1 of 8Robert Laberge, Brian Bahr/Getty Images; David E. Klutho/SI; Frank Gunn/AP
Burnaby Joe -- so nicknamed after his hometown in British Columbia -- was the 15th overall pick, by the Quebec Nordiques, in the 1989 NHL Draft. The smart, playmaking center with the lethal wrist shot spent his entire 20-year career with the franchise -- serving 16 years as captain, the second longest such tenure in league history -- while twice scoring 50 goals in a season and producing six 100-point campaigns. He was so valued that the Avalanche countered a $21 million offer sheet from the New York Rangers in 1997 in order to keep him. On the international stage, Sakic won gold medals with Team Canada at the 1994 World Championships and 2002 Winter Olympics.
2 of 8Tim DeFrisco/SI
After the Nordiques franchise moved to Colorado in 1995 with his sidekick Peter Forsberg in tow, Sakic had a monster offensive season with 120 points and led the Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup in 1996, earning Conn Smythe honors as playoff MVP. He later helped the Avs capture the Cup again in 2001, when he took home the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP. Sakic retired in 2009 with 625 goals and 1,016 assists in 1,378 games. He enters the Hall on his first ballot.
3 of 8Manuello Paganelli/SI
Undrafted out Toronto and forced to take the then-unorthodox route to the NHL by playing college hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, this brilliant passer was signed by the Red Wings in 1985 and went on to play 19 seasons in the league, earning five All-Star Game nods . He finished up sixth all-time with 1,079 assists compiled during stints with Detroit, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim and Edmonton.
4 of 8David E. Klutho, Lou Capozzola/SI; Andre Pichette/Getty Images
Teaming with Brett Hull in St. Louis in 1989 to form the Blues' potent Hull & Oates scoring duo, Oates blossomed with the first two of his four 100-point seasons. (Many of his 90 assists in 1990-91 fed Hull's 86-goal campaign.) The other two, including his career season (45 goals, 97 assists, 142 points) of 1992-93, came in Boston where he centered a line with future Hall of Famer Cam Neely. Oates also helped Peter Bondra win a goal-scoring title in Washington during the 1997-98 season. Oates retired in 2004.
5 of 8David E. Klutho/SI
The Russian Rocket, a right winger with blazing speed, was the top forward at the 1991 World Junior championships before defecting from the Soviet Union that year to sign with the Vancouver Canucks, who had selected him in the sixth round of the 1989 NHL Draft. Scoring 34 goals, he won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year for 1991-92. The following season, Bure produced the first his two 60-goal and five 50-plus goal seasons. Only Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy scored more often during their first three NHL campaigns.
6 of 8Illustration by James Porto
The six-time All-Star's career was ultimately slowed and cut short by knee injuries, but he still led the NHL in goal-scoring three times and reached the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, where the Canucks fell in seven to the New York Rangers. After stints with the Florida Panthers and the Rangers, Bure retired in 2003 with 779 points in 772 career NHL games. His international trophy case includes an Olympic silver medal with Team Russia in 1998.
7 of 8Rick Stewart/Getty Images; Damian Strohmeyer, Bob Rosato/SI
The big (6-5, 231 pounds) center was the first European player ever drafted by an NHL team first overall (Quebec in 1989) and went on to become the first Swede to reach 1,000 points in the league. On the international stage, he became one of Sweden's most acclaimed players while leading his country to gold medals at the World Championships in 1991, '92 and '98, and the 2006 Winter Olympics.
8 of 8AP
After his trade to Toronto in 1994, Sundin became the first foreign-born captain of the Maple Leafs. During his 13 seasons with the team, he set franchise records for most 20-goal (13) and 30-goal (10) seasons, game-winning tallies (79), regular-season OT goals (14), career goals (420) and assists (567). He retired in 2009 as an eight-time All-Star with 564 goals and 785 assists in 1,346 games and enters the Hall on his first ballot as the second Swede enshrined, former Leafs defenseman Borje Salming being the first in 1996.
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