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NHL Draft 2011: Who's Next? the Biggest First Round Busts from 1975-2000

Isaac SmithAnalyst IJune 21, 2011

NHL Draft 2011: Who's Next? the Biggest First Round Busts from 1975-2000

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    Who will be the next bust out of the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft?
    Who will be the next bust out of the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft?Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Ah yes, the first round of the NHL Draft.

    Every year, the draft renews the hopes of fans, management and even players on the team.

    Each team's GM makes their selections, hoping and praying that they have just selected a future franchise player and future superstar.

    These hopes and prayers are sometimes answered, but more often than not, first round draft picks find themselves labelled as "busts" because they do not live up to lofty expectations.

    This slide show will showcase the biggest first round draft busts off all time

    These picks are difficult to make because there are good arguments for each player. Sometimes these players are sometimes overrated by teams who draft them, but sometimes, they just do not live up to their potential.

    Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the 25 hockey players who will "earn" the "prestigious" award of "Biggest First Round Draft Bust" of their year.

1975: Alex Forsyth, Washington

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 04: Jason Arnott #44 of the Washington Capitals skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the St Pete Times Forum on May 4, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    This honor was a close one to call.

    Chicago's Gregory Vaydik was drafted seventh overall and played only five games.

    But Alex Forsyth played one game.

    BUST!

1976: Bjorn Johansson, Cleveland Barons

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    There's a reason the Barons moved after just three seasons...
    There's a reason the Barons moved after just three seasons...

    Bjorn Johansson never quite made the transition over to the NHL from Sweden.

    In fact, he only played 15 games over his two year career, putting up two points and chalking up a minus-13.

    This was before my time, but I think that's why Cleveland no longer has a hockey team....

    BUST

1977: Scott Campbell, St. Louis Blues

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 5: David Backes #42 of the St. Louis Blues takes a shot on goal against the Colorado Avalanche at the Scottrade Center on April 5, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    It's not that Scott Campbell's numbers were terrible:

    He had 20 points in 63 games with the Winnipeg Jets to his career.

    But he was a defensive liability, as he was a minus-39 that season.

    Campbell played two more seasons, racking up just five points in 17 games.

    And that's why he gets my BUST of this year's first round.

     

    Oh, did I mention Mike Bossy was drafted just six picks later?

1978: Daniel Lucas, Philadelphia Flyers

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    There are no words for this picture, Boston-Philly fans at their finest
    There are no words for this picture, Boston-Philly fans at their finestBruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Something about first round picks and not playing more than 10 games in their NHL careers leads me to wonder....

    Daniel Lucas, drafted 14th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Mr. Lucas played in six games, scoring a goal and going minus-two.

    Any more forgettable than that?

    Didn't think so.

    BUST

     

    Honorable mention: Detroit's Willie Huber with a career plus/minus rating of minus-203!

1979: James Mann, Winnipeg Jets

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    Winnipeg has a hockey team again (pending tomorrow's NHL Board of Governors meeting. Maybe they'll do better than last time.
    Winnipeg has a hockey team again (pending tomorrow's NHL Board of Governors meeting. Maybe they'll do better than last time.Glenn Cratty/Getty Images

    James Mann played 293 games in his NHL career.

    Pretty decent, nothing to complain about.

    But his first round selection status, combined with the measly 30 career points and his career minus-55, qualifies him for my BUST status.

1980: Michael Stothers, Philadelphia Flyers

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 06:  Braydon Coburn #5 of the Philadelphia Flyers passes the puck against the Boston Bruins in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. T
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Flyers make their second appearance on this list with the last pick in the first round of the 1980 draft.

    Michael Stothers played five seasons, chalking up 30 games played and two points.

    He was a career minus-seven as well, but it is the two points in 30 games in five seasons that I couldn't figured out.

    BUST

     

    Honorable mention: Fred Arthur, Hartford Whalers: nine points over three seasons playing just 80 games.

1981: Steven Smith, Philadelphia Flyers

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    Just like the previous year, the Flyers once again come up empty in the first round of the 1981 draft
    Just like the previous year, the Flyers once again come up empty in the first round of the 1981 draftBruce Bennett/Getty Images

    History repeats itself occasionally.

    It did not happen in this year's postseason when Boston went up 3-0 in a best-of-seven series against Philadelphia.

    But history did repeat itself for the Flyers in first round of the 1981 NHL Draft, as they once again came up empty.

    The Flyers' selection of Steven Smith was one of the most forgettable in the history of the first round of the draft.

    Smith played 17 games over five years, scoring one point.

    Yikes.

    BUST

1982: Rocky Trottier, New Jersey Devils

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    NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10:  Alexander Urbom #22 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center on April 10, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    New Jersey makes an appearance on this list with Rocky Trottier.

    Trottier wasn't too bad as far as points per game goes. In fact, in his short career, he averaged .38 points per game.

    But his career was 38 games over two seasons.

    He put up 10 points.

    That's why Trottier gets this year's first round BUST award

    It is a good thing that the Devils drafted Ken Daneyko with their second pick in the first round at number 18 overall.

     

    Honorable mention: James Playfair, Edmonton Oilers. Six points in 21 games played over three seasons.

1983: David Jensen, Hartford Whalers

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    13 Feb 1997:  Defenseman Glen Featherstone of the Hartford Whalers looks on during a game against the New Jersey Devils at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  The Devils won the game, 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello  /Allsport
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    I think there is some thing to the fact that quite a few teams that no longer exist had a first round pick (or more than one) who don't play or perform.

    In any case, David Jensen did neither, putting up 22 points in just 69 career games over four years with the Whalers and the Capitals.

    The 1983 draft saw big names such as Pat Lafontaine, Steve Yzerman, Cam Neely and Tom Barrasso go to teams above the Whalers.

    Twenty two points in 69 games isn't terrible. But for a first round pick in the same draft as those other players, it gets my BUST award for 1983.

1984: Selmar Odelein, Edmonton Oilers

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    EDMONTON, CANADA - OCTOBER 18:  The number 7 Paul Coffey Retirement banner takes its place in the rafters beside those of Edmonton Oilers greats Grant Fuhr, Jari Kurri, Wayne Gretzky and Al Hamilton, during a special ceremony honouring Paul Coffey on Octo
    Tim Smith/Getty Images

    The Edmonton Oilers have had a lot of success in the 1980s.

    After winning the first cup in franchise history and first of four cups on five years, one might be able to excuse them for drafting Selmar Odelein with the last pick in the 1984 first round.

    Odelein was very prolific with the Regina Pats.

    Maybe he should have stayed there, because he put up two points in three seasons over 18 career NHL games.

    BUST

1985: Dan Gratton, Los Angeles Kings

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    SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 23:  Dustin Brown #23 and Justin Williams #14 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate after they beat the San Jose Sharks in game five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on April
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Los Angeles Kings drafted Dan Gratton 10th overall in the 1985 draft.

    I am 100 percent sure that when they drafted him, they envisioned him playing more than seven NHL games in his career and getting more than one point.

    But seven NHL games and one point is all Gratton gave the Kings before he left to pursue hockey overseas.

    BUST

1986: Kim Issel, Edmonton Oilers

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    EDMONTON, CANADA - MARCH 17: Jordan Eberle #14 of the Edmonton Oilers fights for the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes on March 17, 2011 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
    Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

    The Oilers are back on this list again with Kim Issel, the Oilers' 21st overall pick in the 1986 draft.

    Issel played four games with the Oilers, minus-1 overall.

    Career minor leaguer.

    Too bad.

    BUST.

1987: Keith Osborne, St. Louis Blues

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    DETROIT, MI - MARCH 30:  Chris Porter #32 of the St. Louis Blues celebrates a third-period goal while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on March 30, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. St. Louis won the game 10-3.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Ima
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    This is not Keith Osborne above, but you might not know it, because the 12th pick overall in 1987 played just 16 NHL games in his career, putting up four points and going minus-three.

    This would not have been as big of an issue for the Blues, except a man named Joe Sakic was drafted three picks later by the Nordiques.

    I am sure the Blues are still kicking themselves for not taking Sakic.

    Osborne is a BUST.

     

    Honorable mention: 21st overall, Brian Deasley, Calgary Flames. Zero NHL games played, could not crack the lineup.

1988: Daniel Dore, Quebec Nordiques

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    NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10:  Members of the 'Nordiques Nation' converge on Prudential Center prior to the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Boston Bruins on April 10, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Quebec went from getting a franchise player (Joe Sakic in the 1987 first round) to getting Daniel Dore with the fifth overall pick in the 1988 first round.

    Ever heard of Dore?

    I hadn't either until I looked him up.

    17 career games played, five points, minus-7.

    BUST

     

    I do not think it would have been as big of a deal, minus the fact that Martin Gelinas, Jeremy Roenick and Teemu Selanne were selected with picks seven, eight and nine respectively of the same round.

    Oops!

1989: David Chyzowski, New York Islanders

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    UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 26:  New York Islanders Owner Charles Wang speaks to the media during a press conference to announce Doug Weight's retirement on May 26, 2011 at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Imag
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    The man above is not David Chyzowski.

    This is Charles Wang, the current team owner for the struggling New York Islanders franchise. He only became a part-time owner of the Islanders in 2000.

    Something tells me that Wang would not have approved of Chyzowski, because the second pick overall in the 1989 draft put up 31 points in 126 career NHL games with a minus-29 to show for it.

     

    Why is this such an issue?

    Stu Barnes went fourth to the Jets.

    Bill Guerin went fifth to the Devils.

    Bobby Holik went 10th to the Whalers.

    Olaf Kolzig went 19th to the Capitals.

    Long story short, Chyzowski was a BUST.

1990: Scott Scissons, New York Islanders

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    UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 11:  New York Islanders owner Charles Wang and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano arrive to announce a referendum that will build a new arena and keep the Islanders in place through 2045 during a press conference at the Nassau Vete
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    It is a good thing that the Islanders franchise has four Stanley Cup championships to look back fondly on, because the Islanders are picking up back-to-back first round bust awards.

    Scott Scissons, drafted sixth overall, appeared in two NHL regular season games and one playoff game.

    Once again the Islanders missed out on some good players drafted after Scissons.

    Darryl Sydor, eighth overall to the Kings.

    Derian Hatcher, ninth overall to the North Stars.

    Trevor Kidd, 11th overall to the Flames.

    Keith Tkachuk, 19th to the Jets.

    And a certain young goaltender named Martin Brodeur, 20th to the Devils.

     

    Undoubtedly, the BUST of the first round was Scott Scissons.

1991: Alek Stojanov, Vancouver Canucks

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    VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 15:  A Vancouver Canucks fan sits in empty seats after the Vancouver Canucks were defeated by the Boston Bruins in Game Seven of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. T
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    The Vancouver Canucks have never won the Stanley Cup.

    However, they have won my first round bust award for 1991.

    Alek Stojanov was selected seventh overall by the Canucks. Stojanov showed promise in his young OHL career with the Guelph Storm, racking up 55 points in 1992-93.

    But his career in the NHL never fully materialized. Stojanov played in 107 career NHL games, but only picked up seven points.

    Head scratcher? Yes

    BUST? Absolutely

1992: Ryan Sittler, Philadelphia Flyers

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 06:  Braydon Coburn #5 of the Philadelphia Flyers passes the puck against the Boston Bruins in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. T
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Darryl Sittler had a Hall of Fame NHL career.

    His son, Ryan, did not.

    Ryan Sittler was "destined for stardom," but the seventh overall pick of the Flyers in the 1992 NHL Draft never made it to the NHL.

    He was forced to retire after a series of injuries after five years in the minors.

    He is unfortunately the BUST of the 1992 Draft.

1993: Jesper Mattsson, Calgary Flames

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    CALGARY, CANADA - APRIL 6: Jarome Iginla #12 of the Calgary Flames jousts with Ladislav Smid #5 of the Edmonton Oilers in first period NHL action on April 6, 2011 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Mike Ridewood/Getty Imag
    Mike Ridewood/Getty Images

    Jesper Mattsson was selected 18th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 1993 Draft.

    He never played in the NHL.

    BUST.

     

    Honorable mention: Nick Stajduhar, Edmonton Oilers 16th overall. Played two NHL games in his career.

1994: Jason Bonsignore, Edmonton Oilers

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    EDMONTON, CANADA - MARCH 17: Alexandre Giroux #12 of the Edmonton Oilers during the game against the Phoenix Coyotes on March 17, 2011 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
    Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

    Jason Bonsignore was drafted fourth overall by the Oilers in the 1994 NHL Draft.

    His career never really got going to where the Oilers would have liked it. He scored in his first NHL game, but he played just 79 career games (only 21 with the Oilers) and only had 16 career points.

    Put those numbers beside his career minus-22, and you're looking at a BUST.

1995: Steve Kelly, Edmonton Oilers

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    NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 22:  Jeff Petry #58 of the Edmonton Oilers blocks a shot in front of Nick Spaling #13 of the Nashville Predators and Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk #40 on March 22, 2011 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Freder
    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    Wow, Edmonton, wonder why they haven't won a cup since the 80's?

    Try back-to-back first round draft busts.

    Steve Kelly showed lots of promise in the minors, putting up eye popping numbers in the WHL.

    But the sixth overall pick never had NHL numbers to boast about, finishing his career with 21 points in 149 games and going minus-36 over that span.

    BUST.

1996: Alexander Volchkov, Washington Capitals

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 03: Scott Hannan #23 of the Washington Capitals skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at St Pete Times Forum on May 3, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. The
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Alexander Volchkov was drafted fourth overall by the Capitals in the 1996 draft.

    He never really cracked the NHL lineup and finished with three games played in his NHL career, with no points and a minus-two.

    Talk about forgettable.

    It is for that reason that he is my BUST of the 1996 first round.

1997: Daniel Tkaczuk, Calgary Flames

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 21:  Tom Kostopoulos #16 of the Calgary Flames skates during warm-up prior to their NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on March 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings defeated the Flames 2-1 in shootou
    Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

    Drafted sixth overall, Daniel Tkaczuk showed some real promise during his time with the Flames, putting up 11 points in 19 games.

    But Tkaczuk never got the call up again.

    Calgary should have let him play more, but because he played a mere 19 games, he is my first round BUST of the 1997 NHL Draft.

1998: Michael Henrich, Edmonton Oilers

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    EDMONTON, CANADA - MARCH 17: Teemu Hartikainen #56 of the Edmonton Oilers during the game against the Phoenix Coyotes on March 17, 2011 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
    Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

    To hardly anyone's surprise, Edmonton is on my list yet again.

    Their pick of Michael Henrich, 13th overall in the in the 1998 draft, led to yet another dead-end, as Henrich never even played a game in the NHL.

    Talk about waste of a pick by the Oilers.

    Henrich is my BUST of the 1998 first round.

1999: Pavel Brendl, New York Rangers

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    WASHINGTON , DC - APRIL 23:  Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers stops a shot on goal by a member of the Washington Capitals in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center on Ap
    Len Redkoles/Getty Images

    Pavel Brendl was drafted fourth overall in the 1999 first round.

    He showed promise in the WHL, putting up 111 points with the Calgary Hitmen.

    But his NHL career fell by the wayside, as he scored 22 points in just 78 career games, never actually playing for the Rangers.

    Although getting drafted directly after Henrik and Daniel Sedin probably did not help Brednl's road to fame, playing only 78 NHL games did not help it either.

    That is why he is my BUST of the 1999 Draft.

2000: Lars Jonnson, Boston Bruins

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    BOSTON, MA  - JUNE 19:  Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins hoists the Stanley Cup with his teammates before a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers at Fenway Park on June 19, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Ima
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    The addition of the 2011 Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins just adds to an already vast history of their franchise.

    One memory that will be remembered by few, if any, Bruins fans is their seventh overall selection in the 2000 NHL Draft.

    Lars Jonsson was selected by Boston seventh overall in 2000.

    He played just eight NHL games (all with the Flyers), picking up two points and going minus-4.

    He is my BUST of the 2000 NHL Draft.

2001-Present

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #9 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Ande
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    As you are reading this article you might be thinking, why stop at 2000?

    Thinking to yourselves that you can clearly picture other players drafted who could be the first round bust of their year as well.

    In today's NHL, the tendency for some teams is to keep their prospects down in the farm system til they mature. That's why I ended the slideshow at 2000.

    So my question to you all is who (if any) will be a draft bust this year?

    Who is the most overrated player on the draft board and why?

    What team will make a foolish selection and who will they select?

     

    For more 2011 NHL draft coverage, stay tuned to Bleacher Report for updated NHL mock drafts, NHL draft rumors, NHL draft results and draft grades.

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