NHL Draft: The 13 Worst No. 1 Picks in NHL Draft History

Kevin GoffContributor IJune 21, 2012

NHL Draft: The 13 Worst No. 1 Picks in NHL Draft History

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    The first overall draft pick is one that always carries a lot of expectations.

    Teams expect you to step in from the first day of training camp and make an immediate difference for your team.

    The first question surrounding a first overall pick is almost never "Will this guy make the team?"

    Instead, it's "When will this guy lead his team to a Stanley Cup?"

    Some of these guys have the potential to live up to those expectations, while others fizzle out for one reason or another.

Mel Bridgman

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    Bridgman wasn't a bad draft pick, but didn't really pan out as being a great first overall selection.

    He spent most of his time on the Flyers' third line, which is not where you would expect to see the top draft pick sitting.

    Still, he was effective with what he did and was a serviceable player.

Rick DiPietro

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    Rick DiPietro wasn't a bad pick at the time. However, after a ton of injuries and an insane contract that's left the Islanders stuck for a long time, he must be considered among the worst.

    Of the 10 seasons that he's played in the NHL, only four times has he appeared in more than 50 games.

    While he's shown some solid flashes, he's just never been able to stay healthy.

Doug Wickenheiser

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    Wickenheiser was a promising prospect taken first overall in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft.

    He struggled to make the adjustment to the NHL game and had to deal with a lot of negative media in Montreal, who wanted the team to draft Denis Savard.

    Wickenheiser lasted just over three seasons in Montreal before being traded. He never managed to live up to the potential he showed in juniors.

Rob Ramage

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    Rob Ramage did have a long career in the NHL, but not really the type of career you might expect from a first overall pick.

    He did have stats that were frequently over 100 and even close to 200, but those were all penalty minutes.

    His most productive goal-scoring season saw him tally 20 goals, which was in his second year with the Rockies.

    He was the captain of the Maple Leafs at one point, but his numbers were not top-pick numbers—564 points in 1044 games.

Brian Lawton

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    Brian Lawton was drafted first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1983. He played five seasons before becoming a bit of a journeyman.

    The only time that Lawton scored more than 21 goals in a season was when he played for the Phoenix Roadrunners of the IHL.

    He has the honor of being the first American-born hockey player selected first overall, but he didn't end up being too much of a player.

Michel Plasse

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    Plasse was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1968 draft and was never really much of a consistent goalie.

    Yes, he played in a different era, but his goals-against average was very high. In fact, throughout his career, he was only under the 3.00 goals-against average once.

    The big difference was that he was over 4.00 goals-against five times.

Gord Kluzak

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    Selecting Kluzak wasn't a very good decision by the Boston Bruins. He had knee issues coming out of juniors, but Boston was determined to have him.

    He was an NHL professional for nine years and missed two full seasons to injury.

    Looking at some of the names the Bruins could have taken instead really makes you shake your head.

Gary Monahan

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    Gary Monahan was the first official draft pick in NHL history, picked by the Montreal Canadiens in 1963.

    Monahan played only 14 games for Montreal and did not record a single point for them. He ended his career with 285 points in 748 games.

Alexandre Daigle

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    Alexandre Daigle is one of the biggest NHL draft busts in history.

    After tearing up the QMJHL, Daigle was never able to produce anything near that same level of production in the NHL. He only broke the 20-goal mark three times in his career.

    Daigle was really not much more than a diva who was more interested in being famous than actually working hard enough to succeed in the NHL.

    His inability to find a team that was willing to keep him around shows that the NHL is a league where you can't just rely on your talent.

Patrik Stefan

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    Patrik Stefan was a highly-touted prospect out of Czechoslovakia, who is arguably the biggest draft bust in the history of the league.

    Whenever lists are made about the most embarrassing moments in NHL history, this video is always right near the top.

    Stefan never once broke 20 goals.

Claude Gauthier, Andre Veilleux, Rick Pagnutti

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    All three of these gentlemen will be mentioned at the same time for one specific reason—all three of these men were drafted first overall, but not one of them ever played a game in the NHL.

    Gauthier was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, Veilleux by the New York Rangers and Pagnutti by the Los Angeles Kings.

    Hard to make a difference for your team if you never get on the ice.