There is no doubt that Regina Pats center Connor Bedard of North Vancouver, British Columbia will be the first overall pick in the 2023 National Hockey League Entry Draft. At the moment he leads the Western Hockey League in goals (44), assists (46) and points (90). Here are the last five first overall draft picks in the National Hockey League that have come out of the Western Hockey League.
5) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins–Edmonton Oilers
Nugent-Hopkins was selected first overall by the Oilers in 2011. He played his junior hockey with the Red Deer Rebels. In his draft year, Nugent-Hopkins of Burnaby, British Columbia, had 31 goals and 75 assists for 106 points in 69 games. The center had 51 penalty minutes, and was a +29. In 769 games with the Oilers, Nugent-Hopkins has 218 goals and 370 assists for 588 points. He is a -39 with 263 penalty minutes, 224 power-play points, 14 shorthanded points, 27 game-winning goals, 1823 shots on goal, 3987 faceoff wins, 408 blocked shots, 563 hits, 519 takeaways and 419 giveaways. Nugent-Hopkins also represented the Oilers at the 2015 NHL All-Star Game.
4) Chris Phillips–Ottawa Senators
Phillips was selected first overall by the Senators in 1996. He played his junior hockey with the Prince Albert Raiders and Lethbridge Hurricanes. In his draft year, Phillips of Calgary, Alberta (who was raised in Fort McMurray, Alberta) had seven goals and 41 assists for 48 points in 59 games. The defenseman played 1179 games with the Senators from 1997 to 2015. He had 71 goals and 217 assists for 288 points. He was a +68 with 756 penalty minutes, 59 power-play points, 22 shorthanded points, 13 game-winning goals, and 1421 shots on goal.
3) Mike Modano–Minnesota North Stars
Modano was selected first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988. He played his junior hockey with the Raiders. In his draft year, Modano of Livonia, Michigan, had 39 goals and 66 assists for 105 points in 41 games. The Hall of Fame center played 1459 games with the Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings from 1989 to 2011. He had 561 goals and 813 assists for 1374 points. He was a +114 with 926 penalty minutes, 493 power-play points, 47 shorthanded points, 92 game-winning goals, and 4273 shots on goal. Modano won a Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999 and played in seven NHL All-Star Games.
2) Wendel Clark–Toronto Maple Leafs
Clark was selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1985. He played his junior hockey with the Saskatoon Blades. In his draft year, Clark of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan had 32 goals and 55 assists for 87 points and 253 penalty minutes. The left winger played 793 games with the Maple Leafs, Quebec Nordiques, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks from 1985-2000. He had 330 goals and 234 assists for 564 points. He was a -130 with 1690 penalty minutes, 173 power-play points, 43 game-winning goals, and 2340 shots on goal.
1) Gord Kluzak–Boston Bruins
Kluzak was selected first overall by the Boston Bruins in 1982. He played his junior hockey with the Billings Bighorns. In his draft year, Kluzak, of Climax, Saskatchewan had nine goals and 24 assists for 33 points and 110 penalty minutes in 38 games. In 299 games with the Bruins from 1982 to 1991, Kluzak had 25 goals and 98 assists for 123 points. The defenseman was a +39 with 541 penalty minutes, 49 power-play points, two shorthanded points, three game-winning goals and 467 shots on goal. Kluzak also won the 1990 Bill Masterton Award.