For fans of the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche it's easy to get excited about this weekend's NHL Entry Draft. Those teams are going to land one of the top prospects who has a chance to compete for playing time immediately. Fans of teams picking towards the bottom of the first round may have a tougher time getting riled up about the festivities, given the decreased odds of success for their first-round draft choice.
Well, there's no reason for each an every NHL fan not to get at least a little blood flowing in anticipation of the 2011 NHL Draft. Each slot in the first round has produced an NHL star and some point or another, so why not again this year?
Those fans down in the dumps about having a seemingly worthless draft pick, a quick look at the best players drafted in that spot may be enough to brighten your mood.
With fairness in mind, I only used players draft in 1980 and beyond because that's when the NHL changed the rules for their entry draft. Prior to that the WHL caused a different set of rule that left guys like Wayne Gretzky undrafted. Thus, the start point for players eligible for this list is 1980.