Remembering the biggest busts in history

nhl draft

Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL Draft is where teams look to the future to try and add to their organization. Sometimes it works out well. Other times, the player doesn’t pan out at all.

The 2019 NHL Draft is coming up. It’s a time when every team looks to add a bunch of bright young prospects into the fold. The higher the pick, the more likely it is that the player will contribute to the team (usually).

By that logic, the players who get picked in the first round should be among the best players in the league within a couple of years. Even more so for the top 10 picks. Nowadays, it’s more often right than not. However, there are times where things just don’t pan out, and the player becomes a bust.

You don’t quite know you have a bust on your hands until a few years after you pick them, when they haven’t made it in the NHL, or if they have, are not playing up to the standards they set before the draft. It could take a few years to figure out, or in certain cases or cities, much sooner.

Causes of a draft bust usually include injury, lack of effort, or a lack of translation of their game to the pro ranks. In some cases, multiple causes are what did that player in. So let’s take a trip through time to find some of the worst draft busts in NHL history. We will look at who the player was before he was picked, and what happened after the draft (we will use Point Shares from Hockey-Reference.com to be our measuring stick). We will also quickly look at who that team passed on, be it a Hall of Famer or a late steal.

If at any point you find your team here and don’t want to remind yourself of that stinkin’ draft, I don’t blame you. You can skip ahead if you choose.

With that said, let’s fire up the old flux capacitor and go back to remember the biggest NHL draft busts in history.

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