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Super 16

Super 16: No. 1 picks in NHL Draft since 1980

Lemieux, Crosby, Ovechkin among best in NHL.com rankings

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

The first phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery took place Friday, with a placeholder team from the Stanley Cup Qualifiers winning the No. 1 pick..

The team that winds up with that pick likely will select forward Alexis Lafreniere, who scored 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in 52 games with Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season. 

To celebrate the Draft Lottery, NHL.com's Super 16 this week looks at the best No. 1 draft picks since 1980, when the NHL lowered the minimum draft age to 18.

Mario Lemieux was the unanimous No. 1. Sidney Crosby was the unanimous No. 2.

The Pittsburgh Penguins' Hall of Fame center and likely Hall of Fame center were the no-brainers among the 12 voters for the top two spots in this week's Super 16..

Video: Super 16 Best #1 Overall Draft Picks

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin was ranked No. 3 by 10 of the voters, with Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton getting the other two No. 3 votes.

Of the 40 No. 1 draft picks eligible for the Super 16, 20 were ranked by at least one voter.

To create the Super 16, each of the 12 participating staff members put together his or her version of what they think it should look like. Those were submitted and a point total assigned to each. 

The No. 1 pick that was selected first was given 16 points, second got 15, third 14 and so on down to No. 16, who got one point. 

Here is the Super 16:

 

1. Mario Lemieux, 1984, Pittsburgh Penguins

Total points: 192 (unanimous)

Lemieux played his entire career with the Penguins and is eighth in NHL history in points (1,723), 11th in goals (690) and 12th in assists (1,033). The center did it all in 915 games, his 1.88 points per game putting him second behind Wayne Gretzky (1.92). Among players selected in the 1984 NHL Draft, Lemieux is second in goals to Brett Hull (741), is the runaway leader in assists, with 307 more than Luc Robitaille, and is first in points, 329 ahead of Robitaille. Lemieux won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992 and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each time. He scored at least 100 points 10 times in his 17 NHL seasons, including 100 (43 goals, 57 assists) as a rookie in 1984-85 and a career-best 199 (85 goals, 114 assists) in 1988-89. Lemieux won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL leading scorer six times and the Hart Trophy as NHL most valuable player three times. Now a Penguins co-owner, Lemieux is honored with a statue outside PPG Paints Arena. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.

Video: Mario Lemieux scored 100 points 10 different times

 

2. Sidney Crosby, 2005, Pittsburgh Penguins

Total points: 180

In any conversation involving Lemieux, Crosby's name usually follows. The center has played his entire 15-season NHL career in Pittsburgh and has won the Stanley Cup three times (2009, 2016 and 2017), giving him that one advantage on his former landlord and current boss. Like Lemieux, Crosby has won the Conn Smythe Trophy twice (2016, 2017). He has also won the Art Ross Trophy and Hart Trophy twice each. Crosby has scored 1,263 points (463 goals, 801 assists) in 984 games. He has more goals, assists and points than any player selected in the 2005 NHL Draft, is third among active players in points and second in points per game (1.28) behind McDavid (1.32), who has played 633 fewer games. The Penguins are tied with the San Jose Sharks for the NHL lead in wins (667) and second to the Sharks in points (1,459) since Crosby's rookie season of 2005-06. 

 

3. Alex Ovechkin, 2004, Washington Capitals

Total points: 165

Ovechkin is first among active players and eighth in history with 706 goals in 1,152 NHL games, and first in points (1,278) among players selected in the 2004 NHL Draft. Ovechkin is a nine-time winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal-scorer, including sharing the award this season with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak (48 goals each). Ovechkin has scored at least 50 goals eight times in his 15 NHL seasons and likely would have tied the NHL record of nine 50-goal seasons, held by Gretzky and Mike Bossy, had this season not been paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Ovechkin helped the Capitals to the Stanley Cup in 2018, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. He has played his entire NHL career with Washington, which is third in the League in wins (653) and points (1,447) since Ovechkin debuted in 2005-06.

Video: WSH@NJD: Ovechkin scores 700th NHL goal

 

4. Connor McDavid, 2015, Edmonton Oilers

Total points: 149

McDavid leads the NHL with 469 points (162 goals, 307 assists) in 351 games since his debut after the 2015 NHL Draft, is tops in points per game (1.34) and is second to Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane in even-strength points (324). He's tied for fourth with Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux in power-play points (137) and second to Bruins forward Brad Marchand in game-winning goals (33). McDavid won the Art Ross Trophy in 2016-17 and 2017-18, and won the Hart Trophy in 2016-17.

 

5. Patrick Kane, 2007, Chicago Blackhawks

Total points: 145

Kane ranks eighth in the NHL among United States-born players in points with 1,022 (389 goals, 633 assists) in 973 games, making him first in goals, assists and points among players selected in the 2007 NHL Draft. Kane averages 1.05 points per game, third among Americans behind Pat LaFontaine (1.17) and Brett Hull (1.10), who was born in Canada but considers the United States his adopted country and played for it in international events. The Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup three times (2010, 2013, 2015) with Kane, a Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 2013. He won the Art Ross Trophy and Hart Trophy in 2015-16. Chicago is sixth in the NHL in wins (555) and fifth in points (1,232) since Kane's rookie season of 2007-08.

 

6. Mike Modano, 1988, Minnesota North Stars

Total points: 102

Modano is the NHL leader among United States-born players with 1,374 points (561 goals, 813 assists). The center is third in goals, behind Teemu Selanne (684) and Mark Recchi (577), second in assists (Recchi, 956) and third in points (Recchi, 1,533; Selanne, 1,457) among players selected in the 1988 NHL Draft. Modano relocated with the North Stars in 1993, when they became the Dallas Stars, and won the Stanley Cup with them in 1999. Modano was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014.

Video: Modano remembers his draft day back in 1988

 

7. Dale Hawerchuk, 1981, Winnipeg Jets

Total points: 100

Hawerchuk, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001, scored 1,409 points (518 goals, 891 assists) in 1,188 NHL games, including 929 points (379 goals, 550 assists) in 713 games with the Jets. He played for the Buffalo Sabres, Flyers and St. Louis Blues in a 16-season career. Among players in the 1981 NHL Draft class, the center is second in goals and points behind Ron Francis (549 goals, 1,798 points), who played 543 more games, and is third in assists behind Francis (1,249) and Al MacInnis (934). 

 

8. Eric Lindros, 1991, Quebec Nordiques

Total points: 99

Lindros, who never played a game for the Nordiques, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016. He is fourth in goals (372) and fifth in assists (493) and points (865) among players selected in the 1991 NHL Draft despite being 25th in games (760). The center is second in points per game (1.14) in that group behind Peter Forsberg (1.25), who was part of the trade that sent Lindros from Quebec to Philadelphia on June 30, 1992. 

 

9. Joe Thornton, 1997, Boston Bruins

Total points: 93

Thornton scored 454 points (169 goals, 285 assists) in 532 games with the Bruins before they traded him to the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 30, 2005. The center has gone on to become the Sharks leader in assists with 804 and is second in San Jose history behind fellow 1997 NHL Draft pick Patrick Marleau in games (1,551-1,104) and points (1,102-1,055). Thornton leads the 1991 draft class in assists (1,089) and points (1,509), each the most among active players in the NHL.

Video: MIN@SJS: Thornton rips rebound into open net

 

10. Mats Sundin, 1989, Quebec Nordiques

Total points: 77

Sundin, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012, leads players selected in the 1989 NHL Draft in goals (564) and points (1,349), and is second in assists (785) behind Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (878), who was the No. 53 pick in the draft. The Nordiques traded the center to the Toronto Maple Leafs on June 28, 1994, after he played four seasons in Quebec, and Sundin went on to become the Maple Leafs' leader in goals (420) and points (987) during his eight seasons with Toronto.

 

11. Marc-Andre Fleury, 2003, Pittsburgh Penguins

Total points: 65

Fleury has the most wins of any goalie since the 2003 NHL Draft with 466, seven more than Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Fleury ranks fifth all-time in wins, with a 2.57 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009, 2016 and 2017 and reached the Stanley Cup Final with Pittsburgh in 2008 and with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2018. He's the career leader in wins for the Penguins (375) and Golden Knights (91).

 

12. Steven Stamkos, 2008, Tampa Bay Lightning

Total points: 61

Stamkos is seventh among active players with 422 goals and 17th with 832 points in 803 NHL games, all with the Lightning, and the forward is the leading goal-scorer in Tampa Bay history. He's third in assists (410) and points, behind Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier in each category. Stamkos has 197 more goals (Jordan Eberle, 225) and 229 more points (Erik Karlsson, 603) than all players selected in the 2008 NHL Draft.

 

13. Nathan MacKinnon, 2013, Colorado Avalanche

Total points: 60

MacKinnon has climbed to seventh on the Avalanche/Nordiques scoring list with 495 points (190 goals, 305 assists) in 525 games, including 289 points (115 goals, 174 assists) in the past three seasons. Only McDavid (321) and Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (313) have more points than MacKinnon during that span. The center leads the 2013 NHL Draft class in assists and points, and is second in goals behind Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan, who has 194.

 

14. Auston Matthews, 2016, Toronto Maple Leafs

Total points: 34

Matthews is second in goals (158) behind Ovechkin (181) since he was picked in the 2016 NHL Draft. In four seasons (282 games), the center is tied for 27th on the Maple Leafs' all-time goal-scoring list. Among players drafted in 2016, Matthews is first in goals and points (285), and second in assists (127), behind Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk (141). 

 

15. Pierre Turgeon, 1987, Buffalo Sabres

Total points: 32

Turgeon is 32nd in NHL history with 1,327 points (515 goals, 812 assists) in 1,294 games. He scored 323 points (122 goals, 201 assists) in 322 games with the Sabres. He also played for the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Blues, Stars and Avalanche. Among players selected in the 1987 NHL Draft, Turgeon is third in points behind Hall of Famers Joe Sakic (1,641) and Brendan Shanahan (1,354).

 

16. Vincent Lecavalier, 1998, Tampa Bay Lightning

Total points: 28

Lecavalier is first in goals (421), points (949) and games (1,212) among players selected in the 1998 NHL Draft, and is sixth in assists (528). The center is the Lightning leader in games (1,037), is second to Stamkos in goals (383), and second to St. Louis in assists (491) and points (874). Lecavalier helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2004 and played for the Flyers and Los Angeles Kings.

Video: LAK@TBL: Lecavalier's #4 raised to rafters in Tampa

 

Others receiving points: Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001, Atlanta Thrashers, 24 points; John Tavares, 2009, New York Islanders, 16 points; Wendel Clark, 1985, Toronto Maple Leafs, 9 points; Rick Nash, 2002, Columbus Blue Jackets, 1 point

 

HERE'S HOW WE RANKED 'EM

AMALIE BENJAMIN 

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Connor McDavid; 4. Alex Ovechkin; 5. Mike Modano; 6. Patrick Kane; 7. Dale Hawerchuk; 8. Marc-Andre Fleury; 9. Mats Sundin; 10. Eric Lindros; 11. Nathan MacKinnon; 12. Joe Thornton; 13. Vincent Lecavalier; 14. Steven Stamkos; 15. Ilya Kovalchuk; 16. Wendel Clark

TIM CAMPBELL

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Joe Thornton; 4. Connor McDavid; 5. Alex Ovechkin; 6. Dale Hawerchuk; 7. Patrick Kane; 8. Eric Lindros; 9. Wendel Clark; 10. Mats Sundin; 11. Mike Modano; 12: Pierre Turgeon; 13. Steven Stamkos; 14. Marc-Andre Fleury; 15. Nathan MacKinnon; 16. Ilya Kovalchuk

NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Alex Ovechkin; 4. Connor McDavid; 5. Patrick Kane; 6. Eric Lindros; 7. Dale Hawerchuk; 8. Steven Stamkos; 9. Mats Sundin; 10. Mike Modano; 11. Joe Thornton; 12. Pierre Turgeon; 13. Auston Matthews; 14. Nathan MacKinnon; 15. Marc-Andre Fleury; 16. Ilya Kovalchuk

TOM GULITTI 

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Alex Ovechkin; 4. Connor McDavid; 5. Mike Modano; 6. Patrick Kane; 7. Mats Sundin; 8. Joe Thornton; 9. Steven Stamkos; 10. Dale Hawerchuk; 11. Eric Lindros; 12. Nathan MacKinnon; 13. Auston Matthews; 14. Vincent Lecavalier; 15. Pierre Turgeon; 16. John Tavares

ADAM KIMELMAN

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby 3. Alex Ovechkin; 4. Patrick Kane; 5. Eric Lindros; 6. Dale Hawerchuk; 7. Connor McDavid; 8. Joe Thornton; 9. Marc-Andre Fleury; 10. Mike Modano; 11. Auston Matthews; 12. Pierre Turgeon; 13. Vincent Lecavalier; 14. John Tavares; 15. Nathan MacKinnon; 16. Steven Stamkos

ROBERT LAFLAMME 

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Alex Ovechkin; 4. Connor McDavid; 5. Patrick Kane; 6. Dale Hawerchuk; 7. Mike Modano; 8. Eric Lindros; 9. Auston Matthews; 10. Nathan MacKinnon; 11. Marc-Andre Fleury; 12. Steven Stamkos; 13. Ilya Kovalchuk; 14. John Tavares; 15. Joe Thornton; 16. Mats Sundin 

MIKE G. MORREALE

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Alex Ovechkin; 4. Connor McDavid; 5. Patrick Kane; 6. Marc-Andre Fleury; 7. Nathan MacKinnon; 8. Mike Modano; 9. Eric Lindros; 10. Dale Hawerchuk; 11. Pierre Turgeon; 12. Mats Sundin; 13. Vincent Lecavalier; 14. Auston Matthews; 15. Joe Thornton; 16. Ilya Kovalchuk

TRACEY MYERS 

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Alex Ovechkin; 4. Connor McDavid; 5. Patrick Kane; 6. Nathan MacKinnon; 7. Joe Thornton; 8. Vincent Lecavalier; 9. Steven Stamkos; 10. Ilya Kovalchuk; 11. Mats Sundin; 12. Mike Modano; 13. Eric Lindros; 14. Dale Hawerchuk; 15. John Tavares; 16. Rick Nash

SHAWN P. ROARKE 

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Alex Ovechkin; 4. Patrick Kane; 5. Connor McDavid; 6. Mike Modano; 7. Dale Hawerchuk; 8. Steven Stamkos; 9. Eric Lindros; 10. Joe Thornton; 11. Mats Sundin; 12. Marc-Andre Fleury; 13. Pierre Turgeon; 14. Vincent Lecavalier; 15. Ilya Kovalchuk; 16. Nathan MacKinnon

DAN ROSEN 

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Alex Ovechkin; 4. Patrick Kane; 5. Marc-Andre Fleury; 6. Connor McDavid; 7. Joe Thornton; 8. Dale Hawerchuk; 9. Eric Lindros; 10. Mike Modano; 11. Mats Sundin; 12. Pierre Turgeon; 13. Steven Stamkos; 14. Nathan MacKinnon; 15. John Tavares; 16. Auston Matthews

DAVID SATRIANO

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Alex Ovechkin; 4. Patrick Kane; 5. Connor McDavid; 6. Eric Lindros; 7. Mats Sundin; 8. Mike Modano; 9. Joe Thornton; 10. Marc-Andre Fleury; 11. Ilya Kovalchuk; 12. Steven Stamkos; 13. Auston Matthews; 14. Dale Hawerchuk; 15. John Tavares; 16. Nathan MacKinnon

MIKE ZEISBERGER 

1. Mario Lemieux; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Alex Ovechkin; 4. Patrick Kane; 5. Connor McDavid; 6. Joe Thornton; 7. Mats Sundin; 8. Nathan MacKinnon; 9. Dale Hawerchuk; 10. Mike Modano; 11. Eric Lindros; 12. Steven Stamkos; 13. Auston Matthews; 14. John Tavares; 15. Marc-Andre Fleury; 16. Vincent Lecavalier

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