The second overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Aleksander Barkov found his home with the Florida Panthers and has been shining ever since. Barkov has proven to be one of the most elite centers in the NHL, which over time led him to a 2018 All-Star Game appearance. That same year Barkov was named a team captain for the Panthers.
Making her U.S. Women's National Team debut in 2011, Alex Morgan immediately caught the eyes of soccer fans across the globe with her speed, athleticism, and poise in front of the goal. A two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist, Morgan has established herself as one of the most prolific scorers in USWNT history with over 100 career goals.
2018 Stanley Cup Champion Alex Ovechkin is leaving his mark as one of, if not the, greatest goal scorer in NHL history. Drafted first overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2004 NHL draft, Ovechkin plays physical, fast and has a gift for finding the back of the net. Ovechkin became the eighth player to join the 700-goal club in 2020. The legendary winger has made seven All-Star Game appearances to go along with a long list of accomplishments.
There are few better than Anze Kopitar at both ends of the ice. After a first round selection in the 2005 NHL Draft landed Kopitar a home with the LA Kings, his career has been nothing short of illustrious. A two-time Stanley Cup champion and five-time NHL All-Star, Kopitar has become known as a tireless worker who steps up when the lights are on him. Kopitar was named the league's best defensive forward following the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons.
A three-time NHL All Star, Auston Matthews has the potential of being a franchise player for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Matthews was the number one pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and it didn't take him long to make his presence felt at the highest level. In his rookie season, Matthews was awarded the Calder Trophy, which goes to the league's top rookie. Matthews' performance that season helped lead his team to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Since 2013, Becky Sauerbrunn has been a consistent starter at the centerback position for the US Women's National team. A two-time FIFA World Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Sauerbrunn has worked her way up through the ranks establising herself as the "rock" of the backline and as a captain of the national team.
Drafted in the third round of the 2006 NHL Draft, winger Brad Marchand is a player people remember. The "little ball of hate" is known to be energetic and feisty on the ice, which has made him one of the NHL's most entertaining competitors. In Marchand's first full season with the Bruins in 2010-11, he helped his team claim the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972. Marchand has made appearances in the 2017 & 2018 NHL All-Star games.
The number four pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Brady Tkachuk hasn't wasted any time getting his professional career started. In his first season with the Ottawa Senators, he scored 22 goals, which was the second most for a rookie in 2019-20. Tkachuk's performance in his first season earned him a spot in the 2020 NHL All Star Game.
Drafted in the first round of the 2003 NHL Draft, Brent Burns is an NHL veteran. Burns' versatility to play on offense and defense has separated him in his storied career. Currently a star San Jose Sharks defenseman, Burns has made appearances in the last five consecutive NHL All-Star Games. Following the 2017 season, Burns was named the NHL's top defenseman. His game has only continued to elevate since then concluding the 2018-19 campaign leading all defenseman in scoring for the fifth straight season.
A first round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, defenseman Cam Fowler landed with the Anaheim Ducks and has been a staple to their lineup since. In Fowler's rookie campaign, he was the only defenseman in his draft class to play the entire season in the NHL. Fowler has had continued success since making an appearance in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game.
With Carey Price defending the net, the Montreal Canadiens have been in good hands the last decade plus. Price was the fifth pick in the 2005 NHL draft, but didn't make his debut until 2007. Several years later in 2014-15, Price may have had one of his most memorable years yet. After leading the Canadian national team to a Gold Medal in the Sochi Olympics, he then captured 44 wins in the NHL season with a 1.93 GAA. Prive has been named an NHL All-Star seven times in his career.
For US Women's National team veteran Carli Lloyd the list of accomplishemnts is long. A two-time FIFA World Cup Champion and two-time Olympic Gold medalist, Lloyd is one of the most decorated players in women's soccer history. Lloyd herself was a two-time FIFA player of the year and has been one of the most dangerous midfielders in the world on the pitch.
A Philadelphia Flyers fan favorite, Claude Giroux has been one of the top scorers in franchise history. After being the 22nd overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, Giroux worked his way up to being named a team captain in 2013. Giroux has made six NHL All-Star Game appearances and led his team to the Stanley Cup final in 2010.
At 5'10", Clayton Keller's size hasn't stopped him from being a lethal threat on the ice. A first round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft by the Arizona Coyotes, Keller made an immediate impact. In his rookie season, he led the Coyotes in goals, assists and points, and was a finalist for the Calder Trophy. Keller was named to the 2018 NHL All-Rookie team and played in the 2019 NHL All-Star game.
The 7th overall selection in the 2006 MLB Draft, Clayton Kershaw quickly worked his way up through the ranks making his major league debut the following year. Kershaw saw his first action with the Dodgers in 2008 and has been a left-handed strikeout machine ever since. Kershaw's list of accomplishments is long, however some of the highlights include: three-time NL Cy Young Award winner, eight-time All-Star, and winning the pitching triple crown in 2011 as the youngest player to do so since 1985.
The first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Connor McDavid had high expectations heading into his professional career. McDavid caught the attention of scouts early on with his incredible vision, speed, and flashiness on the ice. In his second NHL season, McDavid led the league in points and was voted the NHL's most valuable player. He repeated as the league's scoring leader in the 2017-18 season capturing a back-to-back Ted Lindsay award honoring the NHL's most outstanding player.
After a star freshman season at the University of Kentucky, De'Aaron Fox made the decision to go pro and was selected fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2017 NBA Draft. Fox was named to the NBA All-Star Weekend Rising Stars Challenge. So far in his NBA career, Fox has scored over 2,000 points and has recorded over 500 rebounds.
Women's National Basketball Association star Diana Taurasi is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The top pick from the 2004 Women's National Basketball Association Draft, Taurasi has gone on to have a legendary career with the Phoenix Mercury. Taurasi was the Women's National Basketball Association's Rookie of the year in 2004, has led her team to three Women's National Basketball Association Championships, and has been named the MVP of the Women's National Basketball Association finals twice. To top it all off, Taurasi has been a Women's National Basketball Association All-Star nine times and in 2017 became the leagues all-time leading scorer.
After heading to the San Diego Chargers as a second round pick in 2001, Quarterback Drew Brees quickly made his name known in the NFL. Brees earned the starting job with the Chargers right away and made the Pro Bowl just two years later. In 2006, Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints and the rest is history. Brees led the Saints to their first ever Super Bowl appearance and captured the win. Among the countless NFL records Brees holds, he has made the Pro Bowl 13 times, was Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2011, and was the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV.
After a star freshman season at the University of Michigan, Larkin decided it was time to go pro. In the 2014 NHL Draft, Dylan Larkin was drafted at the age of 19 in the first round as the 15th overall pick. In Larkin's first season with the Detroit Red Wings, he led the squad in goals as a rookie earning him an invite to the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game.
Where Elena Delle Donne goes, success follows. The Women's National Basketball Association star was selected 2nd overall in the 2013 draft by the Chicago Sky. Just one year later, she led her squad to the Women's National Basketball Association finals. In 2017, Delle Donne made her debut for the Washington Mystics and just two years later she helped the franchise claim its first ever Women's National Basketball Association championship title. Delle Donne was named the Women's National Basketball Association's Most Valuable Player in 2015 & 2019 and is a six time all-star.
The 5th pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Elias Pettersson immediately found success with the Vancouver Canucks. Scoring five goals in his first five games, Pettersson would go on to lead all rookies in points earning himself a spot in the 2019 NHL All-Star game. Pettersson also won the Calder Trophy, which goes to the NHL's top rookie. Pettersson was also selected to the 2020 NHL All-Star team.
After being drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 2007 MLB Draft, Giancarlo Standon made his major league debut in 2010. Stanton was a Marlin until the end of 2017 season, where during that time he led the National League twice in home runs. In 2017 Stanton was voted the MVP of the National League and is a four time all-star. Stanton is now in his third season with the New York Yankees.
Henril Lundqvist made his NHL debut for the New York Rangers in 2005. Lundqvist finished his first season with 30 wins, which was the most ever for a Rangers' rookie. This was just the beginning of a long chapter in Rangers' history. The veteran owns just about every Rangers' goaltending record. Lundqvist has played in the NHL All-Star five times and reached the 400 victory mark in 2017, which leads the NHL. As if Lundqvist's NHL career isn't impressive enough, he also led Sweden to gold in the 2006 Torino Olympics.
A star defensive end for the University of Wisconsin, J.J. Watt was drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Watt currently holds the Texans' franchise records for sacks and forced fumbles. Watt is a three-time Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year and five-time Pro Bowl selection.
Selected second overall in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, Jack Eichel jumped straight into the league. Eichel finished his first season with 56 points and was named to the All-Rookie team. In 2018, the Sabres named Eichel a team captain and he has only gotten better since. Eichel has led the Sabres in points for four seasons and has played in the last three NHL All-Star games.
The third overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, James Harden found his first home with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Harden helped the Thunder reach the NBA Finals in 2012 and was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year. Just after, Harden was traded to Houston where he has taken his game to a new level ever since. In 2018, Harden led the NBA in scoring and was named the MVP. The star shooting guard has been named an NBA All-Star eight times and took home a gold medal with team USA in the 2012 Olympics.
It was apparent early on that Johnny Gaudreau was going to be a star. After much success as a junior, he was drafted in 2011 by the Calgary Flames. Gaudreau took his game to Boston College thereafter where he eventually won the Hobey Baker award in 2014, given to the NCAA's best player. Gaudreau then made his NHL debut and had a killer rookie season leading all newcomers in assists. While smaller in size, Johnny Hockey has proven the doubters wrong and has played in every NHL All-Star game from 2015-2019.
Second baseman Jose Altuve made his MLB debut in 2011 for the Houston Astros. A six-time MLB All-Star, Altuve's most memorable year came in 2017 when he was named the AL's MVP and became a World Series Champion with the Astros.
Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was destined for the NFL after a standout college career at the University of Southern California. Smith-Schuster went to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In year one, the rookie showed his playmaking abilities hauling in a 97-yard touchdown reception, the longest in franchise history. He became the youngest player in NFL history to score five touchdowns before his 21st birthday.
The 2019 U.S. Women's Soccer Player of the Year, Julie Ertz is playing the best soccer of her career. A two-time World Cup Champion with the U.S. Women's National Team, Ertz is a dominant presence in the air whether she is playing in the back or in the midfield.
After making his Major League Baseball debut in 2009 with the Baltimore Orioles, Justin Turner made a stop with the New York Mets organization before landing with the LA Dodgers in 2014. Since then, the third baseman has become a staple to the Dodgers' lineup. Turner was an MLB All-Star in 2017 and has been to the World Series twice since landing in LA.
Recently joining the LA Clippers organization, Kawhi Leonard has made an impact at every stop he has made. Leonard began is career with the San Antonio Spurs in 2011 and led them to an NBA Championship in 2014, where he was named the MVP of the finals. Five years later, Leonard was traded to Toronto where he led the Raptors to their first NBA Championship in franchise history. The "Klaw" was also named the MVP of the 2019 NBA Finals. Leonard has been named an NBA All-Star four times and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016.
One of the highest earning basketball players in the world, Kevin Durant has had a remarkable NBA career. After being named the Rookie of the Year in 2008, the future was bound to be bright. After nine seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant signed with Golden State in 2016. KD would go on to claim back-to-back NBA Championships with the Warriors where he was named the MVP of the finals in both 2017 and 2018. Durant is a 10-time NBA All-Star and a four-time NBA scoring champion. Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets in 2019.
The first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Kyrie Irving began his career in Cleveland finishing his first season as the Rookie of the Year. Just three years later, Irving was named the MVP of the 2014 NBA All-Star game, which is just one of six total appearances he has made with the league's best. In 2016, Irving was instrumental in completing a historic comeback to defeat Golden State in the NBA Finals. In 2017, Irving requested a trade to the Boston Celtics where he played for two seasons. In 2019, the point guard signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
One of the greatest basketball players of all time, where Lebron James goes, success follows. From 2011-2018, James led his teams, both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat, to the NBA Finals. Of those appearances, James and his teams' walked away with three NBA championships. A 16-time All-Star and four-time NBA MVP, James looks to bring success back to the LA Lakers, where he signed in 2018.
Just the third goaltender to be selected first overall in the history of the NHL Draft, Marc-Andre Fleury began his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003. Fleury lived up to the hype leading the Penguins to three Stanley Cup Finals and two championships. In 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights selected Fleury in the NHL Expansion Draft and he posted the best statistical season of his career following the move leading his team, once again, to the Cup Final.
Mathew Barzal has been a key contributor for the New York Islanders since the 2017-18 season. That year, he led the Islanders in points and assists earning himself NHL top rookie honors. Barzal played in back-to-back NHL All-Star games in 2019 and 2020.
2019 FIFA Women's Player of the Year, Megan Rapinoe has been a US Women's National Team star for a decade. Rapinoe has led her team to gold in two World Cups as well as the 2012 London Summer Olympics. In the 2019 Women's World Cup in France, Rapinoe became the first player since Michelle Akers to win the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball awards. Rapinoe has been a co-captain for the USWNT since 2018.
A first round selection in the 2009 MLB Draft, Mike Trout has been a standout for the Los Angeles Angels since 2012 when he was unanimously named the Atlantic League Rookie of the Year. Trout has been named the AL MVP three times and is an eight-time MLB All-Star. As of 2019, Trout led all active players in career slugging percentage and was second in career on base percentage. In 2019, Trout signed a 12-year $426 million contract with the Angels.
Making his MLB debut for the Boston Red Sox in 2014, Mookie Betts quickly made a name for himself. Betts became the Red Sox starting center fielder in 2014 before moving to center field in 2016. A four-time All-Star, Betts' most memorable year came in 2018 when he became the first player in history to win the MVP, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, batting title and World Series in the same season. Betts was traded to the LA Dodgers in 2020.
Taken first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Colorado Avalanche, Nathan MacKinnon was the youngest player in franchise history to make his NHL debut at 18 years and 31 days old. Mackinnon was named the NHL's rookie of the year after leading all newcomers in assists, points and goals. Mackinnon has made three NHL All-Star game appearances.
Noah Syndergaard was selected in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft by Toronto and then traded him to the New York Mets in 2012. Syndergaard made his MLB debut in 2015 and was named to the National League All- Star team one year later.
After a standout college career at LSU as a wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. was selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. Beckham Jr. has turned out to be one of the most productive NFL receivers breaking numerous league receiving records as a rookie. Most sports fans remember his Sunday Night Football one-handed touchdown catch against the Dallas Cowboys in his first season. In 2019, Beckham Jr. was traded to the Cleveland Browns.
PK Subban made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens in 2010 and was promoted full-time to the team for the 2010-11 season. That year, Subban scored 38 points and was particularly lethal taking advantage of power plays. The following season, Subban led his team for total ice time and became the first rookie defenseman for the Canadians to score a hat trick. In 2012-13, Subban was named the NHL's top defenseman and was a first-team All Star.
Turning out to be one of the best players in the history of the game, Patrick Kane started his career in the spotlight as the first overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft. By just his third season with the Chicago Blackhawks, Kane was an All-Star and Stanley Cup Champion. In fact this was just one of two times Kane and the Blackhawks would win the Cup in four years. Kane is a nine-time NHL All-Star and three-time Stanley Cup Champion.
To say Patrick Mahomes is an all-around athlete would be an understatement. A dual sport athlete at Texas Tech, Mahomes decided to quit baseball heading into his junior season to focus on football, and it is safe to say it has paid off. Mahomes would eventually go in the first round of the NFL Draft to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, and after serving one year as the backup QB, the rest is history. In Mahomes' rookie season, he was named the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year and MVP after throwing 50 touchdown passes and over 5,000 yards.
Patrik Lane is a scoring machine, and that is exactly what the Winnipeg Jets saw in him when they draft him second overall in 2016. In Lane's rookie season, he finished second in voting for the Calder Trophy, given to the NHL's top rookie, after scoring 36 goals and dishing out 28 assists in 73 games. Lane played in the NHL All-Star game in 2017.
While Pekka Rinne made his brief NHL debut in 2015, the goaltender played his first full season in 2008-09 for the Nashville Predators. Appearing in 52 games that year, he ranked fourth among NHL goaltenders with seven shutouts. Rinne's goaltending was absolutely crucial to the Predator's first trip to the Stanley Cup final in 2017 where he went 14-8 in 22 playoff games. Rinne finally won the Vezina award, given to the NHL's best goalie, in 2018 and was a first team All-Star that same season.
A dual sport athlete in college at NC State, Russell Wilson can say he has played two sports at the professional level. After playing minor league baseball in 2010 for the New York Yankees Double-A affiliate, Wilson transferred to Wisonsin to finish his college career out at the quarterback position. Wilson led his team to the Big Ten title and the 2012 Rose Bowl. After being drafted in the third round in 2012 by Seattle, Wilson went on to win the starting job and have an all-rookie season.
Ryan O'Reilly jumped right in to his NHL career in 2009 with the Colorado Avalanche. O'Reilly would go on to lead the Avalanche in takeaways in his first two seasons and was also Colorado's leading scorer in 2011-12. The star center was traded to Buffalo in 2015 and then again to St. Louis in 2018, and it couldn't have been better timing for the Blues. O'Reilly led St. Louis in scoring during the regular season and then helped his team win its first Stanley Cup Championship since entering the NHL that same year.
The Carolina Hurricanes selected defenseman Sebastian Aho in the 2016 NHL Draft. Aho made his NHL debut later that year and finished out his first season with 49 points. Just two years later, Aho scored a career-high 83 points and made his first NHL All-Star Game appearance.
Seth Jones began his NHL career with the Nashville Predators after being selected in the 2013 NHL Draft. Jones immediately jumped into the NHL and made an impact as one of the Predators' top shot blockers. In 2015-16, Jones was traded to the Colombus Blue Jackets where he played at a level that earned him three All-Star game appearances.
The top pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins have looked to Sidney Crosby for over a decade now. Crosby is regarded as one the best hockey players of all time and was even named a team captain at the young age of 19. Crosby has been a goal scoring machine leading the NHL in goals over the course of a season two times. The veteran center has also experienced success at the international level helping team Canada bring home the gold in both the 2010 & 2014 Olympics.
Acquired by the Phoenix Mercury in 2020, Skylar Diggins-Smith has been one of the top players in the Women's National Basketball Association since she was drafted in 2013 by the Tulsa Shock. Diggins-Smith is a four-time Womens National Basketball Association All-Star and has ranked in the top-10 in scoring, assists, and steals three different seasons throughout her career... joining Diana Taurasi as only one of two players do to so since 2013.
The Tampa Bay Lightening selected wisely in the 2008 NHL Draft by choosing Steven Stamkos with the first overall pick. Stamkos is one of the top goal scorers of his time being one of only two NHL players since 1996 to score 60 goals in a season. Named a team captain in 2014, Stamkos signed an eight year contract extensions two years later, making Tampa Bay home a while longer. Stamkos has played in the NHL All-Star game six times and scored his 400th career NHL goal in 2019.
When you hear the name Tobin Heath in the soccer world, you think championships. A three-time NCAA Division I national champion at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, it was no surprise that Heath would represent her country following college. One of the fastest players on the U.S. Women's National team, Heath helped her team to gold at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2015 & 2019 FIFA Women's World Cups.
As the second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Boston Bruins fans had high expectations for Tyler Seguin… and he lived up to them. Sequin was a key contributor to helping the Bruins claim the 2011 Stanley Cup. In 2013, Seguin found a new home with the Dallas Stars where he was moved from wing to center establishing himself as one of the NHL's top scorers.
The NHL's all-time leading goal scorer, Wayne Gretzy's 20 seasons went down as the greatest in history. If there is an offensive NHL record to hold, "the great one" most likely owns it. The hall-of-famer appeared in 18 All-Star games throughout the course of his career before retiring in 1999. Gretzky led the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cup championships.
The speedy Zach Parise began his NHL career after being drafted in 2003 by the New Jersey Devils. With a nose for the net, Parise was a threat for opponents registering four straight 30 plus goal seasons for the Devils. The winger led the Devils to the Stanley Cup final in 2012, however following the season, it was time for Parise to return home to Minnesota. The Wild signed Parise as a free agent to a 13-year $98 million contract.
After a star freshman season at Duke University, NBA teams had their eyes set on Zion Williamson. Williamson became just the third freshman to be named the AP Player of the Year joining Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant. Williamson was selected with the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by New Orleans and made an immediate impact in his first season averaging over 23 points and almost 7 rebounds per game.