Welcome to the second part of an ongoing series to help serve as a primer for the NHL Entry Draft, to be held Jun. 27, 2014 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Each day, Too Many Men on the Site will look at draft history in reverse order, starting from No. 30 on May 29, and finishing with the first overall pick on the day of the draft, Jun. 27. In addition to recent history (last five years) of the pick, the series will examine the team’s history in that particular draft slot, or as close as possible if there is no history, the criteria being three picks on either side of the allotted slot for this year.
In our last post, we covered the New Jersey Devils having the 30th overall pick because of salary cap circumvention with the Ilya Kovalchuk contract.
Traditionally, the 30th pick goes to the Stanley Cup champion, but because of the penalty to the Devils, this year’s 29th pick is still up in the air as the Stanley Cup finalists have not been determined.
Of note, the Tampa Bay Lightning own the New York Rangers’ first-round pick, as the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference Final, fulfilling a condition as part of the trade that sent Martin St. Louis to Broadway in exchange for Ryan Callahan.
In lieu of the details we had for the 30th pick, we’ll take a quick look at what each of the remaining teams has done historically in the 29th slot, or somewhere thereabouts.
The Initiation – Chicago’s History With The 29th Draft Pick
The Blackhawks have had the 29th pick five times in their history, though none of those picks have really panned out.
In the 1970s, Chicago picked there three times, taking forwards Brian Ogilvie (1972), Reg Thomas (1973), and Doug Lecuyer (1978). Combined, those three players played a combined 255 NHL games, posting 35 goals and 59 assists. Lecuyer was the most successful of the three, posting 11 goals and 31 assists in 126 NHL games.
Chicago’s 29th Draft Pick Blues continued in 1987, when they took Swift Current Broncos defenceman Ryan McGill. In 151 games, McGill posted just eight goals and 11 assists, most of which were spent with the Philadelphia Flyers in the early 1990s.
In 2001, Erie Otters goaltender Adam Munro became Blackhawks property in the 29th spot, Chicago’s second first-rounder that year after taking Tuomo Ruutu ninth overall. After a couple of decent seasons in Erie, Munro couldn’t translate his success to the professional ranks, posting a 4-10-3 record in 17 NHL games with a 3.30 goals-against average and .887 save percentage with one shutout.
The Heir Apparents – The Kings’ History With The 29th Draft Pick
Los Angeles has selected in the 29th slot twice, but neither was a first-round selection, and neither player was a diamond in the rough.In 1979, the Kings took London Knights forward Dean Hopkins. He played parts of six NHL seasons, four of which came with the Kings. From 1983 onward, he spent nearly all his time bouncing around the American Hockey League, finishing his NHL career with 23 goals and 51 assists in 223 games.
In 1997, the Kings selected Peterborough Petes forward Scott Barney in the 29th slot. Back injuries delayed his NHL debut until the 2002-03 season, playing five games with the Kings before playing a career-high 19 games with Los Angeles the following year, scoring five goals and six assists. After not playing the during the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Barney played three more games with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2005-06 before bouncing around the AHL and eventually landing in Europe, where he currently plays with Italian squad HC Valpellice.
Electrifying Selections – Tampa Bay’s History With The 29th Draft Pick
As previously mentioned, Tampa Bay owns this pick because the Rangers got to the Eastern Conference Final, fulfilling a condition of the Martin St. Louis trade.
The Lightning have selected 29th overall twice in their history, but again, neither pick did anything productive for the team.
1993 was Tampa Bay’s second NHL draft, so the team was still very much in the building process. They thought they had found their goaltender of the future in Tyler Moss, so they took him early in the second round of that draft. However, Moss was traded to Calgary in 1997 for Jamie Huscroft, never suiting up for the Bolts.
Unfortunately, the former Kingston Frontenac never found his game in the professional ranks, getting into just 30 NHL games with a 6-16-1 record, a 3.25 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.
In 2009, the Lightning again had the 29th pick, their second pick in the first round after drafting Victor Hedman second overall. Tampa Bay acquired the pick from Detroit in exchange for the 32nd pick (Landon Ferraro, son of former NHLer Ray Ferraro) and the 75th pick (Andrej Nestrasil). The Bolts took Carter Ashton, son of Brent Ashton, with that pick, then traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Keith Aulie in 2012.
To date, Ashton has played in 47 career NHL games with Toronto, posting three assists.