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NHL Draft

Golden Knights have history on their side in NHL Draft

Vegas selecting No. 6 in first round; every player taken in that spot since 1987 has played in League

by Kaitlyn Kaminski @kait_kaminski / NHL.com Staff Writer

The Vegas Golden Knights have the sixth pick in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft presented by adidas. If history is any indication, they may be in a good spot.

Since 1987, all 30 players picked No. 6 have played in the NHL. Three have played more than 1,000 games and two have more than 800 points. Four have won the Stanley Cup, and one was named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian.

The Golden Knights hope to have that same kind of luck when they make their first selection at United Center on June 23 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN).

NHL.com takes a look at some of the best players to be chosen with the sixth pick in the past 30 years.

 

[RELATED: Complete NHL Draft coverage]

 

1991: Peter Forsberg, C, Philadelphia Flyers

Forsberg played one more season in Sweden before coming to North America; when he arrived in the NHL, it was with the Quebec Nordiques, who acquired him on June 30, 1992, in a trade that sent Eric Lindros to the Flyers. Forsberg is eighth in all-time in points per game (1.25) and fourth in assists per game (0.90). He won the Calder Trophy in 1995-96, the Hart and Art Ross Trophies in 2002-03, and helped the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001. He had 885 points (249 goals, 636 assists) in 708 games with the Nordiques, Avalanche, Flyers and Nashville Predators. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014.

Video: Former Preds forward Peter Forsberg talks at NHL100

 

1992: Cory Stillman, LW, Calgary Flames

Stillman won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 and the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. He had eight 20-goal seasons and finished his NHL career with 727 points (278 goals, 449 assists) in 1,025 games.

 

1994: Ryan Smyth, LW, Edmonton Oilers

Smyth played 15 of his 19 NHL seasons with the Oilers. He scored 20 or more goals 11 times and 30 or more four times. Smyth also helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the IIHF World Championship in 2003 and 2004, and finish first at the World Cup in 2004.

 
2000: Scott Hartnell, LW, Nashville Predators

Hartnell was the youngest player in the League (18 years, 171 days old) when he made his NHL debut on Oct. 6, 2000. He's had nine 20-goal seasons, two 39-goal seasons and played in the NHL All-Star Game in 2012. Now 35, Hartnell has 683 points (314 goals, 369 assists) in 1,187 games with the Predators, Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Video: CAR@CBJ: Hartnell extends Jackets' lead with slapper

 
2001: Mikko Koivu, C, Minnesota Wild

Selected in the 2001 draft, Koivu didn't come to the NHL until 2005, but he was worth the wait. He was named the Wild's first permanent captain in 2009, and is the franchise's all-time leader with 614 points (179 goals, 435 assists) in 843 games.

 

2009: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Phoenix Coyotes

Ekman-Larsson has scored at least 12 goals in each of the past four seasons, including 23 in 2014-15 and 21 in 2015-16. His eight game-winning goals in 2015-16 set an NHL single-season record for a defenseman. His 88 goals are the most by a Coyotes defenseman, and his 248 points are second to Keith Yandle (311).

 

2013: Sean Monahan, C, Calgary Flames

Monahan became the youngest player in Flames history to reach 100 goals; he was 22 years, 134 days old when he scored No. 100 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 23. Monahan has scored at least 20 goals in each of his four NHL seasons and has 217 points (107 goals, 110 assists) in 319 games.

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm4: Monahan bats in PPG out of midair

 
2016: Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Calgary Flames

Tkachuk had a solid rookie season with 48 points (13 goals, 35 assists) in 76 games. He led the Flames with 105 penalty minutes and was second with a plus-14 rating. Tkachuk, 19, was the third-youngest full-time player in the League this season behind forward Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets and defenseman Jakob Chychrun of the Arizona Coyotes.

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