NHL Draft: Biggest Busts Picked at Each Top 5 Draft Position

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NHL Draft: Biggest Busts Picked at Each Top 5 Draft Position
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

What's the difference between Jason Spezza and Alexander Svitov?

One pick.

Indeed, Spezza (the No. 2 pick in 2001) and Svitov (the No. 3 pick in 2001) were chosen as consecutive picks of the NHL Entry Draft just 11 years ago.

The majority of the hockey world, of course, knows one as a superstar four-time 30-goal scorer and the other as a second-rate bust with only 37 career points to his name.

But for the Ottawa Senators (selectors of Spezza) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (selectors of Svitov), the effects of these two picks are still very much felt to this day.

One team got an All-Star, first-line forward.

The other team got nothing.

Now, 11 seasons and 10 drafts later, the odds are that another Spezza-Svitov scenario will happen yet again in the 2012 NHL draft. After all, it's happened—many times, actually—in every year since.

Over the course of the past few decades, the list of Svitov-like disappointments has grown to be enormous. A look back at some of the biggest top-five busts of the last 25 years—including Svitov, of course—is on the coming slides.

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