Tuesday, 3 July 2012

NHL: Draft busts

Whilst it’s always the successful drafts and draftees that are at the centre of most conversations, many are quick to forget those drafts that didn’t work out and were swept away under the carpet.

There have been several over the past few years and those that bet on hockey are sure there’ll be some more out of this year’s draft class.

So here we go taking a look at a few names that you may have heard of in the last few drafts and then thought - ‘I wonder what happened to them?’

Back in the 2006 draft there were three potential top class netminders drafted.

Jonathan Bernier and Semyon Varlamov were two of them, while the other was Riku Helenius who was the 15th pick overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

So far he has played just once for them and, though he has just signed a new two year deal with them, at the moment it hasn’t been much of an NHL career for the 15th overall pick in the 2006 draft.

Hugh Jessiman was taken by the New York Rangers as the 12th overall pick of the 2003 draft class.

At that time they could have taken any out of Dustin Brown, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards or Corey Perry, but they ended up with Jessiman.

To say that was an error of judgement is an understatement as they ended up with a player who never played a game for them, and who has only made two career starts for the Florida Panthers.

The most recent significant blemish on the draft came in 2007, when Thomas Hickey – rated as one of the NHL picks at the time - was taken 4th overall by the Los Angeles Kings.

All the rest of the top seven look to have decent futures, yet Los Angeles took Hickey when they could have had players like Karl Alzner, Sam Gagner, Jake Voracek, Logan Couture, Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk.

Hickey has yet to play an NHL game for the Kings, so not great use of a first-round pick, especially when there was plenty of talent left available.

So when you look through this year’s first round picks, it’s interesting to think about who is going to be in the same position as these guys, who promised so much, but have delivered so little.

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