A look back at some of the worst picks in the NHL entry draft’s history

The NHL draft will be held Friday night and Saturday in Vancouver. Here’s a look at some of the worst draft decisions NHL teams have made through the years:


The Ottawa Senators drafted Quebec Major Junior Hockey League star Alexandre Daigle with the No. 1 pick.

What happened? The next six draft picks outscored Daigle in his career. He didn’t come close to living up to his hype. He was projected to be a superstar and finished his NHL career with 129 goals in 616 games.

They should have drafted … Chris Pronger (No. 2 to Hartford) or Paul Kariya (No. 4 to Anaheim). Chris Gratton (No. 3 to Tampa Bay) or Jason Arnott (No. 7 to Edmonton) would have also been a better choice.


The New York Rangers chose big forward Hugh Jessiman of Dartmouth with the 12th pick.

What happened? Jessiman played only two NHL games. He played from 2005-13 in the American Hockey League, then played in the Kontinental Hockey League and finally in Austria.

They should have drafted … How about six-time 30-plus goal scorer Zach Parise (No. 17 to New Jersey) or Ryan Getzlaf (No. 19 to Anaheim) or Brent Burns (No. 20 to Minnesota) or Brent Seabrook (No. 14 to Chicago).


The Montreal Canadiens drafted Regina Pats sensation Doug Wickenheiser No. 1 overall.

What happened? Wickenheiser never developed into the dominant offensive player the Canadiens expected him to be. He was traded to St. Louis during his fourth season. He played 556 NHL games and broke the 20-goal mark in only two seasons.

They should have drafted … French-Canadian standout Denis Savard should have been the pick. He was beloved in Quebec and he developed into a magical offensive wizard, with 1,338 points in 1,196 games. The Canadiens ended up trading for him before the 1990-91 season. The Canadiens could have also drafted Paul Coffey (No. 6 to Edmonton) or even Larry Murphy (No. 4 to Los Angeles).


The Rangers drafted rugged defenceman Dylan McIlrath with the No. 10 pick.

What happened? The first nine picks played a significant amount of time in the NHL. McIlrath has played 50 games.

They should have drafted … Almost anyone who was selected after him. Among those chosen later in the first round were Vladimir Tarasenko (No. 16 to St. Louis), Jaden Schwartz (No. 14 to St. Louis), Evgeny Kuznetsov (No. 26 to Washington), Kevin Hayes (No. 24 to Chicago), Cam Fowler (No. 12 to Anaheim) Charlie Coyle (No. 28 to San Jose) and Brock Nelson (No. 30 to the New York Islanders). This was a deep draft.


The Columbus Blue Jackets drafted Russian forward Nikita Filatov No. 6 overall.

What happened? Filatov played only 44 games with Columbus before being traded to Ottawa, where he played nine more. He has been playing in the KHL since then.

They should have drafted … Erik Karlsson (No. 15 to Ottawa) or Tyler Myers (No. 12 to Buffalo) or John Carlson (No. 27 to Washington) or Jake Gardiner (No. 17 to Anaheim). How about Jordan Eberle (No. 22 to Edmonton)?


The Minnesota North Stars drafted American Brian Lawton with the No. 1 pick.

What happened? Lawton didn’t become the dominant performer he was projected to be. He played five seasons in Minnesota and never scored more than 21 goals. After he was traded, he never scored more than 15 in a season.

They should have drafted … Steve Yzerman (No. 4 by Detroit) or Pat LaFontaine (No. 3 by the New York Islanders).

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