Rather than do an "all time NHL draft busts" I wanted to focus more on players drafted within the top 5 from from 1999 until 2006.
In any given draft year the expectation of a top 5 pick would either be a top six forward, a top 4 defensemen or a starting goaltender at the very least. The hope is that the player becomes an all-star building block.
Any player drafted 1 through 5 would have been extremely well vetted by professional scouts who know what they're looking for and the potential upside of these particular players are always very high.
It would be entirely reasonable to expect these players to be contributing to their clubs by their 22nd birthday. By the teams that drafted them.
Thats why these particular players - to me - are considered draft "busts."