For every Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin, there is a Patrik Stefan or Pavel Brendl. High draft picks going bust is a fact of life for general managers in the NHL, and it's always awful to see it happen to a teenager who once had a promising career ahead of him.
While there are other professional options for players who don't pan out in North America—Alexandre Daigle, for instance, was a point-per-game player in the Swiss A League prior to retiring—that doesn't ease the burden on the teams that initially drafted them.
Having a first-round pick go bust can put a franchise in a hole that takes years to climb out of. Especially if they traded other assets to move up at the draft to pick a kid who seemed like a can't-miss player.
Anyone who has been around the game long enough knows that there's no such thing as a can't-miss prospect though, and there are several once-promising young studs who are close to seeing their fortunes turn at the professional level.
All statistics and draft information appear courtesy of Hockeydb.com unless otherwise noted.