Boston Bruins Top 5 Draft Busts in Franchise History

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney makes the first of three consecutive draft picks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney makes the first of three consecutive draft picks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Bruins Top 5 Countdown: Biggest Busts in Franchise History

An original six team, the Boston Bruins will be the third of 30 teams in a series dedicated to the top five draft busts in franchise history. Over the next while, we plan to explore all 30 teams (in alphabetical order) big misses on the draft floor since their inception.

For those expansion teams from the early and late 1990s into 2000, their franchise draft history is obviously skewed in comparison to older teams. Even with a limited sample size to choose from, each and every franchise has been victimized by the imperfect art of selecting 18-year-old prospects.

It’s not easy to select a top five for a franchise with such a long illustrious history. Given that fact, we present a special honorable mentions for those extra players.

Honorable Mentions:

Ron Jones – 6th overall in 1971

Picks after Jones: Terry O’Reilly (BOS) – 14th overall, Craig Ramsay (BUF) – 19th overall, Larry Robinson (MTL) – 20th overall, Rick Kehoe (TOR) – 22nd overall

Normand Leveille – 14th overall in 1981

Picks after Leveille: Al MacInnis (CGY) – 15th overall, Scott Arniel (WPG) – 22nd overall, Claude Loiselle (DET) – 23rd overall, Chris Chelios (MTL) – 40th overall

Dave Pasin – 19th overall in 1984

Picks after Pasin: Todd Gill (TOR) – 25th overall, Brian Benning (STL) – 26th overall, Scott Mellanby (27th overall), Stephane Richer (MTL) – 29th overall

Shayne Stevenson – 17th overall in 1989

Picks after Stevenson: Olaf Kolzig (WSH) – 19th overall, Adam Foote (QUE) – 22nd overall, Kent Manderville (CGY) – 24th overall, Patrice Brisebois (MTL) – 30th overall

Dmitri Kvartalnov – 16th overall in 1992

Picks after Kvartalnov: Jason Smith (NJ) – 18th overall, Martin Straka (PIT) – 19th overall, Grant Marshall (TOR) – 23rd overall, Boris Mironov (WPG) – 27th overall, Valeri Bure (MTL) – 33rd overall

Evgeni Ryabchikov – 21st overall in 1994

Picks after Ryabchikov: Dan Cloutier (NYR) – 26th overall, Rhett Warrener (FLA) – 27th overall, Stanislav Neckar (OTT) – 29th overall, Deron Quint (WPG) – 30th overall

Joe Colborne – 16th overall in 2008

Picks after Colborne: Jake Gardiner (ANA) – 17th overall, Michael Del Zotto (NYR) – 20th overall, Jordan Eberle (EDM) – 22nd overall, John Carlson (WSH) – 27th overall, Jacob Markstrom (FLA) – 31st overall

Jordan Caron – 25th overall in 2009

Picks after Caron: Kyle Palmieri (ANA) – 26th overall, Simon Despres (PIT) – 30th overall, Ryan O’Reilly (COL) – 33rd overall, Kyle Clifford (LA) – 34th overall, Jakob Silfverberg (OTT) – 39th overall

Boston Bruins Top 5 Draft Busts

5. Jonathan Aitken – 8th overall in 1996

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Aitken might rank higher on the list if it weren’t for such a weak draft class. Six first round selections in 1996 played fewer than Jonathan Aitken’s 44 career NHL games.

Picks after Aitken: Derek Morris (CGY) – 13th overall, Marty Reasoner (STL) – 14th overall, Dainius Zubrus (PHI) – 15th overall, Marco Sturm (SJ) – 21st overall, Daniel Briere (PHX) – 24th overall

4. Lars Jonsson – 7th overall in 2000

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Similar to Aitken, Jonsson would rank higher if fewer teams missed in the first round back in 2000. 10 players selected in the opening round played fewer than 100 career NHL games.

Picks after Jonsson: Ron Hainsey (MTL) – 13th overall, Brooks Orpik (PIT) – 18th overall, Steve Ott (DAL) – 25th overall, Justin Williams (PHI) – 28th overall, Niklas Kronwall (DET) – 29th overall

3. Matt Lashoff – 22nd overall in 2005

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So why does missing on a 22nd overall pick rank second on our list? 2005 ranks as one of the deepest drafts in history with several active players still making an impact.

The bust of Lashoff is however somewhat cushioned by the Leafs vital mistake of trading Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft – Rask was taken a pick ahead of Lashoff.

Picks after Lashoff: T.J. Oshie (STL) – 24th overall, Andrew Cogliano (EDM) – 25th overall, Matt Niskanen (DAL) – 28th overall, Steve Downie (PHI) – 29th overall, James Neal (DAL) – 33rd overall, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (SJ) – 35th overall, Ondrej Pavelec (ATL) – 41st overall, Justin Abdelkader (DET) – 42nd overall, Paul Stastny (COL) – 44th overall, Kris Letang (PIT) – 62nd overall

2. Zach Hamill – 8th overall in 2007

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A productive WHL scorer at the time of his selection, Hamill never managed to pan out for the Bruins.

His numbers actually dropped in his final year of junior, but a short productive AHL stint with Providence that year looked promising. He posted 26 points during his AHL rookie season in 2008-09, and saw increases the next season with 44 points.

That’s as high as his production would ever go in the minors with Hamill seeing a mere NHL games with the B’s.

He has since been playing over in Europe since the end of 2013-14 (KHL, SM-Liiga, Swiss-A, and DEL).

Picks after Hamill: Logan Couture (SJ) – 9th overall, Brandon Sutter (CAR) – 11th overall, Ryan McDonagh (MTL) – 12th overall, Lars Eller (STL) – 13th overall, Kevin Shattenkirk (COL) – 14th overall, Max Pacioretty (MTL) – 22nd overall

Next: Las Vegas Expansion Mock Draft

1. Gord Kluzak – 1st overall in 1982

Despite being the third ranked skater overall (second ranked in the WHL), B’s GM Harry Sinden was insistent on taking Kluzak. He wasn’t sold on Brian Bellows (the popular choice among fans), and made a deal to with Minnesota to let him slide to second. Despite coming off a knee injury (which ultimately destroyed his career), Kluzak went first overall.

Interestingly enough, Gord Kluzak was defense partners with Bob Rouse for a short time in junior. Kluzak only appeared in 299 career NHL games posting 123 points before being forced out by injuries.

Picks after Kluzak: Brian Bellows (MIN) – 2nd overall, Ron Sutter (PHI) – 4th overall, Scott Stevens (WSH) – 5th overall, Phil Housley (BUF) – 6th overall, Rich Sutter (PIT) – 10th overall, Dave Andreychuk (BUF) – 16th overall, Murray Craven (DET) – 17th overall, Ken Daneyko (NJ) – 18th overall