Every NHL team has good years and bad years at the draft, but not all good years are created equal. Some teams have repeatedly pulled epic groups of players in a single year, from Hall of Famers to long-term NHLers. Other teams have struggled so much they’ve been lucky to land one great player in a single draft.
Paring down a list of every team’s greatest draft class was a difficult task. The Edmonton Oilers, for instance, picked Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson and Kevin Lowe in 1979 and Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri and Andy Moog in 1980. Their second-best draft might rank top-five in NHL history. Alas, every team only gets one nominee for this exercise (not every pick is listed – just a team’s notable selections). The rules are arbitrary, the process subjective. Some disclaimers:
About the Author
Matt Larkin is a senior writer at The Hockey News and has been part of the team since 2011. He's your one-stop shop for deep-dive player interviews, predictions, statistics, fantasy player rankings, player safety and hair tips. Catch him weekly as host of The Hockey News Live and The Hockey News Podcast.