Draft Kamloops Blazers if you can
It's not surprising that most players take similar routes to the NHL. But what is surprising is that a huge portion of NHL draftees come from the same feeder clubs.
Since 1990, NHL draftees have played a little over 450,000 games -- and more than quarter of those games have been played by draftees from just 20 feeder clubs, whether that's a junior team or an international team.
Each year, we see minor trends of teams dominating a draft. For example, this year, the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL have six of the top 60 domestic skaters in Central Scouting's midterm rankings, including three players in the top 12.
But we wanted to track down the most successful feeder clubs from the last 20 years -- then we ranked them in order of games played by their alumni. (Keep in mind that, because games played is the metric we used -- and it takes time for players to develop -- clubs that were more successful in the 1990s have more weight.) And off we go:
10. Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
67 players, 5,997 games
Seattle is tied for having the most players drafted, but they're 10th on this list because prospects from the Thunderbirds don't pan out very often. Only 14 out of 67 drafted players have played 82 NHL games. Notable alumni include Petr Nedved and Patrick Marleau; Los Angeles Kings prospect Thomas Hickey (No. 4 overall, 2007) could help Seattle's cred in the next few years.
9. Oshawa Generals (OHL)
60 players, 6,332 games
Oshawa has been good at producing forwards; of the 27 Oshawa alumni who have played an NHL game, only 20 are forwards. Alumni include Jason Arnott, Stephane Yelle, Marc Savard, Eric Lindros and Nathan Horton.
For the full take, you need to be an Insider.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.