Nashville Predators NHL Draft: History of the 17th Pick

A general view of the complete draft board Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
A general view of the complete draft board Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Nashville Predators are hoping to hit it big with their #17 Pick tonight.

At pick number 17 The Nashville Predators will have the chance to select a player who could make a larger impact than we could expect. Tonight is the 2016 NHL Draft, a night for the young players and young stars of the future to join the league with the best hockey players in the world. Remember some of the best Preds were later picks. Shea Weber and Roman Josi both in the second round, Pekka Rinne selected 258th overall, and recent Stanley Cup Champion Patric Hornqvist at 230th overall.

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We’ve had the debate on which player or which position we should pick, but let’s take a moment to look at some of the most notable 17th picks overall in the NHL Draft. We will begin with the 2012 Draft since the most recent drafts have prospects that haven’t had their chance in the league  as of now.

17th Pick in 2012 NHL Draft: Tomas Hertl

The 2012 Draft proved to be a pretty deep draft, especially for the first round. It included the likes of Ollie Matta, Ryan Murray, Alex Galchenyuk, our very own Filip Forsberg, and of course Tomas Hertl.

Tomas Hertl had a very successful rookie season playing in 37 games, he had 15 goals, 10 assists, 25 points, and a +11 player rating. We can’t forget that in the early month of October Hertl scored 4 goals on the New York Rangers which is an impressive feat for any young player. He started strong until an injury ended his regular season before being cleared for the playoffs in April.

Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /

His sophomore season was a bit of a slump for him playing in 82 games, 13 goals, 18 assists, 31 points, and a -5 player rating. Granted the San José Sharks team was a bit of a slump that year finishing 5th in the Division and missing the playoffs.

This last season was the beginning of Peter DeBoer era and not only the team but Tomas Hertl flourished under their new coach. Hertl played 81 games,21 goals, 25 assists, 46 points, and a + 16 player rating. Then in the playoffs, he played hard and came up with points when he was needed. 20 games, 8 goals, 8 assists, and a +5 player rating.

I honestly believe if  Hertl was able to play in Games 3, 4, 5, or 6 the Stanley Cup Finals could have had a different outcome or it could have gone to a Game 7. Hertl has solidified his star status and I think he’s only getting better.

17th Pick in 2008 NHL Draft: Jake Gardiner

Defenseman Jake Gardiner was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in 2008 before joining the University of Wisconsin for three years. Before getting the chance to play for his drafted team Gardiner was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Joffrey Lupul and a late draft pick for Francois Beauchemin. Following a successful junior season which included 10 goals, 31 assists, 41 points, in 41 games, Jake Gardiner was signed by the Leafs and sent to the AHL.

Gardiner spent a couple of seasons with the AHL team Toronto Marlies before getting his full taste of the NHL in the 2011-2012 season. He had 7 goals, 23 assists, 30 points, and a -2 player rating his

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

rookie year. His second year was during the 2012 NHL Lockout, so he was limited and wound up playing only 12 games with 4 assists that season.

The following season Gardiner was able to keep a hold of his spot on the team in the 2012-2013 season playing 80 games with 10 goals, 21 assists, 31 points, -3 player rating. Then had two more solid seasons thus far in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons putting up a 20 point season and then a 30 point season.

Jake Gardiner is a two-way defenseman, but he’s not been apart of a team that has had it all together of late, but perhaps with where Toronto is heading you might just see a rise in offense for Jake Gardiner. He’s no Roman Josi or Shea Weber for that matter, but he’s proven to be a solid top 4 defensemen for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

17th Pick in 2003 NHL Draft: Zach Parise

Probably the most notable name I could put on this list. Parise, similar to Tomas Hertl, was a part of a very deep draft. A Draft that included Eric Staal, Ryan Suter, Marc-Andre Fleury, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry, and later in the second our very own Shea Weber. I mean look at that pile of names.

Zach Parise played for a couple of season of college hockey at the University of North Dakota before making the decision to go pro and play for his drafted team the New Jersey Devils. Parise showed early signs of his talents, with a 14 goal and 18 assist rookie season. His next two years he scored over 30 goals and had 60 points.

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

What did Parise do then? He scored 45 goals, had 49 assists, and a 94 point season. Besides his

rookie season and the 2012 Lockout season, where he only played 13 games, Parise had over 30 goals and over 30 assists in every season as a New Jersey Devil. His last season with Devils, with Peter DeBoer, was a bitter moment falling to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals 4-2 in the series.

In the 2012-2013 season, along with his traitor friend Ryan Suter, Zach Parise signed a huge multi-year deal to play for the Minnesota Wild. So far in Minnesota Parise has had success, but not to the same level as he had in New Jersey. His first season he fell just short of a 20 goal season, has had two 20 goal and one 30 goal seasons since.

Next: Nashville Predators Draft 2016: TV, Live Stream, News

The 17th pick has had some solid NHLers, and as any draft has had a few names fans can forget. That’s when drafting the right kid and putting him in the right system for success comes into play. Not everyone can be Zach Parise, but they can be a solid defenseman like Gardiner or a young stud like Tomas Hertl. If the Nashville Predators do their due diligence and snag the right guy there’s a chance we could see it pay dividends for our organization soon.