NHL Draft: Who selects the No. 1 pick and from where?

The 56th NHL Draft is taking place tonight. For the third time in franchise history, the Buffalo Sabres will select the top pick in the draft, assuming they don’t trade the pick away. However, what does history have to say about who most often selects the first overall pick and from where?

Which teams have most often had the No. 1 pick?

The Montreal Canadiens have selected the No. 1 pick the most times out of any NHL franchise, having done so five times. This is despite the fact that the last time they selected the top pick was in the 1980 NHL Draft. The Edmonton Oilers have moved up the list quickly, with all four of their No. 1 selections coming this decade (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015).

Teams to never select the No. 1 pick: Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights.

Number of times each team selected the No. 1 overall pick

*The Arizona Coyotes only No. 1 selection came when they were the Winnipeg Jets in 1981.

*One of the New Jersey Devils No. 1 selections came when they were the Colorado Rockies in 1979.

*Both of the Winnipeg Jets No. 1 selections came when they were the Atlanta Thrashers (1999 and 2001).

All three of the Dallas Stars No. 1 selections came when they were the Minnesota North Stars (1978, 1983 and 1988).

*Three of the Colorado Avalanche’s No. 1 selections came when they were the Quebec Nordiques (1989, 1990 and 1991).

What amateur/professional leagues have produced the most No. 1 picks?

From 1963 to 1978, the NHL Amateur Draft allowed for any amateur player under 20 to be drafted. Due to the absorption of teams from the rival WHA (World Hockey Association) the draft rules were changed in 1979 so that players who had previously played professionally could be drafted by teams. That year the draft’s name was changed to be the NHL Entry Draft.

Click here for larger version of pie chart below

AmateurProfessional Leagues that produced No. 1 overall picks in the NHL Draft

American College/High School Players

Only two players have been taken No. 1 overall and played NCAA Divison 1 hockey (Highest level of American College Hockey). They were Joe Murphy (Michigan State Spartans) who was taken in the 1986 draft and Rick DiPietro (Boston University Terriers) who was taken in the 2000 draft.

Brain Lawton is the only player to be taken No. 1 overall out of an American high school. He was drafted in 1983 after playing for Mount St. Charles High School in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Overseas League Players

Russia: In 2001 when IIya Kovalchuk was selected he was playing in Vysshaya Liga (RUS-2), the second-highest league in the country. Alexander Ovechkin was taken in 2004 from the Russian Superleague League (RSL), now know as the KHL, the highest league in the country.

Sweden: In 1989 when Mats Sundin was selected he was playing in HockeyAllsvenskan (SWE-2), the second-highest league in the country.

Czech Republic: In 1992 when Roman Hamrlik was selected he was playing in the Czechoslovak First Ice Hockey League, now known as the Czech Extraliga.

Switzerland: In 2016 when Auston Matthews was selected he was playing in the National League (NLA), the highest league in the country.

What amateur/professional teams have produced the most No. 1 picks?

The London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) have had the most players of any team taken No. 1 with five. These players are Rick Green (1976), Rob Ramage (1979), Rick Nash (2002), Patrick Kane (2007) and John Tavares (2009).

Team League # of players
London OHL 5
Cornwall OHL 2
Ottawa OHL 2
Sarnia OHL 2
Windsor OHL 2
Halifax QMJHL 2
Montreal QMJHL 2
Rimouski QMJHL 2
Prince Albert WHL (formerly WCHL) 2
Regina WHL (formerly WCHL) 2

Where are No. 1 picks born?

Out of the 55 players that have been selected No. 1 in the NHL draft, 40 (72.72%) of them were born in Canada. Brian Lawton was the first non-Canadian player to be taken No. 1 in the 1983 draft. From that draft onwards 20 of the players taken No. 1 overall have been Canadian, while 15 have been non-Canadian.

World Map.png

 

Non-Canadians taken No. 1 overall by place of birth

America: Brian Lawton (1983), Mike Modano (1988), Bryan Berard (1995), Rick DiPietro (2000), Erik Johnson (2006), Patrick Kane (2007), Auston Matthews (2016)

Russia: IIya Kovalchuk* (2001), Alexander Ovechkin* (2004), Nail Yakupov (2012)

*Both were born back when Russia was part of the Soviet Union.

Czech Republic: Roman Hamrlik* (1992), Patrik Stefan* (1999)

*Both were born back when it was Czechoslovakia. They were both born in cities that are now part of the Czech Republic.

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland): Owen Nolan (1990)

Sweden: Mats Sundin (1989)

Switzerland: Nico Hischier (2017)

What provinces were Canadian players born in?

Canada

*Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) is the only No. 1 to be born in British-Columbia.

Ontario (18) and Quebec (11) dominated the provinces of Canada, having produced 29/40 (72.5%) of the countries No. 1 picks. However, considering that these two account for almost 60% of Canada’s population, it is no surprise.

Cities who have produced multiple No. 1 overall picks

There are a few cities in Canada that have managed to produce multiple No. 1 overall picks. They, along with the players from them, are listed in the table below.

City Province Player (Year Drafted)
Montreal Quebec Claude Gauthier (1964), André Veilleux (1965), Michel Plasse (1968), Mario Lemieux (1984)
Rouyn Quebec Réjean Houle (1969), Pierre Turgeon (1987)
London Ontario Joe Murphy (1986), Eric Lindros (1991)
Toronto Ontario Billy Harris (1972), Dale Hawerchuk (1981)
Windsor Ontario Ed Jovanovski (1994), Aaron Ekbald (2014)
Calgary Alberta Chris Phillips (1994), Taylor Hall (2010)
Halifax Nova Scotia Sidney Crosby (2005), Nathan MacKinnon (2013)

WordPress.com

Info and sources:

Featured Image: “2017 NHL Draft” by Brandon Zeman is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

https://www.hockey-reference.com/draft/ (Use to note team that drafted player, as well as the league and team that picked them). For the few players with no league listed I used Google to find that information.

https://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/index.html (Used to note current teams that never had a No. 1 overall pick)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_first_overall_NHL_draft_picks (Used to find place of birth for No. 1 overall picks)

http://www.hockeydraftcentral.com/1965/65001.html (Used to find Andre Veilleux’s place of birth)

Map of player’s place of birth made using https://mapchart.net/

All other graphs and tables made using Google Spreadsheet in Google Docs

Advertisements

NBA Draft: Comparing the careers of each No. 1 pick

The 72nd NBA Draft takes place tomorrow and the Phoenix Suns have the top pick for the first time in franchise history. With the draft having always been an important time for teams to hopefully revitalize their franchises, let’s take a look back at the past careers that former No. 1 overall picks have had.

The two who never played in the NBA

Clifton McNeeley was the first player ever selected in the NBA (then known as the BAA) Draft by the Pittsburgh Ironmen in 1947. Just like his NFL counterpart, McNeeley never played in the NBA. He had no interest in playing for the team and Pittsburgh ended up folding before the season started.

In the 1951 NBA Draft, the Baltimore Bullets selected Gene Melchiorre with the No. 1 pick. However, he never played in the league as Melchiorre was barred for life from the league due to a point-shaving scandal he admitted to being involved in during his college years at Bradley.

 

Jetpack

All-Star Appearances

The 71 players to have been selected with the 1st pick have made a combined 257 All-Star appearances between them. Out of the 71 No. 1 picks, 27 were never All-Stars, while 44 were at least once. Below is a pie chart showing how many times each of those 44 was an All-Star.

All-Star

The first player taken with the top pick to be an All-Star was Ray Felix, who did so his rookie season in 1953-54.

David Thompson is the only No. 1 pick to be an NBA All-Star (x4) and an ABA All-Star (x1). For the above pie chart, I did not count his ABA All-Star appearance.

Players selected 1st overall with the at least 10 All-Star appearances

Player All-Star App Career Length
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 19 1969-89
Shaquille O’Neal 15 1992-2011
Tim Duncan 15 1997-2016
LeBron James 14 2003-present
Oscar Robertson 12 1960-74
Elvin Hayes 12 1968-84
Magic Johnson 12 1979-91, 95-96
Hakeem Olajuwon 12 1984-2002
Elgin Baylor 11 1958-72
Patrick Ewing 11 1985-2002
Allen Iverson 11 1996-2010
David Robinson 10 1987-2003

All-NBA teams

Out of the 71 players taken with the top pick, 30 made at least one of the NBA’s three All-NBA teams. It is important to note that the All-NBA Third Team was not added until the 1988-89 season.

All-NBA

Elgin Baylor was the first No. 1 pick to make an All-NBA Team (and All-NBA First Team) in 1958-59, his rookie season. Oscar Robertson was the first to make the All-NBA Second Team in 1969-70. James Worthy and David Robinson were the first to make the All-NBA Third Team in 1989-90.

David Thompson is the only No. 1 pick to make an All-NBA Team (x2) and an All-ABA Team (x1). For the above pie chart, I did not count his All-ABA Team appearance.

Andrew Bogut is the only No. 1 overall pick to make an All-NBA Team but never be an All-Star.

Most All-NBA appearances by 1st overall picks 

Player All-NBA Teams First Team Second Team Third Team
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 15 10 5 Started his last season
Tim Duncan 15 10 3 2
Shaquille O’Neal 14 8 2 4
LeBron James 14 12 2 0
Hakeem Olajuwon 12 6 3 3
Oscar Robertson 11 9 2 Did not exist
Elgin Baylor 10 10 0 Did not exist
Magic Johnson 10 9 1 0
David Robinson 10 4 2 4

LeBron James has the most All-NBA First Teams by a No. 1 pick. Patrick Ewing (6) has the most All-NBA Second Team appearances. Shaquille O’Neal and David Robinson have the most All-NBA Third Teams.

WordPress.com

ROY, DPOY, Sixth Man and MIP

Since the 1952-53 season, the NBA has given out the Rookie of the Year (ROY) to the player deemed the best rookie. Out of the 65* players drafted No. 1 overall, 22 (33.84%) have won the ROY award.

*Does not the first five No. 1 overall picks who played before the award started, as well as Ben Simmons since he is a finalist for the 2017-18 ROY Award.

Player ROY Year
Ray Felix 1953-54
Elgin Baylor 1958-59
Oscar Robertson 1960-61
Walt Bellamy 1961-62
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1969-70
David Thompson 1975-76 (ABA)
Ralph Sampson 1983-84
Patrick Ewing 1985-86
David Robinson 1989-90
Derrick Coleman 1990-91
Larry Johnson 1991-92
Shaquille O’Neal 1992-93
Chris Webber 1993-94
Allen Iverson 1996-97
Tim Duncan 1997-98
Elton Brand 1999-00
LeBron James 2003-04
Derrick Rose 2008-09
Blake Griffin 2010-11
Kyrie Irving 2011-12
Andrew Wiggins 2014-15
Karl-Anthony Towns 2015-16

Starting in the 1982-83 season, the NBA has given out the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) and the Sixth Man of the Year Awards. In 1985-86, they started giving out the award for Most Improved Player (MIP). Since the inception of these three awards, only six No. 1 overall picks have won one of them.

 Player Sixth Man MIP DPOY
Bill Walton 1 0 0
Danny Manning 1 0 0
Pervis Ellison 0 1 0
Hakeem Olajuwon 0 0 2
David Robinson 0 0 1
Dwight Howard 0 0 3


MVP

The NBA MVP award was first given out in the 1955-56 season. Oscar Robertson was the first No. 1 overall pick to win the award in 1963-64. In total, only 10 top picks have won the award.

*LeBron is one of three finalists for MVP this year and has a chance to win his fifth.

Player MVP (Years Won)
Kareem Abdul Jabbar 6 (1970-71, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1979-80)
LeBron James* 4 (2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13)
Magic Johnson 3 (1986-87, 1988-89, 1989-90)
Tim Duncan 2 (2001-02, 2002-03)
Oscar Robertson 1 (1963-64)
Bill Walton 1 (1977-78)
Hakeem Olajuwon 1 (1993-94)
Shaquille O’Neal 1 (1999-00)
Allen Iverson 1 (2000-01)
Derrick Rose 1 (2010-11)

Championships and Finals MVP

Out of the 71 players taken with the first pick in the NBA draft, 21* (29.57%) of them have won wither an NBA Championship or an ABA Championship*.

*Elgin Baylor played nine games in the 1971-72 season before retiring due to nagging knee problems which had limited him to only two games the prior season. That year the Lakers finally broke through and won the NBA championship, but Baylor was not an active player on the roster. The team did give him a ring but he is not listed as an NBA Champion on Pro-Basketball Reference so I did not count him.

*Art Heyman won an ABA Championship in 1967-68 with the Pittsburgh Pipers

No. 1 overall picks with multiple NBA Championships

Player Championships Teams
Kareem Abdul Jabbar 6 Lakers (5), Bucks (1)
Magic Johnson 5 Lakers (5)
Tim Duncan 5 Spurs (5)
Shaquille O’Neal 4 Lakers (3), Heat (1)
James Worthy 3 Lakers (3)
LeBron James 3 Heat (2), Cavs (1)
Bill Walton 2 Trail Blazers (1), Celtics (1)
Mychal Thompson 2 Lakers (2)
Mark Aguirre 2 Pistons (2)
Hakeem Olajuwon 2 Rockets (2)
David Robinson 2 Spurs (2)

Of course, the group of players gets even smaller when just looking who has won an NBA Finals MVP. Only eight players taken with the first overall pick have won the award.

Player Number of Finals MVPs
Magic Johnson 3
Shaquille O’Neal 3
Tim Duncan 3
LeBron James 3
Kareem Abdul Jabbar 2
Hakeem Olajuwon 2
Bill Walton 1
James Worthy 1

Hall of Fame

17 of the players who have been selected with the first pick in the NBA Draft have been enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Player Year Drafted Year Inducted
Elgin Baylor 1958 1977
Oscar Robertson 1960 1980
Walt Bellamy 1961 1993
Elvin Hayes 1968 1990
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1969 1995
Bob Lanier 1970 1992
Bill Walton 1974 1993
David Thompson 1975 1996
Magic Johnson 1979 2002
James Worthy 1982 2003
Ralph Sampson 1983 2012
Hakeem Olajuwon 1984 2008
Patrick Ewing 1985 2008
David Robinson 1987 2009
Shaquille O’Neal 1992 2016
Allen Iverson 1996 2016
Yao Ming 2002 2016

*Retired No. 1 picks not yet eligible for HOF: Tim Duncan, Elton Brand, Kenyon Martin, Andrea Bargnani, Greg Oden

*No. 1 picks still playing in NBA: LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Anthony Bennet (G-League),  Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz

*No. 1 picks playing overseas: Andrew Bogut

WooCommerce

Info and Notes:

Featured Image: “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1974” by Frank Bryan is a public domain image

https://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/ (used to take note of honors for each player taken with the 1st pick)

https://www.basketball-reference.com/awards/hof.html (Find when players were inducted into Hall of Fame)

All charts and tables made using Google Spreadsheet

NBA Draft: Who selects the No. 1 pick and from where?

The 72nd NBA Draft is taking place on Thursday and for the first time in franchise history, the Phoenix Suns will select the top pick in the draft, assuming they don’t trade it away. However, what does history have to say about who most often selects the first overall pick and from where?

Which teams have most often had the No. 1 pick?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have selected the top pick in the NBA draft six times, with four of those coming since 2000 (LeBron James in 2003, Kyrie Irving in 2011, Anthony Bennett in 2013 and Andrew Wiggins in 2014).

Teams to never select the No. 1 pick: Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz

 

Number of times each team selected the No. 1 overall pick

*The Pittsburgh Ironmen (1946-47), Providence Steam Rollers (1946-49) and Baltimore Bullets (1947-54) are all defunct NBA franchises.

*The Hawks made one of their No. 1 selections as Milwaukee (1952) and another as St. Louis (1955).

*The Kings made one of their No. 1 selections as the Rochester Royals (1956) and three as the Cincinnati Royals (1957, 59 and 60).

*The Wizards made one of their No. 1 selections as the Chicago Packers (1961) and one as the Chicago Zephyrs (1962).

*The Lakers made their No. 1 selection as Minneapolis (1958).

*The Nets made one of their No. 1 selections as New Jersey (1990, 2000).

*The Pelicans made their No. 1 selection as the New Orleans Hornets (2012).

*The Rockets made one of their No. 1 selections as the San Deigo (1968).

*The Warriors made one of their No. 1 selections as San Franscico (1965).

What colleges have produced the most No. 1 picks?

Over the last 71 NBA drafts, there have been 19 colleges that have had at least two players selected with the No. 1 overall pick. Duke and Kentucky both led the pack with three players.

Duke’s three players to be taken with the top pick are Art Heyman (1963), Elton Brand (1999) and Kyrie Irving (2011). Kentucky’s three players are John Wall (2010), Anthony Davis (2012) and Karl-Anthony Towns (2015).

Colleges with at least two players taken

Schools to have one player taken No. 1 include: Bowling Green, Bradley, Davidson, DePaul, Furman, Illinois State, Long Island University, Louisville, Loyola University of Chicago, Marshall, Memphis, Michigan State, Minnesota, Navy, NC State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, University of the Pacific, Providence, Seattle University, St. Bonaventure, Syracuse, Virginia, Wake Forest, Washington

Where are No. 1 picks born?

Out of the 71 players that have been selected No. 1 in the NBA draft, 59 (83.09%) of them were born in the United States. If you include territories, it is 60 since Tim Duncan was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

New York and Illinois have produced 14 of those 59 (23.72%) top picks from America. 24 of the 50 states (48%) have never produced a player who was selected with the top pick in the NBA draft.

US MAP

There have also been 12 players who were not born in the United States who were taken with the No. 1 overall pick.

 

World Map.png

Australia: Andrew Bogut (2005), Kyrie Irving (2011), Ben Simmons (2016)

Canada: Anthony Bennett (2013), Andrew Wiggins (2014)

Nigeria: Hakeem Olajuwon (1984), Michael Olowokandi (1998)

Bahamas: Mychal Thompson (1978)

China: Yao Ming (2002)

Italy: Andrea Bargnani (2006)

Jamacia: Patrick Ewing (1985)

US Virgin Islands: Tim Duncan (1997)

Cities who have produced multiple No. 1 overall picks

There are a few cities in the United States and across the world that have produced multiple No. 1 overall picks. They, along with the players from them, are listed in the table below.

City State/Country Player (Year)
Chicago Illinois Cazzie Russell (1966), LaRue Martin (1972), Mark Aguirre (1981), Derrick Rose (2008), Anthony Davis (2012)
New York New York Ray Felix (1953), Si Green (1956), Art Heyman (1963), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969)
Melbourne Australia Andrew Bogut (2005), Kyrie Irving (2011), Ben Simmons (2016)
Washington D.C.  United States Elgin Baylor (1958), Fred Hetzel (1965), Austin Carr (1971)
Toronto Canada Anthony Bennett (2013), Andrew Wiggins (2014)
Lagos Nigeria Hakeem Olajuwon (1984), Michael Olowokandi (1998)
Akron Ohio Chuck Share (1950), LeBron James (2003)
Buffalo New York Bob Lanier (1970), Greg Oden (2007)

WordPress.com

Info and sources:

Featured Image: “DSC04904” by Brent Soderberg is licensed under CC BY-2.0

https://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/ (Use to note team and college player was drafted from, clicked on each player to find place of birth) *If the place of birth was not listed I Googled the player to find it.

Map of player’s place of birth made using https://mapchart.net/

All other graphs and tables made using Google Spreadsheet in Google Docs

NFL Draft: Who selects the #1 pick and from where?

The 83rd NFL Draft is taking place next week and for the second consecutive year, the Cleveland Browns are on the clock. However, what does history have to say about who most often selects the first overall pick and from where?

Which teams have most often had the #1 pick?

The Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams have both selected the top pick in the NFL draft seven times in their franchises histories. Indianapolis last used the first pick to take Andrew Luck in 2012, while Los Angeles took Jared Goff in 2016.

The 2018 draft will see the Browns select the #1 pick for the fifth time, tying them with the Buccaneers for second place.

Teams

*Titans made all their #1 picks as the Oilers

*The Boston Yanks were active from 1944-48

Teams to have the #1 pick once: Chargers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Jets, Panthers, Raiders, and Saints

Team to never have the #1 pick: Broncos, Jaguars, Ravens, and Seahawks

What colleges have produced the most #1 picks?

Over the last 82 NFL drafts, five colleges have produced 22 (26.82%) of the #1 overall picks. There have been 16 colleges to have at least 2 players taken with the top selection, with Notre Dame and USC tied at the top. However, USC can be in first place all by themselves if quarterback Sam Darnold is taken by the Browns next Thursday.

Colleges.png

The last Notre Dame player taken #1 was defensive end Walt Patulski in 1972, while the last USC player taken first was quarterback Carson Palmer in 2003.

Schools to have one player taken #1 include: Alabama, Central Michigan, Chicago, Colorado State, Florida State, Fresno State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisana Tech, Michigan State, Mississippi, NC State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Pennsylvania, Rice, SMU, South Carolina, Syracuse, *Tampa, Tennessee State, Texas A&M, Tulane, UCLA, Utah, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Washington and Washington State.

*The University of Tampa discontinued its football program in 1974

Where are #1 picks born?

Out of the 82 players that have been selected #1 in the NFL draft, 18 (21.95%) of them were born in Texas or California. 21 of the 50 states (42%) have never produced a player who was selected with the top pick in the NFL draft.

Number of #1 picks born in state.png

Same map but in gradient colors

# of players taken 1st in draft born in state.png

Only two players selected first overall was not born in one of the 50 states. 2012’s top pick Andrew Luck was born in Washington, D.C., while 1943’s top pick Frank Sinkwich was born in Starjak, Croatia.

WordPress.com

Info and sources:

Featured Image: “2011 NFL Draft stage” by Marianne O’Leary is licensed under CC BY-2.0

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/ (Use to note team and college player was drafted from, clicked on each player to find place of birth)

Map of player’s place of birth made using https://mapchart.net/

All other charts and graphs made using Google Spreadsheet in Google Docs