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2015 NHL Draft: All-time No. 4 and No. 24 picks

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The 2015 NHL Draft may well turn out to be one of the Leafs' more significant days in recent memory but if we look back, what can Leafs Nation expect historically-speaking?

Two former twenty-fourth overall picks, Alex Steen (left) and Brad Boyes (right)
Two former twenty-fourth overall picks, Alex Steen (left) and Brad Boyes (right)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

With the 2015-2016 season in the rearview mirror and the draft in site, all eyes are turned to Sunrise, Florida. For the Leafs, a rare two first round selections highlight an exciting time for the franchise, as a new, younger direction moves forward.

Looking back at past fourth overall and twenty-fourth overall selections, what takeaways can we deduce, and just how good were the players. Let's start by taking a look at who has been taken.

Fourth Overall

Here are each of the players taken fourth overall, dating back 35 years.

Year Player Position Drafted From Drafted To
2014 Sam Bennett C Kingston Calgary Flames
2013 Seth Jones D Portland Nashville Predators
2012 Griffin Reinhart D Edmonton New York Islanders
2011 Adam Larsson D Skelleftea New Jersey Devils
2010 Ryan Johansen C Portland Columbus Blue Jackets
2009 Evander Kane C Vancouver Atlanta Thrashers
2008 Alex Pietrangelo D Niagara St. Louis Blues
2007 Thomas Hickey D Seattle Los Angeles Kings
2006 Nicklas Backstrom C Brynas Washington Capitals
2005 Benoit Pouliot LW Sudbury Minnesota Wild
2004 Andrew Ladd LW Calgary Carolina Hurricanes
2003 Nikolai Zheredev LW Moscow Columbus Blue Jackets
2002 Joni Pitkanen D Karpat Philadelphia Flyers
2001 Stephen Weiss C Plymouth Florida Panthers
2000 Rostislav Klesla D Brampton Columbus Blue Jackets
1999 Pavel Brendl RW Calgary New York Rangers
1998 Bryan Allen D Oshawa Vancouver Canucks
1997 Roberto Luongo G Val d'Or Florida Panthers
1996 Alexandre Volchkov RW Barrie Washington Capitals
1995 Chad Kilger C Kingston Anaheim Ducks
1994 Jason Bonsignore C Niagara Edmonton Oilers
1993 Paul Kariya RW U. of Maine Anaheim Ducks
1992 Todd Wariner LW Windsor Quebec Nordiques
1991 Scott Lachance D Boston U. New York Islanders
1990 Mike Ricci C Peterborough Philadelphia Flyers
1989 Stu Barnes C Tri-City Winnipeg Jets
1988 Darrin Shannon LW Windsor Pittsburgh Penguins
1987 Wayne McBean D Medecine Hat Los Angeles Kings
1986 Zarley Zalapski D Canadian Natl. Team Pittsburgh Penguins
1985 Jim Sandlak RW London Vancouver Canucks
1984 Al Iafrate D Belleville Toronto Maple Leafs
1983 Steve Yzerman C Peterborough Detroit Red Wings
1982 Ron Sutter C Lethbridge Philadelphia Flyers
1981 Ron Francis C Sault Ste. Marie Hartford Whalers
1980 Larry Murphy D Peterborough Los Angeles Kings
  • Standout players include Alex Pietrangelo, Nicklas Backstrom, Robert Luongo, Paul Kariya, Steve Yzerman, Ron Francis and Larry Murphy
  • The only Leafs selection at fourth overall, Al Iafrate, anchored the Leafs blueline for seven years and amassed 463 points in 799 career games from the backend
  • The majority of the players taken fourth overall were forwards (21), with 13 defensemen and one goalie selected
  • Only Pavel Brendl, Alexandre Volchkov, Jason Bonsignore and Wayne McBean didn't have prolonged NHL careers
  • Some top-line talent at No. 4

Twenty-Fourth Overall

Here are each of the players taken twenty-fourth overall, dating back 35 years.

Year Player Position Drafted From Drafted To
2014 Jared McCann C Sault Ste. Marie Vancouver Canucks
2013 Hunter Shinkaruk C/RW Medicine Hat Vancouver Canucks
2012 Malcom Subban G Belleville Boston Bruins
2011 Matt Puempel LW Peterborough Ottawa Senators
2010 Kevin Hayes RW Nobles Chicago Blackhawks
2009 Marcus Johansson LW Farjestad Washington Capitals
2008 Mattias Tedenby LW HV71 New Jersey Devils
2007 Mikael Backlund C Vasteras Calgary Flames
2006 Dennis Persson D Vasteras Buffalo Sabres
2005 T.J. Oshie C Warroad St. Louis Blues
2004 Kris Chucko LW Salmon Arm Calgary Flames
2003 Mike Richards C Kitchener Philadelphia Flyers
2002 Alex Steen C Frolunda Toronto Maple Leafs
2001 Lucas Krajicek D Peterborough Florida Panthers
2000 Brad Boyes C Erie Toronto Maple Leafs
1999 Luca Cereda C Ambri-Piotta Toronto Maple Leafs
1998 Christian Backman D Frolunda St. Louis Blues
1997 Jean-Francois Damphous G Moncton New Jersey Devils
1996 Daniel Briere C Drummondville Phoenix Coyotes
1995 Alexei Morozov RW Krylja Pittsburgh Penguins
1994 Chris Wells C Seattle Pittsburgh Penguins
1993 Eric Lecompte LW Hull Chicago Blackhawks
1992 Peter Ferraro RW Waterloo New York Rangers
1991 Rene Corbet LW Drummondville Quebec Nordiques
1990 David Harlock D U. of Michigan New Jersey Devils
1989 Kent Marderville C Notre Dame Calgary Flames
1988 Stephane Fiset G Victoriaville Quebec Nordiques
1987 Rob Murphy C Laval Vancouver Canucks
1986 Todd Copeland D Belmont Hill New Jersey Devils
1985 Sean Burke G Toronto New Jersey Devils
1984 Brian Wilks C Kitchener Los Angeles Kings
1983 Shawn Evans D Peterborough New Jersey Devils
1982 Gary Leeman LW Regina Toronto Maple Leafs
1981 Gary Yaremchuk C Portland Toronto Maple Leafs
1980 Norman Rochefort D Quebec Quebec Nordiques
  • Predictably, there are considerably less regular NHL players, and the class of standouts (Oshie, Steen, Richards, Briere, etc.) are of a distinctly lower tier of player to the superstar standouts at fourth overall
  • The Leafs had five selections, including longtime NHLers Steen, Boyes and Leeman as well as Yaremchuk and Cereda who failed to every make it to the NHL level
  • In recent years, the picks have done fairly well as McCann, Shinkaruk, Subban, Puempel, Hayes, Johansson, etc. look to have the makings of regular NHL players (though time will tell on the former few players)
  • You're definitely looking more at complimentary role players at No. 24