The Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks combined have claimed 5 of the last 8 Stanley Cup Championships. They have each served as pillars of success in their respective conferences for the better part of a decade. But their success comes off the heels of poor, poor hockey.
Since 2006, the Penguins have only finished outside of the top two in their division one time, gaining 3 Finals appearances and 2 Cups along the way. Leading up to that 2006 campaign, however, the Birds were cellar dwellers in the league, having finished in the bottom two of the NHL standings four years running.
Those four years of horrid play earned them four years of having one of the first two overall draft selections. Those picks, in turn, translated into Marc Andre-Fleury, Jordan Staal, Evgeni Malkin, and Sidney Crosby. Welcome to parity in full force.
Our rivals up north in Chicago may have secured eight straight trips to the postseason and won their three Cup championships, but it wasn’t before spending their own time at the bottom of the league. From 2003 to 2008 the worst draft position held by the Blackhawks in the first round was 14th, a pick with which they added defenseman Brent Seabrook.
Their 6 first-round picks during that time featured 4 top-10 selections, 3 of which were top-3 picks- a position from which it’s hard to miss hitting home runs. Chicago of course connected to the tune of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
How does this compare to the Nashville Predators draft history?