18 Years Of 18th Picks
The Minnesota Wild currently owns the 18th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Wild.com Managing Editor Mike Doyle takes a look at the last 18 players taken with the 18th selection.
2013 San Jose - D Mirco Mueller
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound defenseman has drawn comparisons to current Sharks blueliner Mar-Edouard Vlasic for his skating ability and puck-moving prowess. After playing last season with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, where he posted 27 points (5-22=27) in 60 games, he was assigned to San Jose’s American Hockey League affiliate in Worcester.
2012 Chicago - LW Teuvo Teravainen
After finishing among the top point scorers in the Finnish Elite League (9-35=44), the Helsinki native skated in three regular season games with Chicago. Blackhawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville said this about the prospect: “He got a short audition after a long season [in Finland]. But I think his instincts are high-end, that the adaptation process will be quick for him and not putting a timeline on when he'll start. But certainly the opportunity, looking forward for him down the road, is exciting.”
2011 Chicago - C Mark McNeill
The first of the Hawks’ back-to-back No. 18 overall picks, McNeill spent the season with the club’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, posting 37 points (18-19=37) in 76 games. The Hockey News had this to say about the prospect: “Has very good size, plus two-way ability and upside. Is a relatively low-maintenance player who does a lot of the little things well. Sets a good example in terms of his work ethic.”
2010 Nashville - LW Austin Watson
Spent all of last season with the Preds’ AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, and put up decent numbers (22-24=46). He played six NHL games at the end of the 2012-13 season, scoring his lone career goal against Calgary on April 23, 2013. Hockey’s Future had this to say about the 6-foot-3, 193-pound center: “The first round pick has good offensive skills but does not project into a big goal scorer at the NHL level, just a solid shutdown center with some offensive upside.”
2009 Montreal - C Louis Leblanc
The center skated in 42 games with the Canadiens during the 2011-12 campaign, scoring five goals and five assists. After playing the entire 2012-13 season with the club’s AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, the 23-year-old skated in eight games with Montreal this year, failing to register a point.
2008 Nashville - G Chet Pickard
The netminder is yet to appear in an NHL game. He split time last season between the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons and the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors.
2007 St. Louis - D Ian Cole
After three seasons of shuffling between the Blues and the club’s AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, Cole signed a two-year contract with the big club. He rotated in with one of the better blue lines in the NHL, appearing in 46 regular season games (3-8=11) and two playoff contests. In four years, he’s played in 113 games totaling five goals, 17 assists and 98 penalty minutes.
2006 Colorado - RW Chris Stewart
Stewart was a part of the deal that sent goaltender Ryan Miller from Buffalo to St. Louis. The 26-year-old only skated in five games with the Sabres and missed time with a lower-body injury. In 382 games, the 26-year-old has racked up 228 points (115-113=228) and 447 penalty minutes.
2005 Nashville - D Ryan Parent
After skating in a smattering of NHL games over four seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks (1-6=7 in 106 games), Parent looks like an established minor league defensive defenseman. He hasn’t appeared in an NHL games since the 2010-11 season.
2004 Montreal - C Kyle Chipchura
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound center has carved out a spot with the Phoenix Coyotes as a reliable defensive forward. He’s appeared in 342 NHL games with Montreal, Anaheim and Phoenix, totaling 78 points (23-55=78).
2003 Washington - RW Eric Fehr
The 28-year-old has spent his entire NHL career with the Capitals. In 379 games, he’s posted 144 points (70-74=144). A depth player, he’s shown the ability to occasionally finish, scoring a career-high 21 goals in 2009-10.
2002 Los Angeles - D Denis Grebeshkov
The 30-year-old Yaroslavl, Russia native has spent time between the NHL and KHL. In 2008-09 he scored a career high 39 points (7-32=39) with the Edmonton Oilers. The next season he was traded to Nashville but was injured after blocking a shot. After he was unable to sign for a pay cut with an NHL team, he played in the KHL from 2010-11 to 2012-13. He returned to North America last season, skating in seven games with the Oilers and spending a majority of the season with the club’s AHL affiliate, Oklahoma City.
2001 Los Angeles - RW Jens Karlsson
The Gothenburg, Sweden native has never skated in North America professionally, spending last season with Boras in the Swedish Elite League.
2000 Pittsburgh - D Brooks Orpik
The 33-year-old defenseman has spent his entire career in the Penguins organization, helping Pittsburgh hoist the Stanley Cup in 2009. The San Francisco-born blueliner represented the United States during the 2010 Olympic Games, winning a silver medal. In 703 games, the hard-hitting Orpik has 13 goals, 119 assists and 734 penalty minutes.
1999 Pittsburgh - RW Konstantin Koltsov
In 2003-04, Koltsov played the entire season for the Penguins, totaling 29 points (9-20=29) in 82 games. He skated in 144 games, all with the Penguins. By 2006, he was playing professionally in Russia, skating for Moscow Oblast Atlant for the last two years.
1998 Buffalo - C Dmitri Kalinin
After eight productive seasons in the NHL (36-126=162 in 539 games), the defenseman returned to Russia to play in the KHL. He’s played for SKA Saint Petersburg for the last three years.
1997 Anaheim - C Mikael Holmqvist
After being drafted by the Ducks in 1997, the Stockholm native skated in his home country for six seasons before making his NHL debut with the Mighty Ducks in 2003-04. He was traded to the Blackhawks and played two more seasons before returning to the Swedish Elite League. In 156 career games, the forward scored 18 goals and 17 assists.
1996 Montreal - C Matt Higgins
After posting three-consecutive 30-goal season with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the Western Hockey League, Higgins was selected by the Montreal Canadiens. However, he skated in only 57 games with the Habs during parts of four seasons, posting one career goal and eventually went overseas to play professionally in Europe.