Skip to main content

The top 10 scorers from the past 15 NHL drafts

The No. 1 pick in the NHL draft usually measures up as the leading scorer, but there are some notable exceptions. Take a look at the top 10 scorers in the 15 NHL drafts from 2005 to 2019.
USA Today

USA Today

The cream rises to the top. In eight of the past 15 NHL drafts, the No. 1 overall pick reigns as the leading scorer – and in 13 of the past 15 drafts, the leading scorer was among the first four selections. Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov is the glaring exception as the leading scorer in the 2011 draft after being picked 58th overall. The other upstart is Nashville's Filip Forsberg, who was selected 11th overall in 2012 (by Washington) but has risen up as the most productive player from that draft.

Here's a quick glance at the top 10 scorers from the past 15 NHL drafts, from 2005 through 2019.

Top 10 scorers from the 2005 NHL draft
1. Sidney Crosby 1,263 (1st, Pittsburgh)
2. Anze Kopitar 950 (11th, Los Angeles)
3. Paul Stastny 726 (44th, Colorado)
4. Keith Yandle 573 (105th, Phoenix)
5. T.J. Oshie 567 (24th, St. Louis)
6. Bobby Ryan 555 (2nd, Anaheim)
7. James Neal 545 (33rd, Dallas)
8. Kris Letang 537 (62nd, Pittsburgh)
9. Patric Hornqvist 480 (230th, Nashville)
10. Andrew Cogliano 399 (25th, Edmonton)
Year of Sid: Fifteen years later, only two of the top 10 picks from 2005 rank among the top 10 scorers from that draft...Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup quest got a big boost with the arrival of Crosby and Letang, plus last overall pick Hornqvist was later acquired in exchange for Neal...Yandle sits a few slots ahead of Letang to claim defenseman scoring honors for the '05 draft.

Top 10 scorers from the 2006 NHL draft
Nicklas Backstrom 927 (4th, Washington)
2. Phil Kessel 861 (5th, Boston)
t-3. Claude Giroux 815 (22nd, Philadelphia)
t-3. Jonathan Toews 815 (3rd, Chicago)
5. Brad Marchand 646 (71st, Boston)
6. Jordan Staal 537 (2nd, Pittsburgh)
t-7. Bryan Little 521 (12th, Atlanta)
t-7. Milan Lucic 521 (50th, Boston)
9. Kyle Okposo 506 (7th, NY Islanders)
10. Derick Brassard 483 (6th, Columbus)
Bruins bulk up: After taking Kessel in the first round, Boston nabbed Lucic in Round 2 and Marchand in Round 3...Erik Johnson, the No. 1 overall pick by St. Louis in 2006, leads all defensemen – and ranks 17th overall – with 303 NHL points...Kessel (371) and Toews (345) are the goal leaders from the 2006 class.

Top 10 scorers from the 2007 NHL draft
Patrick Kane 1,022 (1st, Chicago)
2. Jakub Voracek 695 (7th, Columbus)
3. Jamie Benn 688 (129th, Dallas)
4. Max Pacioretty 554 (22nd, Montreal)
5. David Perron 549 (26th, St. Louis)
6. Logan Couture 546 (9th, San Jose)
7. Wayne Simmonds 499 (61st, Los Angeles)
8. James van Riemsdyk 481 (2nd, Philadelphia)
9. Sam Gagner 459 (6th, Edmonton)
10. P.K. Subban 426 (43rd, Montreal)
Praising Kane: Kane was clearly the right choice at No. 1 overall, with more than a 300-point lead on Voracek and nearly 100 more goals than runner-up Benn (389-300)...Speaking of Benn, he's the big steal from the 2007 draft, going from the 129th player selected to third overall in career points...Montreal fared well in the first two rounds, landing Ryan McDonagh at 12th overall, Pacioretty 22nd and Subban 43rd.

Top 10 scorers from the 2008 NHL draft
Steven Stamkos 832 (1st, Tampa Bay)
2. Erik Karlsson 603 (15th, Ottawa)
3. Jordan Eberle 518 (22nd, Edmonton)
4. Drew Doughty 502 (2nd, Los Angeles)
5. Derek Stepan 479 (51st, NY Rangers)
6. John Carlson 478 (27th, Washington)
7. Joshua Bailey 476 (9th, NY Islanders)
8. Alex Pietrangelo 450 (4th, St. Louis)
9. Roman Josi 413 (38th, Nashville)
10. Adam Henrique 378 (82nd, New Jersey)
Lightning striker: No. 1 overall pick and leading point-getter Stamkos has nearly 200 more goals than runner-up Eberle (422-225)...It was a big draft for defensemen – after Stamkos, the next four picks were blueliners – and it shows with five D-men among the top 10 scorers...Carlson was the 12th and final defenseman to be selected in the first round in 2008.

Top 10 scorers from the 2009 NHL draft
John Tavares 769 (1st, NY Islanders)
2. Matt Duchene 589 (3rd, Colorado)
3. Ryan O'Reilly 559 (33rd, Colorado)
4. Victor Hedman 473 (2nd, Tampa Bay)
5. Evander Kane 457 (4th, Atlanta)
6. Brayden Schenn 429 (5th, Los Angeles)
7. Nazem Kadri 393 (7th, Toronto)
t-8. Oliver Ekman-Larsson 364 (6th, Phoenix)
t-8. Marcus Johansson 364 (24th, Washington)
10. Mike Hoffman 359 (130th, Ottawa)
Avs alert: Colorado ended up drafting two of the top three scorers in Duchene and second-rounder O'Reilly...Seven of the first eight players drafted also rank among the top eight scorers from the 2009 draft...The only two defensemen among the top 10 scorers, Hedman and Ekman-Larsson, are also the only two who remain with the team that drafted them.

Top 10 scorers from the 2010 NHL draft
Tyler Seguin 635 (2nd, Boston)
2. Taylor Hall, 563 (1st, Edmonton)
3. Jeff Skinner 465 (7th, Carolina)
4. Ryan Johansen 442 (4th, Columbus)
5. Vladimir Tarasenko 428 (16th, St. Louis)
6. Evgeny Kuznetsov 389 (26th, Washington)
7. Mark Stone 385 (178th, Ottawa)
8. Jaden Schwartz 364 (14th, St. Louis)
9. Mikael Granlund 352 (9th, Minnesota)
10. Brendan Gallagher 334 (147th, Montreal)
Two at the top: A decade later, the 'Taylor vs. Tyler' debate continues. Seguin leads the 2010 draft in games played (741), goals (279) and points, while Hall won a Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2018...The Blues scored with Tarasenko and Schwartz in the middle of the first round...How did Stone last until the seventh round? How did Gallagher last until the fifth?

Top 10 scorers from the 2011 NHL draft
Nikita Kucherov 544 (58th, Tampa Bay)
2. Gabriel Landeskog 460 (2nd, Colorado)
3. Johnny Gaudreau 445 (104th, Calgary)
4. Mark Scheifele 444 (7th, Winnipeg)
5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 443 (1st, Edmonton)
6. Jonathan Huberdeau 437 (3rd, Florida)
7. Sean Couturier 402 (8th, Philadelphia)
8. Mika Zibanejad 384 (6th, Ottawa)
9. Brandon Saad 347 (43rd, Chicago)
10. Ondrej Palat 328 (208th, Tampa Bay)
Bolts out of the blue: The Lightning landed Kucherov late in the second round and Palat as a seventh-rounder, as well as Vladislav Namestnikov at 27th overall...Fourth-rounder Gaudreau joins Kucherov and Palat as depth picks who rank among the top 10 scorers from the 2011 draft class...Dougie Hamilton, drafted No. 9 overall by Boston, is the highest-scoring defenseman with 299 points to sit 12th.

Top 10 scorers from the 2012 NHL draft
Filip Forsberg 353 (11th, Washington)
2. Alex Galchenyuk 320 (3rd, Montreal)
3. Teuvo Teravainen 289 (18th, Chicago)
4. Tomas Hertl 280 (17th, San Jose)
5. Morgan Rielly 270 (5th, Toronto)
6. Tanner Pearson 215 (30th, Los Angeles)
7. Jacob Trouba 206 (9th, Winnipeg)
8. Shayne Gostisbehere 199 (78th, Philadelphia)
9. Hampus Lindholm 193 (6th, Anaheim)
10. Chris Tierney 189 (55th, San Jose)
Broke and busted: The 2012 draft was relatively weak at the top end, as illustrated by the NHL struggles of first overall pick Nail Yakupov, Edmonton's third straight No. 1 selection...Rielly was the third of eight defensemen to be taken in the top 10 picks, after No. 2 Ryan Murray (Columbus) and No. 4 Griffin Reinhart (NY Islanders)...The relatively unheralded Tierney has one more point than Tom Wilson (16th, Washington), who carries a more notorious reputation.

Top 10 scorers from the 2013 NHL draft
Nathan MacKinnon 495 (1st, Colorado)
2. Sean Monahan 411 (6th, Calgary)
3. Aleksander Barkov 407 (2nd, Florida)
4. Elias Lindholm 320 (5th, Carolina)
5. Bo Horvat 275 (9th, Vancouver)
6. Seth Jones 258 (4th, Nashville)
7. Max Domi 251 (12th, Phoenix)
8. Rasmus Ristolainen 227 (8th, Buffalo)
9. Jonathan Drouin 209 (3rd, Tampa Bay)
10. Alexander Wennberg 201 (14th, Columbus)
Prime picks: Eight of the top 10 players drafted also rank among the top 10 scorers from 2013, with the exceptions being defenseman Darnell Nurse (7th, Edmonton) and winger Valeri Nichushkin (10th, Dallas)...MacKinnon has a healthy lead in points, but Monahan is the goal leader (he has 194 to MacKinnon's 190)...Jake Guentzel (77th, Pittsburgh) sits in 11th place with 200 points in 243 NHL games, just behind Wennberg's total of 201 points in 415 games.

Top 10 scorers from the 2014 NHL draft
Leon Draisaitl 422 (3rd, Edmonton)
2. David Pastrnak 379 (25th, Boston)
3. Dylan Larkin 266 (15th, Detroit)
4. Brayden Point 260 (79th, Tampa Bay)
5. Nikolaj Ehlers 257 (9th, Winnipeg)
6. Sam Reinhart 255 (2nd, Buffalo)
7. William Nylander 221 (8th, Toronto)
8. Viktor Arvidsson 214 (112th, Nashville)
9. Aaron Ekblad 212 (1st, Florida)
10. Kevin Fiala 158 (11th, Nashville)
World of hockey: In the midst of four No. 1 overall picks in a six-year stretch, Edmonton landed Draisaitl at No. 3. Calgary selected Sam Bennett at No. 4 overall...Only two of the top 10 picks from 2014 rank among the top 10 scorers...There are seven nationalities among the top 10 scorers: German (Draisaitl), Czech (Pastrnak), American (Larkin), Canadian (Point, Reinhart, Ekblad), Danish (Ehlers), Swedish (Nylander, Arvidsson) and Swiss (Fiala).

Top 10 scorers from the 2015 NHL draft
Connor McDavid 469 (1st, Edmonton)
2. Jack Eichel 337 (2nd, Buffalo)
3. Mitch Marner 291 (4th, Toronto)
4. Sebastian Aho 263 (35th, Carolina)
5. Mikko Rantanen 250 (10th, Colorado)
6. Mathew Barzal 207 (16th, NY Islanders)
7. Kyle Connor 201 (17th, Winnipeg)
8. Travis Konecny 185 (24th, Philadelphia)
9. Zach Werenski 169 (8th, Columbus)
10. Brock Boeser 161 (23rd, Vancouver)
Game-changer: There was plenty of high-end help available in the 2015 draft, but nobody's second-guessing McDavid at No. 1...Aho makes the biggest jump, from second-round pick to fourth-highest scorer...Werenski leads Noah Hanifin (5th, Carolina), Ivan Provorov (7th, Philadelphia) and Thomas Chabot (18th, Ottawa) for defenseman scoring honors.

Top 10 scorers from the 2016 NHL draft
Auston Matthews 285 (1st, Toronto)
2. Patrik Laine 247 (2nd, Winnipeg)
3. Matthew Tkachuk 235 (6th, Calgary)
4. Alex DeBrincat 173 (39th, Chicago)
t-5. Clayton Keller 158 (7th, Arizona)
t-5. Pierre-Luc Dubois 158 (3rd, Columbus)
7. Mikhail Sergachev 106 (9th, Montreal)
8. Jesper Bratt 100 (162nd, New Jersey)
9. Charlie McAvoy 92 (14th, Boston)
10. Samuel Girard 84 (47th, Nashville)
Sure shots: The 2016 draft pitted the goal-scoring Matthews versus the goal-scoring Laine, and the two snipers are joined by Tkachuk at the top of the scoring chart...Second-rounder DeBrincat and sixth-rounder Bratt have been the biggest surprises thus far...Two of the three highest-scoring defensemen, Sergachev and Girard, have already been traded and play for Tampa Bay and Colorado, respectively.

Top 10 scorers from the 2017 NHL draft
Nico Hischier 135 (1st, New Jersey)
2. Elias Pettersson 132 (5th, Vancouver)
3. Robert Thomas 75 (20th, St. Louis)
4. Miro Heiskanen 68 (3rd, Dallas)
5. Nolan Patrick 61 (2nd, Philadelphia)
6. Cale Makar 50 (4th, Colorado)
7. Filip Chytil 49 (21st, NY Rangers)
8. Nick Suzuki 41 (13th, Vegas)
9. Casey Mittelstadt 39 (8th, Buffalo)
10. Martin Necas 38 (12th, Carolina)
Scoring race: It looks like Pettersson is going to be the player who piles up the most points from the 2017 draft class, but No. 1 pick Hischier is holding on to the top spot at the moment. Hischier has played 209 NHL games compared to Pettersson's 145...All of the top 10 scorers are first-rounders. Depth selections Emil Bemstrom (117th, Columbus) and Drake Batherson (121st, Ottawa) have 20 and 19 points, respectively, to sit 13th and 14th...Heiskanen and Makar lead the blueline brigade and could be battling for the Norris Trophy before too long.

Top 10 scorers from the 2018 NHL draft
Andrei Svechnikov 98 (2nd, Carolina)
2. Brady Tkachuk 89 (4th, Ottawa)
3. Rasmus Dahlin 84 (1st, Buffalo)
4. Quinn Hughes 56 (7th, Vancouver)
5. Jesperi Kotkaniemi 42 (3rd, Montreal)
6. Joel Farabee 21 (14th, Philadelphia)
7. Filip Zadina 18 (6th, Detroit)
8. Adam Boqvist 13 (8th, Chicago)
9. Rasmus Sandin 8 (29th, Toronto)
10. Noah Dobson 7 (12th, NY Islanders)
Start of something: It's way too soon to declare winners and losers from the 2018 draft. But the early returns are promising for goal-hungry Svechnikov and power forward Tkachuk, while the sublime talents of top pick Dahlin and puck-moving Hughes are obvious... Svechnikov (44) and Tkachuk (43) are also battling for the goal lead, with Kotkaniemi (17) in third place...At this point, Dobson is the only Canadian-born player among the 10 highest-scoring skaters from 2018.

Top scorers from the 2019 NHL draft
Kirby Dach 23 (3rd, Chicago)
t-1. Kaapo Kakko 23 (2nd, NY Rangers)
3. Jack Hughes 21 (1st, New Jersey)
4. Ville Heinola 8 (20th, Winnipeg)
5. Tobias Bjornfot 0 (22nd, Los Angeles)
First impressions: Only five players from the 2019 draft have seen any NHL action, and only three – Hughes, Kakko and Dach, the top three selections – spent the 2019-20 season in the big leagues...Heinola played eight games on Winnipeg's blueline in October before returning to Finland...Bjornfot played three games on L.A.'s blueline before being sent to the AHL.


Tage Thompson

Tage Thompson Ties NHL Record for Most Goals in a Period

Tage Thompson scored four goals in the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night. He set two Buffalo Sabres records in the process.

Alex Pietrangelo

Golden Knights' Alex Pietrangelo Away from Team Indefinitely

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo will be away from the team indefinitely due to an illness in his family.

Jared McCann

Do the Seattle Kraken Continue to Push for the Playoffs?

The Seattle Kraken are second in the Pacific Division. Adam Proteau says the team can still sell assets for a long-term vision if they want.