History of the NHL draft and the WHL

With Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings possibly going first overall to New Jersey in the coming NHL draft, there is the possibility of another first overall pick coming from the WHL. But who were the other first overall picks? And further, what team has had the most players selected? I thought it would be fun to take a look at every WHL franchise and see how many players they’ve had drafted, how many of those were in the first round and what was their longest run of having a player drafted. For this, I just stuck with the franchise under their current name and in their current home.

Not surprisingly, Portland was the highest in two categories and a front-runner in the other. Other teams in the top-five were original franchises in the WCHL(WHL) back in 1966.

Here is the top five for each of the categories I looked at:

Most NHL-drafted players:

1)Portland Winterhawks 133

2)Saskatoon Blades 126

3T)Brandon Wheat Kings 125

3T)Regina Pats 125

5)Medicine Hat Tigers 114

Most first round picked players:

1)Portland 27

2)Regina 24

3)Medicine Hat 23

4)Brandon 18

5T)Prince Albert 16

5T)Saskatoon 16

Consecutive seasons with a player drafted:

1)Saskatoon 30

2T)Portland 24

2T)Red Deer 24(current)

4T)Kamloops 23

4T)Prince Albert 23

4T)Swift Current 23

Brandon Wheat Kings (1967)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 125

-First round picks: 18

Wade Redden-highest drafted Wheat King ever (until this year?)

-Ron Chipperfield (1974-17th overall), Rick Blight (1975-10th), Bill Derlago (1978-fourth), Ray Allison (1979-18th), Brad McCrimmon (1979-15th), Brian Propp (1979-14th), Laurie Boschman (1979-ninth), Steve Patrick (1980-20th), Kevin Cheveldayoff (1988-16th), Trevor Kidd (1990-11th), Chris Dingman (1994-19th), Wade Redden (1995-second), Stefan Cherneski (1997-19th), Eric Fehr (2003-18th), Scott Glennie (2009-eighth), Brayden Schenn (2009-fifth), Ryan Pulock (2013-15th), Ivan Provorov (2015-seventh).

-longest consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 12 (2005-present).

Calgary Hitmen (1995)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 55

-First round picks: 11

Andrew Ladd-taken fourth overall back in 2004

-Kris Beech (1999-seventh), Pavel Brendl (1999-fourth), Brent Krahn (2000-ninth), Ryan Getzlaf (2003-19th), Andy Rogers (2004-30th), Jeff Schultz (2004-27th), Andrew Ladd (2004-fourth), Alex Plante (2007-15th), Karl Alzner (2007-fifth), Jake Virtanen (2014-sixth), Jake Bean (2016-16th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 13 (1998-2010)

Edmonton Oil Kings (2005)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 16

-First round picks: four.

-Mark Pysyk (2010-23rd), Henrik Samuelsson (2012-27h), Griffin Reinhart (2012-fourth), Curtis Lazar (2013-fourth).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: six(2009-14)

Everett Silvertips (2003)

Ryan Murray-highest drafted Silvertip ever

-Total drafted to the NHL: 19

-First round picks: seven.

-Leland Irving (2006-26th), Peter Mueller (2006-eighth), Zach Hamill (2007-eighth), Kyle Beach (2008-11th), Ryan Murray (2012-second), Mirco Mueller (2013-18th), Noah Juulsen (2015-26th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: five(2006-10).

Kamloops Blazers (1981)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 92

-First round picks: 13

-Ryan Stewart (1985-18th), Dave Chyzowski (1989-second), Darryl Sydor (1990-seventh), Scott Niedermeyer (1991-third), David Wilkie (1992-20th), Nolan Baumgartner (1994-10th), Jarome Iginla (1995-11th), Shane Doan (1995-seventh), Robyn Regehr (1998-19th), Shaone Morrisonn (2001-19th), Scottie Upshall (2002-sixth), Devan Dubnyk (2004-14th), Keaton Ellerby (2007-10th).

-Consecutive season with a player drafted: 23(1985-2007).

Kelowna Rockets (1995)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 53

-First round picks: six.

-Scott Hannan (1997-23rd), Scott Parker (1998-20th), Tyler Myers (2008-12th), Luke Schenn (2008-fifth), Nick Merkley (2015-30th), Lucas Johansen (2016-28th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 10(2007-present).

Sam Reinhart-highest drafted Kootneay Ice player ever

Kootenay Ice (1998)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 26

-First round picks: three.

-Steve McCarthy (1999-23rd), Dan Blackburn (2001-tenth), Sam Reinhart (2014-second).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: nine(1999-2007).

Lethbridge Hurricanes (1987)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 56

-First round picks: five

-Mark Greig (1990-15th), Brent Seabrook (2003-14th), Luca Sbisa (2008-19th), Zach Boychuk (2008-14th), Carter Ashton (2009-29th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 10(1989-1998)

Medicine Hat Tigers (1970)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 114

-First round picks: 23

Trevor Linden-one of five top 3 picks in Medicine Hat team history

-Lanny McDonald (1973-fourth), Tom Lysiak (1973-second), Greg Vaydik (1975-seventh), Bryan Maxwell (1975-fourth), Barry Dean (1975-second), Dan Murdoch (1976-sixth), Murray Craven (1982-17th), Mark Pederson (1986-15th), Neil Brady (1986-third), Dean Chynoweth (1987-13th), Wayne McBean (1987-fourth), Trevor Linden (1988-second), Jason Miller (1989-18th), David Cooper (1992-11th), Mike Rathje (1992-third), Rob Niedermeyer (1993-fifth), Johnathan Aitken (1996-eighth), Joffrey Lupul (2002-seventh), Jay Bouwmeester (2002-third), Cam Barker (2004-third), Tyler Ennis (2008-26th), Emerson Etem (2010-29th), Hunter Shinkaruk (2013-24th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 20(1980-1999)

Moose Jaw Warriors (1984)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 71

-First round picks: nine

-Ryan Smyth (1994-sixth), Matt Higgins (1996-18th), Jamie Lundmark (1999-ninth), Brian Suherby (2000-26th), Kenndal McArdle (2005-20th), Quinton Howden (2010-25th), Dylan McIlrath (2010-10th), Morgan Rielly (2012-fifth), Brett Howden (2016-27th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 20(1989-2008)

Portland Winterhawks (1976)

Wayne Babych

-Total drafted to the NHL: 133

-First round picks: 27

-Larry Playfair (1978-13th), Brent Peterson (1978-12th), Wayne Babych (1978-third), Keith Brown (1979-seventh), Perry Turnbull (1979-second),  Dave Babych (1979-second), Jim Benning (1981-sixth), Jim Playfair (1982-20th), Ken Yaremchuk (1982-seventh), Gary Nylund (1982-third), Alfie Turcotte (1983-17th), Cam Neely (1983-ninth), Dan Woodley (1986-seventh), Dave Archibald (1987-sixth), Glen Wesley (1987-third), Adam Deadmarsh (1993-14th), Jason Wiemer (1994-eighth), Brenden Morrow (1997-25th), Marcel Hossa (2000-16th), Jakub Klepis (2002-16th), Braydon Coburn (2003-eighth), Nino Niederreiter (2010-fifth), Ryan Johansen (2010-fourth), Joe Morrow (2011-23rd), Sven Baertschi (2011-13th), Derrick Pouliot (2012-eighth), Seth Jones (2013-fourth).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 24(1977-2000)

Prince Albert Raiders (1971)

Mike Modano-one of two top picks that played for P.A.

-Total drafted to the NHL: 86

-First round picks: 16

-Dave Pasin (1984-19th), Dave Manson (1985-11th), Kim Issel (1986-21st), Pay Elynuik (1987-eighth), Mike Modano (1988-first), Scott Allison (1990-17th), Dean McAmmond (1991-22nd), Denis Pederson (1993-13th), Brad Church (1995-17th), Steve Kelly (1995-sixth), Chris Phillips (1996-first), Scott Hartnell (2000-sixth), Kyle Chipchura (2004-18th), Mark McNeil (2011-18th), Josh Morrissey (2013-13th), Leon Draisaitl (2014-third).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 23(1983-2005)

Prince George Cougars (1994)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 36

-First round picks: three

-Eric Brewer (1997-fifth), Dan Hamhuis (2001-12th), Brett Connolly (2010-sixth).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: five(twice).

Red Deer Rebels (1992)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-another top pick from the WHL

-Total drafted to the NHL: 59

-First round picks: 12

-Jesse Wallin (1996-26th), Lance Ward (1996-10th), Mike Brown (1997-20th), Jeff Woywitka (2001-27th), Colby Armstrong (2001-21st), Cam Ward (2002-25th), Boyd Gordon (2002-17th), Dion Phaneuf (2003-ninth), Brandon Sutter (2007-11th), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011-first), Mathew Dumba (2012-seventh), Haydn Fleury (2014-seventh).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 24(1993-present)

Regina Pats (1966)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 125

-First round picks: 24

-Larry Wright(1971-eighth), Clark Gillies (1974-fourth), Greg Joly (1974-first), Mike Blaisdell (1980-11th), Darren Veitch (1980-fifth), Doug Wickenheiser (1980-first), Garth Butcher (1981-10th), Nevin Markwart (1983-21st), Selmar Odelein (1984-21st), Brent Fedyk (1985-eighth), Jamie Heward (1989-16th), Kevin Haller (1989-14th), Mike Sillinger (1989-11th), Jason Smith (1992-18th), Jeff Frisen (1994-11th), Derek Morris (1996-13th), Josh Holden (1996-12th), Brad Stuart (1998-third), Barret Jackman (1999-17th), Nick Ross (2007-30th), Jordan Eberle (2008-22nd), Colton Teubert (2008-13th), Morgan Klimchuk (2013-28th), Sam steel (2016-30th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 10(three times).

Saskatoon Blades (1966)

Wendel Clark was taken first overall in 1985

-Total drafted to the NHL: 126

-First round picks: 16

-Ralph Klassen (1975-third), Bernie Federko (1976-seventh), Fred Williams (1976-fourth), Blair Chapman (1976-second), Duncan MacPherson (1984-20th), Wendel Clark (1985-first), Curtis Leschyshyn (1988-third), Scott Scissons (1990-sixth), Richard Matvichuk (1991-eighth), Wade Belak (1994-12th), Adrian Foster (2001-28th), Mike Green (2004-29th), Devin Setoguchi (2005-eighth), Colton Gillies (2007-16th), Duncan Siemens (2011-11th), Nikita Scherbak (2014-26th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 30(1972-2001).

Seattle Thunderbirds (1985)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 83

-First round picks: 12

-Chris Joseph (1987-fifth), Lindsay Vallis (1989-13th), Turner Stevenson (1990-12th), Petr Nedved (1990-second), Brent Bilodeau (1991-17th), Brendan Witt (1993-11th), Chris Wells (1994-24th), Patrick Marleau (1997-second), Scott Kelman (1999-15th), Oleg Saprykin (1999-11th), Thomas Hickey (2007-fourth), Shea Theodore (2013-26th), Mathew Barzal (2015-16th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 22(1987-2008).

Spokane Chiefs (1985)

Pat Falloon was the San Jose Sharks’ first ever pick back in 1991

-Total drafted to the NHL: 70

-First round picks: five

-Pat Falloon (1991-second), Ty Jones (1997-16th), Brad Ference (1997-10th), Michael Grabner (2006-14th), Jared Cowen (2009-ninth).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 16(1987-2002)

Swift Current Broncos (1986)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 67

-First round picks: six

-Peter Soberlak (1987-21st), Joe Sakic (1987-15th), Tyler Wright (1991-12th), Nathan Smith (2000-23rd), Julius Honka (2014-14th), Jake DeBrusk (2015-14th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 23(1987-2009).

Tri-City Americans (1988)

-Total drafted to the NHL: 59

-First round picks: 12

-Olaf Kolzig (1989-19th), Stu Barnes (1989-fourth), Jason Bowen (1992-15th), Brian Boucher (1995-22nd), Terry Ryan (1995-eighth), Daymond Langkow (1995-fifth), Jaroslav Svekovsky (1996-17th), Dan Focht (1996-11th), Scott Gomez (1998-27th), Shawn Belle (2003-30th), Carey Price (2005-fifth), Chet Pickard (2008-18th).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 17(1989-2005)

Vancouver Giants (2001)

Evander Kane

-Total drafted to the NHL: 27

-First round picks: four

-Mark Fistric (2004-28th), Gilbert Brule (2005-sixth), Jonathon Blum (2007-23rd), Evander Kane (2009-fourth).

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: 15(2002-present).

Victoria Royals (2011)

-Total drafted to the NHL: nine

-First round picks: none

-Consecutive seasons with a player drafted: five(2012-present)




Brandon Rivers

Longtime Portland Winterhawks' blogger on hodgesheroes.blogspot.com. I also write for SB Nation on the for the Seattle Sin Bin at http://www.sonicsrising.com/seattle-sin-bin. Further, I have a Seattle-sports podcast over at 206sportsjocks.com Originally from the Portland area, now living in Seattle. Proud husband and Father.