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Backdraft 2013: Redoing the top 10 picks from the '13 NHL draft

The 2013 NHL draft might be remembered as one of the best of all-time, featuring a trio of franchise players and plenty of star power after that.
USA Today

USA Today

The 2013 NHL draft looked like a rich one, with superstar potential at the top and plenty of promise as the selection process went deeper, too. Nathan MacKinnon was hyped as a No. 1 with 'Next One' upside, followed by high hopes for Aleksander Barkov, Seth Jones and Jonathan Drouin. MacKinnon, Barkov and Jones have lived up to the billing, while Drouin has not developed into the offensive force that was anticipated.

Here’s a look at the original top 10 draft picks in 2013, followed by a redo of the top 10 with the benefit of hockey hindsight.

2013 NHL draft: The original top 10

1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado
2. Aleksander Barkov, Florida
3. Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay
4. Seth Jones, Nashville
5. Elias Lindholm, Carolina
6. Sean Monahan, Calgary
7. Darnell Nurse, Edmonton
8. Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo
9. Bo Horvat, Vancouver
10. Valeri Nichushkin, Dallas

2013 NHL draft: The top 10 do-over (with original draft position in parentheses)

1. Nathan MacKinnon (1st, Colorado)
2. Seth Jones (4th, Nashville)
3. Aleksander Barkov (2nd, Florida)
4. Sean Monahan (6th, Calgary)
5. Bo Horvat (9th, Vancouver)
6. Elias Lindholm (5th, Carolina)
7. Jake Guentzel (77th, Pittsburgh)
8. Anthony Mantha (20th, Detroit)
9. Max Domi (12th, Phoenix)
10. Josh Morrissey (13th, Winnipeg)

Honorable mentions: Brett Pesce (66th, Carolina); Darnell Nurse (7th, Edmonton); Jonathan Drouin (3rd, Tampa Bay); Ryan Pulock (15th, NY Islanders); Tyler Bertuzzi (58th, Detroit).


  • Mac Daddy: It took a few years for MacKinnon to truly find his footing in the NHL, but he's become a perennial Hart Trophy contender on par with the very best players in the league. The 2013 draft produced three bona fide superstars and several other high-end players, but there is no doubt who's No. 1.
  • Keeping up with Jones: The Predators were ecstatic when Jones fell to them at No. 4 – Florida taking Barkov at No. 2 was a surprise – but Nashville flipped the linchpin blueliner to Columbus for Ryan Johansen in January 2016. Too bad, because Jones fit right in with the Preds' grand tradition of franchise defensemen.
  • Aleksander The Great: The Panthers turned heads when they took Barkov ahead of Jones and Drouin, but the decision looks prescient today. Barkov is the prototype for a No. 1 center as a big, skilled and mobile pivot who dominates in all three zones on the ice.
  • Promise made, promise kept: Five of the top six players drafted in 2013 rank among the new top six and eight of the first 13 picks made the updated top 10. Nine of the players in the new top 10 were first-round picks, with Guentzel the lone exception as the Penguins draftee moved up from the third round to No. 7 overall.
  • No whammies: Nichushkin sticks out as a top 10-drafted player who hasn't met expectations, but he found new life in Colorado this season and delivered his best effort to date. Ristolainen gets piled on from time to time in Buffalo for his defensive play, but it's not like the minute-munching Sabres stalwart had a lot of help before Rasmus Dahlin finally came along. All 30 players drafted in the first round have appeared in the NHL, and all but six have played more than 100 games.
  • Fast forwards: Eight of the updated top 10 picks are forwards, plus Drouin and Bertuzzi among the honorable mentions. The 2013 draft also rendered these contributors up front: Andre Burakovsky (23rd, Washington), Anthony Duclair (80th, NY Rangers), Pavel Buchnevich (75th, NY Rangers), Dominik Kubalik (191st, Los Angeles), Oliver Bjorkstrand (89th, Columbus), Alexander Wennberg (14th, Columbus), J.T. Compher (35th, Buffalo), Andreas Johnsson (202nd, Toronto), Ryan Hartman (30th, Chicago), Artturi Lehkonen (55th, Montreal), Mattias Janmark (79th, Detroit), Jason Dickinson (29th, Dallas) and Andrew Copp (104th, Winnipeg).
  • Blueline brigade: Jones was the big prize on defense in 2013, with Morrissey making the updated top 10 and Pesce, Nurse and Pulock earning honorable mentions. Ristolainen headlines the best of the rest, along with: Shea Theodore (26th, Anaheim), Nikita Zadorov (16th, Buffalo), Will Butcher (123rd, Colorado), Ryan Graves (110th, NY Rangers), Robert Hagg (41st, Philadelphia), MacKenzie Weegar (206th, Florida), Mirco Mueller (18th, San Jose), Tucker Poolman (127th, Winnipeg), Carson Soucy (137th, Minnesota) and Josh Brown (152nd, Florida).
  • Who are those masked men? Juuse Saros (99th, Nashville) is the most established goalie out of the 2013 draft, but he has stumbled in his attempt to usurp Pekka Rinne in the Predators' crease. Tristan Jarry (44th, Pittsburgh) turned in Vezina Trophy-caliber stats in a partial starting role for the Penguins this season. Marcus Hogberg (78th, Ottawa), Cal Petersen (129th, Buffalo) and Eric Comrie (59th, Winnipeg) are the other netminders of note from 2013 who are trying to establish themselves as legitimate NHL stoppers.


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