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Timeline: United States in the NHL Entry Draft

Timeline: United States in the NHL Draft

June 5, 1968

Curt Bennett and Herb Boxer become the first American players ever selected at the NHL Entry Draft in Montreal. Bennett is selected 16th overall by the St. Louis Blues, while Boxer is taken 17th overall by the Detroit Red Wings.

June 8, 1983

Brian Lawton, a center from Mt. St. Charles High School (R.I.), becomes the first American picked No. 1 overall when the Minnesota North Stars chose him at the Montreal Forum. Pat Lafontaine (New York Islanders) and Tom Barrasso (Buffalo Sabres) are selected third and fifth overall, marking the only time three of the first five picks are American players.

June 21, 1986

Seven U.S. born players are selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft at the Montreal Forum, the most-ever at that time. The players chosen were  Jimmy Carson (2nd, Los Angeles Kings), Dan Woodley (7th, Vancouver Canucks), Brian Leetch (9th, New York Rangers), Scott Young (11th, Hartford Whalers), Craig Janney (13th, Boston Bruins), George Pelawa (16th, Calgary Flames) and Tom Fitzgerald (17th, New York Islanders).

June 13, 1987

The first NHL Entry Draft held in the United States takes place at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. A record 38 percent  97 out of the 252 players drafted in 1987  are American.

June 1, 1988

Mike Modano becomes the second American-born player ever selected No. 1 overall when the Minnesota North Stars select him at the Montreal Forum.

July 8, 1995

Bryan Berard becomes the first American-born defenseman to be selected No. 1 overall when the Ottawa Senators select him at the Edmonton Coliseum.

June 24, 2000

Rick DiPietro becomes the first USA Hockey National Team Development Program player to be selected No. 1 overall when the New York Islanders pick him in Calgary. He is also the highest-drafted goalie in the history of the modern draft and the first American goalie ever drafted with the top pick.

June 21, 2003

Eight U.S. born players are selected in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville – Ryan Suter (7th, Nashville Predators), Hugh Jessiman (12th, New York Rangers), Dustin Brown (13th, Los Angeles Kings), Zach Parise (17th, New Jersey Devils), Mark Stuart (21st, Boston Bruins), Ryan Kesler (23rd, Vancouver Canucks), Brian Boyle (26th, Los Angeles Kings) and Patrick Eaves (29th, Ottawa Senators) – marking a new record. A record four players from USA Hockey's NTDP were among those selected.

July 30, 2005

A then-record tying eight U.S. born players are selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa. Among them, a record four are chosen among the top 10 picks.

June 24, 2006

10 U.S. born players hear their names called during the first round of the NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver, including the No. 1 overall selection of Erik Johnson, who became the fifth American-born player to be chosen with the first pick. In addition, 17 players with ties to USA Hockey's NTDP are chosen.

June 22, 2007

Patrick Kane, the sixth American-born first overall selection, joins Erik Johnson as the first American-born players to be selected with the number one pick in back-to-back years. James van Riemsdyk, who is selected second overall in the draft, teams up with Kane to become the first-ever American-born players to be selected with the first two picks in the draft. 

June 20, 2008

Zach Bogosian is selected third overall by the Atlanta Thrashers, marking the fifth consecutive year in which an American player is selected in the first five picks. 

June 26, 2010

A record 11 Americans are selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, while a record-tying 21 Americans are selected in the first two rounds, tying the two-round high water mark set in 2007. Three-time U.S. gold medalist Jack Campbell (2009 and 2010 IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championships, 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship) is the first American off the board at No. 11 to the Dallas Stars.

June 22, 2012

The United States Hockey League, the only Tier I junior league in the United States, sets a league record when seven players are selected in the first round, including four players with ties to USA Hockey's NTDP.

June 28, 2014

A record-tying 19 alumni of USA Hockey's NTDP are chosen, including Dylan Larkin, who was the first American off the board at No. 15 to the Detroit Red Wings.

June 26, 2015

All seven U.S.-born players selected in the first round on Friday night (June 26) were current or future college hockey players, marking the most NCAA first-round picks since 2010 (7). Additionally, a record 37 players who skated in the United States Hockey League in 2014-15 were chosen. 

June 24, 2016

A record 12 Americans were selected in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo, including Auston Matthews, who became the seventh American all-time selected with the top pick overall. Matthews, who went to the Toronto Maple Leafs, played at USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, a member of the United States Hockey League.

June 22, 2018

A record 57 players with USHL ties were selected at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas, marking the seventh consecutive year that 40 or more players that played in the league have been selected. The 57 players selected from the USHL broke the previous record of 51 set at the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia. USA Hockey's NTDP also surpassed 300 players selected in NHL Draft history after defenseman Ty Emberson was selected in the third round, 73rd overall, by the Arizona Coyotes. In total, 16 NTDP players were taken in the 2018 NHL Draft, beginning with Brady Tkachuk who was the first American selected when he was taken fourth overall by the Ottawa Senators.