At 15:05 of the third period in the Edmonton Oilers opening game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the game-tying goal. It was his first NHL goal in his first NHL game. 49 players have been selected first overall in NHL history and Nugent-Hopkins became the 11th first overall draft choice to score a goal in his first game.
He joins Buffalo's Gilbert Perreault, Long Island's Billy Harris and John Tavares, Philadelphia's Mel Bridgman and Eric Lindros, Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux, Minnesota's Mike Modano, Quebec's Mats Sundin, Columbus' Rick Nash, and Washington's Alexander Ovechkin on the list.
Nugent-Hopkins is keeping some lofty company: all of the aforementioned players went on to lengthy NHL careers and eight of them are in the Hall of Fame or are headed to the Hall of Fame. Not that there's any pressure on the young man.
Maybe there is something to that Modano comp after all?