06/22/2011 8:00 AM - Rockford Ill. - This year the Chicago Blackhawks will make the 18th pick in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Today the IceHogs.com coverage of the NHL draft looks at the past 20 years of the players selected 18th in round one, who drafted them, and the accomplishments of their last season.
The last time that the Blackhawks had the 18th pick was in 1983 with Bruce Cassidy. Cassidy played all of his 36 NHL games with the Blackhawks. In 2003-04 and part of the 2004-05 season he was the Washington Capitals head coach. He was also the assistant coach for the Blackhawks during the 2005-06 season. Cassidy won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award with the Grand Rapid Griffins (AHL) in 2001-02.
First round 18th NHL Entry Draft picks
2010: Austin Watson (C) Nashville Predators- The Ann Arbor, Mich. native played his first year with the Peterborough Petes (OHL). In the 68 games he racked up 68 points (34g-34a) and a plus/minus of -38. Watson also put on the sweater for the Milwaukee Admirals for five-games last season as well as three games in the post season.
2009: Louis Leblanc (C) Montreal Canadians- He spent last year playing for the Montreal Juniors (QMJHL). In 55 games, he had 58 points (26g-32a).
2008: Chet Pickard (G) Nashville Predators - He played between the pipes during the 2010-11 season with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) in which he went 1-4-1. His save percentage was .899 and a goals-against average of 2.96. In addition, he was 9-14-3 in 29 games with the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) with a .877 SPCT and a 3.39 GAA.
2007: Ian Cole (D) St. Louis Blues- Cole split his time with the Peoria Riverman (AHL) and the St. Louis Blues (NHL) last season. In the AHL he played 44 games and had 15 points (5g-10a). He also played 24 games in his first stint in the NHL, during which he had four points (1g-3a) and a plus/minus of +6.
2006: Chris Stewart (RW) Colorado Avalanche- He started the last season with the Avalanche having 30 points (13g-17a) in 36 games. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues playing in 26 games and putting up 23 points (15g- 8a). Stewart has notched 136 points (67g-69a) in the NHL.
2005: Ryan Parent (D) Nashville Predators – Parent spent his last season with both the Vancouver Canucks and their AHL affiliate the Manitoba Moose. He played 39 games for the Moose in which he had two points (1g-1a) and four games with the Canucks.
2004: Kyle Chipchura (C) Montreal Canadians- In the 2010-11 season he played 40 games with the Anaheim Ducks, during which he had two assists. Chipchura has totaled 163 career NHL games played.
2003: Eric Fehr (RW) Washington Capitals-The Winkler, MAN native, has played every year since getting drafted with the Capitals. Last year Fehr played 50 games and had 40 points (20g-20a). In the postseason he played five games and had one goal. In 230 career NHL games, Fehr has racked up 93 points (46g-47a).
2002: Denis Grebeshkov (D) Los Angeles Kings- He spent his last year playing in the KHL for the St. Petersburg SKA where he tallied 17 points (8g-9a) in 54 games and had a +18 ranking. Between Nashville, Edmonton and L.A., Grebeshkov has played in 227 career NHL games.
2001: Jens Karlsson (LW) Los Angeles Kings- This last season Karlsson played for the Boras HC (SWE-1) during which he tallied 45 points (22g-23a) in 49 games. Karlsson has never played professionally in North America.
2000: Brooks Orpik (D) Pittsburgh Penguins- Orpik has spent all nine years since being drafted with the Penguins. In his 2010-11 season he had 13 points (1g-12a) three assists in the postseason. The San Francisco, Calif. native has played 512 regular season and 69 postseason games.
1999: Konstantin Koltsov (RW) Pittsburgh Penguins- He has spent the last five seasons with the Ufa Salavat Yulayev (KHL) and recorded 15 points (4g-11a) this year. Koltsov played 144 games on-and-off with Pittsburgh tallying 38 points (12g-26a).
1998: Dmitri Kalinin (D) Buffalo Sabers- Kalinin spent last season with the Ufa Salavat Yulayev (KHL) racking up nine points (3g-6a) in 45 games and had a rating of +16. In his ten years in the NHL he played in 539 games and had 162 points (36g-126a).
1997: Michael Holmqvist (C) Anaheim Ducks- During the 2010-11 season Holmqvist played for the Linkoping HC (SEL) during which he ended up with 10 points (5g-5a) in 51 games. He has played 156 games in the NHL with the Ducks and the Blackhawks which earned him 35 points (18g-17a).
1996: Matt Higgins (C) Montreal Canadians- In 48 games last season with the Ljubljana Olimpija HK (Aust) he had 46 points (21g-25a). All of his 57 games in the NHL were played with the Canadians, recording three points (1g-2a).
1995: Petr Sykora (C) New Jersey Devils- Last season Sykora played for both the Plzen HC (Czech) during which he participated in 13 games and had 13 points (5g-8a), and the Minsk Dynamo (KHL) with 15 points (8g-7a) in 28 games. Sykora has played in 985 NHL games for the Devils, Ducks, Oilers and Penguins for which he had 677 points (302g-375a).
1994: Brad Brown (D) Montreal Canadians – The 2008-09 season was the last time Brown played professional hockey. In that year he played for the Fresno Falcons (ECHL) registering two assists in 16 games. Brown also played 46 games for the Quad City Flames (AHL) tallying two points (1g-1a). In his NHL career he played 330 games with five different teams including the Blackhawks. During his NHL time he had 29 points (2g-21a).
1993: Jesper Mattsson (RW) Calgary Flames- Last season Mattsson played for both the Vastra Frolunda HC (SEL) recording 23 games and 15 points (7g-8a), and 28 games for the Malmo Redhawks (Swe-1) during which he tallied up 23 points (8g-15a). Mattsson played three seasons in the NHL before returning to Sweden.
1992: Jason Smith (D) New Jersey Devils- 2008-09 was the last season the Calgary, Alb. native played in the NHL. After spending 15 years with five different teams, he played 1,008 games and had 169 points (41g-128a).
1991: Glen Murray (RW) Boston Bruins- Murray played every year since being drafted in the NHL. He spent nine out of his 13 seasons with the Bruins. He participated in 1,009 games before he left the league after his 2007-08 season. During that time he had 651 points (337g-314a).
1990: Shawn Antoski (LW) Vancouver Canucks- The last season that Antoski played in was 1997-98. He had played for the Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks. In that time he had 8 points (3g-5a) in 183 games.
Check out icehogs.com all week as we preview the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Monday: Impact the draft has had on the IceHogs
Tuesday: We’ll look at who the experts think the Blackhawks will choose in the draft
Wednesday: A breakdown of the 18th overall draft picks over the past 20 years
Thursday: A look at the 1st round draft picks who played for Rockford last season and overall
Friday: An update on the progress of all of Chicago’s draft picks from the 2009 and 2010 draft
Season Tickets On Sale For 2011-12: It'll be a long summer without IceHogs hockey and season ticket packages for the 2011-12 season are now on sale. To find a ticket package that quenches your hockey thirst, call (815) 847-6399 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (815) 847-6399 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.