanen, Dallas
425 NHL games, 53-205=258 points, +14 rating

The lone defenseman of the last decade selected with the third overall pick, Heiskanen has become one of the best blueliners in the NHL. On the offensive side, his 127 points over the last two seasons are eighth among NHL rearguards, while his 107 assists rank sixth.

On the other end, Heiskanen allowed shots and expected goals at a better rate than any Stars defenseman other than longtime defensive stalwart Chris Tanev.

2016 - Pierre-Luc Dubois, Columbus
516 NHL games, 145-197=342 points, +4 rating

The centerpiece of the 2024 offseason's first big trade last week, Dubois originally entered the NHL as a surprise third overall pick to Columbus, jumping popular Finnish product Jesse Puljujarvi. Dubois has since skated in 516 NHL games for the Blue Jackets, Jets and Kings, eclipsing 60 points on three occasions.

The 26-year-old had a short stay in Los Angeles though, sent to Washington just one season into an eight-year contract. He'll likely play alongdside Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin as the Russian star attempts to break Wayne Gretzky's NHL goals record.

2015 - Dylan Strome, Arizona
436 NHL games, 117-185=302 points, -47 rating

The younger brother of Ducks forward Ryan Strome, Dylan will find himself as Dubois' teammate next year, a duo the Capitals hope can become a formidable 1-2 punch down the middle.

Strome played 48 games across three seasons for his original NHL club in Arizona, but saw more success after a 2018 trade to Chicago. The 27-year-old has now posted consecutive 60-point seasons and in April became the 14th player from the 2015 draft to reach 300 career NHL points.

2014 - Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton
719 NHL games, 347-503=850, +55 rating

One of the NHL's most explosive offensive players, Draisaitl and the Oilers came one game short of a dramatic comeback in the Stanley Cup Final, ultimately falling in Game 7. Draisaitl has eclipsed 100 points in each of the last five full 82-game seasons and ranks second among all NHL players in scoring during that span, trailing only teammate Connor McDavid.