Despite there being fewer trades than initially anticipated, the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft was nevertheless a fascinating night for hockey fans — one that will have a lasting effect on the league and its teams.
There were a few firsts and records set as well, so with that in mind, here are some of the notable numbers and accomplishments from Friday night.
Nico Hischier became the highest-drafted player born in Switzerland and just the third taken in the top 10. Nino Niederreiter went fifth overall in 2010 and Timo Meier was the ninth-overall pick in 2015.
Hischier is the seventh European to be chosen with the first pick and the first in five years. Here are the others: Mats Sundin (1989), Roman Hamrlik (1992), Patrik Stefan (1999), Ilya Kovalchuk (2001), Alex Ovechkin (2004), Nail Yakupov (2012).
The Halifax Mooseheads star is just the third QMJHL player to go No. 1 in the 21st century. Sidney Crosby (2005) and Nathan MacKinnon (2013) are the others.
Six players from Finland were taken in the first round — Miro Heiskanen (No. 3 to Dallas), Juuso Valimaki (No. 16 to Calgary), Urho Vaakanainen (No. 18 to Boston), Kristian Vesalainen (No. 24 to Winnipeg), Henri Jokiharju (No. 29 to Chicago) and Eeli Tolvanen (No. 30 to Nashville).
That’s a new record for Finnish players. The previous record was five which was set in 2002.
Cale Makar went No. 4 to the Colorado Avalanche, becoming the highest-drafted player taken directly out of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Joe Colborne held the previous record when he went 16th overall to the Boston Bruins in 2008.
Players from 14 different leagues were chosen and the Western Hockey League led the way.
This was also the first draft in NHL history where 31 teams participated with the Vegas Golden Knights making three first-round selections — Cody Glass at No. 6, Nick Suzuki at No. 13 and Erik Brannstrom at No. 15.
Edmonton Oilers selection Kailer Yamamoto made a little bit of history by being the shortest first-round pick in NHL history.