The NHL Draft got underway on Wednesday in Nashville, with teams that failed to make the playoffs last year hoping to restock with their high picks and become contenders again quickly. Bettors backing those teams at Michigan sportsbook apps also had reason to pay attention to Wednesday’s first round.
The Chicago Blackhawks landed the big prize this spring in the Draft Lottery, winning the top pick and the right to draft Connor Bedard, one of the most touted prospects of the past several years.
As for the Detroit Red Wings, they drafted No. 9 overall and selected Nate Danielson from the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League. Danielson, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound center who was born in Edmonton, had 33 goals and 45 assists in 68 games in the WHL during the 2022-23 season.
It’s not easy to look at an 18-year-old and project how good he’ll be several years from now. That’s why some picks wind up being busts. But as part of our Michigan sports betting coverage, BetMichigan now delves into recent history to see what the Red Wings might expect out of the No. 9 overall draft slot.
Here are the 20 most recent ninth overall picks with the year they were drafted, the team that selected them, their career point shares, plus career stats and highlights:
No. 9 Picks From Past 20 NHL Drafts
Not A Lot Of All-Stars At Ninth Pick
Going by point shares – a metric hockey-reference.com uses to distinguish a player’s total career value – the conclusion is this:
Red Wings fans can probably expect a solid contributor, but the chances of landing a future Hall of Famer or even an All-Star at No. 9 overall is not great.
Since the 2003 Draft, when Calgary selected defenseman Dion Phaneuf ninth, players elected in that spot have combined for just two All-Star appearances and two Stanley Cups (both rings going to one player).
In a way, Phaneuf represents the ceiling over the past two decades for players selected No. 9 overall. He had a 14-year career and complied 494 points in 1,048 games. His 86.6 career point shares are the most on this list.
Several players after him on our list either didn’t fulfill their potential or are now solid, if not spectacular, veterans such as Logan Couture, Josh Bailey, Mikael Granlund, Dougie Hamilton, Jacob Trouba and Bo Horvat.
Can the Red Wings, who have +10000 odds at Caesars Michigan Sportsbook to win the Stanley Cup in the 2023-24 season, beat the odds and turn Danielson into a superstar? There might be hopeful signs amid a few of the most recent No. 9 overall picks.
Some Young Players Starting To Emerge
Wing Timo Maier was a centerpiece acquisition by the Devils when they got him in February from the Sharks. He had a career-high 40 goals this season between San Jose and New Jersey. He added two goals and two assists in 11 playoff games as the Devils reached the second round. On Wednesday, the Devils announced that they had signed Meier, 26, to an eight-year, $70.4 million contract; he could have become a restricted free agent on July 1. Customers using the BetMGM Bonus Code Michigan can get +1200 odds on the Devils to win the Stanley Cup in 2023-24.
Montreal drafted defenseman Mikhail Sergachev in 2016 but he played just four games for the Canadiens before they dealt him to Tampa Bay. With the Lightning, Sergachev has earned two Stanley Cup rings (the only ones for any player on our list) and in the 2022-23 season he set career highs with 64 points, 149 blocks, 156 shots on goal and 23:49 in average ice time per game. He just turned 25 on June 25 and has emerged as a key cog with the Lightning defense.
Trevor Zegras, 22, has quickly become a key piece of Anaheim’s rebuilding process since the Ducks drafted him in 2019. In the 2021-22 season, the center was on the NHL All-Rookie Team and was the runnerup for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the league’s top rookie. Zegras slightly improved his numbers in 2022-23, scoring 23 goals (matching his total from the year before) and putting up a career-high 65 points.
A Couple of Hall of Famers Went No. 9
If we dig further back in history, there were some real gems taken with the No. 9 overall selection in the draft.
The Rangers picked Brian Leetch in 1986 and he went on to be one of the best defenseman of his era, winning the Norris Trophy twice. He won the Calder Trophy in 1989, his first full season. He was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP when the Rangers won their long-awaited Stanley Cup in 1994, the crowning moment of Leetch’s 18-year career. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
Cam Neely became a four-time All-Star after being selected by the Vancouver Canucks in 1983. The 2005 Hall of Fame inductee played most of his career in Boston, where he led the Bruins to Stanley Cup final appearances in 1988 and 1990 before injuries cut his career short at age 31. He had three 50-goal seasons and has continued to prove his hockey acumen in his current role as Bruins president, a post he has held since 2010.
Rod Brind’Amour, chosen by St. Louis in 1988, played 20 seasons in the NHL and twice won the Selke Award as the league’s best defensive forward. He won a Stanley Cup as Hurricanes captain in 2006 and has been Carolina’s head coach since May 2018. In the 2018-19 season he led Carolina to its first playoff berth in 10 years, and the Hurricanes have been to the postseason every year since, losing the Eastern Conference final to Florida this season.
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