The 2010 NHL draft was known as the “Taylor and Tyler Draft” due to the overwhelming top two favorites, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. That year, the draft pool was perceived to be quite deep with emerging talent. Of particular interest to the Washington Capitals was a youngster named Evgeny Kuznetsov, DOB: May 19, 1992.
Kuznetsov had played four years in the KHL and came over to the US at the tail end of the 2013-2014 season. He played his first full season in the NHL last year and has exploded in the current season. His impressive season stats are highlighted in the graphic below with 20 goals and 55 assists, Kuzy is currently the 4th highest among the league leaders in assists. In addition and perhaps even more important, he has filled the Caps long time hole as second Center.
Here is a look at the other forwards who were chosen during the first round of that draft and their related career and or current season stats. [This article is not considering the defensemen.
Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers), who was chosen first overall, has proceeded to become an excellent player. This season, he has 25 goals and 36 assists and a career total of 131 goals and 193 assists. [Hall’s season stats are in the graphic below.]
However, the Oilers may have been better off selecting Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars), who was chosen second overall. Drafted in 2010 by the Boston Bruins as they had obtained the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first round pick in the trade involving Phil Kessel and used that particular pick to draft Seguin, but then traded him to the Dallas Stars where he has played exceptionally well.
This season, Seguin has 33 goals and leads all members of the 2010 draft class and 42 assists, currently second to Ryan Johanson also of the ‘10 draft class. Seguin’s 73 points are the best of the ‘10 draft class and his productivity is even more remarkable considering he has missed several games due to a recent partial tear of his Achilles tendon – Seguin should be back in time to join his teammates for the playoffs. In his career, Seguin leads all forwards from the ‘10 draft class with 193 goals and is only one assist behind the leader, Taylor Hall. Seguin leads in career points, with 355, with Hall in second place at 324 points. [Seguin’s season stats are in the graphic below.]
Jeff Skinner (Carolina Hurricanes), the seventh pick overall, has certainly been better than seventh overall in the draft class for offensive productivity. Skinner played with Carolina beginning with the 2010-2011 season right after being drafted and he has compiled 143 goals and 123 assists for 266 points overall. Skinner is having a great current season, currently with 28 goals and 22 assists. [Skinner’s season stats are in the graphic below.]
Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues), has 102 goals and 202 points overall in his NHL career which did not start until the 2012-13 season, as he was playing in the KHL previously. Tarasenko has produced a higher number of goals per game, currently at .40 than Tyler Seguin who scores currently at .38 goals per game. This year Tarasenko has 36 goals and 31 assists which beats Seguin in goals but not in assists. Tarasenko’s teammate on the Blues, another 2010 draft member, Jaden Schwartz, missed a significant amount of time this season due to injury but has 8 goals in 29 games. Last season, Schwartz scored 28 goals and the year before that 25. The St. Louis Blues have done well with their ’10 picks. They had chosen Schwartz with their own pick and acquired the pick used to draft Tarasenko in a trade with Ottawa.
Nearing the end of the round, three players remain who could be considered “steals” for their respective teams: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Charlie Coyle, and Brock Nelson. Kuznetsov was discussed in the opening of this article.
Charlie Coyle (Minnesota Wild), after playing two years at Boston University and a partial season in Canadian Junior hockey, Coyle came up with the Minnesota Wild during the 2012-13 season. The San Jose Sharks drafted him but traded him to the Wild as part of the trade where the Sharks acquired both Dany Heatley and Brent Burns. Coyle was averaging 10 goals a year in his first three seasons, so far this season, he has scored 21 goals.
Brock Nelson (NY Islanders), the last forward drafted in the round, has improved his goal scoring in each of this three NHL seasons. He came up for the Islanders, his original team, in the 2013-14 season and scored 14 goals. Nelson improved to 20 goals last season and currently has 25. Both Coyle and Nelson shot at or above a 15% success rate, which higher than the shot rates for their career. It’s questionable as to whether their production in the current season will be sustainable in future seasons.
All of the forwards drafted in Round One of the 2010 draft have made it to the NHL. Although Joey Hishon (Colorado Avlanche), only played 13 games in the NHL during his career and is currently playing with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL). Relatively speaking, Hishon could be considered a “bust” for the Avalanche given the number of productive players who were selected after him, including Bjugstad, Sheahan, Hays, and Kuznetsov, Coyle, and Nelson, discussed previously. All in all, Round One of the 2010 draft was a very good year for many of the NHL teams, the Washington Capitals being one of them!
2015-2016 Statistics – Forwards Drafted in 2010
Career Statistics – Forwards Drafted in 2010 Draft
By Diane Doyle