Today is Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022, which many are calling Twosday. In honour of 22.02.2022, we are counting down the top-ten best second overall draft picks who are actively playing in the NHL.
1. Victor Hedman – 2009 NHL Entry Draft
Like a fine wine, Victor Hedman just seems to improve with age. 13 seasons in and the defenseman is still one of the best defenders in the NHL, and is once again a Norris Trophy finalist candidate. The Tampa Bay Lightning rearguard has been a finalist for the Norris Trophy five times in the past five seasons and won it in 2017-18. Since then, he has won two back-to-back Stanley Cup championships and was awarded the Conn Smyth Trophy as the Playoff MVP in 2019-20. At 31-years-old, Hedman is playing some of his best hockey to date, as he is on pace to score 83 points across 82 games.
2. Evgeni Malkin – 2004 NHL Entry Draft
Evgeni Malkin is arguably the most talented and most storied active second overall pick in the NHL. However, his injury history in recent years has placed him just shy of first place. Malkin continues to amaze day in and day out, as he currently has 17 points across 16 games this season in his return from yet another injury. Malkin is still without a doubt one of the top forwards in the NHL, and still has plenty of gas left in the tank at 34-years-old.
3. Aleksander Barkov – 2013 NHL Entry Draft
One of the best two-way centremen in the NHL, Aleksander Barkov is a force to be reckoned with. His play at both ends makes him a deadly threat and the kind of player who you always want to have on the ice. The Florida Panthers captain has been one of the more underrated players in the league, that being until recently, as he’s now getting his dues that he is richly deserving of.
4. Jack Eichel – 2015 NHL Entry Draft
A major reconstructive surgery has not stripped Jack Eichel from his status as a top centerman in the National Hockey League. Since returning from a major surgery, Eichel made his debut with the Vegas Golden Knights, and has looked at home, scoring three points across his first three games. As he continues to get back into the swing of things, the 25-year-old could continue to climb, and become the best active second overall draft pick in the NHL.
5. Gabriel Landeskog – 2011 NHL Entry Draft
The captain of the Colorado Avalanche was always expected to have a major impact in the NHL. He quickly became the youngest captain in NHL history with the Avalanche, and has continued to improve year after year. In recent seasons, Landeskog has enjoyed the best hockey he’s ever played, and he is on pace for a career-best season. Landeskog was picked second overall after the Edmonton Oilers took Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the first overall selection. The left-winger has lived up to the expectations that the Avalanche and their fans had placed on him back when he was selected in 2011. Since that time, he’s become a leader on and off the ice, and has helped Colorado to regain its place as a top team in the NHL.
6. Patrik Laine – 2016 NHL Entry Draft
It’s been a bit of a rough stretch for the Finnish sniper, but Patrik Laine is putting it all behind him and is having fun playing hockey in Columbus. The Blue Jackets winger missed some time this season, but has been electric, especially as of late. He has recorded 18 points in his last 10 games and is on pace to match his career-high of 70 points despite being projected to play 19 fewer games. While he has faced a lot of criticism from the media over the last few years, his play this season should erase the doubt that has shrouded his career over the past few seasons. The lack of pressure in Columbus as opposed to that which he faced in Winnipeg seems to be exactly what he needed, as he has elevated his all-around game and will surely be higher on this list next time around.
7. Drew Doughty – 2008 NHL Entry Draft
Drew Doughty has built up quite the trophy cabinet over his 14-year NHL career. With two Olympic gold medals, two Stanley Cup rings, and gold medals at both the World Juniors and the World Cup to name a few, Doughty has been one of the league’s best defenders for over a decade. While the L.A. Kings have struggled in recent years, so too has Doughty, until now. The second overall pick at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft is enjoying a bounce-back season, if one can call it that, and is having one of the best offensive seasons of his career.
8. Andrei Svechnikov – 2018 NHL Entry Draft
One of the younger second overall picks in the NHL, Andrei Svechnikov has improved every year since being drafted in 2018. The winger’s development has gone exactly according to plan for the Carolina Hurricanes, as he continues to establish himself as a top winger in the NHL. At just 21-years-old, the best is yet to come for the Russian sniper, who is locked down in Carolina until the 2028-29 campaign.
9. Tyler Seguin – 2010 NHL Entry Draft
It’s hard to believe that Tyler Seguin has been in the NHL for 12 years. It seems like just yesterday that the centreman was a rookie with the Boston Bruins, helping his team to a Stanley Cup championship. Much has changed since his days in Boston, as Seguin was traded to the Dallas Stars, where he has competed the past nine years. The Brampton native has enjoyed a great tenure with the Stars, where he has been selected on five occasions to represent Dallas at the NHL All-Star festivities.
10. Sam Reinhart – 2014 NHL Entry Draft
After spending his entire career with the Buffalo Sabres, Sam Reinhart has taken his game to the next level since being traded to the Florida Panthers. With 47 points in 47 games played, Reinhart is well on his way to surpassing his previous career-high in points (65), as he is on pace to score 79. Playing with a Panthers team that sits atop the league, the forward will be given every opportunity to take his game to the next level.