It was 1993 when the Quebec Nordiques used their 14th-overall draft pick on a young Adam Deadmarsh. At the time Deadmarsh was putting up big points for the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League (he had 43 goals and 99 points in 65 games, also 212 penalty minutes). Surely this young man was capable of great success in the NHL. He would help his team to the Stanley Cup in 1996, only his second season in the NHL. He wore the number 18.
In the 2000-2001 season, Adam Deadmarsh would be traded by the Colorado Avalanche to the Los Angeles Kings along side Aaron Miller, Jared Aulin and a first round draft pick in exchange for Rob Blake and Steve Reinprecht. With these new key players and the usual tandem built around Sakic and Roy, the Avalanche would go on to win the 2001 Stanley Cup.
Little did the Avalanche know, they didn't only trade away a grinder with offensive upside in Adam Deadmarsh, but they would curse the number 18 for their team...
---In 2004, Alex Tanguay would be the next to inherit the number 18 for the Colorado Avalanche. He would wear it for one season before the NHL stopped entirely for the lockout in 2005 but would wear it again in 2006. He put up good numbers during the regular season before battling a knee injury during the playoffs and being limited to 2 goals and 4 points in 8 games. His negotiating rights would be sent to the Flames in exchange for Jordan Leopold and two 2nd rounders. He would sign a 3-year, $15.75 million deal.
---No one would wear the number 18 until the 2008-2009 season when Brian Willsie wore 18 in his second stint with the Avalanche. He would put up 4 points in 42 games. Legend has it, he to faded slowly into the mist of a frozen and tranquil Lake Erie sometime after that.
---Stephane Yelle would wear eighteen in the playoff run in 2010. Interestingly enough, Stephan Yelle was a part of the Chris Drury trade to the Flames. In 2009, he would play in 11 regular season games and 6 playoff games. In those 17 games, Yelle had 1 assist. He would retire before the next season.
---After a promising rookie season, Yip donned the number 18, scoring only 12 goals and earning only 22 points in 71 games with the Avalanche.
It is possible that Yip wears 18 again next season, but no one has high hopes for him. Joey Hishon wears 18 for Owen Sound, and may hope to carry that number into the NHL. If this is to happen, I think he could be the man to break the curse. However, Jay McClement also wore 18 for St. Louis. It is possible that he will where that number next season for his new team.
Also here's my (3rd version) of the top 11 picks in the draft:
1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C (Oilers)
2. Gabriel Landeskog LW (Avalanche)
3. Jonathon Huberdeau C (Panthers)
4. Adam Larsson D (Devils)
5. Sean Couturier C (Islanders)
7. Dougie Hamilton D (Winnipeg)
8. Nathan Beaulieu (Columbus)
9. Ryan Murphy D (Bruins)
10. Sven Baerschi LW (Wild)
11. Mika Zibanejad C (Avalanche)
Gabriel Landeskog over Larsson just because I think his style of play is what we need, especially at the wing. I know they say his ceiling is low, but I think he could flourish under Sacco. His additional leadership qualities are a plus, too. Larsson's size and smarts on the blue line would be nice asset to have, as well. But having to decide between two young, skilled players is a good problem to have, I suppose. I would love to see how you think the top 11 will pan out, so respond!