Biggest draft busts by every NHL team Part.2

Ever since the creation of the NHL Entry Draft in 1963, teams have drafted many greats. Today we look at players that are not-so-great.

Edmonton Oilers - Nail Yakupov
You the fans called it when I put out Part. 1 of this mini-series and Nail Yakupov is our first entry in Part. 2. After having two amazing seasons with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL, the Edmonton Oilers drafted Russian sniper Nail Yakupov first overall in 2012. After being drafted and automatically placed in the Oilers lineup, Yakupov had a decent first season with the pros during the 2012-13 shortened season scoring 31 points in only 48 games. Those numbers would dwindle down for the next 3 seasons and would go on to score 80 points in 204 games. After having such trouble he would be traded to the St. Louis Blues where his career would continue to spiral down and he would get only 9 points in 40 games with the organization until he would be dealt once again to the Colorado Avalanche following season. With the Avalanche organization, Yakupov would score 16 points in 58 games. Yakupov had a hard time both offensively and defensively at the NHL level and would later sign with the SKA St. Petersburgh of the KHL where he seems to have gotten back into it by scoring 33 points in 47 games. 

Other players that the Edmonton Oilers could have drafted are Ryan Murray (2nd overall by Columbus), Alex Galchenyuk (3rd overall by Montreal), Filip Forsberg (11th overall by Washington), Tomas Hertl (17th overall by San Jose), and Colton Sissons (50th overall by Nashville).

Florida Panthers - Petr Taticek
Having a Top-10 first-round selection is a luxury that only 10 franchises get at the NHL Entry Draft, but two Top-10 first-round selections is a luxury that comes very rarely and that's what happened to the Florida Panthers during the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. They did well by drafting defenceman Jay Bouwmeester third overall, but threw it all down the drain with their ninth overall selection, Petr Taticek. Taticek had some decent seasons with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds scoring 63 points in 60 games with the OHL franchise. The Czech centreman played another season with the Greyhounds with his offensive numbers staying the same. Spending two years with Florida's farm team and not quite clicking with the system, Florida traded the two-way centreman after just 3 NHL games with the franchise to Pittsburgh for Richard Jackman who a further played 22 games with Florida. Taticek would return to Czech republic at the end of the 2006-07 season.

Notable players drafted after Taticek are Alexander Semin (13th overall by Washington), Christopher Higgins (14th overall by Montreal), Alexander Steen (24th overall by Toronto), Duncan Keith (54th overall by Chicago), Maxime Talbot (234th overall by Pittsburgh) and Jonathan Ericsson (291st overall by Detroit)

Los Angeles Kings - Lauri Tukonen
Drafted 11th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, a prodigy in his home country of Finland, Tukonen was anything but an NHL star. Having difficulties adapting to the North American way of life and playing at the NHL level, Tukonen spent most of his time with Los Angeles' affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. He score no points in the 5 games he spent with the Kings until he returned to Finland to play in Finnish men's league.

Other players drafted after Tukonen are Alexander Radulov (15th overall by Nashville), Travis Zajac (20th overall by New Jersey), Cory Schneider (26th overall by Vancouver), Blake Comeau (47th overall by New York Islanders), Brandon Dubinsky (60th overall by New York Rangers), David Krejci (63rd overall by Boston), Andrej Sekera (71st overall by Buffalo) and Jannik Hansen (287th overall by Vancouver).

Minnesota Wild - A.J Thelen
Drafted after Los Angeles' Lauri Tukonen, A.J Thelen was selected 12th overall by the Minnesota Wild. After having a somewhat decent freshman season with Minnesota State University, Thelen was dismissed less than a year later for rule violations. With a career full of twists and turns, he later joined the Prince Albert Raiders for a year and a half before being traded to the Vancouver Giants where he would win the Memorial Cup with the organization. After never being signed by the Wild, he would opt to join the ECHL and where his hockey career would end in 2010-11 due to retirement.

Other players drafted during the 2004 NHL Entry Draft are Alexander Radulov (15th overall by Nashville), Travis Zajac (20th overall by New Jersey), Cory Schneider (26th overall by Vancouver), Blake Comeau (47th overall by New York Islanders), Brandon Dubinsky (60th overall by New York Rangers), David Krejci (63rd overall by Boston), Andrej Sekera (71st overall by Buffalo) and Jannik Hansen (287th overall by Vancouver).

Montreal Canadiens - David Fischer
During his time in Montreal, Bob Gainey made some good decisions and some terrible, and David Fischer falls within the terrible decision column. Gainey drafted Fischer 20th overall at the 2006 NHL Draft. Gainey traded the 16th overall he owned to the San Jose Sharks for the 20th and a 53rd picks in the draft. The Montreal Canadiens never signed Fischer once he finished school and he opted to try and regain his confidence by trying to catch on with the Vancouver Canucks at their 2010 prospect camp, which untimately failed. He later left for Europe where he plays again today. He would never play a single game in the NHL and two games with the Houston Aeros.

Players drafted after Fischer are Claude Giroux (22nd overall by Philadelphia), Semyon Varlamov (23rd overall by Washington), Jeff Petry (45th overall by Edmonton) and Brad Marchand (71st overall by Boston).

Nashville Predators - Brian Finley
GM David Poile has been the Predators general manager since their inauguration into the National Hockey League and has almost always drafted amazingly. Without ever having a 1st overall draft pick, and seven Top-10 draft picks since their creation, Poile has done quite decently. Sometimes even the hockey geniuses get brain farts and draft stupidly. That's what happened in 1999 when the Nashville Predators drafted 6'4 goaltender Brian Finley 6th overall. Finley had the size and the junior experience (167 junior games) under his belt to become what Nashville thought to be their future superstar netminder. Finley had troubles making it into the NHL due to the anxiety of having to be the best since he was drafted into the NHL. He played 4 NHL games with the Nashville Predators and the Boston Bruins and splitting the rest with the AHL and the ECHL.

Other netminders the Predators could have drafted are Ryan Miller (138th overall by Buffalo) and Craig Anderson (77th overall by Calgary)

New Jersey Devils - Adrian Foster
Back when New Jersey was a hockey powerhouse, everyone wondered who they would draft at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Adrian Foster was the blunder for the organization as he was drafted 28th overall. Playing just 39 games throughout 4 WHL campaigns, missing games mostly due to a catastrophic hip injury, the Devils thought that the centreman could become a healthy and lethal player for their organization since he had 0.9 points per game within the WHL. He would play just 122 games within the New Jersey system, never playing a game in the NHL. His relationship with New Jersey management quickly soured due to wanting to make a jump to the NHL without really having proved anything at all. After the soured relationship ended, Foster jumped to the Houston Aeros where he would play a career high of games with 70 scoring 38 points.

Other players drafted during the 2001 NHL Entry Draft are Derek Roy (32nd overall by Buffalo), Michael Cammalleri (49th overall by Los Angeles), Jason Pominville (55th overall by Buffalo), Tomas Plekanec (71st overall by Montreal), Patrick Sharp (95th overall by Philadelphia), Christian Ehrhoff (106th overall by San Jose), and P.A Parenteau (264th overall by Anaheim).

New York Islanders - Rick DiPietro 
Before the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, only one goaltender in history was taken 1st overall and it was Michel Plasse in 1968 by the Montreal Canadiens. At the time, it was Mike Milbury who was the general manager of the Islanders, his reputation was already damaged due to fights with ownership, idiotic trades and it just go worse when he drafted Rick DiPietro first overall even having Roberto Luongo. He would later trade Luongo and Olli Jokinen to Florida for a Gatorade bottle. Once DiPietro's former teammate and backup Garth Snow decided to hang up the skates and become the new GM for the organization, Snow would sign DiPietro to a horrendous 15-year, $67.5 million contract that would haunt the franchise for the next few years until he was bought out and will be paying him $1.5 million all the way until 2029, but they're lucky because his salary doesn't affect the cap hit.

Other netminders drafted at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft are Ilya Bryzgalov (44th overall by Anaheim), Dan Ellis (60th overall by Dallas) and Roman Cechmanek (171st overall by Philadelphia).

New York Rangers - Hugh Jessiman
A New York native, the Rangers had high hopes for the forward, drafting him 12th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He never played an NHL game with the Original Six franchise, he bounced around between the AHL and ECHL, between both the Hartford Wolf Pack and the Charlotte Checkers. In 2008, he was dealt to the Nashville Predators for future considerations and would continue to bounce between organizations before leaving for the KHL where he would spend only one season before he decided to retire from professional hockey. He would play a total of 2 NHL games where he would put up 0 points. 

Notable players drafted after Jessiman are Brent Seabrook (14th overall by Chicago), Zach Parise (17th overall by New Jersey), Ryan Getzlaf (19th overall by Anaheim), Ryan Kesler (23rd overall by Vancouver), Corey Perry (28th overall by Anaheim), Patrice Bergeron (45th overall by Boston), Shea Weber (49th overall by Nashville), and Joe Pavelski (205th overall by San Jose)

Some teams missed out on huge opportunities if they hadn't drafted their original player. Imagine if some teams could have drafted stars instead of busts, maybe their position would be completely different. Did we forget anyone? Part 3 will be out soon.

Previous Page Next Page Home