2011 NHL Entry Draft: Each NHL Team's Best Second Round Pick of All Time

Scott WeldonCorrespondent IJune 23, 2011

2011 NHL Entry Draft: Each NHL Team's Best Second Round Pick of All Time

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    Paul Stasny
    Paul StasnyHarry How/Getty Images

    The first round of the NHL draft is this Friday night In Minnesota. Coverage of the event begins at 7 p.m. EST.

    Every NHL team still operating seems to have gotten a handle on picking a quality player in the first round of the NHL draft. Of the 150 players chosen in the first round of the entry draft from 2000 until 2004, only 10 have never played a game in the NHL.

    After the first round, it gets trickier. Good organizations pick up useful NHL players in the second round and beyond. Draft success rate drops off exponentially as you move deeper and deeper into the entry draft.

    This slideshow is a look back at how NHL organizations have done in the second round of NHL draft. It's a list of the best player each NHL team has managed to choose with their second round picks.

    I've included every organization that has ever made a second round selection in the NHL amateur or entry draft. Thus, you will see how the Carolina Hurricanes and the Hartford Whalers have done in the second round. The Phoenix Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets picks will be evaluated.

    Each slide is labelled with the team that made the pick, the player chosen and his position, the year he was chosen and the position he was chosen in overall. A lot of the players chosen in the 70s and 80s would be first round picks today.

    Special thanks to www.hockeydb.com for their extensive lists of the NHL drafts by year and by team.     

Front Office Material

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    Rick Bowness was one of Many Players taken in the second round who went on to become coaches in the NHL
    Rick Bowness was one of Many Players taken in the second round who went on to become coaches in the NHLJeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    The lists of players drafted in the second round do not tend to be full of the most talented players in hockey. What you do find is a huge number of players who went on to be coaches or general managers in the National Hockey League.  

    Among the drafted players from the second round destined to join the ranks of hockey management were: Mike Murphy, Larry Robinson, Brian Sutter, Lorne Henning, Colin Campbell, Bobby Clarke, Rick Bowness, Randy Carlyle, Barry Melrose, Lindy Ruff and Joel Quenneville.

    Teams planning long term might look to find their future coach in the second round of this year's entry draft.         

1.Anaheim Ducks: Matt Cullen, C, 1996 (35th Overall)

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    RALEIGH, NC - JUNE 19: Matt Cullen #8 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Edmonton Oilers during game seven of the 2006 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 19, 2006 at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Hu
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Ducks/Mighty Ducks have participated in 18 NHL entry drafts. While they have experienced some general success drafting players, their ability to find effective NHL players in the second round has been limited.

    Jordan Leopold (1999), Brendan Mikkelson (2005) and Ilya Bryzgalov (2000) highlight a group that generally speaking does not even make the NHL.

    The best of the Duck second round picks was Matt Cullen. He had his best season with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2005-06, scoring 49 points in 78 regular season games and then adding 18 in 25 playoff games as the Hurricanes went on to win their first and only Stanley Cup. He tied for third in scoring on the team that year in the playoffs with Rod Brind'Amour.

    He played with the Minnesota Wild last year and has two more years left on his contract with them. He has played in 958 NHL games and scored 500 points.       

2.Atlanta Flames: Guy Chouinard, C, 1974 (28th Overall)

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    The Flames from Atlanta got in eight drafts before they were picked up and moved to Calgary. In that time, they made some reasonable picks in the second round. The best of those was Guy Chouinard. 

    Guy had one great offensive season (1978/79) in Atlanta where he scored 50 goals and 107 points. He managed a couple other point a game seasons but never approached the 50 goal mark again. Guy had a great playoff run with the Calgary Flames in 1981 when he scored 17 points in 16 playoff games as the Flames made it to the third round of the playoffs, losing in six games to the Minnesota North Stars.  

    Guy barely nudges out 1973 second round pick Eric Vail, who scored 11 more goals and 99 fewer points in 13 more regular season games. Vail only got in six games during the Flames' 1981 playoff run.     

3.Atlanta Thrashers: Ondrej Pavelec, G, 2005 (41st Overall)

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    MONTREAL, CANADA - MARCH 29:  Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Atlanta Thrashers makes a pad save on the puck during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on March 29, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty I
    Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

    The Thrashers were in Atlanta for 12 seasons and made 10 second round picks in that time. Aside from Ondrej Pavalec, they have been almost universally horrible. The jury is still out on the 2009 second round picks Carl Klingberg and Jeremy Morin, but no else taken in the second round by the Thrashers has played more than one NHL game.

    Pavelec, in contrast, has played in 119 NHL games in his four seasons in Atlanta. He won the starting job from the always injured Kari Lehtonen. Steady improvement saw Pavalec with a 2.73 GAA and .914 save percentage in 58 games last year. He also posted a career best four shutouts.

    There is literally no one to compete with Ondrej Pavalec for the title of greatest Atlanta Thrasher second round pick of all time. The move to Winnipeg almost guarantees him the title in perpetuity.         

4.Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron, C, 2003 (45th Overall)

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    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 08:  Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins faces off against Manny Malhotra #27 of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Four of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 8, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Harry How/G
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Fresh from his Stanley Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks, Bergeron leads an interesting group of second round Bruin draft picks.

    Fellow cup winner David Krejci was a second round pick for the Bruins a year after Patrice. All-time great defenseman Mark Howe was a Bruin second round pick in 1974. Josef Stumpel (1991) and Dan Bouchard (1970) and a third cup winner, Milan Lucic (2006) all merited consideration.

    Bergeron is that rare combination of defensive ability and offensive skill. His offensive talent has suffered after his concussion in 2007. He went from being a 70 point a season player to re-establishing himself as a checking center who scores 50 points a season.

    Bergeron is the best faceoff man in a Boston and a key component of their Stanley Cup win.     

5.Buffalo Sabres: Danny Gare, 1974 (29th Overall)

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    BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 08: Buffalo Sabres Alumnus Danny Gare signs autographs on Fan Appreciation Night prior to game between the Buffalo Sabres and  Philadelphia Flyers at HSBC Arena on April 8, 2011 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Image
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Danny Gare was a two time 50-goal scorer in Buffalo. He scored 354 goals in 827 NHL games.

    Gare lead a long list of good Buffalo Sabre second round picks, some of whom may play long enough to have better careers than Gare did.

    Derek Roy (2001), Jason Pominville (2001), Curtiss Brown (1994), John Tucker (1983), Tony McKegney (1978), Henrik Tallinder (1997), Craig Ramsay (1971) and Corey Sarich (1996) were a the best of a host of quality, talented NHL players all selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round. There were no superstars in this group, but it is as consistently good a list of second round picks as any NHL team has ever made.      

6.Calgary Flames: Joe Nieuwendyk, C, 1985 (27th Overall)

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    26 Feb 1995: Rightwinger Joe Sacco of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Joe Nieuwendyk of the Calgary Flames move down the ice during a game at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. The Flames won the game, 5-3.
    Glenn Cratty/Getty Images

    Once they moved to Calgary from Atlanta, the Flames never managed to put together that great a drafting record. The second round particularly has seemed like an afterthought to a lot of Flames general managers.

    Darryl Sutter in the last eight entry drafts made only two second round picks: Tim Ramholt (2003) and Mitch Wahl (2008). Generally, the Flames have picked a cast of characters in the second round that you would only know if you were a life long fan: Brian Glynn (1986), Blair Betts (1998), Stephane Matteau (1987), Steve Begin (1996) and Paul Ranheim (1984) do not come to mind when stories of all-time great players are being told.

    Thank goodness for Joe Nieuwendyk. Joe is only one of the greatest second round picks of all time, taken by anyone, anywhere.

    He scored 51 goals and 92 points in his first season as a Flame, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year.

    As a sophomore, he won "the" Cup in Calgary after a second 51 goal season. He had 14 points in 22 playoff games and was sixth in playoff scoring for Calgary as a 21-year-old. He was a playoff sniper with 10 goals.

    Nieuwendyk was traded to the Dallas Stars in 1995 for Jarome Iginla. Injuries were slowing Nieuwendyk by this time, but he was still the second leading scorer on the team as Dallas won their Cup. He was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs that year, this at age 31.

    Joe Nieuwendyk had a 20 season NHL career, scoring 564 goals in 1,257 games. Joe is one of the greatest second round picks of all time.   

7.California Golden Seals: Dennis Maruk, C/RW/LW, 1975(21st Overall)

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 31:  Mario Lemieux #66 of the Pittsburgh Penguins battles John Druce #19 and Dennis Maruk #21 of the Washington Capitals for a loose puck during the 2011 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game on December 31, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pitts
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The poor, ill-fated California/California Golden/Oakland Seals were one of the second six expansion teams that joined the league. Based in Oakland, they were the least successful team from the 1967 expansion.

    The Seals only participated in 10 amateur drafts before they moved on to Cleveland, where they were even less successful.

    They were a team better known for trading their draft picks away than making use of them. Still, they managed to pick up a few quality players in their time. Second rounders Ron Stackhouse (1969) and Stan Weir (1972) had substantial NHL careers. Peter Laframboise (1970) and Bruce Affleck (1974) played in more than 200 NHL games. The best of all the second rounders and probably the best player the Seals ever drafted was Dennis Maruk.

    Maruk played a season with California and then two with Cleveland before being dealt to the Washington Capitals. He was almost a point a game player in his first three seasons in the league, but he got even better after the move to Washington. He scored 50 goals and 97 points in his first year with the Capitals. He then managed an incredible 60 goals and 136 points the next season (1981-82).

    Maruk proved to be a quality offensive NHL player despite his small size. His one great season rivals any NHLer's single season in history.    

8.Carolina Hurricanes: Mike Zigomanis, C, 2001 (46th Overall)

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    TORONTO - OCTOBER 2: Mike Zigomanis #26 of the Toronto Maple Leafs shoots during warmup before playing the Detroit Red Wings during a preseason NHL game at the Air Canada Centre October 2, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Image
    Abelimages/Getty Images

    The Carolina Hurricanes have yet to hit a home run in the second round of the draft since moving from Hartford. The best they have managed to find so far is plodding center Mike Zigomanis.

    Technically, he was drafted first by Buffalo in the second round in 1999. Unsigned, he returned to the draft, where Carolina took him, again in the second round, in 2001.   

    Zigomanis has appeared in 197 NHL games and has scored 21 goals and 40 points for Carolina, St Louis, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

    The Hurricanes have to be hoping that a youngster like Brian Dumoulin (2009) will come along soon and outdo Zigomanis.   

9.Chicago Blackhawks: Duncan Keith, D, 2002 (54th Overall)

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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 19: Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks shoots the puck against the Vancouver Canucks in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 19, 2011 in Chicago
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    For an Original Six franchise who has participated in every amateur and entry draft since they began in 1963, the Chicago Blackhawks have had a disappointing record, especially in the second round.

    Checkers Jeff Shantz (1992) and Wayne Presley (1983) were among the best second rounders Chicago has ever taken. Is their next best second round pick Steve Ludzik from 1980?

    It seems only in recent years do the Blackhawks pick up some decent second round players. Current goalie Corey Crawford was the second round pick in 2003. Role player Dave Bolland was their second round pick the next year. 

    Not surprisingly, it is a recent draft pick who turns out to be Chicago's best second round pick of all time.

    Duncan Keith has only played six full NHL seasons. Already he is one of the better NHL defensemen in the game today. He was a key member of the Stanley Cup winning team in Chicago in 2010, with 17 points in 22 games as a defenseman. He was equally key playing first pair minutes with Team Canada and helping them win a gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics.

    Keith is already far and away the best second round pick in Chicago Blackhawk history.

10.Cleveland Barons: Dan Chicoine, RW, 1977 (23rd Overall)

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    The Cleveland Barons participated in one NHL Amateur draft before the team was chopped up for spare parts for other NHL organizations. The one second round pick in their history was right winger Dan Chicoine.

    Dan Chicoine had a short undistinguished NHL career after a very successful four years in junior. His junior scoring prowess playing for the Sherbrooke Beavers never translated to the NHL level. He did have a succesful year (1978-79) with the Okalhoma City Stars, Minnesota's minor league affiliate in the CHL, where he scored 26 goals and had 48 points in 60 games.

11.Colorado Avalanche: Paul Stastny, C, 2005 (44th Overall)

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22:  Paul Stasny #26 of the Colorado Avalanche has the puck knocked away by Matt Greene #2 of the Los Angeles Kings during the first period on March 22, 2010 at the the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry Ho
    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Colorado Avalanche did not begin drafting players until they moved from Quebec in 1995. They did not seem to have the same success drafting as they did as the Nordiques. Of course, the Avalanche tended to have better seasons than the Nordiques, making for a worse draft position.

    The best of their second round picks are more recently drafted players like Petr Budaj (2001), TJ Galiardi (2007) and Ryan O'Reilly (2009).

    The best second round draft pick taken by the Colorado Avalanche in their history has to be Paul Stastny. He was the second of four second round picks the Avalanche took in 2005.

    Stasny has become the first line center on the Avalanche. He has been or near to being a point a game player since he joined the league. He has 321 points so far in 348 career regular season games. Son of former Czechoslavkian defector and NHL star Peter Stastny, the American born Paul shows that hockey playing skills can be inherited.          

12.Colorado Rockies: Merlin Malinowski, C, 1978 ( 27th Overall)

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    Here is another NHL franchise that had a very short existence. They were the relocated Kansas City Scouts franchise. They lasted three years longer than the Scouts did in Kansas City and participated in two NHL amateur drafts and the first three NHL entry drafts.

    They took three second round picks, and all three played in the NHL. One of these was Rich Chernomaz (1981), one of the more highly regarded junior players in his day. Unfortunately, he never succeeded at the NHL level.

    The best of the three second round Colorado Rockie draft picks was Merlin Malinowski from North Battleford, Saskatchewan. I can only imagine that his nickname in junior must have been the magician.

    Merlin scored 48 goals and 126 points in his last season in the WCHL with the Medicine Hat Tigers.

    Malinowski had one quality offensive season (1980-81) with Colorado, where he scored 25 goals and 62 points in 69 games. He was a talented offensive player, but was said to be a defensive liability.    

13.Columbus Blue Jackets: Tim Jackman, RW, 2001 (38th Overall)

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    The Columbus Blue Jackets are an expansion team that has only 11 NHL entry drafts to choose from. That makes for a small list of second round draft picks who have even had the time needed to develop into useful NHL players, supposing they had the talent to do so.

    Really, the choice among the second round picks Columbus has had to date has to be between the limited Dan Fritsche (2003) or more limited bruiser Tim Jackman. Fritsche is an offensively challenged checking center who has played himself to Europe.

    Jackman, on the other hand, seems to have found the mother ship in Calgary, where Darryl Sutter was always very keen to collect talentless tough guys to populate his line-up. Things may get tougher for Jackman under new GM Jay Feaster.

    I'm going with Jackman, because he has lasted longer in the NHL than Fritsche despite being outscored by the offensively challenged checker.

    Tim is still playing an NHL role, while Dan is gone.

14.Dallas Stars: Jamie Langenbrunner, RW, 1993 (35th Overall)

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    SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 31: Antti Niemi #31 of  the San Jose Sharks defends his goal against Jamie Langenbrunner #15 of the Dallas Stars in the third period during an NHL hockey game at the HP Pavilion on March 31, 2011 in San Jose, California. The Sharks wo
    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    The Dallas Stars moved from Minnesota in 1993. Since that time, 16 of their 21 second round picks have played in the NHL. This is a team that likes second round picks and uses them well.

    Since 2000 they have drafted Dan Ellis (2000), Trevor Daley (2002), BJ Crombeen (2003), Loui Eriksson (2003), Nicklas Grossman (2004) and James Neal (2005), all quality NHLers and all in the second round. I would expect great things from Alex Chiasson (2009) and Patrick Nemeth (2010), their two most recent second round picks.

    The best of all of these, however, was the first second round pick they ever made in Dallas, Jamie Langenbrunner. In some ways, he seems like the definitive second round pick. He is a quality offensive player who is also defensively responsible. He is another good second round pick who was a key member of the Dallas Stars 1999 Stanley Cup winning team.

    Langenbrunner has played 1,035 games in his 16 season NHL career. He has scored 231 goals and 638 points in that time.    

15.Detroit Red Wings: Adam Graves, LW, 1986 (22nd Overall)

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    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 22: Former New York Ranger players Mark Messier, Andy Bathgate and Adam Graves look over Bathgate's jersey during a ceremony prior to the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers on February 22, 2009 at Madison Squ
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Detroit Red Wings are regaled in song and story for their ability to snap up top quality NHL stars deep in draft rounds. They got Henrik Zetterberg in the seventh round in 1999, 210th overall. Johan Franzen, their playoff workhorse, was chosen in the third round in 2004, 97th overall. Current team leader Pavel Datsyuk was chosen in the sixth round, 171st overall, in 1998. Nicklas Lidstrom, the Red Wings all world defenseman, was picked up in the third round in 1989, 53rd overall.  

    You would think, then, that the Detroit Red Wings must be the best second round drafting team of all time if they are plucking gems out of the seventh round trash bins. Not so. In the second round, the Red Wings seem to have gotten themselves role players. Whether it's a power play specialist like Reed Larson (1976) or a checker like Mathieu Dandenault (1994) or Tomas Kopecky (2000), the Detroit Red Wings seem to be drafting something beside top end talent in the second round.

    Jimmy Howard (2003) may turn out to be the greatest second round pick of all time for Detroit. Igor Grigorenko (2001), if he'd stayed healthy, might have proven to be the most talented Detroit Red Wing ever drafted in the second round. However the best second round draft pick in Detroit Red Wings history was Adam Graves (1986).

    Adam Graves only lasted parts of three seasons in Detroit before he moved to Edmonton and helped them win their last Stanley Cup in 1989/90.

    Graves signed with the Rangers and had his best season as a pro in 1993/94, with 52 goals and 79 points in 84 games. He had 17 points in 23 playoff games as the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994.

    Graves had a 16-season NHL career and scored 329 goals and 616 points.              

16.Edmonton Oilers: Jarret Stoll, 2002 (36th Overall)

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    The Edmonton Oilers are an organization famous for building one of the greatest dynasties in hockey history from the ground up. Sure, they got Wayne Gretzky via his personnel services contract to Peter Pocklington, but just about every other member of the 1980's Oilers' dynasty teams was drafted.

    Apparently none of those guys were picked in the second round, however. Their second round stars are Alexei Semenov (1999), Brad Winchester (2000), Georges Laraque (1995), David Vyborny (1993) or Brad Werenka (1987). It is not an intimidating group.

    The great Oilers were either picked in the first round like Paul Coffey (1980) or Kevin Lowe (1979) or Grant Fuhr (1981), or they were picked in later rounds like Jari Kurri, Glen Anderson and Esa Tikkanen in the fourth round or Mark Messier in the third.

    Consequently, the greatest Edmonton Oiler second round pick of all time turns out to be power play point man and checker Jarret Stoll.

    Stoll was drafted in 2002 after the Flames drafted him in 2000 and then failed to sign him. Stoll has 515 NHL games to his credit and has scored 113 goals and 296 points. He was part of the Oiler team that made the Stanley Cup run in 2006. He has a great shot and is one of the quicker skaters in the league.

    He, like Patrice Bergeron, is another player whose offensive prowess became blunted after suffering a nasty concussion.     

17. Florida Panthers: David Booth, LW, 2004 (53rd Overall)

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    The Florida Panthers, aside from the year after their Stanley Cup run in 1996, have generally had great opportunities to draft early. They have accumulated a fair amount of good young talent but have never managed to produce a top notch hockey team with it. Despite their drafting opportunities, they have missed the playoffs for nine straight years.

    The list of players they have picked up in the second round helps you understand their failure to succeed. They have drafted Rhett Warriner (1994), Kristian Huselius (1997), Kamil Kreps (2003), Alex Auld (1999) and Kevin Weekes (1993). These are not bad NHL players, but they are certainly not the nucleus of a Stanley Cup winning team.

    The hope has to be that young goaltending prospect Jacob Markstrom picked in the second round of 2008 will develop over time into their starting goalie and the greatest Florida Panther second round pick.

    Until that happens, David Booth is the greatest Florida Panther second round pick in history. Booth has gotten in 303 games and has 87 goals and 166 points.

    He had his best season in 2008/09, when he scored 31 goals and 60 points in 72 games.

    Unfortunately, he has yet to recover completely from a devastating Mike Richards hit in 2009. He played a full 82 game season this year but only scored 23 goals and 40 points. The jury is still out on whether this decrease in offensive production is yet another concussion hangover or simply due to a lack of offensively skilled teammates.    

18.Hartford Whalers: Geoff Sanderson, LW, 1990 (36th Overall)

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    The Whalers had a good run in Hartford before they finally moved to Carolina after 18 years. They iced some good teams, but could never make the jump to greatness.

    Geoff Sanderson managed to play 1,104 NHL regular season games. He was often called a selfish gunner, but he could score goals. He had two seasons in Hartford where he scored more than 40 goals in a season and two others where he scored in the thirties.

    Sanderson had a good career, scoring 355 goals over it, and was the Whalers' best second round pick of all time.    

19.Kansas City Scouts: Glen Burdon, D, 1974 (20th Overall)

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    The Kansas City Scouts participated in three amateur drafts from 1974 to 1976 before moving to Colorado. They made two second round picks. The first was Glen Burdon, a defenseman who played in 11 NHL games and got two assists. The second was left winger Don Cairns (1975), who played nine games and got an assist.

    I'm giving the trophy to Glen Burdon, the first and best second round pick in Kansas City Scouts history.

    That there exists a tiny write-up and bad picture of Glen Burdon (theoretically) out there, has me suddenly just a little bit scared of the Internet.   

20. LA Kings: Mike Cammalleri, RW, 2001 (49th Overall)

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    Two of the LA Kings' most recent second round draft picks, Oscar Moller (2007) and Wayne Simmonds (2007), look like they can round into top rate NHL players. Until they do, MIke Cammalleri is the best second round draft pick in Kings' history.

    Cammalleri has played in almost 500 regular season NHL games. He has scored 177 goals and 384 points. The talented sniper doesn't seem to have realized all his potential yet. At age 29, the best should come soon.       

21.Minnesota North Stars: Don Beaupre, G, 1980 (37th Overall)

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    Don Beaupre of the Minnesota North Stars wins the battle to be the Minnesota North Stars' best second round pick through shear doggedness if nothing else. He won starting jobs in Minnesota and Washington, and while never backstopping a Cup winning team, came close with the Capitals.

    He played in 667 games in 17 seasons. His average of one shutout a year won't have Tony O quaking in his skates, but still puts him ahead of Frantisek Musil (1983), Mike Craig (1989) and Dave Semenko (1977) in my estimation in the fight to be the North Stars' best ever second round pick.    

22.Minnesota Wild: Nick Schultz 2000 (33rd Overall)

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    The Minnesota Wild are another expansion franchise with only 11 drafts to search through for great second round picks. There are not many of their picks who have come to fruition as of yet.

    The best of those is defensive defenseman Nick Schultz. Schultz has carved himself a niche in Minnesota. He was known more for his offensive play in junior hockey. That skill hasn't translated to the big leagues.

    He is likely to score 20 points or less a year while playing consistent second pair minutes. He has played nine solid seasons in the NHL and looks to have many more ahead of him.          

23. Montreal Canadiens: Larry Robinson, 1971(20th Overall)

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    Larry Robinson tops a list of great Montreal Canadiens who were second round draft picks. Just a few of the players give you the flavour of it, as Chris Chelios (1981), John Leclair (1987), Eric Desjardins (1987), Mats Naslund (1979), Mike Ribeiro (1998) and PK Subban (2007) were all second round Montreal Canadien draft picks.

    Larry Robinson would be in the running as the best second round pick of all time. He is one of the greatest offensive and defensive defensemen of all time.

    Larry played 17 seasons in Montreal on six Stanley Cup winning teams. He won the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs when the Canadiens won the cup in 1978. He won the James Norris trophy twice as the league's best defenseman.

    Larry Robinson in his 20 years in the NHL scored 208 goals and 958 points as a defenseman. Like Dennis Potvin, he was that rare combination of offensive skill and defensive toughness that few players possess separately, let alone together.   

24. Nashville Predators: Shea Weber, D, 2003 (49th Overall)

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    The best second round pick in the Nashville Predators' short history is Shea Weber. A big, tough offensive defenseman, he showed his skills in last year's Olympics and this year's playoffs. He helped Team Canada to gold in Vancouver and the Nashville Predators into the second round of the playoffs for the first time ever.

    Weber has played six NHL seasons, and at age 25 is, if not still a growing boy, certainly still a developing talent. At 6'4" and 235 pounds, he is hopefully finished growing.

    Weber produces reasonable offensive numbers while being one of the best shut down and puck moving defensmen in hockey. Once Nashville signs their restricted free agent, he should be performing that job for years to come for the Predators.      

25.New Jersey Devils: Patrik Elias, LW, 1994 (51st Overall)

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    When you see Patrik Elias play, you wonder how he could have lasted until the second round in the 1994 NHL entry draft. Doubly mysterious is how Radek Bonk, Jamie Storr, Jason Bonsignore, Jason Wiemer, Brett Lindros, Wade Belak, Brad Brown, Chris Dingman, Jason Botteril, Evgeni Ryabchikov, Jeff Kealty, Yan Golunovsky, Chris Wells etc. etc. etc. got taken before Elias. Mind you, New Jersey chose Vadim Sharifijanov in the first round that year.

    Some see Patrik Elias as one of the best 10 players of the last decade in the NHL. The left winger is slowing down, and a bout with hepatitis last year certainly didn't help him. However, 335 goals and 816 points in 961 NHL regular season games helps make Elias one of the best second round picks of all time. Throw in some great playoff performances, especially when the Devils won the cup in 2000, and he just looks that much better.        

26.New York Islanders: Bryan Trottier, C, 1974(22nd Overall)

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    At one time, the New York Islanders were the best run organization in hockey. When Bill Torrey was in charge of hockey operations, you knew there was someone at the helm who was trying to win and knew how to draft and develop great players. John Tonelli (1977), Ziggy Palffy (1991), Kelly Hrudey (1980), Lorne Henning (1972), Tomas Jonsson (1979) and Gord Dineen (1981) were all quality second round Bill Torrey draft picks.

    Bryan Trottier, though, was better than all of them. He joined the team for the 1975/76 season and scored 95 points straight out of junior to win the Calder Memorial trophy as the league's best rookie. He went on to have six seasons as an Islander, when he scored more than 100 points. He won the Conn Smythe trophy in 1980 as the MVP of the playoffs when the Islanders won their first of four consecutive cups. He had 29 points in 21 playoff games that year.

    He also won an Art Ross Trophy and Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's leading scorer and most valuable player the year before.

    Trottier is one of the all-time greats and a key member of all four Stanley Cup winning Islander teams. He also got to play on and contribute to the two Penguin Stanley Cup winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    Bryan Trottier is probably my pick as the best second round pick of all time, bar none.             

27.New York Rangers: Doug Weight, C, 1990 (34th Overall)

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    The New York Rangers have a surprisingly long list of talented NHL players they have drafted in the second round. In the line-up now are Derek Stepan (2008) and Brandon Dubinsky (2004). Over the years, they have drafted Ron Greschner (1974), Tomas Sandstrom (1982), Mattias Norstrom (1992), Mike Allison (1980), Pat Hickey (1973) and Fyodor Tutin (2001). 

    The Rangers also presented me with my most difficult choice for best second round pick in team history. My first instinct was to choose goalie Mike Richter (1985) as the best Ranger ever drafted in the second round.

    Mike Richter was taken 28th overall back in 1985. By the 1993/94 season, he was not only the starting goalie in New York; he was the work horse playing in 68 games. He backstopped the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup win since 1940 and only the fourth in team history.

    Richter would play another nine quality seasons in New York. He was the goaltender who helped the US win the 1996 World Cup. This represented the first US international victory in ice hockey in a tournament where all the best players in the world participated.

    However, I chose Doug Weight in the end as the best Ranger second round pick of all-time because of his longer career and what I felt was his greater talent. It is a fools game trying to compare goaltenders and skaters, but here I am.

    Doug has just retired from the NHL after 20 seasons. For parts of his career, the talented Weight was one of the best playmakers in the game. He had his best seasons in Edmonton, scoring 104 points in 1995-96.

    He had 16 points in 23 playoff games for the Hurricanes when they won their 2006 Cup. He has been a useful contributor on several NHL teams.

    Internationally, he was the best player at the World Junior tournament in 1991, as he led all scorers with 21 points, beating out Eric Lindros from Canada, who had 17, and Pavel Bure from the Soviet Union, who had 15.

    He was the first line center for the gold medal winning 1996 World Cup US team, tying for third in tournament scoring with Mats Sundin, Wayne Gretzky, Brian Leetch and Paul Coffey. He was a member of Team USA when they won the silver at the Salt Lake City Olympics.  

28.Ottawa Senators: Mike Fisher, C, 1998 (44th Overall)

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    Unlike the New York Rangers, the Ottawa Senators have had a pretty dismal record drafting in general, but in the second round particularly. Tim Gleason (2001) and Antoine Vermette (2000) are two of the second round shining stars for Ottawa.

    The best Ottawa Senator second round draft pick is Mike Fisher. Fisher began his career in Ottawa as a quality checking center with some offensive skills. Like Jamie Langenbrunner, Fisher in many ways seems like the classic second round draft pick. All the mercurial offensive talent has theoretically already been taken. It is in the second round where the jack of all trades begins to look more attractive.

    Fisher has only cracked the 50 point barrier in a season once, but he has scored over 20 goals in a season four times mostly while playing third line minutes.

    An adept penalty killer and checking center, Fisher can play at any time in any situation for your team. His offensive role was expanding in Ottawa before he was dealt to Nashville. He may play more offensive minutes in Nashville, but at this point in his career, it is unlikely you will see a huge uptick in his scoring. If he scores 60 points next year, that will be a significant career best for him       

29. Phoenix Coyotes: Ossi Vaananen, D, 1998 (43rd Overall)

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    The Coyotes are still hanging on in Phoenix by virtue of a $25 million subsidy by the City of Glendale. They desperately need some instant success to make hockey look like a possibility in the desert.

    This would be a nice time for the Coyotes to draft their best second round pick of all time. Incidentally, it is probably a good moment for them draft a series of the best players in Coyote history .The team needs some monster breaks to keep from being moved or collapsing under their own debt.

    Very few Phoenix Coyote second round picks have even made the NHL (six out of 16). None to this point have excelled.

    Plodding finnish defenseman Ossi Vaananen has had the best career to date. At best, he has been a slow, physical NHL depth defenseman. He played parts of eight NHL seasons for four different teams before migrating to the KHL and then the Finnish Elite League.

    The Coyotes need to draft someone much better than him this year.     

30.Philadelphia Flyers: Bobby Clarke, C, 1969 (17th Overall)

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    Bobby Clarke is one of the all-time great hockey players. Drafted in 1969, he is the earliest second round pick to make any team's best list. 

    Clarke won three Hart Memorial trophies as the most valuable player in the league during his 15-year career and one Frank J. Selke trophy as the best defensive forward in the game. Bobby was the heart, soul and the talent of the great Philadelphia Flyer teams of the 70s that won two Stanley Cups.

    He helped the Flyers become the first team from the 1967 expansion to win a cup. He helped them become and remain competitive for a decade. 

    Clarke was a point a game player for his entire career, scoring 1,210 points in 1,144 games. He was one of the toughest faceoff men in the history of hockey. He was a tireless worker willing to do anything to win.

    Bobby would be my last nominee for the position as best second round pick of all time with Bryan Trottier, Larry Robinson and Joe Nieuwendyk.   

31.Pittsburgh Penguins: Greg Malone, C, 1976 (19th Overall)

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    For a team with two of the greatest first overall picks of all time in Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins have sure made a lot of ordinary second round draft choices. Rick Tabarraci (1987) and Richard Park (1994) stand out as two of the best. Alex Goligoski (2004), a power play specialist from Minnesota who played his first full NHL season last year, might soon take over this list.

    Right now, however, the best second round draft pick in Pittsburgh Penguin history is Greg Malone.

    Malone, born in Chatham, New Brunswick, played 704 NHL regular season games, scoring 191 goals and 501 points. The playmaking center had a career best season for the Penguins in 1978/79, when he scored 35 goals and 65 points.

    He is the father of current NHL player Ryan Malone.    

32.Quebec Nordiques: Adam Foote, D, 1989 (22nd Overall)

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    The Quebec Nordiques drafted for 16 years in the NHL before they moved to Colorado. They came across more than their share of talent in that time. Some of the best second rounders they picked included Dale Hunter (1979), Normand Rochefort (1980), Jeff Brown (1984) and Stephane Fiset (1988).

    The best player for me, though, was stay at home defenseman Adam Foote.

    Foote retired this year after a 19 season career, spent mostly with the Quebec/Colorado organization. He was a nasty defensive defenseman his whole career, used throughout in the shut-down role. He was a slightly slower Brooks Orpik in his prime.

    He rarely made an offensive contribution. His best season (2002/03) saw him score 11 goals and 31 points in 78 games. Still, he was a key member on Avalanche Stanley Cup winning teams in 1996 and 2001.

33.San Jose Sharks: Ray Whitney, LW, 1991(23rd Overall)

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    The San Jose Sharks have managed to a sift a few gems for themselves in the second round of the NHL draft. Sandis Ozolnish (1991), Marc Eduoard Vlasic (2005) and Jonathon Cheechoo (1998) are probably three of the best. The very best, however, is the ageless Ray Whitney.

    Whitney was chosen in the second round by San Jose because he had been the linemate in junior of their can't miss second overall pick that year, center Pat Falloon.

    Conventional wisdom at the time suggested that the smaller Whitney owed his success with the Spokane Chiefs to the skill of Falloon. They drafted him as insurance and a security blanket for their soon to be star.

    Both players struggled as 19-year-old NHLers. However, Whitney was allowed to play in the IHL, where he succeeded and developed his game. Falloon was handed the offense in San Jose and expected to lead it.

    Falloon faltered and was dealt to the Flyers in 1995. He eventually played 575 career NHL games but never attained the greatness that was expected of him.

    Whitney developed slowly as well. It was not until he played with Dave Gagner in Florida that, at the ripe old age of 25, he finally found his game. Whitney led that version of the Panthers in scoring with 32 goals and 61 points.

    Whitney went on to play with Columbus, Detroit, Carolina and now Phoenix. He was another key member of the 2006 Hurricane Stanley Cup winning team, scoring 15 points in 24 games. It seems like every half decent second round pick in history played on that team.    

    Whitney has proven to be a quick, durable sniper in the NHL. Even now, at age 39, he seems ready to come back for another season.   

34.St Louis Blues: Brian Sutter, LW, 1976 (20th Overall)

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    The St Louis Blues have had a "checkered" draft history at best. Before 2006, the Blues seemed to delight in trading away their first round picks. During those 37 NHL drafts, the Blues chose a player in the first round only 21 times. When a few of those first round picks turn out to be Keith Osborne, Marty Ruff or even Scott Campbell, it becomes tough to stock a franchise.

    Raltson Purina even opted out of the 1983 draft when the NHL blocked a sale and move to Saskatoon.

    Thus, I did not expect to find much in the way of quality Blues' second round picks.

    Still there are some pretty good players they picked up in the second round. Tony Hrkac (1984), Steve Staios (1991), Igor Korolev (1992), David Backes (2003) and Jochen Hecht (1995) have all had good NHL careers.

    The best of their second round picks, however, has to be Brian Sutter. He was the first Sutter drafted in the NHL.

    Brian scored 41 goals and 80 points in his second full season with the Blues. Sutter had numerous near point a game seasons. Sutter scored 303 goals and 636 points in 779 regular season games.            

35.Tampa Bay Lightning: Drew Bannister, D, 1992 (26th Overall)

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    The Tampa Bay Lightning are about nothing if it isn't success at building through the draft. However through the 19 NHL entry drafts they have participated in, they have only drafted six NHL players in the second round. Perhaps Slovak Richard Panik will soon make it seven.

    The best of this motley crew was the first second round pick in team history, defenseman Drew Bannister. Bannister played portions of six NHL seasons for Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Anaheim and New York before heading to Europe.

    He is back in North America playing for the Ottawa Senators AHL affiliate in Binghampton.

36.Toronto Maple Leafs: Randy Carlyle, D, 1976 (30th Overall)

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs have plucked a lot of quality NHL players in the second round of the draft. Doug Jarvis (1975), Felix Potvin (1990), Gary Leeman (1982), Tiger Williams (1974), Craig Muni (1980), Nikolai Kuleiman (2006) and Matt Stajan (2002) were all second round Leaf picks.

    Randy Carlyle is often considered one of the better offensive defenseman of all time. He is arguably the best Maple Leaf second round pick of all time.

    Carlyle didn't last long in Toronto, but blossomed with the Penguins as a point a game defenseman in the 1980/81 and 1981/82 seasons. He then moved on to Winnipeg and performed the same role there for another six or seven years.

    The offense finally dried up for Randy as injuries took their toll. He retired after 17 seasons in the NHL with 647 points in 1,055 regular season games.       

37.Vancouver Canucks: Michael Peca, C, 1992 (40th)

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    Michael Peca is yet another checking forward with offensive skills who is also a top quality pick-up in the second round of the draft. Vancouver drafted him, but after he'd played 37 games in two seasons, they traded him to Buffalo for Alexander Mogilny.

    Peca found his place in Buffalo, winning his first Selke trophy as the league's best defensive forward in the 1996/97 season. He was soon made team captain. He had 13 points in their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1999.

    Peca won a second Selke trophy with the Islanders in 2001/02 while having his best offensive season: 25 goals and 60 points in 80 games.  

38.Washington Capitals: John Druce, RW, 1985 (40th Overall)

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    The Washington Capitals have to hope that last year's second round pick Dmitri Orlov or goalie Michael Neuvirth will soon become the greatest second round pick in team history. Currently, flash in the pan goalies Jim Carey (1992) and Brian Dafoe (1989) are battling the likes of checking center Tim Taylor (1988), one time playoff hero John Druce (1985) and the forgettable Jan Bulis (1996) for the honour of being Washington's best second round pick.

    In the end, I settled on John Druce. He had a short career but a merry one. He lead the Capitals in playoff scoring in 1990 as they made it to the Eastern Conference Final with 14 goals and 17 points in 15 playoff games. Druce trailed only Craig Simpson of the Stanley Cup champion Oilers in goals scored that playoff year.

    Druce had his best NHL season next year for the Capitals, with 22 goals and 58 points in 80 games. He never came close to playing a full NHL season again.

    During 531 NHL regular season games, John scored 113 goals and 239 points.  

39.Winnipeg Jets: Teppo Numminen, D, 1986 (29th Overall)

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    The Winnipeg Jets got to pick in the NHL draft 17 times. They chose some quality players in the second round, but the best of them was Finnish defenseman Teppo Numminen.

    Numminen had a 20-year NHL career. He topped 50 points in a season twice and was in the 40s four more times. He was a good offensive defenseman and puck mover.

    He was one of the more durable defensemen in NHL history. 


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