First-Round Flops Over the Years

No team can get it right in round one every year, even drafting very high. And at times all teams get it really wrong then. A survey such as this is a powerful reminder of the crapshoot that is selecting 18-year-old hockey players. However, it is also an invitation for fans to react with, “What the *@^* were you thinking?”

I’ve included picks made by the Whale with those of the Hurricanes, and of those made by the Nordiques in association with Colorado, to even out the survey period. No need however to add Winnipeg to Phoenix’s draft woes — the Desert Dogs know how to screw the draft pooch up high all on their own. Take a look:

Team Player Picked Comment Studs Selected After
Anaheim Stanislav Chistov (5th, 2001) The ’07 Cup win offers serious salve for the Stanislav screwup Mike Komisarek, Pascal Leclaire, R.J. Umberger, Ales Hemsky, Mike Cammalleri
Atlanta Patrick Stefan (no.1, 1999) The ’99 harvest wasn’t swell to be sure, but this still is a serious stinker The Sedin twins, Martin Havlat
Boston Lars Jonsson (7th, 2000) A good recipe for Swedish meatballs would have delivered more Brooks Orpik, Alexander Frolov, Anton Volchenkov, Niklas Kronvall
Buffalo Shawn Anderson, (5th, 1986) This was a Shawn of the Dead selection Vincent Damphousse, Brian Leetch, Craig Janney, Teppo Numminen
Calgary Bryan Deasley (19th, 1987) The Flames’ no. 1 from ’86, George Pelawa, died in a motorcycle crash that summer, making this a two-year strikeout stretch John LaClair, Eric Desjardins, Mathieu Schneider, Stephane Matteau
Carolina/Hartford Fred Arthur (8th, 1980) No relation to Bea Arthur, except in NHL impact Paul Coffey, Brent Sutter, Craig Ludwig, Steve Larmer, Andy Moog, Jari Kurri
Chicago Tony Tanti (12th, 1981) Wirtz maybe thought he’d sign cheap? Al MacInnis, Chris Chelios, Mike Vernon, John Vanbiesbrouck
Colorado/Quebec Aniel Dore (5th, 1988) Who doesn’t own an Aniel Dore Nordiques’ sweater? Jeremy Roenick, Teemu Selanne, Rob Blake, Rod Brind’Amour, Martin Gelinas
Columbus Alexander Picard (8th, 2004) Inspector Clousseau isn’t going to look into this pick — he made it Alexander Radulov, Drew Stafford, Andrej Meszaros, Wojtek Wolski
Dallas Jason Bacashihua (26th, 2001) Played with the ECHL’s Johnston Chiefs in ’07-08, which for a first-rounder seven years after being drafted is a fairly moderate pace of development Derek Roy, Fedor Tyutin, Mike Cammalleri, Jason Pominville, Dave Steckel
Detroit Shawn Burr (7th, 1984) I thought briefly of exluding the Wings from this exercise, they draft so well, and you have to go back a bit to find a serious screwup Shane Corson, Sylvain Cote, Gary Roberts, Kevin Hatcher, Scott Mellanby
Edmonton Marc-Antoine Pouliot (22nd, 2003) Overlooked this scouting report by the rest of the league: “Thin, weak, won’t hit or backcheck or play in traffic. Other than that, he’s dandy.” Mike Richards, Corey Perry, Patrice Bergeron, Matt Carle
Florida Petr Taticek (9th, 2002) Why no postseasons in Sunrise, Cats’ fans ask? Look at this pick Alexander Semin, Chris Higgins, Alexander Steen, Cam Ward
Los Angeles Wally McBean (4th, 1987) Not a new lunch item at MickeyD’s Joe Sakic, Andrew Cassels, Mathieu Schneider, Luke Richardson
Minnesota (Wild/Stars) Brian Lawton (no. 1, 1983) The bridesmaid to Daigle Pat LaFontaine, Steve Yzerman, Tom Barrasso, Cam Neely
Montreal Terry Ryan (8th, 1995) Terry Hatcher would have looked better here Jarome Iginla, J.S. Giguere, Petr Sykora, Martin Biron
Nashville Brian Finley (6th, 1999) The day the music stopped in Honkeytonkville Barret Jackman, Martin Havlat, Mike Commodore, David Tanabe
New Jersey Adrian Foster (28th, 2001) Yo, Adrian! Legend has it that Foster wasn’t even on other teams’ lists — anywhere! Fedor Tyutin, Mike Cammalleri, Peter Budaj, Ray Emery, Patrick Sharp
NY Islanders Dave Chyzowski (2nd, 1989) Can’t blame Mad Mike for this one — he didn’t arrive until ’95 Bill Guerin, Pavel Bure, Olaf Kolzig, Stu Barnes
NY Rangers Hugh Jessiman (12th, 2003) Hughe mistake! Brent Seabrook, Steve Bernier, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf
Ottawa Alexander Daigle (no. 1, 1993) The Mother of all Misses; to “Daigle” in round one is every GM’s nightmare Chris Pronger, Paul Kariya, Todd Bertuzzi, Brendan Witt, Adam Deadmarsh
Philadelphia Claude Boivin (14th, 1988) Philly does real well in the first round; this year, not so much Rob Blake, Alexander Mogilny, Tony Amonte, Bret Hedican, Tie Domi
Phoenix Blake Wheeler ( 5th, 2004) Wheeler of misfortune; think Gretz & co. reached here? Rostislav Olesz, Alexander Radulov, Drew Stafford, Wojtek Wolski
Pittsburgh Zarley Zalapski (4th, 1980) ZZ FlopTop and agonizing alliteration Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Steve Larmer, Craig Ludwig, Brent Sutter
San Jose Pat Falloon (2nd, 1991) Plus, Pat had to don that original San Jose teal sweater on the ’91 draft stage Scott Niedermayer, Peter Forsberg, Martin Lapointe, Brian Rolston, Alexei Kovalev
St. Louis Perry Turnbull (2nd, 1979) 188 goals in an NHL career is nothing to snicker at, but methinks Ray Bourque would have helped out more Ray Bourque, Mike Gartner, Brian Propp, Kevin Lowe
Tampa Alexander Svitov (3rd, 2001) Tampa (Nikita Alexeev) hasn’t exactly struck Lightning with first-round Russians Pascal Leclaire, Alex Hemsky, R.J. Umberger, Shaone Morrisonn
Toronto Gary Nylund (3rd, 1982) This is the stuff of Cup droughts Scott Stevens, Phil Housley, Dave Andreychuk, Doug Gilmour
Vancouver Jere Gillis (4th, 1978) The Canucks have no home-grown Hall of Famers, including Gillis Mark Napier, Don Maloney, Doug Wilson, Bengt Gustafsson
Washington Greg Joly ( no.1, 1974) Good Golly what a stinker! “The next Bobby Orr” it was said of Joly in ’74. Umm, not so much. Clark Gillies, Pierre Larouche, Bryan Trottier, Doug Riesbrough
This entry was posted in Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, detroit red wings, DraftGeek, Edmonton Oilers, Entry Draft, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, National Hockey League, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to First-Round Flops Over the Years

  1. A lot of Red Wings fans would disagree about Sean Burr, he was a fan favorite during the 80’s and early 90’s, even if he didn’t produce like a 1st-round pick would be expected to. Try Kory Kocur, 17th in 1988 instead.
    In the 4th round that year, some pretty significant players were picked: Mark Recchi, Tony Amonte, and Rob Blake. Gotta love that Hockey-Reference.com!

  2. NS2NOVA says:

    You could also include the Quebec / Lindros debacle to this list also.

  3. Howe9 says:

    I think Ryan Sittler at #7 in 92 was the Flyers biggest First-Round Flop. Gonchar #14 and Straka #19 were studs that the Flyers could have had. Jason Bowen at #15 that same year didn’t exactly set the world on fire either.

  4. Greg says:

    How is Tony Tanti at #12 a major flop? He had 5 seasons of 39+ goals. That’s not all that bad for a #12 pick. They’ve had far far far far worse. Hell, before Chicago traded him, he scored a goal in the only game he played that season. Nhl Numbers GP697 G287 A273 Pt560
    Edmonton picked Bonsignore #4 — that’s a far better choice for this than trashing Pouliot who has at least played a number of games and has shown signs of being a long term contributer, which isn’t THAT bad for a 20 something first rounder.

  5. Brian Larmour says:

    two Other biggies
    1) Bryan Fogarty
    2) Scott sissons

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