Wings’ first pick: Last 20 players drafted 9th in NHL

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Go through the gallery to see how the past 20 players drafted with the No. 9 overall pick have fared in the NHL. (Go here if you have trouble viewing the gallery.)

Detroit — If there’s any certainty in the NHL Entry Draft, it’s that there are no sure things.

No matter where a team picks.

Toward the top of the first round, or the bottom, you never know where the stars are hidden.

So when the Red Wings pick ninth on June 23 in Chicago — the Red Wings’ highest selection since 1990, when they took Keith Primeau third overall — there is no certainty this young player will excel.

Just look at recent draft picks picked ninth overall.

Going back to 1997, there are players who turned into — or are becoming — stars. Or, at least dependable, consistent NHL players.

But most likely not with their original teams. If they develop into NHL players at all.

There is an interesting trend of players who never truly worked their way into being productive pro players.

Several barely reached the pros, at all.

This decade, there have been some potentially, long-term productive players who appear on the threshold of being stars.

But a few have turned into big-time players, only after being dealt from the team that originally drafted them.

Go through the gallery for a look at the last 20 players picked ninth overall in the NHL.