Draft Primer…

We are just days away now from what is the most highly anticipated NHL Entry Draft in Portland for quite some time.

The Winterhawks, who have had only three first round selections in the past 10 years (Marcel Hossa #16 in 2000, Jakub Klepis #16 in 2002 and Braydon Coburn #8 in 2003) may very well have two players selected in the top 10 on Friday night and maybe as many as six to eight players total selected on the weekend.

Here are some numbers to chew on heading into Friday’s first round:

— Since the Hawks moved to Portland, they have had a total of 107 players selected in the NHL Entry Draft.  Since 1969, the Hawks franchise (including players selected from the Edmonton Oil Kings prior to the relocation to Portland) have had 135 players selected.  That is the most of any WHL franchise.  Next up would be Regina with 112, Saskatoon with 111 and Kamloops with 108.

— Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter are both predicted to be Top 10 selections this year.  Portland has had two players taken in the Top 10 twice in their history — Perry Turnbull (#2 to St. Louis) and Keith Brown (#7 to Chicago) in 1979 and Glen Wesley (#3 to Boston) and Dave Archibald (#6 to Minnesota) in 1987.

— Of the 107 selections for Portland, 43 (40.2%) have come in the first two rounds with 21 being first round selections.

— In the 33 year history of the team, only twice have the Hawks not had a player selected (2001 & 2008).

— The NHL team that has selected the most Hawks?  The Stanley Cup champs – the Chicago Blackhawks with 10 selections (the last coming when the Blackhawks selected Jared Smith in the 7th round, #174 overall, in 1997.   Smith was selected 34 spots ahead of Andrew Ference, who went in the 8th round, #208 overall, to Pittsburgh.)

— Which Hawk waited the longest to hear his name called?  Scott Nichol…who went in the 11th round, #272 overall, to the Buffalo Sabres way back in 1993.  Nichol played last year in San Jose. (Although James DeMone was taken with the #283 pick in 2000, that was in the 9th round after expansion increased the number of teams.)

— The Hawks have had eight players selected in a single draft twice in their history — 1978 (Wayne Babych, Brent Peterson and Larry Playfair in the 1st round, Paul Mulvey, Doug Lecuyer and Dale Yakiwchuk in the 2nd round, Dave Ross in the 7th and Jerry Price, the father of Carey Price, in the 8th) and 1980 (David Babych in the 1st round, Brian “Bunny” Shaw in the 4th, Ed Cooper, Glen Ostir and Darrell May, Sr. in the 5th, Randy Turnbull and John Multan in the 6th and Rob Geale in the 8th).

— The first Hawk to have his name called?  D-man Jeff Bandura with the 22nd pick in the 2nd round by Vancouver in 1977.

— The only NHL teams that have not selected a Hawk — Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and the Nashville Predators.

There you go…hope to see a lot of you at the draft party at Buffalo Wild Wings downtown on Friday afternoon…should be a good time!

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