The 2019 NHL Draft is sure to be a good one, with Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko all but guaranteed to go first and second overall, and there are a lot of good players to round out the top 15. However, that is not always the case, here are the six worst first overall draft picks in NHL history.
6. Gord Kluzak
Gord Kluzak was the first overall selection by the Boston Bruins in 1982, and played the least amount of games of any of the top six picks of that year. Drafted after him was Stanley Cup Champion Scott Stevens, who if the Bruins didn't pass on him would have been partnered with Ray Bourque on an amazing defensive pair.
5. Patrik Stefan
Patrik Stefan was selected by the former NHL franchise the Atlanta Thrashers with the first pick of the 1999 NHL Draft, and played six years in Atlanta and one year with the Dallas Stars. Stefan only reached the 40 point threshold one time in his career. With both Sedin brothers going second and third overall, his career was not as successful as the brothers and did not live up to his draft selection.
4. Brian Lawton
Brian Lawton was the first overall selection in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, with names like Steve Yzerman, Cam Neely, Esa Tikkanen, and Dominik Hasek all selected after him in the same draft. Although Lawton played a decent career in the NHL, he did not live up to the first overall selection he was taken with, especially considering the incredibly successful careers of those who were selected shortly after him.
3. Rick DiPietro
When the New York Islanders selected Rick DiPietro with the first overall pick in 2000, they surely were expecting a generational goaltender. Instead, well, he wasn't that at all. DiPietro had injury-ridden career, yet was rewarded with a huge contract by the Islanders. He is still being paid $1.5 million per year, and will be until 2029 when his bought out contract expires. He's the NHL's Bobby Bonilla.
2. Nail Yakupov
Nail Yakupov entered the NHL with huge comparisons to some the best of the superstars in the sport during the 2012 draft. Yakupov scored 31 points in 48 games in his rookie year, and was never able to eclipse 33 points in any of his six seasons in the league. Yakupov left the NHL to go home and play in the KHL for SKA St. Petersburg in 2018.
1. Alexandre Daigle
Alexandre Daigle was supposed to be the NHL's next star heading into the 1993 Draft. Instead, the Ottawa Senators regret his selection, and missed out on Chris Pronger, Paul Kariya, and Saku Koivu in the draft. Daigle bounced around the league for 12 years, playing for six different teams, and was never able to achieve his maximum potential.