Hockey fans had their eyes on the young guns of the hockey world on June 23, 2017, for the annual NHL Entry Draft. One of the most anticipated build-ups of the hockey season is finding out which player will be the top selected player in the draft, and unlike in past years, this years draft did not have a consensus projected #1 overall pick. Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier was the big question of the night, and ultimately Hischier came out on top. The pride of being selected first overall is now over, and players look forward to the next chapter of their career which will be to crack a roster spot with their respective teams.
Pressure is on. Inspired by the draft, today we will be looking at the worst first overall picks in recent NHL history.
- Patrik Stefan
You may be asking yourself “who?”. The 1999 first overall pick by the Atlanta Thrashers had one of the most infamous plays in NHL history. Once you see the video, you’ll know who he is…
- Alexandre Daigle
Daigle was selected first overall in 1992 by the Ottawa Senators, and he actually had a decent NHL career (616 games played, 327 points). His career was cursed by his, hmm, not so well thought-out quote after being chosen by Ottawa, “I’m glad I got drafted first, because no one remembers no. 2”. Since we know you’re wondering, Chris Pronger was selected second overall that year.
- Rick DiPietro
First overall selection by the New York Islanders in 2000, DiPietro’s career was plagued with injury. From his knee, to hip, to groin, and even having dealt with concussion issues, DiPietro was a total band-aid. Salt in the wounds – Islanders traded Luongo because they thought DiPietro was the starting goalie of their future. More salt in the wounds – in 2006, Islanders signed DiPietro to a 15-year deal worth $67.5 million; Islanders bought him out in 2013 and will be paying him $1.5 million per year (not against the cap) until 2029.
- Nail Yakupov
Jury is still out on this one, but the evidence in his case isn’t very strong. Yakupov was a flashy forward with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL, and showed promise of having Pavel Bure-like skills. Things haven’t gone as planned for Yakupov, as he was traded away from Edmonton (the team that drafted him) to St Louis, where he only dressed for 40 games. St Louis let him go to free agency and he ended up signing with Colorado, a 1-year deal worth $875,000.