Thirty National Hockey League teams are preparing to take part in Sunday’s 2013 Entry Draft in Newark, N.J., and their top affiliates are ready and waiting for the next wave of young American Hockey League stars to begin their professional careers.
In 2012-13, more than 250 former first- and second-round draft picks could be found on AHL rosters, including young standouts like Taylor Hall, Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter, Brett Connolly, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Nazem Kadri, Scott Glennie, Adam Larsson and Mika Zibanejad — all recent top-10 picks who continued their professional development in the AHL this year.
The 2013 Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins featured six former first- and second-round picks, including Landon Ferraro, Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar, who won the Jack Butterfield Trophy as the most valuable player of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Eight first-round selections from last year’s draft in Pittsburgh — Morgan Rielly, Hampus Lindholm, Mathew Dumba, Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons, Tom Wilson, Scott Laughton and Tanner Pearson — made appearances in the AHL in 2012-13 as well.
Other top picks to appear in the AHL this past season include 2011 picks Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (first), Sean Couturier (eighth), Jonas Brodin (10th), Sven Baertschi (13th), Jamie Oleksiak (14th), J.T. Miller (15th) and Nathan Beaulieu (17th), 2010 selections Alex Burmistrov (eighth), Mikael Granlund (ninth), Dylan McIlrath (10th), Jack Campbell (11th), Jaden Schwartz (14th) and Beau Bennett (20th), 2009 picks Brayden Schenn (fifth), Calvin de Haan (12th), Zack Kassian (13th) and Nick Leddy (16th), as well as Cody Hodgson (10th in 2008), Jake Gardiner (17th in 2008), Jordan Eberle (22nd in 2008), Jacob Markstrom (31st in 2008) and Brendan Smith (27th in 2007).
The Colorado Avalanche, parent club of the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters, own the first pick in this year’s draft, which gets underway on Sunday afternoon from the Prudential Center.
First- and second-round picks (by year)