In the NFL the last overall pick in each draft is teasingly branded as “Mr. Irrelevant”. This jab is meant to
poke fun at the dubious honour of being the last one picked and the very small expectations that this
player will ever be, well, relevant in the big leagues.
Well, just how relevant have hockey’s Mr. Irrelevants been over the years? In the 44-year history of the
NHL Entry Draft, 11 last overall picks have stepped onto the ice during an NHL game. Let’s take a look.
Blair Barnes: RW, CANADA
1979 – 6th round, 126th overall
1GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS
Andy Brickley: LW, USA
1980 – 10th round, 210th overall
385GP – 82G – 140A – 222PTS
Igor Vyazmikin: LW, RUSSIA
1987 – 12th round, 252nd overall
4GP – 1G – 0A – 1PTS
Sergei Priakin: RW, RUSSIA
1988 – 12th round, 252nd overall
46GP – 3G – 8A – 11PTS
Hans Jonsson: D, SWEDEN
1993 – 11th round, 286th overall
242GP – 10G – 38A – 48PTS
Kim Johnsson: D, SWEDEN
1994 – 11th round, 286th overall
739GP – 67G – 217A – 284PTS
Jay Henderson: LW, CANADA
1997 – 9th round, 246th overall
33GP – 1G – 3A – 4PTS
Jonathan Ericsson: D, SWEDEN
2002 – 9 th round, 291 st overall
680GP – 27G – 98A – 125PTS
Patric Hornqvist: RW, SWEDEN
2005 – 7th round, 230th overall
848GP – 259G – 270A – 529PTS
Zach Trotman: D, USA
2010 – 7th round, 230th overall
91GP – 3G – 10A – 13PTS
Jacob Middleton: D, CANADA
2014 – 7th round, 210th overall
80GP – 4G – 13A – 17PTS
- Patric Hornqvist is easily the most successful player ever taken with the final pick in the draft. He already has over 500 career points, 2 Stanley Cups, a gold medal at the 2018 World Championships and should end his career with 1,000+ games played.
- So far only 5 players ever taken last overall have ever gone on to have an actual NHL career. Interestingly, four of those players are Swedish. Jonsson, Johnsson, Ericsson and Hornqvist all hail from Sweden.
- American, Andy Brickley is pretty much the only non-Swedish last overall pick to really find any success in the NHL.
- 26 year old rookie, Jacob Middleton, just played his first full season in the NHL and looks like he could be starting to build a solid career.
- With the 2022 draft having taken place earlier this summer, this year’s last overall pick was Belarussian goaltender Ivan Zhigalov, taken 225 th overall by Colorado. After being passed over in his first year of eligibility, the 19 year old managed to squeak into draft this year. Could Zhigalov become the first ever goalie taken with the final pick to make it to the NHL?