The NHL just held its draft lottery Monday for the first time ever. (They’re a little slow to catch on to the appeal of bouncing white balls north of the border, eh?) The Edmonton Oilers are going 12th and will give that pick to the Ducks as a result of signing Dustin Penner to an offer sheet this past off-season.
By virtue of a somewhat socialist draft lottery policy, the Ducks (Edmonton) couldn’t have won the first pick. The best they could have hoped for was 7th. I’m no NHL draft guru, but the odds of finding the next Teemu Selanne or Scott Niedermayer at No. 12 aren’t too hot. Based on history, you are likely to find the next:
Ryan McDonagh (Montreal, 2007); Bryan Little (Atlanta, 2006); Marc Staal (Rangers, 2005); A.J. Thelen (Minnesota, 2004); Hugh Jessiman (Rangers, 2003); Steve Eminger (Washington, 2002); Dan Hamhuis (Nashville, 2001); Alexei Smirnov (Ducks, 2000); Denis Shvidki (Florida, 1999); Alex Tanguay (Colorado, 1998); Marian Hossa (Ottawa, 1997); Josh Holden (Vancouver, 1996); Teemu Riihijarvi (San Jose, 1995) or Jeff Friesen (San Jose, 1994).
Of those guys, Hossa and Tanguay became impact players. Friesen and Hamuis have had a few good years, and Little and Staal probably have a few good years ahead of them. McDonagh and Thelen are still too young to make a verdict on. The rest were drafted too high.
So yes, the Ducks can expect find the next Teemu at No. 12 … Teemu Riihijarvi.