Ah, lucky No. 27.
The Lightning is picking late in the 2019 NHL Draft, a position the team is very familiar with. Tampa Bay has had a pick in the top 15 only twice in the last seven years. That’s a good thing; it means the Lightning has been good enough to make the playoffs and stay out of the lottery.
So what does the 27th overall pick look like? We looked at the last five players drafted in that spot and found where they are now.
2018, Nicolas Beaudin
The Blackhawks picked Beaudin, a defenseman out of the QMJHL. He returned to Drummondville this season and put up 56 points (seven goals, 49 assists) in 53 games and helped the Voltigeurs to the second round of the playoffs.
Beaudin signed with the Blackhawks in November and is expected to play in the AHL next season.
2017, Morgan Frost
The Flyers drafted Frost, a center out of the OHL. He returned to Sault Ste. Marie for the past two seasons, putting up big numbers. Frost recorded 112 points with 42 goals the season after being drafted and a similar 109 points this year.
Frost’s future is undetermined. He could head back to the OHL for another year. The Flyers could decide to add that playmaking ability to their roster.
2016, Brett Howden
The Lightning selected Howden, a center out of the WHL. He returned to the Moose Jaw Warriors to put up 81 points, reported to the AHL for five games once his season ended, and headed back to the Warriors last season.
Here’s where his path differs than the others’. Midseason, playing in a different league, Howden was traded, part of the package for Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller (interestingly, 2011 27th overall pick Vladislav Namestnikov was also part of that trade).
Howden spent this season in the NHL, and posted 23 points (17 assists) in 66 games with the rebuilding Rangers.
2015, Jacob Larsson
The Ducks drafted Larsson, a defenseman out of Sweden. He stayed in the Swedish league for another season, winning the championship with Frolunda, before starting his North American career.
After playing four games in Oct, 2016, Larsson was loaned back to Frolunda to finish out that season. He spent the following year in the AHL and bounced between the AHL and NHL this season. In all, Larsson has played 53 NHL games in parts of two seasons.
2014, Nikolay Goldobin
The Sharks picked Goldobin, a Russian left wing out of the OHL. He played the following year in the Finnish league and joined the AHL affiliate for the end of the season.
Goldobin got tastes of the NHL but spent most of two years with the AHL Barracuda before being traded to Vancouver with a fourth round pick for Jannick Hansen.
Last year, Goldobin split his time between Utica (AHL) and Vancouver, finally an official rookie and this year he was a full-time NHLer, scoring 27 points (20 assists) in 63 games.