The Connections Draft: Looking Back At The 2013 NHL Draft – 10 Years Later

Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The 2013 NHL Entry Draft took place on June 30 at the Prudential Center Arena in Newark, New Jersey. It was held in just one day instead of the normal two days because the season had started and ended later than normal, thanks to the NHL Lockout of 2012.

Prior to the draft, the question was whether defenseman Seth Jones or a forward would be the first pick overall. The best forward available at the time was center Nathan MacKinnon, with the cry of tanking teams being “No Winnin’ for MacKinnon”.

As the draft unfolded, the Colorado Avalanche chose center MacKinnon with the first pick overall, who eventually blossomed into a superstar. Picking second was the Florida Panthers who chose Aleksander Barkov, the Finnish-born and raised son of a Russian hockey player. The Tampa Bay Lightning chose Jonathan Drouin, a junior hockey teammate of MacKinnon with the third pick overall. Seth Jones was chosen fourth – by the Nashville Predators.

Many of the players in this draft, especially in the first round, had either generic or geographic connections to other athletes, either in hockey or in other sports. Below is a list of connections.

  • Nathan MacKinnon (Pick #1 overall) – hailed from Cole Harbor, the same hometown as Sidney Crosby
  • Aleksander Barkov (Pick #2 overall) – son of a Russian hockey player, also named Aleksander Barkov, who played hockey and later coached in Finland.
  • Jonathan Drouin (Pick #3 overall) – linemate of Nathan MacKinnon with the Halifax Mooseheads
  • Seth Jones (Pick #4 overall) – son of Popeye Jones, a former NBA basketball player who had played with the Denver Nuggets
  • Elias Lindholm (Pick #5 overall) – son of Mikael Lindholm who briefly played with the Los Angeles Kings but mainly in Swedish professional leagues. Also, cousin of NHL forward, Calle Jarnkrok. Lindholm also played for Brynas IF, the same Swedish club that Nicklas Backstrom played.
  • Darnell Nurse (Pick #7 overall) – nephew of former NFL quarterback, Donovan McNabb. Cousin of Sarah Nurse, Olympic hockey player, and sister of Kia Nurse who plays with the WNBA.
  • Bo Horvat (Pick #9 overall) – cousin of NHL forward, Travis Konecny
  • Valeri Nichushkin (Pick #10 overall) – comes from Chelyabinsk, Russia the same hometown as Capitals forward, Evgeny Kuznetsov
  • Max Domi (Pick #12 overall) – son of Tie Domi, a former player in the NHL
  • Anthony Mantha (Pick #20) – his paternal grandfather was Andre Pronovost who won four Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens during their dynastic days.
  • Andre Burakovsky (Pick #23) – his father, Robert Burakovsky briefly played in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators but mostly played in Swedish leagues.
  • Tyler Bertuzzi (Round 2 – Pick #58) – nephew of Todd Bertuzzi, a former NHL player.

Photo: Washington Post


As a rule, the players in the early part of the first round fared the best on the offensive front, as far as goals and total NHL points are concerned. Five of the top offensive players were chosen prior to tenth overall, i.e., MacKinnon, Barkov, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan, and Bo Horvat. But there were a few standouts who were drafted in the third round. Among defensemen, Seth Jones, Rasmus Ristolainen, Shea Theodore, Jose Morrissey, and Darnell Nurse were the most productive in assists and overall points.

The most notable players drafted in rounds after the first round were several players drafted in the third round:

  • Jake Guentzel, Brett Pesce,
  • Pavel Buchnevich,
  • Oliver Bjorkstrand, and
  • Anthony DuClair.

Other late-round successes were Andrew Copp, a fourth-rounder, and Will Butcher, a fifth-round pick.

Four of the third-round picks: Guentzel, Buchnevich, Bjorkstrand, and Anthony DuClair (New York Rangers), rank in the top 10 in goals for the draft class. On the other hand, Jonathan Drouin has underperformed in relation to his draft slot of third overall.

All the first-rounders played in at least one NHL game and 23 of them remain in the NHL today. But there were several busts, especially in the last half of the first round, most notably Kerby Rychel, Emile Poirier, Hunter Shinkaruk, and Morgan Klimchuk, who did not even play in 80 NHL games.


The Capitals’ selection, Andre Burakovsky, outperformed his draft slot. He was drafted 23rd overall but ranks seventh in goals, and tenth in assists in the draft class. The Capitals later acquired Anthony Mantha, who was drafted 20th overall, in a trade.

Other Capitals draftees who played for the team were Madison Bowey (Round 2 – Pick 53) and Zach Sanford (Round 2 – Pick #61), Brian Pinho (Round 6 – Pick 174), and Tyler Lewington (Round 7 – Pick 204). None of them have established themselves as full-time NHL players.


211 players were drafted in 2013, with 106 playing in at least one NHL game. Three players have played in over 700 games, seven have played in over 600 games, and 16 have played in at least 500 games.

One fun fact on this draft is that the Colorado Avalanche’s Stanley Cup winning team of 2021-22 has three of the first-round selections as part of their team: Nathan MacKinnon (their own pick), Andre Burakovsky (obtained in a trade after the 2018-19 season), and Valeri Nichushkin (signed in free agency). The Calgary Flames, who already drafted Sean Monahan with the sixth pick overall, acquired Elias Lindholm, the fifth pick overall in a trade.

So far, no player drafted that year has scored more than 300 goals but five have topped 200 goals. Only one player has topped 700 NHL points while only two have topped 600 points. Just three players have topped 500 points. Only one player has topped 400 assists and just three have topped 300 assists. 12 have topped 200 assists.

The Connections Draft: What Became Of The Players From The First Round Of The 2013 Draft | NoVa Caps (

By Diane Doyle

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
This entry was posted in History, News, NHL, Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply