All-Decade NHL Draft – 2010 to 2019

With 2019 in the past, it brings the end of a decade with it. The previous decade brought some of the best players to ever play the game into the NHL through everyone’s favorite event: the NHL Entry Draft. Thinking about this, THW decided to go back through every draft of the 2010s and pick the best selection at each spot for the top 31 draft picks.

All-Decade NHL Draft - 2010 to 2019

Keep in mind though, players drafted prior to 2017 have an advantage right now. They’ve had longer to make an impact and therefore they currently represent the player at that selection that has had the biggest impression in the league. So, I’ll be reviewing this list every year, to see if there are any changes – which there inevitably will be. Many of the 2018 and 2019 draftees haven’t even played an NHL game yet, so they may not be making the list – yet.

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So here it is, the all-decade NHL Draft: 2010s edition. Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below – keeping in mind that this list will be a living document and will change for many years to come still.

1st Overall: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (2015)

When you draft the player who becomes the best in the world, it’s a win. Granted, the Edmonton Oilers were largely competing with themselves on this one, having selected four first-overall picks in the 2010s. But, Connor McDavid is the obvious choice here and this one won’t be touched. In his seven-year NHL career, he’s already a five-time All-Star, a four-time Art Ross winner, claimed the Ted Lindsay Award three times, and a two-time Hart Trophy recipient. On top of that, he already has five 100+ point seasons too.

Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche
Throughout his NHL career, Connor McDavid has developed into one of the best hockey players in the entire world. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Honorable Mentions: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche (2013) and Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (2016)

2nd Overall: Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers (2014)

While it was a bit of a surprise in the moment when the Florida Panthers selected Aleksander Barkov second overall at the 2013 NHL Draft, the Finnish forward has developed into one of the premier talents in the NHL. Since his selection, he has played in over 600 regular-season games, and he won the 2021 Selke Award as the best defensive forward in the game. Needless to say, this pick was a hit for the Panthers.

Honorable Mentions: Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres (2015), and Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche (2011)

3rd Overall: Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers (2014)

The Oilers got another solid pick the year before McDavid by drafting the scoring machine, Leon Draisaitl. Since the 2018-19 season, he has scored at least 100 points three times, and he won the 2020 Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. Keep an eye on honorable mention Miro Heiskanen of the Dallas Stars, though. The defender could give Draisaitl a run for this spot in the not-too-distant future.

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Honorable Mentions: Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars (2017) and Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (2011)

4th Overall: Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (2017)

It wasn’t that long ago when this position would have been easily held by one Mitch Marner, but over the last few seasons, Cale Maker has put together a historic run that few young defensemen will ever replicate. He won the 2020 Calder Trophy as rookie of the year, and followed that up with a dominant 2021-22 season where he won the 2022 Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in the league, captured the Conn Smythe Award as the postseason MVP, and took home the Stanley Cup. What’s most impressive is that he’s done it all and is still in the infancy of his playing career.

Cale Makar Colorado Avalanche 2022 Conn Smythe
Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche took home the 2022 Conn Smythe Trophy. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)

Honorable Mentions: Mitchell Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (2015) and Seth Jones, Nashville Predators (2013)

5th Overall: Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks (2017)

Frankly, the Vancouver Canucks got an absolute steal in the 2017 draft at the fifth spot. Elias Pettersson has blossomed into one of the best players in the league and shows no signs of slowing down. In his first NHL season, he put up 66 points to win the Calder trophy. It’s very likely that Petterson runs away with this designation as the best fifth-overall taken in the 2010s, but there is still plenty of time for someone to take this spot.

Related: Canucks Got a Draft Day Deal in Pettersson

Honorable Mentions: Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs (2012) and Elias Lindholm, Carolina Hurricanes (2013)

6th Overall: Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames (2016)

The Calgary Flames did well in this spot over the decade, selecting Sean Monahan in 2013 and Matthew Tkachuk in 2016. Tkachuk takes the cake here though. He puts up points (104 in 2021-22) and gets under the opponent’s skin (I’m looking at you, Drew Doughty). It also appears that the Detroit Red Wings found a stud defenseman in Moritz Seider with their sixth-overall pick in 2019, so it’s worth keeping an eye on his development as time goes on as well.

Honorable Mentions: Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim Ducks (2012) and Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings (2019)

7th Overall: Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets (2011)

Winnipeg Jets’ 2011 selection Mark Scheifele has become one of the most consistent players in the NHL. The star forward has twice hit 30 goals and 80 points, and posted 70 points in 2021-22, showing that he isn’t slowing down anytime soon. However, I don’t think this spot is going to be safe for too long. The Canucks’ 2017 Quinn Hughes selection and Sabres’ choice of Dylan Cozens in 2019 could start pressuring Scheifele’s spot here very soon.

Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets
Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Honorable Mentions: Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks (2017) and Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes (2010)

8th Overall: Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers (2011)

A very underrated player, Sean Couturier has become a star for the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s taken him some time to fully develop into the player he is today (which is exactly why this is an evolving list), but there’s no question that he’s become a force to be reckoned with for the Flyers. After winning the 2020 Selke Award, he further cemented himself as the can’t-miss eighth-overall player.

Honorable Mentions: Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets (2015) and William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs (2014)

9th Overall: Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks (2013)

The ninth-overall pick is surprisingly competitive, as there have been a number of extremely talented players both on offense and defense selected at this spot. For now, though, Canucks captain Bo Horvat takes the ninth-overall spot of the decade. Horvat is part of the core in Vancouver, thanks to his strong two-way game. He’s a consistent point producer who has been improving every season and is often overlooked in the league. However, given the flash and skill of the Anaheim Ducks’ Trevor Zegras (2019), he could give Horvat a run for his money.

Honorable Mentions: Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets (2012) and Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg Jets (2014)

10th Overall: Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche (2015)

Despite being such a high selection in the draft, the 10th-overall selection was littered with misses throughout the 2010s. However, one star eventually broke through: Mikko Rantanen of the Colorado Avalanche. The forward broke out in 2017-18 and is now an over a point-per-game player. He’s established himself as one of the best scoring forwards in hockey, and his contributions led to the Avalanche claiming the 2022 Stanley Cup.

Mikko Rantanen Colorado Avalanche
Mikko Rantanen of the Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Honorable Mentions: Tyson Jost, Colorado Avalanche (2016) and Jonas Brodin, Minnesota Wild (2011)

11th Overall: Filip Forsberg, Washington Capitals (2012)

Now we get into a fun pick. There’s no question that Filip Forsberg has been the best 11th-overall pick from the 2010s. The only thing about Forsberg is that he didn’t play for the Washington Capitals. Instead, he was traded to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Martin Erat and Michael Latta. While this didn’t end well for the Capitals, Forsberg has been a steller for Nashville and will be a star in the NHL for years to come.

Related: Filip Forsberg Trade Revisited

Honorable Mentions: Kevin Fiala, Nashville Predators (2014) and Jack Campbell, Dallas Stars (2010)

12th Overall: Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks (2010)

While Cam Fowler doesn’t exactly rack up the points for the Anaheim Ducks, he’s grown into a consistently steady defender. He still contributes offensively, hovering around 30 points most seasons. Getting a contributing defender like that isn’t easy, so for now, he holds this title.

Honorable Mentions: Max Domi, Arizona Coyotes (2015) and Mikhail Grigorenko, Buffalo Sabres (2012)

13th Overall: Nick Suzuki, Vegas Golden Knights (2017)

With their second of three first-round picks in their first NHL Draft, the Vegas Golden Knights took a chance on the undersized yet highly skilled forward Nick Suzuki. While they decided to use him as fodder as part of the trade for Max Pacioretty, Suzuki continued developing his game and is now looking like a stud for the Montreal Canadiens. Despite the team being terrible in 2021-22, he still posted 21 goals and 61 points and is only 22 years old. So, there’s a lot of room for him to continue developing into a star.

Nick Suzuki Montreal Canadiens
Nick Suzuki of the Montreal Canadiens. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Honorable Mentions: Josh Morrissey, Winnipeg Jets (2013) and Spencer Knight. Florida Panthers (2019)

14th Overall: Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins (2016)

The Boston Bruins should try to get the 14th-overall pick more often. After drafting Jake DeBrusk in 2015, the Bruins had the same pick in 2016, landing Charlie McAvoy. The 2018 All-Rookie looks to be one of the next best defenders in the league and proved that in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs run. Now he has developed into a top-pairing defenseman who can eat big minutes for the Bruins, which is the dream for any top draft pick.

Honorable Mentions: Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues (2010) and Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins (2015)

15th Overall: Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings (2014)

For now, the 2014 15th-overall pick from the Red Wings has a firm grasp on this spot. Dylan Larkin and his speed have become one of the best forwards in the league, despite playing on a poor team in recent years. He posted 31 goals and 69 points in 2021-22, totals that should only increase as the team around him improves. There’s one player that I think you at least need to be aware of at this spot though, and that’s the Montreal Canadiens 2019 pick, Cole “Goal” Caufield. It might not be long before he’s scoring his way into this spot.

Honorable Mentions: Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders (2013) and J.T. Miller, New York Rangers (2011)

16th Overall: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues (2010)

When you become one of the best goal-scorers in the league, it’s going to be hard not to make any sort of list like this. When you then help that team to a Stanley Cup after a lengthy drought, it gets even better. Vladimir Tarasenko was one of the best players of the 2010s, and while that slipped somewhat in 2021, he’s still an elite player that posted a new career high for points in 2021-22 with 82. He’s eclipsed the 30-goal make six times, hitting 70 points four times. Despite Tarasenko’s performance over the decade, he might not have a lock on this spot. The Islanders’ Mathew Barzal has been rising quickly and could challenge this in the coming years. Leading the Isles to a Cup would be a big boost to that argument.

Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Honorable Mentions: Mathew Bazal, New York Islanders (2015) and Nikita Zadorov, Colorado Avalanche (2013)

17th Overall: Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets (2015)

Kyle Connor is another player who we’re starting to see reaching their peak. He’s been improving every season, becoming a core member of the Jets’ lineup. After posting 46 goals and 93 points throughout the 2021-22 season, he has cemented himself as a star in the league.

Honorable Mentions: Thomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks (2012) and Nathan Beaulieu, Montreal Canadiens (2011)

18th Overall: Thomas Chabot, Ottawa Senators (2015)

The pride of Canada’s capital, Thomas Chabot took over the number-one defenseman spot after the team traded Erik Karlsson and ran with it. He’s become the best player on the rebuilding Ottawa Senators and proved that when he crossed 50 points in 2018-19. Teuvo Teravainen, now with the Carolina Hurricanes, could be Chabot’s biggest challenger right now, along with 2019 pick Thomas Harley – who has even been called the next Chabot.

Honorable Mentions: Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks (2012) and Alex Tuch, Minnesota Wild (2014)

19th Overall: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning (2012)

The Tampa Bay Lightning hit a home run with this pick in 2012, selecting goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy who would become their starting netminder. He led the NHL in wins in 2017-18 and 2018-19, winning the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie in 2019. Along with this, he has captured two Stanley Cups, reached the Final four times in his young career, and even took home the 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP. Needless to say, this has already been a Hall-of-Fame-worthy career and there’s still so much left to be told in his story.

Andrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy
Andrei Vasilevskiy took home the 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy for the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Honorable Mentions: Nick Bjugstad, Florida Panthers (2010) and Oscar Klefbom, Edmonton Oilers (2011)

20th Overall: Anthony Mantha, Detroit Red Wings (2013)

The Detroit Red Wings are notorious for taking their time with prospects, and that worked out very well for 2013 selection, Anthony Mantha. Since hitting the league full-time in 2016-17, he’s been growing by leaps and bounds. As he continues to improve, it will be hard for any other player to touch him at this spot. However, the last two picks in this spot of the decade, Kings’ Rasmus Kupari and Jets’ Ville Heinola, will be interesting to keep an eye on.

Honorable Mentions: Nick Schmaltz, Chicago Blackhawks (2014) and Scott Laughton, Philadelphia Flyers (2012)

21st Overall: Riley Sheahan, Detroit Red Wings (2010)

The Detroit Red Wings get back-to-back draft picks here. Alright, this one was three years prior, but you get the point. Riley Sheahan might not be the most well-known name, but he’s had a solid career so far. He’s had two seasons of over 30 points and has been a consistent NHL start for almost 10 years. This is one where I don’t think he’ll hold onto this spot. 2014 selection Robert Fabbri won a Stanley Cup with the Blues before being traded to the Red Wings, and watch out for Filip Chytil of the Rangers.

Honorable Mentions: Filip Chytil, New York Rangers (2017) and Robert Fabbri, St. Louis Blues (2014)

22nd Overall: Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh Penguins (2012)

This is another pick that I don’t think will hold up. For now, though, Ollie Maatta has had the biggest impact. He helped the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cups which is an extremely difficult task. They have another pick who may pass Maatta in Kasperi Kapanen. Other names to watch are Ilya Samsonov, who recently joined the Maple Leafs on a show-me contract, and 2018’s K’Andre Miller for the Rangers, who is quickly developing into a top-four stud.

Olli Maatta Los Angeles Kings
Olli Maatta, formally of the Los Angeles Kings. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Honorable Mentions: Kasperi Kapanen, Pittsburgh Penguins (2014) and Ilya Samsonov, Washington Capitals (2015)

23rd Overall: Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks (2015)

Few players make an immediate impact on the NHL like the Canucks’ Brock Boeser. He was an All-Rookie in 2017-18, as well as making the All-Star game in that campaign. While injuries have slowed his overall production, he is still one of the most talented scorers in the league, with a 20-goal per season floor that any team would love to add to their roster.

Honorable Mentions: Andre Burakovsky, Washington Capitals (2013) and Michael Matheson, Florida Panthers (2012)

24th Overall: Jared McCann, Vancouver Canucks (2014)

Over the last few years, Jared McCann has experienced an impressive rise. After bouncing around the league for a few seasons, he found a solid fit with the Penguins, where he started to show signs of a top-six forward. At the 2021 Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft, McCann was selected and went on the thrive with the fledgling franchise, posting 27 goals and 50 points in 74 games played. Following this, he signed a five-year extension to be the face of the newly established franchise. So, expect more great things to come.

Honorable Mentions: Kevin Hayes, Chicago Blackhawks (2010) and Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers (2015)

25th Overall: David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (2014)

It’s nice to get an obvious choice in these later rounds. David Pastrnak has developed into one of the top NHL players in the league, practically becoming an unstoppable force. In 2016-17, he hit 70 points, hitting 80 a year later and 81 in 2018-19. He helped the team to the Stanley Cup Final in 2019, falling to the Blues. He’s also broken 40 goals scored twice in his career, putting him amongst the best players in the league.

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Honorable Mentions: Jack Roslovic, Winnipeg Jets (2016) and Ryan Poehling, Montreal Canadiens (2017)

26th Overall: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals (2010)

Another player who has become a star from the 2010 draft, Evgeny Kuznetzov has done just that in Washington. After collecting 37 points in his rookie season, he jumped up to 77 points in 2015-16. He topped that in 2017-18, hitting 83 points and adding 32 in 24 playoff games en route to the Stanley Cup. It’s very possible that the Russian forward never lets this spot go.

Honorable Mentions: Shea Theodore, Anaheim Ducks (2013) and Phillip Danault, Montreal Canadiens (2011)

27th Overall: Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning (2011)

And now we’re back to a hard choice. The 27th overall pick has not been great through the 2010s, but out of the choices, Vladislav Namestnikov stands out – for now. The Russian forward has been the most productive out of the bunch, but he also is far from a star in the league. However, he is a consistent player, which can’t be overlooked later in the first round.

Honorable Mentions: Nikolay Goldobin, San Jose Sharks (2014) and Marko Dano, Columbus Blue Jackets (2013)

28th Overall: Anthony Beauvillier, New York Islanders (2015)

As an undersized but highly skilled forward, there were expectations that Anthony Beauvillier would break into the NHL, but it was difficult to project how much of an impact he would have for the team that drafted him. Over his six-year NHL career, he is developing into a great middle-six player for the offensively anemic Islanders. While he hasn’t broken 40 points scored yet, he has the toolkit and ceiling of a 20-goal, 50-point player if he is able to take that next step in his career.

Anthony Beauvillier New York Islanders
Anthony Beauvillier of the New York Islanders (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Honorable Mentions: Charlie Coyle, San Jose Sharks (2010) and Brady Skjei, New York Rangers (2012)

29th Overall: Henri Jokiharju, Chicago Blackhawks (2017)

One of few 2017 draftees to reach this list (so far), Henri Jokiharju has stepped into the league and played well. He was traded in 2019 to the Sabres for Alex Nylander, and the Finnish defenseman has developed into a solid starter when he is healthy. Honestly, many of the 29th picks from this decade haven’t really panned out. On top of the honorable mentions, the Dallas Stars 2013 pick, Jason Dickinson, but Jokiharju looks better so far. This is one of those picks where only time will tell.

Honorable Mentions: Adrian Kempe, Los Angeles Kings (2014) and Emerson Etem, Anaheim Ducks (2010)

30th Overall: Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks (2011)

Although the 29th pick hasn’t been great, the 30th brought a number of solid NHLers into the league. Leading the pack is Rickard Rakell, the former Ducks forward who posted 30 goals twice in his career and is a consistent 20-goal, 40-point player. After he was acquired by the Penguins at the 2022 trade deadline, he will be shifting to a new franchise with Stanley Cup potential, which should only help to drive his career forward.

Rickard Rakell Pittsburgh Penguins
Rickard Rakell of the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Honorable Mentions: Brock Nelson, New York Islanders (2010) and Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings (2012)

31st Overall: Tyler Pitlick, Edmonton Oilers (2010)

Finally, the last pick of the first round and this list. Alright, it’s slightly underwhelming. Tyler Pitlick really only takes this spot due to longevity, and some not-so-great selections with the 31st pick in the 2010s. Pitlick has two seasons of 20 points to his name, as more of a depth player. It’s probable that he will be keeping this seat warm for either the Capitals’ pick in 2018, Alexander Alexeyev, or the Sabres’ 2019 pick, Ryan Johnson.

Honorable Mentions: Brendan Lemieux, Buffalo Sabres (2014) and Oscar Dansk, Columbus Blue Jackets (2012)

There you have it, the 2010s all-decade NHL draft for the top 31. Who do you love? Who shouldn’t be here? Who do you think will take over a spot in the coming years? Leave your thoughts below!

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