The 2011 NHL entry draft introduced the league to a number of superstars. But there were also a number of players who teams probably now wish they passed on when it was their turn to pick. The majority of these players are turning 25 at some point during this season, and they’re making the switch from being young, developing players into being wise veterans that some organizations have built their teams around.
I’ve decided to take a look at the 2011 draft and re-draft the first round, based off what we know about the players now. All the players chosen have played at least 100 games in the NHL and are still currently playing in the league. Stats are accurate as of the beginning of games on December 27th.
Is there anyone missing from this list? Anyone ranked too high or too low? Let me know on twitter (@mustang__sallie) what you think of this redraft.
1. Gabriel Landeskog (2)- 459GP, 132G 173A (305P), 370PIM
Until the Edmonton Oilers named Connor McDavid their captain last season, Landeskog had been the youngest captain in NHL history. Of the 2011 draft class, he ranks first in games played, goals, and points, and ranks second in assists. He was the 2011-12 Calder Trophy winner as the league’s top rookie. Other players have the potential to catch and pass him, but so far there is no one who has been more successful, more dependable, and more important to his team from this draft than Landeskog.
2. Nikita Kucherov (58)- 320GP, 132G 153A (285P), 141PIM
Kucherov is currently leading the league in goals and total points. It’s certainly been a breakout year for him so far, but it’s far from the first year he’s been a key player on the Lightning roster. The only difference between him and Landeskog is that Landeskog has been a key component to his team for a much longer period of time.
3. Brandon Saad (43)- 403GP, 118G 131A (249P), 66PIM
Saad has the poise and intelligence of a 10-year veteran, and the natural ability to make him one of the premier young players in the league. He’s played at least 70 games in the past four seasons, and has been a 20+ goal scorer in the past three. He also played an irreplaceable part in Chicago’s 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup runs.
4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1)- 431GP, 109G 182A (291P), 138PIM
Like many first-overalls both before and after him, Nugent-Hopkins was declared the savior of Edmonton hockey. But… no matter how talented a player is, it’s still Edmonton. Injuries have put a damper on his career, but he’s still extremely talented and one of the best players to come out of this draft class. He’s played at least 60 games in four seasons, and has played at least 80 games twice. He’s currently serving as an alternate captain for the Oilers.
5. Mark Scheifele (7)- 343GP, 105G 159A (264P), 134PIM
Scheifele has established himself as one of Winnipeg’s cornerstone players. He’s played over 70 games the past three seasons and is currently second on his team in both assists (22) and points (37). He’s currently serving as one of Winnipeg’s alternate captains.
6. Johnny Gaudreau (104)- 268GP, 86g 159A (245P), 46PIM
Gaudreau is one of the biggest steals from the 2011 draft class. Taken in the fourth round, his size was one of the biggest concerns for his maximum potential. Unlike most of his draft class, Gaudreau decided to play in college before making the jump to playing professional hockey. He won the 2013-14 Hobey Baker Award for the NCAA’s best player. He’s currently leading the Flames in assists (28) and points (41) and is third in goals (13).
7. Sean Couturier (8)- 452GP, 86G 137A (223P), 168PIM
Couturier is one of only five players from this class to have already passed the 400-game mark in the NHL. His career has been littered with minor injuries, but he’s still emerged as one of the best at what he does. Watching him play, it’s hard to rememberer sometimes that he only recently turned 25. He’s played at least 60 games in five seasons, highlighted by a perfect 164 games through the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He’s leading the team in goals (16) and is second on the team in +/- (+12).
8. Ondrej Palat (208)- 342GP, 81G 158A (239P), 107PIM
Palat makes the biggest jump out of all the 2011 draftees. Taken just 3 selections before the end of the draft, expectations for him were very low. But Tampa Bay either saw something no other team did, or just got really, really lucky. He’s played at least 60 games the past four seasons for the Lightning and is currently serving as one of their alternate captains.
9. Vincent Trocheck (64)- 262GP, 73G 98A (171P), 143PIM
The Florida Panthers got a steal when they drafted Trocheck early in the third round. He’s currently serving as one of their alternate captains and is leading the team in goals (14) and is tied for the team lead with Huberdeau in points (35).
10. Rickard Rakell (30)- 268GP, 72G 81A (153P), 53PIM
Rakell is in his fourth full season in the NHL and has played at least 70 games in the past three years. Last season he scored a career-best 33 goals and 51 points. He’s currently leading the Ducks in goals (10), points (24), and is second in assists (14).
11. Boone Jenner (37)- 296GP, 76G 63A (139P), 215PIM
Jenner is currently serving as an alternate captain for the Blue Jackets, and has become one of the primary leaders on the team. He’s played all 82 games for the Jackets twice, and has played 72 in one additional season.
12. John Gibson (39)- 146GP (139S), 73-48-17, 2.32 GAA, .922 SV%, 13SO
Gibson is in his third season as the primary starter for Anaheim and has become a difficult opponent to face. His best season was last year, where he posted a 25-16-4 record and a .924 SV%. He won the William M. Jennings trophy in the 2015-16 season along with his teammate, Frederik Anderson, for the fewest goals scored against (79 individually, 192 combined).
13. Mika Zibanejad (6)- 364GP, 89G 121A (210P), 82PIM
Zibanejad played four full seasons with the Ottawa Senators before being traded to the Rangers last year. He’s played at least 50 games four times in his career, and has played 27 games so far this season.
14. Jonathan Huberdeau (3)- 339GP, 80G 153A (233P), 167PIM
Huberdeau hasn’t completely lived up to the typical expectations of a third-overall pick, but he’s not a complete bust, either. His drop in rank is mainly a result of other teams making really good choices in later rounds, as well as being out-shined by his own teammate and draftmate in Trocheck. He’s currently leading his team in assists (23) and is tied with Trocheck for the team lead in points (35). He won the Calder Trophy for the league’s best rookie in the 2012-13 season.
15. Dougie Hamilton (9)- 377GP, 51G 141A (192P), 233PIM
Hamilton played three seasons in Boston before being traded to the Calgary Flames. He’s played at least 60 games the past four years, and has played all 36 games so far this season. He set career highs in goals (13), assists (37) and points (50) last year.
16. Andrew Shaw (139)- 426GP, 91G 93A (184P), 453PIM
Shaw is one of only five players in this class to have already reached the 400 game mark in the NHL. He also owns two Stanley Cup rings, one of only two in this class to have won a championship. He leads the class in penalty minutes. While his style of play might not be what most people look for in a first round draft choice, it’s hard to deny that he’s been extremely successful at it.
17. Victor Rask (42)- 275GP, 56G 81A (137P), 58PIM
Rask has played at least 80 games in each of his first three seasons in the NHL, including a perfect 82 last year. He was recently a healthy-scratch for two games and has been in a bit of a slump dating back to last season, scoring just 18 points in a 58 game stretch. But the Hurricanes are still high on him, and he has proven that he has the talent and potential to be a very good draft pick for them.
18. Vladislav Namestnikov (27)- 236GP, 48G 62A (110P), 112PIM
There’s no doubt about it, the Tampa Bay Lightning have turned out to be the overall winners of this draft class. Their later-round choices in Kucherov and Palat have been the most surprising, but Namestnikov has certainly proven he was worth their first-round pick. He’s currently in his fourth full season in the NHL and has played at least 70 games the past two years. His season has been out-shined by the Kucherov/Stamkos show, but he’s currently second on the team in goals (15) and is fourth on the team in points (31).
19. JT Miller (15)- 314GP, 66G 91A (157P), 132 PIM
Miller is currently in his seventh season in the NHL and, despite being used sparingly in the early years, has transitioned into one of the Rangers’ most reliable players. He’s played all 82 games in the past two seasons, and has played 36 so far this season.
20. Ryan Strome (5)- 294GP, 52G 90A (142P), 142PIM
The oldest of the Strome brothers, Ryan was expected to be a huge asset for the Islanders’ offense. But he’s been nothing more than an average middle-six forward, which is part of the reason why they traded him for Jordan Eberle this summer. He’s played at least 60 games the past three seasons, highlighted by his 81 game season in 2014-15.
21. Oscar Klefbom (19)- 222GP, 22G 60A (82P), 28PIM
Klefbom has the potential to be a legitimate top-defenseman in the National Hockey League and at times has shown it. But he still hasn’t had a “breakout” season yet. He struggled with an injury-riddled season in 2015-16 where he missed over 50 games straight, but bounced back last year with career-highs in games (82), goals (12), assists (26) and points (38).
22. William Karlsson (53)- 217GP, 34G 44A (78P), 20PIM
After just eighteen games with the Anaheim Ducks in the 2014-15 season, Karlsson was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets where he’s played 81 games in each of the past two seasons. He was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, and has played all 34 games for them so far this season. He’s currently second on the team in goals (16) and points (28).
23. Markus Granlund (45)- 207GP, 42G 30A (72P), 48PIM
Granlund has played parts of the past five seasons with Vancouver, but proved himself as a reliable decision last year, when he played a career-high 69 games. He also set career-highs in goals (19), assists (13) and points (32).
24. Phillip Danault (26)- 171GP, 24G 47A (71P), 67PIM
Besides two games in the 2014-15 season, Danault played just half a season with Chicago before being traded to Montreal. He appeared in all 82 games last season, and has played in all 36 so far this season.
25. Jonas Brodin (10)- 367GP, 21G 63A (84P), 96PIM
Brodin has played in at least 60 games the past four years, and has played in all 23 so far this season for the Wild. He has not proven to be a goal-scoring defenseman, but did set a career-high in assists last season (22).
26. Adam Larsson (4)- 381GP, 16G 76A (92P), 226PIM
Larsson has appeared in parts of al seven seasons since he was drafted fourth overall by the New Jersey Devils. He was traded to Edmonton before last season, where he is now currently serving as one of their alternate captains. He has played in at least 60 games four times in his career, including each of the last three seasons.
27. Brett Ritchie (44)- 145GP, 25G 15A (40P), 75PIM
Ritchie has played in games in the past three seasons, but hadn’t made himself a stable presence on the Stars roster until last season, when he played 78 games and set a career-high in goals (16).
28. Nick Cousins (68)- 135GP, 16G 16A (32P), 50PIM
Cousins appeared in parts of the last 3 seasons for the Flyers before being traded to the Arizona Coyotes this summer. His appearance in the re-draft says more about the disappointment in the rest of the draft class than it says about his own abilities.
29. Connor Murphy (20)- 290GP, 14G 41A (55P), 156PIM
Murphy has played in at least 70 games the past three seasons for Arizona before he was traded to Chicago for this year. Like Cousins, his appearance says more about the other players in this draft class than it says about his own abilities.
30. Nick Shore (82)- 206GP, 12G 32A (44P), 74PIM
Shore has played in at least 60 games the past two seasons for the Kings. Like Cousins and Murphy, his appearance on this list has very little to do with his own talents.
Photo and stats courtesy of NHL.com