NHL Draft 2011: Who's Next? the Biggest First Round Busts from 1975-2000
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
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.
1976: Bjorn Johansson, Cleveland Barons
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....
1977: Scott Campbell, St. Louis Blues
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
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.
Honorable mention: Detroit's Willie Huber with a career plus/minus rating of minus-203!
1979: James Mann, Winnipeg Jets
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
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.
Honorable mention: Fred Arthur, Hartford Whalers: nine points over three seasons playing just 80 games.
1981: Steven Smith, Philadelphia Flyers
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.
1982: Rocky Trottier, New Jersey Devils
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
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
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.
1985: Dan Gratton, Los Angeles Kings
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.
1986: Kim Issel, Edmonton Oilers
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.
1987: Keith Osborne, St. Louis Blues
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
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.
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.
1989: David Chyzowski, New York Islanders
The man above is not David Chyzowski.
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
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
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
1992: Ryan Sittler, Philadelphia Flyers
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
Jesper Mattsson was selected 18th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 1993 Draft.
He never played in the NHL.
Honorable mention: Nick Stajduhar, Edmonton Oilers 16th overall. Played two NHL games in his career.
1994: Jason Bonsignore, Edmonton Oilers
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
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.
1996: Alexander Volchkov, Washington Capitals
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
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
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
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
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.
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?
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