A historic draft as Slovaks dominate early picks

* Juraj Slafkovsky (Kosice, Slovakia) became the highest-drafted Slovakian player in NHL history and the 10th player born outside North America to be selected first overall in the NHL Draft.

* Simon Nemec (Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia) followed Juraj Slafkovsky as they became the second pair of countrymen born outside North America to go first and second overall in the same draft (following the Russian duo of Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin in 2004). Prior to Slafkovsky and Nemec, the highest-selected Slovakian player was Marian Gaborik (No. 3 in 2000).

* Filip Mesar (Spisska Bela, Slovakia) was picked 26th overall by the Canadiens, marking the first time at least three Slovakian-born players were selected in Round 1 of the NHL Draft.

* This marks the first NHL Draft where three Slovakian-born players were selected in Round 1.

* Seventeen players selected Thursday were born outside North America, the most ever in Round 1 of the NHL Draft. The previous high was 16 in 2000.

* A breakdown of the first-round picks by birth country: Canada (9), United States (6), Sweden (5), Russia (3), Slovakia (3), Czechia (2), Finland (2), Austria (1) and Switzerland (1).

* For a fourth consecutive year, at least one member of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program’s Under-18 Team was selected among the top five picks (Logan Cooley: No. 3, ARI; Cutter Gauthier: No. 5, PHI). That is the longest such stretch by any team in NHL Draft history.

* Overall, six players from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team were picked Thursday – the second-most chosen in Round 1 in club history (8 in 2019).