The 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft was held at the Xcel Energy Centre in St. Paul, Minnesota. With the first overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers selected forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
At DUBNetwork, we’ll supply one of these features from now until Christmas Day, culminating with the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Here’s a look at the Western Hockey League players chosen in the first round, along with a few statistics.
2011 NHL Entry Draft – Round 1
|Ryan Nugent-Hopkins*||Red Deer||Edmonton||570||153||247|
|18||Mark McNeill||Prince Albert||Chicago||2||0||
|Joel Edmundson*||Moose Jaw||St. Louis||303||16||45|
|67||Adam Lowry*||Swift Current||Winnipeg||391||57||
When the Oilers looked a mere 90 miles south of Edmonton to nab Nugent-Hopkins from the Red Deer Rebels, it marked the first time a WHL player had been selected number 1 overall since 1996. That year, the Ottawa Senators made defenceman Chris Phillips of the Prince Albert Raiders the top pick.
Nugent-Hopkins had finished his second full WHL season tied for third in league scoring with 106 points – in his NHL draft year. He appeared in nine playoff games that season, which proved to be his final year of junior hockey.
The Burnaby, British Columbia, native appeared in 62 games for the Oilers as a rookie and has been a mainstay for nine seasons. The challenges experienced by the Oilers organization during the past decade have been well-documented. All told, Nugent-Hopkins has appeared in only 16 playoff games, all of which came during an exciting run during the 2016-17 post-season.
Sven Baertschi, from Switzerland, played in the WHL as an import. A prolific scorer in junior hockey, he has struggled to establish consistency in an NHL career approaching the 300-game plateau.
After a successful WHL career that spanned four seasons and 284 games, Joe Morrow has bounced around the pro ranks. Most recently, he is toiling in the KHL.
Defenceman Duncan Siemens and forward Mark McNeill have had little impact in the NHL.
Of note at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft is defenceman Joel Edmundson, a second-round pick by the St. Louis Blues. The burly rearguard is the owner of a Stanley Cup ring, a member of the championship team last season.
Adam Lowry will soon hit the 400-games played mark as a member of the Winnipeg Jets, while his father Dave leads the charge in Brandon as head coach of the Wheat Kings.
|2011 NHL Entry Draft: Rounds 2-7|
|32||Ty Rattie||Portland||St. Louis||98||13||17|
|46||Joel Edmundson*||Moose Jaw||St. Louis||305||16||45|
|3||67||Adam Lowry*||Swift Current||Winnipeg||393||57||64|
|84||Harrison Ruopp||Prince Albert||Phoenix|
|4||106||Michael St. Croix||Edmonton||New York Rangers|
|111||Kale Kessy||Medicine Hat||Phoenix|
|5||125||John Persson||Red Deer||New York Islanders||10||1||0|
|127||Brenden Kichton||Spokane||New York Islanders|
|134||Shane McColgan||Kelowna||New York Rangers|
|159||Reece Scarlett||Swift Current||New Jersey|
|175||Richard Nedomlel||Swift Current||Detroit|
(Paul Figler of DUBNetwork.ca contributed to this article)