August 16, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Top 10 Best First Picks in History

Top 10 Best First Picks in History

We often talk about the worst players selected first in the National Hockey League draft, but rarely the best.

There was a lot of talent so we had to make some tough choices, especially towards the end, but that’s the beauty of it.

Here are the top 10 great players who first heard their name at amateur auctions over the years…

1. Mario Lemieux

Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux? Gretzky was never drafted in the NHL so this eternal debate won’t happen here. And so the palm of this list goes back to the great player in Quebec center.

In addition to his talent not evident on the ice, Lemieux has brought the Pittsburgh Penguins out of the NHL slump by producing at a breakneck pace while making his teammates better. He won the Art-Ross Trophy six times and was named the National League’s MVP four times by his teammates. He won the Stanley Cup two years in a row, winning the Conn-Smith Trophy each time.

In short, “The Magnificent” fully deserves to be at the top of this top 10.

2. Sidney Crosby

In second place, we find Mario Lemieux’s runner-up, none other than Sidney Crosby. The Penguins captain also had a chance to play a few games with his boss before he bows out. Let’s assume it’s still special.

Like Lemieux, Crosby brought the Penguins out of the depths with the quality of his play and his leadership, leading them to three Stanley Cup victories, including two consecutive Conn-Smith Trophy wins. He allowed his team to make the playoffs 16 years in a row, which is still incredible.

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We could go on and on about the individual honors Crosby has received over the years, but…