past 4th overall

Past fourth overall draft picks

On June 30 in Newark, New Jersey, the Nashville Predators will be selecting fourth overall. There are three prospects who could be drafted first overall on the big day. Those players are defenseman Seth Jones and forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin.

Then there are your potential top five picks like Aleksander Barkov, whom the Predators are most likely to select, Elias Lindholm and Valeri Nichushkin.

Let's take a look at past years' drafts and see the history of the number four overall pick.

2012 – Griffin Reinhart D (New York Islanders)

2011 – Adam Larsson D (New Jersey Devils)

Last season, Adam Larsson played 37 games for the New Jersey Devils. Larsson solidified the defense for the Devils by having a +4 at the end of the season. In the AHL is where Larsson excelled during the lockout, posting 19 points (4g, 15a) in 33 games with the Albany River Rats.

2010 – Ryan Johansen F (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Ryan Johansen played his junior hockey in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks, where he tore up the league with 92 points in 63 games. The next season, Johansen was a valuable rookie to the Blue Jackets for their offensive production. Johansen played in 40 games in the 2012-13 campaign scoring 12 points.

2009 – Evander Kane F (Winnipeg Jets)

Evander Kane is arguably the most skilled player on the Winnipeg Jets. Since entering the league, Kane has been a scoring threat that every coach has had to prepare for. Last season, he was third on the team in scoring.

2008 – Alex Pietrangelo D (St. Louis Blues)

The St. Louis Blues now rely on Alex Pietrangelo as a top six defenseman and a valuable asset at the point on the power play. Pietrangelo has been better each season and the Blues can only hope for that trend to continue in the next several years.

2007 – Thomas Hickey D (Los Angeles Kings)

2006 – Nicklas Backstrom F (Washington Capitals)

Nicklas Backstrom can be seen on Geico's TV commercials scoring fifteen goals in as many seconds. However, it appears that Backstrom can't even score fifteen goals in a season. For the second straight season, Backstrom has been able to amount only 22 goals in 90 games. 

Backstrom clearly has the skill with the Capitals, but he has been unable to put goals in the back of the net. He has been able to load up on assists though, totaling forty in 48 games.

2005 – Benoit Pouliot F (Minnesota Wild)

Unfortunately for Benoit Pouliot, he has failed to be a top six forward in the NHL. Pouliot is an effective bottom six forward. He has been in four NHL organizations at the age of 26 and has been up-and-down between the NHL and AHL.

Pouliot is now with Tampa Bay.

2004 – Andrew Ladd F (Carolina Hurricanes)

Andrew Ladd has already won a Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks. Now, Ladd can be found as the leading scorer in Winnipeg. Ladd has transformed his game from a gritty mentality to a offensive mentality.

2003 – Nikolai Zherdev F (Columbus Blue Jackets)

It is unfortunate this skilled Ukrainian forward wasted his talents to play in the KHL, rather than the NHL. Nikolai Zherdev is in his prime at the age of 28 playing with Kazan Ak-Bars. Zherdev played for the Blue Jackets, Rangers and Flyers where he was an offensive powerhouse.

He is a part of the extraordinary draft class of 2003 held in Nashville.

2002 – Joni Pitkanen D (Philadelphia Flyers)

Joni Pitkanen has had a long NHL career as a solid defenseman performing in 535 games. But he has yet to win a Cup. Pitkanen now resides in Raleigh playing for the Carolina Hurricanes.

2001 – Stephen Weiss F (Florida Panthers)

Since being drafted by the Florida Panthers, Stephen Weiss has yet to leave the organization. Weiss is Florida's best center and is their go-to guy. Now as a veteran to the league, Weiss' job is to help young players entering the NHL like Nick Bjugstand and Jonathan Huberdeau become more comfortable.

2000 – Rostislav Klesla D (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Rostislav Klesla has had a solid career as a reliable defenseman for the Blue Jackets and Coyotes, his current team. "Rusty" has been prone to injuries throughout his career however, limiting him from becoming a top defenseman on a team. His offensive stats aren't shiny, but his defensive responsibilities have been fulfilled often.

1997 – Roberto Luongo G (New York Islanders)

Roberto Luongo is the only goaltender ever drafted at number four. "Bobby Lu" spent one season on Long Island before he was shipped down the east coast to Miami, where he played five seasons with the Panthers.

Prior to the 06-07 season, Luongo was traded to Vancouver, where he situated himself as a starter for the next six seasons. It was until last season when Luongo was the "backup" to Cory Schneider. Now, Luongo wants out of British Columbia and may possibly return to the Islanders, where his career began.

Luongo is a solid goaltender, but is shaky in big moments. 

1993 – Paul Kariya F (Anaheim Mighty Ducks)

Due to a concussion filled career, Paul Kariya was forced to retire at the age of 36. Kariya is most known for being hammered by Scott Stevens at the blueline in a 2003 Stanley Cup Final game. In his fifteen year career, Kariya made a two season pit stop in Nashville.

Kariya had soft hands and was a natural scorer. His skating ability was even better.

1983 – Steve Yzerman F (Detroit Red Wings)

Steve Yzerman can now be seen in Tampa Bay overlooking his team and making preposterous moves as General Manager. But back then, "Stevie-Y" was a major role in the Detroit Red Wings' successful dynasty and won three Stanley Cups. In 1514 games with the 'Wings, Yzerman totaled 1755 points (692g, 1063a).

His banner hangs atop Joe Louis Arena every night.

1981 – Ron Francis F (Hartford Whalers)

In 2007, Ron Francis was selected into the Hockey Hall of Fame after playing a quarter of century in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs. Francis is fourth in the all-time point mark. He was just two points shy of hitting 1800.

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