NHL Draft: A look back at the 14th and 29th overall picks
With the 2016 National Hockey League Entry Draft just over a week away, it’s time to close the book on the 2015-16 season and look forward to a busy off-season. The Bruins, fresh off of back to back late regular season collapses, hope to mold a team that returns to the postseason in 2016-17.
Thanks to their trade with the San Jose Sharks that sent Martin Jones back to the Western Conference, the Bruins own two first round picks. In the opening round of this year’s draft, the Bruins will select 14th and 29th overall. The 29th pick that came from the Sharks would have been the 30th and final first round selection had they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final.
Let’s take a look back at some notable NHL players who were selected 14th and 29th overall in previous drafts.
1973|14th overall| Rick Middleton| New York Rangers
Regular season stats: 1005 games played|448 goals|540 assists|988 points
Playoff stats: 114 games played|45 goals|55 assists|100 points
A name that may ring a bell to Bruins fans, Middleton was drafted 14th by the New York Rangers in 1973 after a successful junior hockey career with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. After a season in the American Hockey League and then two with the Rangers, Middleton was traded to the Bruins in exchange for Ken Hodge. Middleton went on to be a star with the Bruins, playing 12 seasons in Boston. In 1981 and 1984, Middleton was named to Team Canada in the Canada Cup where he had 11 total points in 14 games between the two tournaments. Middleton is not in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but with his numbers, he certainly should be.
2003|14th overall|Brent Seabrook|Chicago Blackhawks
Regular season stats: 844 games played|85 goals|282 assists|376 points
Playoff stats: 119 games played|20 goals|39 assists|59 points
Every team in the National Hockey League would like a Brent Seabrook on their blueline. The Canadian-born defenseman was taken 14th overall by the Blackhawks in 2003. Seabrook just completed his 11th season with the Hawks and continues to be one of the league’s best at his position. Seabrook has won three Stanley Cups, a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics and a gold medal at the 2005 World Junior Championship to date. In September of 2015, Seabrook was named an alternate captain of the Blackhawks, an honor he still holds today. Seabrook has been a huge part of the Blackhawks’ dynasty.
2007|14th overall|Kevin Shattenkirk|Colorado Avalanche
Regular season stats: 410 games played|55 goals|187 assists|242 points
Playoff stats: 47 games played|4 goals|24 assists|28 points
After being selected 14th overall in 2007, Shattenkirk went on to star at Boston University where he played three successful seasons. In 2009, Shattenkirk assisted on Colby Cohen’s overtime tally, a goal that won Boston University a National Championship. After playing a full season in the American Hockey League and the majority of the 2010-11 season with the Avalanche, Shattenkirk was then traded to the St. Louis Blues along with Chris Stewart and a conditional second-round pick in exchange for Erik Johnson, Jay McClement and a conditional first-round pick. Much like Seabrook, Shattenkirk has developed into one of the best all-around defensemen in the game. An unresisted free agent to be after the 2016-17 season, Shattenkirk has been rumored to be on the trading block this summer. With the Bruins in hot pursuit of a top defenseman, one would expect them to be in on any deal involving the Greenwich, Connecticut native.
1971|14th overall|Terry O’Reilly|Boston Bruins
Regular season stats: 891 games played|204 goals|402 assists|606 points
Playoff stats: 108 games played|25 goals|42 assists|67 points
Another name that Bruins fans make recognize, O’Reilly was one of the best players to ever be taken 14th overall. Drafted by the Bruins in 1971, O’Reilly went on to become one of the greatest ever to wear the spoked-B. O’Reilly’s No. 24 currently hangs in the rafters of TD Garden as the Bruins retired it in 2002. Not only could O’Reilly score, but he could also beat people up. O’Reilly will go down as one of the toughest players the league has ever seen. The Niagra Falls, Canada native racked up 2095 penalty minutes during his 13-year career. O’Reilly served as the team’s captain for two seasons in 1983-84 and 1984-85 before calling it quits. Bruins fans will always remember O’Reilly for his role in the infamous brawl that spilled out into the stands of Madison Square Garden in a game against the New York Rangers. O’Reilly also coached the Bruins for three seasons following his retirement where he won 115 games and guided the team to the Stanley Cup Final in 1988.
1964|14th overall|Ken Dryden|Boston Bruins
Regular season stats: 397 games played|258 wins|57 losses|74 ties|2.24 goals-against average|.921 save percentage
Playoff stats: 112 games played|80 wins|32 losses|2.40 goals-against average|.915 save percentage
Not many people know that Dryden was originally drafted by the Bruins before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens days later. Dryden himself had no idea of the transaction between the two hated rivals until he was informed by his agent in the mid 1970’s. Dryden arguably grew into the best goalie in the history of the NHL and was a huge part of one of the sport’s greatest dynasties. Dryden was named the Calder Memorial Trophy winner as rookie of the year in 1971 before winning six Stanley Cups, one Conn Smythe, and five Vezina Trophies as the league’s top goaltender. Dryden was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983 and then had his No. 29 retired by the Canadiens in 2007.
2004|29th overall|Mike Green|Washington Capitals
Regular season stats: 649 games played|120 goals|276 assists|395 points
Playoff stats: 76 games played|10 goals|27 assists|37 points
After five full seasons with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League, the Washington Capitals used the 29th overall pick in 2003 to select the big defenseman. Despite battling injuries throughout his career, Green was a staple on the Capitals’ blueline for parts of 10 seasons. This past summer, Green and the Capitals parted ways as the veteran signed a three-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings. More of an offensive defenseman, Green still ranks as one of the better current blueliners in the league and works as a top power play puck mover for the Red Wings.
1974|29th overall|Danny Gare|Buffalo Sabres
Regular season stats: 827 games played|354 goals|331 assists|685 points
Playoff stats: 64 games played|25 goals|21 assists|46 points
Playing 13 seasons for three different teams, Gare was a perfect role player for the Sabres, Red Wings and Oilers. Gare’s career got off to a good start with 63 points his rookie season and 73 in his sophomore campaign. In Gare’s rookie season, he was a pivotal part of a Sabres team that made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. Gare played eight and a half seasons with the Sabres before being traded to the Red Wings in the middle of the 1981-82 season. In 2005, Gare’s No. 18 was retired by the Sabres.
1998|29th overall|Jonathan Cheechoo|Jonathan Cheechoo|San Jose Sharks
Regular season stats: 501 games played|170 goals|135 assists|305 points
Playoff stats: 59 games played|16 goals|19 assists|35 points
To the surprise of many, Cheechoo was a first round selection by the Sharks after San Jose acquired the pick from the Nashville Predators earlier in the day. Cheechoo got off to a slow start with the Sharks but really burst onto the scene in the 2005-06 season where he scored 56 times and won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. Cheechoo currently holds a handful of San Jose Sharks’ franchise records including most goals in a season, most power play goals in a season (24) and most hat tricks in a season (5). Injuries slowed down Cheechoo’s career as he spent his last two professional seasons playing in the KHL in Russia.
2000|29th overall|Niklas Kronwall|Detroit Red Wings
Regular season stats: 738 games played|74 goals|291 assists|365 points
Playoff stats: 109 games played|5 goals|42 assists|47 points
Two years after the Sharks hit big with Cheechoo from the 29th spot, the Detroit Red Wings did the same. In 2000, Detroit took Kronwall, who since being drafted has been a key member of a Red Wings club that has made it to the playoffs for 25 consecutive seasons. Kronwall won the Stanley Cup with the Wings in 2008 after leading all defensemen during the playoffs in points with 15. Kronwall and the Wings would return to the Final the following season only to lose to the Penguins in seven games. To go along with his Stanley Cup crown, Kronwall won a Gold Medal with Team Sweeden at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.
1984|29th overall|Stephane Richer|Montreal Canadiens
Regular season stats: 1054 games played|421 goals|398 assists|819 points
Playoff stats: 134 games played|53 goals|45 assists|98 points
After being selected 29th by the Canadiens in 1984, Richer went on to play in over 1000 games with five different teams in his NHL career. Richer was a two-time Stanley Cup champion, winning his first with Montreal in 1986 and his second with the Devils in 1995. Richer ranks tied for second with six other players for most playoff overtime goals with four. Richer was known for his quick release and his hard shot. Along with Guy Lafleur, Richer is the only Canadiens player to score 50 times in one season; he did so in 1987-88.