Saturday, October 29, 2011

Don't give up on those high draft picks too soon.

Hockey history is filled with top draft picks that didn't work out....

I can think of many first rounders in the past 20 years that didn't pan out. Remember Alex Stojanov (7th in 1991), Todd Warriner (4th in 1992), Alexandre Daigle (1st in 1993), Jason Bonsignore (4th in 1994), Terry Ryan (8th in 1995), Alexandre Volchkov (4th in 1996), Daniel Tkaczuk (6th in 1997), Rico Fata (6th in 1998), Pavel Brendl (4th in 1999), Nikita Alexeev (8th in 2000), Alexander Svitov (3rd in 2001), Peter Taticek (9th in 2002), Alexander Picard (8th in 2004)...lets stop there as there as the point of this article is to actually discuss the guys that might still contribute in the future.

What did all these players have in common? All these players were drafted in the top ten of their draft class and none of them turned out to be regulars in the NHL. Well O.K. maybe Daigle was a regular for a while.

Fine, some players just don't work out for various reasons including death, injury and career changes. Now heres a list of players that did turn out but only after the original team gave up on them too early. This time however, I'm not only going to include top ten draft picks but all first rounders.

Markus Naslund - drafted 16th overall by Pittsburgh in 1991 but given up on too early and traded to Vancouver for none other than Alex Stojanov. 869 career points mostly coming after the trade.

Jason Arnott - 7th in 1993 to the Edmonton Oilers. Instead of bringing in a calming influence for the young Arnott, the Oilers traded him away to NJ for Bill Guerin who only played a few season in Edmonton. Arnott won Stanley Cups in NJ and Dallas and managed to put up almost 1000 NHL points. (He's not done yet)

Jean-Sebastien Giguere - 13th in 1995, would be traded to Calgary in a decent package that would help both teams but the Impatient Flames would trade him away for very little. Giggy goes on to win the Stanly cup, MVP in the playoffs and 231 wins.

Roberto Luongo - 4th in 1997 - Abandoned to early for another idea in Rick Dipietro and the pass of Danny Heatley and Marion know, that complete fiasco. Keeping LOU would have solidified the goal tending and given promise to the Islander franchise. LOU is playing in the Finals next week!

These guys weren't traded for much. I'm think theres a trend coming in the NHL that will see many former high draft picks showcase their skills with different teams in the near future. Its already happened with Michal Grabner (rookie of the year candidate), Laurie Korpikoski (mr. Dependable now in Phoenix), Jack Johnson in L.A. ( a former #3 pick of Carolina) or Steve Downie in Tampa (He was or is and candidate for the Conn Smythe already this year). Seems like theres a recent trend of movement that I think is pretty dumb.............this early.

Look, I wouldn't give up on guys like Kyle Turris just yet, he's going to be the third best player of his draft class like Zac Bogosian might be the third best player of his. Funny thing to me is that these players are available and the price you could pay is cheap.

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