The Portland Winterhawks (WHL) defenseman and son of former NBA player Popeye Jones is big, swift, smart, and supremely athletic with a high compete level. Central Scouting's final rankings of North American skaters have him at No. 1 for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (June 30, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ) where he could become only the 13th blueliner to be chosen first overall since the inception of the draft in 1963. Here's a look at the other 12.
2 of 12David E. Klutho/SI
Taken by the Blues ahead of center Jordan Staal (Penguins), Johnson is still trying to deliver on the potential that impressed NHL scouts. The big, swift, offensively gifted blueliner spent a little more than two-and-a-half seasons with St. Louis before he was traded to Colorado in Feb. 2011. The rap against him: he's an injury prone underachiever who doesn't always use his mobility to maximum advantage, but the Avalanche gave him a four-year $15 million deal in July 2012, believing that, at 24, he still has time to blossom.
3 of 12 Lou Capozzola/SI
Steady as he goes. Phillips, who was taken by the Senators ahead of defenseman Andrei Zyuzin (Sharks), entered the 2013 season having played 1,025 games for Ottawa since his 1997 debut. A smart shutdown defender and leader, Phillips has yet to score more than eight goals or 26 points in a season, win an NHL award, or be named an All-Star.
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Blueliners went 1-2-3 in '95, but Berard refused to report to the Senators and was traded to the Islanders in a package deal for Wade Redden (No. 2; Aki-Petteri Berg went third to the Kings). A superb skater with offensive gifts and great potential, Berard's career-high 48-point rookie season won him the 1997 Calder Trophy. Two seasons later, the Isles dealt him to Toronto for goalie Felix Potvin. A detached retina caused by a high stick on March 11, 2000 nearly destroyed Berard's career, but despite impaired vision, he made it back to the NHL with the Rangers in 2001 and played six more seasons, bouncing to Boston, Chicago, Columbus, and back to the Isles. In 2006, he was banned from international play for two years after testing positive for a steroid. Berard concluded his career in the KHL in 2008-09.
5 of 12 David E. Klutho/SI
Nicknamed JovoCop, the big, bruising, workhorse blueliner who also packed some offensive punch was taken ahead of defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky (Anaheim). At 19, Jovanovski earned 1995-96 NHL All-Rookie first team honors while the Panthers made a surprise run to the Stanley Cup Final. In January 1999, he was traded to the Canucks in the deal that brought sniper Pavel Bure to Florida. After six more seasons with Vancouver (for whom he topped 40 points three times), and five with Phoenix (career-high 51 points in 2007-08), the five-time All-Star returned to Florida as a free agent in July 2011. He's since topped the 1,000-game mark, and was named the Panthers' captain for the 2013 season.
6 of 12 Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
The Lightning chose the big, versatile Czech ahead of center Alexei Yashin (Ottawa) and such other notable blueliners as Darius Kasparaitis (5th, Islanders) and Sergei Gonchar (14th, Capitals). Hamrlik developed into a minute-munching shutdown defender and penalty-killer who could also play the point on the power play. After five-and-a-half seasons with Tampa Bay, he embarked on a steady, productive journeyman's career that has taken him to the Oilers, Islanders, Flames, Canadiens and Capitals. The three-time All-Star had, as of the 2013 season, played in more than 1,300 NHL games and topped the 600-point mark.
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Boston's pick ahead of winger Brian Bellows (2nd, North Stars) and defenders Gary Nylund (3rd, Maple Leafs), Scott Stevens (5th, Capitals) and Phil Housley (6th, Sabres), Kluzak arrived from juniors with a knee injury that foreshadowed his NHL career. A rugged defender with improving offensive skills, he made the Bruins in his first camp, had a promising rookie season, and followed it with a 10-goal, 37-point, 135 PIM, +5 campaign in 1983-84 that promised even better things. But during the '84 preseason, he injured his knee, needed surgery and was out for a year. Though he recovered and helped the Bruins reach the 1988 Stanley Cup Final, he never played another full season. Plagued by chronic knee woes, he attempted three brief comebacks with Boston, one of them worthy of the 1990 Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication, and retired in 1991.
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The Colorado Rockies picked this WHA All-Star and the Blues took winger Perry Turnbull at No. 2, though a future Hall of Fame defenseman, fellow by the name of Ray Bourque, was available. (He went to the Bruins at No. 8.) Ramage became a top two-way defender and three-time All-Star who played 15 seasons for eight teams, including Calgary's 1989 Stanley Cup-winner and Montreal's in 1993. He's also the answer to a trivia question: Who put the puck into his own team's net, enabling Billy Smith of the Islanders to become the first NHL goaltender credited with scoring a goal?
9 of 12 Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images
The OHA's Most Outstanding Defenseman award for 1975-76 was taken by the Capitals ahead of scoring winger Blair Chapman (Penguins). A 6'-3", 200-pound defensive blueliner, Green was enlisted to help keep the puck out of the leaky Caps' net. His rookie season was cut short by a broken wrist, but he became a workhorse, though one that logged unsightly ratings of -35 and -46 while drawing frequent boos. He eventually won Caps fans over, but after six seasons in Washington, he was dealt to Montreal in the Rod Langway trade and ended up winning the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1986. He also helped them reach the '89 final. After a season with the Red Wings and a brief hitch as an Islander, Green retired in 1992, having played 845 games.
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The first pick in Capitals' history was the 1974 Memorial Cup MVP and a future member of the Regina Caps (WCHL) all-century team. Expected to become the face of Washington's new franchise, Joly was chosen ahead of forward Wilf Paiement (Kansas City Scouts) with future Hall of Famers Bryan Trottier and Clark Gillies on the board. Joly's rookie season was an unmitigated disaster. The woeful Caps finished 8-67-5 with the overmatched 20-year-old scoring one goal and seven points with -68 rating, battling injuries and spending time on the wing. After two seasons, the Caps' cut bait, trading Joly to Detroit where he spent all or parts of the next seven years before concluding his career in the AHL. His career NHL totals: 365 games, 21 goals, 97 points.
11 of 12 Walter Iooss Jr./SI; Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
The dynamic defender came out of the OHA with a single-season scoring record for blueliners (123 points) and went on to a 15-season Hall of Fame career with the Islanders that included the 1974 Calder Trophy, three Norris trophies, nine All-Star Game appearances, and four straight Stanley Cups as team captain. A bruising defender and potent offensive force (he had a 101-point season in 1978-79 and later became the first NHL backliner to post 1,000 career points), Potvin remains the finest, most complete defenseman ever drafted No. 1 overall.
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Rick Pagnutti and Barry Gibbs
A slick-skating puck-mover (and 2012 inductee to the AHL Rochester Americans Hall of Fame), Pagnutti (inset) was taken by the L.A. Kings in an unremarkable first round of the '67 draft. Only winger Serge Bermier (5th, Flyers) saw time in the NHL. Pagnutti spent most of his 10-year career in the AHL where he played for Rochester with Mike Milbury and was coached by Don Cherry. Barry Gibbs, the top pick by the Bruins ahead of blueliner Brad Park (Rangers), didn't reach the NHL to stay until 1969, with the Minnesota North Stars. He played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1973 and concluded his career in 1980, having played 797 games for five teams.
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