The 2018 NHL Draft takes place Friday and Saturday in Dallas, TX and a handful of Vancouver Giants will be watching closely as they hope to hear their names selected over the course of the seven rounds and 217 selections. Heading into the weekend we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane to bring you a Vancouver Giants NHL draft history lesson. Here are some Vancouver Giants NHL Draft Facts – By the Numbers:
1 – Robin Kovar – The first ever Vancouver Giant to be selected at an NHL Draft was forward Robin Kovar (Valasske, CZE). The forward was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round (123rd overall). Kovar played 106 games with the Giants through two seasons and finished with 57 career points. Kovar is still playing professionally today as he’s signed with the Blackburn Hawks of the NIHL for the 2018-19 campaign.
2 – Tyler Benson, Ty Ronning – The two most recent NHL draftees from the Vancouver Giants were both selected to teams in 2016. Tyler Benson went 32nd overall to the Edmonton Oilers while Ty Ronning went in the seventh round to the New York Rangers. Both players have signed with their respective NHL teams and will both likely begin their professional careers next season.
3 – The 2008 Draftees – In 2008 the Giants had three players selected in the NHL Draft: Lance Bouma (Round 3, Calgary), James Wright (Round 4, Tampa Bay) and Brent Regner (Round 5, Columbus). All three players would end up playing NHL games. To this day the 2008 NHL draft has yielded the most Vancouver Giants who have gone onto play in the NHL.
4 – The Edmonton Oilers – The Edmonton Oilers lead all NHL teams with four Vancouver Giants selected: Tyler Benson (2016), Jackson Houck (2013), David Musil (2011) and Robin Kovar (2002).
4 – First Round Picks – Since 2002 the Vancouver Giants have four players selected in the first round of the NHL Draft. Mark Fistrict was the first ever Giant to be selected in the first round when he was chosen by Dallas 28th overall in 2004. Up next was Gilbert Brule who was picked sixth overall by Columbus one year later. In 2007 Jonathon Blum went 23rd overall to the Nashville Predators. In 2009 Evander Kane was selected fourth overall by the Atlanta Thrashers.
4 – The 2007 Draft – The most Giants to ever be selected in one NHL draft was four back in 2007. Leading the way was Jonathon Blum who went to Nashville in the first round. Up next in Round 2 was Michal Repik (Florida Panthers). In Round 3 two more Giants were selected when Spencer Machacek (Atlanta Thrashers) and Tyson Sexsmith (San Jose Sharks) went off the board.
5 – Five Players in 2017-18 Ranked By Central Scouting – Over the course of the 2017-18 season the Giants had five players on their current roster who at one point were ranked by NHL Central Scouting. Milos Roman (#41), Dylan Plouffe (#185) and David Tendeck (#8 among goaltenders) all cracked NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings List for North American Skaters. James Malm (#176) and Alex Kannok Leipert (#190) appeared on NHL Central Scouting’s Mid-Term Rankings List.
12 – 12 Straight Years – From 2002 – 2013 the Giants had at least one player selected in each NHL draft.
16 – The pinnacle – 16 Vancouver Giants who were drafted into the NHL have appeared in at least one NHL game. Milan Lucic (Boston, 2006) leads all Vancouver Giants alumni with 811 career NHL regular season games played. Evander Kane is second with 574 games. Cody Franson (2005, Nashville) is third with 550.
27 – The Total – 27 total Vancouver Giants have been drafted into the NHL since 2002. See the complete list of players selected below:
2018 NHL Draft
Round 1 | Fri, June 22 (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS)
Rounds 2-7 | Sat, June 23 (11 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS)
American Airlines Center, Dallas TX