Elias Lindholm led the charge for World Junior A Challenge alumni at the NHL Entry Draft on Sunday, going fifth overall to the Carolina Hurricanes, the second year in a row an alumnus of the tournament has been selected in the top five.
The Swedish forward, who went scoreless in four games at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge in Langley, B.C., is the third-highest alumnus ever drafted, behind Nail Yakupov, who went No. 1 to Edmonton last year, and Kyle Turris, the third pick by Phoenix in 2007.
Lindholm was the first of three alumni picked in the first round; he and his 2011 teammate, Alexander Wennberg, who went 14th overall to Columbus, were sandwiched around 10th pick Valeri Nichushkin, who was selected by Dallas.
In all, 26 World Junior A Challenge alumni were chosen, tying the second-most ever at a single draft. There were also 26 picked last year, two less than the all-time record of 28 picks, set in 2010.
Included in the 26 are six members of the gold medal-winning United States entry from the 2012 World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, N.S. (Cammarata, Downing, Fitzgerald, Heinrich, Johnson, McAdam) and two members of Canada West, which settled for silver (De Jong, Murphy).
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in Yorkton and Humboldt, Sask., in 2006, 182 drafted players have taken part in the tournament, either prior to their selection or during the seasons following.
Elias Lindholm | 5th overall, Carolina | 2011 – Sweden
Valeri Nichushkin | 10th overall, Dallas | 2011 – Russia
Alexander Wennberg | 14th overall, Columbus | 2011 – Sweden
Ian McCoshen | 31st overall, Florida | 2011 – United States
Jacob de la Rose | 34th overall, Montreal | 2011 – Sweden
Valentin Zykov | 37th overall, Los Angeles | 2011 – Russia
Robert Hagg | 41st overall, Philadelphia | 2011 – Sweden
Linus Arnesson | 60th overall, Boston | 2011 – Sweden
Eamon McAdam | 70th overall, New York Islanders | 2012 – United States
Taylor Cammarata | 76th overall, New York Islanders | 2012 – United States
Bogdan Yakimov | 83rd overall, Edmonton | 2011 – Russia
Mike Downing | 97th overall, Florida | 2012 – United States
Matt Buckles | 98th overall, Florida | 2012 – Canada East
Ryan Fitzgerald | 120th overall, Boston | 2012 – United States
Gustav Possler | 130th overall, Buffalo | 2011 – Sweden
Luke Johnson | 134th overall, Chicago | 2012 – United States
Blake Heinrich | 144th overall, Washington | 2012 – United States
Blaine Byron | 179th overall, Pittsburgh | 2012 – Canada East
Wade Murphy | 185th overall, Nashville | 2012 – Canada West
Joël Vermin | 186th overall, Tampa Bay | 2010 – Switzerland
Rushan Rafikov | 187th overall, Calgary | 2012 – Russia
Peter Quenneville | 195th overall, Columbus | 2011 – Canada West
Nolan De Jong | 197th overall, Minnesota | 2012 – Canada West
Mackenzie Weegar | 206th overall, Florida | 2011 – Canada East
Emil Galimov | 207th overall, San Jose | 2009 – Russia
Troy Josephs | 209th overall, Pittsburgh | 2012 – Canada East