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NHL draft 2015: A complete history of players chosen with the No. 7 overall pick

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Bill Barber, taken by the Flyers in the 1972 draft, was one of the greatest No. 7 picks in history. Ryan Sittler, taken by the Flyers in the 1992 draft, was maybe the worst.

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The Philadelphia Flyers have picked in the top 10 of the NHL draft just three times in the last 15 years: Sean Couturier at No. 8 in 2011, James van Riemsdyk at No. 2 in 2007, and Joni Pitkanen at No. 4 in 2002. This year they'll have the opportunity to do it again, as they hold the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

That got us thinking: what does the No. 7 pick look like historically? So with help from Hockey Reference, we've compiled a list of every No. 7 pick in NHL history. A few notes:

  • The Flyers have held this pick three times: in 1972, when they selected future Hall of Famer Bill Barber, in 1978 when they selected Ken Linseman, and in 1992 when they selected Ryan Sittler.
  • Barber and Linseman were both wonderful picks for the Flyers. Sittler ... didn't turn out so well. He's one of just six players in history to be selected at No. 7 overall to never play an NHL game. Four of those guys were taken in the first six NHL drafts in history -- 1963, 1964, 1967 and 1968 -- and the other, Haydn Fleury, was selected last year by the Hurricanes and will probably go on to have an NHL career sooner than later.
  • Sittler never became an NHL player largely due to injuries, so it's unfair to really pin the blame on the Flyers there. Still, even with the benefit of hindsight and context, it's not great to look at the below chart and realize that the worst-ever No. 7 overall pick was made by Philadelphia.
  • The best ever No. 7 overall pick? It could very well be Barber. If not, it's probably Bernie Federko, selected by the Blues at No. 7 in 1976. Both are Hockey Hall of Famers.
  • There haven't been too many busts at No. 7, all things considered. Jack Skille, selected by Chicago in 2005, is probably the most recent guy, but all told, the average number of NHL games played by No. 7 picks is 505. Remove the handful of guys who have played less than 10 NHL games from that list and the average jumps up significantly.
Year Team Player Amateur Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM
1963 Montreal Canadiens Rodney Presswood Georgetown Midgets 0 0 0 0 0 0
1964 Detroit Red Wings Brian Watts Toronto Marlboros 4 0 0 0 0 0
1965 Chicago Blackhawks Brian McKenney Smiths Falls 0 0 0 0 0 0
1966 Boston Bruins Rick Smith Hamilton 687 52 167 219 185 560
1967 Chicago Blackhawks Bob Tombari Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 0 0 0 0 0 0
1968 Los Angeles Kings Jim McInally Hamilton 0 0 0 0 0 0
1969 Oakland Seals Tony Featherstone Peterborough (OHL) 130 17 21 38 -20 65
1970 Pittsburgh Penguins Greg Polis Estevan 615 174 169 343 -77 391
1971 Montreal Canadiens Chuck Arnason Flin Flon 401 109 90 199 -71 122
1972 Philadelphia Flyers Bill Barber Kitchener 903 420 463 883 316 623
1973 Pittsburgh Penguins Blaine Stoughton Flin Flon 526 258 191 449 -94 204
1974 Montreal Canadiens Doug Risebrough Kitchener 740 185 286 471 212 1542
1975 Chicago Blackhawks Greg Vaydik Medicine Hat 5 0 0 0 -2 0
1976 St. Louis Blues Bernie Federko Saskatoon (WHL) 1000 369 761 1130 -132 487
1977 Minnesota North Stars Brad Maxwell New Westminster 612 98 270 368 -84 1292
1978 Philadelphia Flyers Ken Linseman Kingston 860 256 551 807 224 1727
1979 Chicago Blackhawks Keith Brown Portland (WHL) 876 68 274 342 64 916
1980 Vancouver Canucks Rick Lanz Oshawa (OHL) 569 65 221 286 -106 448
1981 Montreal Canadiens Mark Hunter Brantford (OHL) 628 213 171 384 -11 1426
1982 Chicago Blackhawks Ken Yaremchuk Portland (WHL) 235 36 56 92 -42 106
1983 Toronto Maple Leafs Russ Courtnall Victoria 1029 297 447 744 -1 557
1984 Detroit Red Wings Shawn Burr Kitchener 878 181 259 440 118 1069
1985 New York Rangers Ulf Dahlen Ostersunds IK 966 301 354 655 -20 230
1986 Vancouver Canucks Dan Woodley Portland (WHL) 5 2 0 2 1 17
1987 Toronto Maple Leafs Luke Richardson Peterborough (OHL) 1417 35 166 201 -119 2055
1988 Los Angeles Kings Martin Gelinas Hull 1273 309 351 660 52 820
1989 Minnesota North Stars Doug Zmolek John Marshall (High-MN) 467 11 53 64 -84 905
1990 Los Angeles Kings Darryl Sydor Kamloops 1291 98 409 507 21 755
1991 Vancouver Canucks Alek Stojanov Hamilton 107 2 5 7 -12 222
1992 Philadelphia Flyers Ryan Sittler Nichols (High-NY) 0 0 0 0 0 0
1993 Edmonton Oilers Jason Arnott Oshawa (OHL) 1244 417 521 938 81 1242
1994 Los Angeles Kings Jamie Storr Owen Sound (OHL) 219 85-86-23, 0.908, 2.54
1995 Winnipeg Jets Shane Doan Kamloops 1394 368 530 898 -55 1207
1996 Buffalo Sabres Erik Rasmussen U. of Minnesota (WCHA) 545 52 76 128 5 305
1997 Tampa Bay Lightning Paul Mara Sudbury (OHL) 734 64 189 253 -110 776
1998 New York Rangers Manny Malhotra Guelph 991 116 179 295 -26 451
1999 Washington Capitals Kris Beech Calgary (WHL) 198 25 42 67 -37 113
2000 Boston Bruins Lars Jonsson Leksand 8 0 2 2 -4 6
2001 Montreal Canadiens Mike Komisarek U. of Michigan (CCHA) 551 14 67 81 -19 679
2002 Anaheim Ducks Joffrey Lupul Medicine Hat 655 194 212 406 -69 395
2003 Nashville Predators Ryan Suter USA U-18 749 52 299 351 67 502
2004 Florida Panthers Rostislav Olesz Vitkovice 365 57 77 134 -11 118
2005 Chicago Blackhawks Jack Skille U.S. National U-18 239 30 31 61 -48 95
2006 New York Islanders Kyle Okposo Des Moines (USHL) 450 117 188 305 -56 259
2007 Columbus Blue Jackets Jakub Voracek Halifax (QMJHL) 531 124 248 372 17 263
2008 Nashville Predators Colin Wilson Boston University (H-East) 368 77 101 178 31 92
2009 Toronto Maple Leafs Nazem Kadri London (OHL) 250 64 88 152 -6 134
2010 Carolina Hurricanes Jeff Skinner Kitchener (OHL) 336 115 101 216 -64 168
2011 Winnipeg Jets Mark Scheifele Barrie (OHL) 156 29 55 84 20 38
2012 Minnesota Wild Mathew Dumba Red Deer (WHL) 71 9 9 18 8 25
2013 Edmonton Oilers Darnell Nurse Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 2 0 0 0 -2 0
2014 Carolina Hurricanes Haydn Fleury RED DEER (WHL) 0 0 0 0 0 0
Average NHL stats for all No. 7 overall picks 505 107 168 274 1 451