The number of World Under-17 Hockey Challenge alumni to go first overall at the NHL Entry Draft has reached 19.
Selecting first overall, the Toronto Maple Leafs opted for Auston Matthews, who represented the United States during the January 2014 edition of the World
Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Cape Breton, N.S.
The Scottsdale, Ariz., product led the way for the 91 U17 alumni selected in the seven rounds of the draft, including a group of 22
first-round picks that tied the all-time record set in 2014.
Of the 91 alumni, a total of 68 hit the ice for the November 2014 edition of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia-Lambton, Ont., including
four who contributed to Russia’s third gold medal: Vitali Abramov, German Rubtsov, Mikhail Sergachev, and Dmitri Sokolov.
U.S. forward Clayton Keller, taken seventh overall by Arizona, finished that tournament as scoring leader with 13 points (six goals, seven assists). In fact, the leading scorer for all eight teams was chosen in Buffalo (Ang – Team Canada White – Florida; Bean – Team Canada Black – Carolina; Bitten – Team Canada Red – Montreal; Nylander – Sweden – Buffalo; Sokolov – Russia – Minnesota;
Somppi – Finland – Tampa Bay).
The Canadian trio of Tyler Benson (January 2014; November 2014), Sean Day (January 2014; November 2014), and Nathan Noel (2013; January 2014) were the only drafted
players who appeared in more than one U17 competition, while 21-year-old Maxim Mamin was the oldest drafted alumnus, having represented Russia in 2012.
Up until the January edition of the 2014 U17 tournament, Canadian players represented five regional entries (Atlantic, Ontario, Pacific, Quebec, and
West), but that changed with the November 2014 edition, and players are now divided into three Canadian teams (Team Canada Black, Team
Canada Red, and Team Canada White).
Despite having less teams participating in the competition since the switch, Hockey Canada has seen its total of U17 players drafted to the NHL continue to
grow every year.
In fact, when factoring in other U17 alumni (players with late birthdays or who went undrafted in previous drafts) in the totals, Canada led all national
teams by a wide margin, with 45 players selected in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
That total included 26 players selected in the first three rounds (11 in Round 1, nine in Round 2, and six in Round 3), which is 10 more than the U.S. who had 16 (eight in Round 1, two in Round 2, and six in Round 3).
Here is a quick look at how other nations fared over the course of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft:
18 – United States (2014 (January) – Kunin, Masonius, Matthews, McAvoy, Tkachuk; 2014 (November) – Anderson, Fitzgerald, Fox, Frederic, Greenway,
Jones, Keller, Krys, Lindgren, Lockwood, Pastujov, Tufte, Woll)
11 – Sweden (2014 (January) – Carlsson, Grundström; 2014 (November) – Asplund, Bratt, Cederholm, Gustavsson, Hogberg, Lindström, Moverare, Nylander,
9 – Finland (2014 (November) – Almari, Koppanene, Kuokkanen, Niemeläinen, Nurmi, Räsänen, Reunanen, Somppi, Tuulola)
6 – Russia (2012 – Mamin; 2014 (January) – Rykov; 2014 (November) – Abramov, Rubtsov, Sergachev, Sokolov)
2 – Czech Republic (2014 (January) – Hàjek, Budik)
for a complete list of World Under-17 Hockey Challenge alumni selected at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The 91 alumni selected this year bring the total of players with U17 experience to be drafted in the NHL to more than 1,600 since the tournament debuted as
the Quebec Cup in 1986, including 365 first-rounders and 19 No. 1 picks.
U17 ALUMNI SELECTED FIRST OVERALL AT THE NHL ENTRY DRAFT
2016 – Auston Matthews | Toronto Maple Leafs | 2014 (Jan.) – United States
2015 – Connor McDavid | Edmonton Oilers | 2013 – Ontario
2014 – Aaron Ekblad | Florida Panthers | 2012 & 2013 – Ontario
2013 – Nathan MacKinnon | Colorado Avalanche | 2011 & 2012 – Atlantic
2011 – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins | Edmonton Oilers | 2010 – Pacific
2010 – Taylor Hall | Edmonton Oilers | 2008 – Ontario
2009 – John Tavares | New York Islanders | 2006 – Ontario
2007 – Patrick Kane | Chicago Blackhawks | 2005 – United States
2006 – Erik Johnson | St. Louis Blues | 2005 – United States
2004 – Alexander Ovechkin | Washington Capitals | 2002 – Russia
2003 – Marc-André Fleury | Pittsburgh Penguins | 2001 – Quebec
2002 – Rick Nash | Columbus Blue Jackets | 2001 – Ontario
2001 – Ilya Kovalchuk | Atlanta Thrashers | 2000 – Russia
1998 – Vincent Lecavalier | Tampa Bay Lightning | 1997 – Quebec
1997 – Joe Thornton | Boston Bruins | 1995 – Ontario
1995 – Bryan Berard | Ottawa Senators | 1994 – United States
1993 – Alexandre Daigle | Ottawa Senators | 1992 – Quebec
1989 – Mats Sundin | Quebec Nordiques | 1988 – Sweden
1987 – Pierre Turgeon | Buffalo Sabres | 1986 – Quebec
for an all-time list of World Under-17 Hockey Challenge alumni selected at the NHL Entry Draft.