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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
The NHL Entry Draft is back in its original home this year. The draft (then known as the Amateur Draft) began in Montreal in 1963 and was held there every year through 1984, before it was held at the Toronto Convention Centre in 1985. It returned to the Forum in 1986, but hasn't been back to Montreal since 1992.

On June 20, 1992, the Tampa Bay Lightning began the day at the Forum by taking defenseman Roman Hamrlik and Ottawa followed by choosing center Alexei Yashin -- the first picks in the history of the NHL's 23rd and 24th franchises. This year, 30 teams will be looking for the next NHL stars when they convene at the Bell Centre on Friday night.

Here's a look at the history of Draft Day by the numbers:

1 -- First-round picks in the Detroit Red Wings' lineup during the Stanley Cup Final. The only Wing selected in the opening round was defenseman Brad Stuart -- who was taken No. 3 by San Jose in 1998. He came to Detroit from Los Angeles in a trade last year.

2 -- Number of Staal brothers taken with the No. 2 pick in the draft. Carolina chose Eric Staal with the second pick in 2003; Pittsburgh took Jordan No. 2 three years later. In between, Mark Staal went to the Rangers with the 11th pick in 2005.

3 -- Goaltenders who have been taken No. 1 in the Entry Draft. Montreal took Michel Plasse with the first pick in 1968; no team used the top selection on a goaltender again until 2000, when the New York Islanders took Rick DiPietro. Pittsburgh chose Marc-Andre Fleury with the No. 1 pick in 2003.

4 -- Consecutive years in which the Pittsburgh Penguins had the No. 1 or No. 2 pick. The core of the Pens' Cup-winning team this year was Fleury (No. 1 in 2003), Evgeni Malkin (No. 2 in 2004), Sidney Crosby (No. 1 in 2005) and Jordan Staal (No. 2 in 2006).

5 -- Picks in the first two rounds owned by the New York Islanders, the most by any team. The Isles are the only team with two picks (1st and 26th) in the first round and have three more selections (31st, 37th and 56th) in the second.

7 -- Sets of twins that have been selected in the Entry Draft. Two of them (Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and Joel and Henrik Lundqvist) were active in 2008-09. The Sedins and the Sutters (Ron and Rich, 1982) are the only ones taken in the first round.

8 -- U.S. college players selected in the first round of the 2005 draft, the most in Entry Draft history and one more than the previous high of seven in 2003. Just one U.S. collegian (Colin Wilson, to Nashville) was taken in the first round last year.

9 -- Round in the 1994 draft that has produced the last two First-Team All-Star goaltenders. Both Boston's Tim Thomas (by Quebec) and San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov were chosen in the ninth round 15 years ago -- as was Florida starter Tomas Vokoun.

14 -- Picks owned by the Los Angeles Kings, the most by any team entering the draft. However, 10 of the 14 are in the fourth round or lower. The Kings' Pacific Division rival, the San Jose Sharks, have the fewest picks -- just four.

43 -- First draft selection by the San Jose Sharks, the only team without a pick in the opening round. The 43rd selection went to the Sharks in a deal that sent defenseman Craig Rivet to Buffalo; San Jose also has its own second-rounder.

164 -- Players drafted from Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League since 1969, the most from any junior team. Oshawa is next with 150, followed by Kitchener and London with 142. London's total will go up -- Knights' center John Tavares is the No. 1-ranked North American skater.

211 -- Scheduled number of selections in the 2009 Entry Draft -- seven rounds and an extra compensatory pick to the New York Rangers. It's the third year in a row there will be 211 selections. The Islanders will choose No. 1; the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will have the 211th pick (barring trades).

299 -- Fewest games played by any player picked first in the draft since 1968. Defenseman Gord Kluzak (Boston, 1982) and goaltender Michel Plasse (Montreal, 1968) both played exactly 299 games. Before 1968, three of the five No. 1 picks never made it to the NHL.

519 -- Players from Russia (including the Soviet Union and CIS) taken in the Entry Draft since 1977, the most of any country outside North America. Sweden is next with 463. The 19 Swedes taken last year were the most among any of the seven non-North American countries that had players selected.
679 -- NHL games played by Minnesota defenseman Kim Johnsson, by far the most of any player ever taken with the last pick in the draft. Johnsson's 60 goals are also easily the most of any last overall pick. He was taken by the New York Rangers with the 286th and final pick in 1994.

A current All-Star team of players taken after the 150th pick:

G — Tim Thomas (1994, Quebec, 217th)
D — Mark Streit (2004, Montreal, 262nd)
D — Brian Campbell (1997, Buffalo, 156th)
F — Henrik Zetterberg (1999, Detroit, 210th)
F — Joe Pavelski (2003, San Jose, 205th)
F — Pavel Datsyuk (1998, Detroit, 171st)

An all-time team of players picked 100th or below:
G — Dominik Hasek (1983, Chicago, 199th)
D — Gary Suter (1984, Calgary, 180th)
D — Slava Fetisov (1983, New Jersey, 145th)
F — Luc Robitaille (1984, Los Angeles, 171st)
F — Brett Hull (1984, Calgary, 117th)
F — Steve Larmer (1980, Chicago, 120th)

An All-Star team of current players who were never drafted:
G — Dwayne Roloson (1994, Calgary, Massachusetts-Lowell)
D — Dan Boyle (1998, Florida, Miami University)
D — Brian Rafalski (1999, New Jersey, HIFK-Finland)
F — Martin St. Louis (1998, Calgary, Vermont)
F — Jason Blake (1998, Los Angeles, North Dakota)
F — John Madden (1999, New Jersey, Michigan)

Author: John Kreiser | Columnist

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