Every season, NHL teams get the chance to draft future stars for their franchise. We are no longer in an era where teams build their cores through big traded and free agent signings.
You look at recent Stanley Cup champions like the Chicago Blackhawks -- they drafted Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford. The Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury.
Even the Detroit Red Wings of the '90s and 2000s drafted Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Tomas Holmstrom, Chris Osgood and others. My point? If you want to win championships, you sure need to learn how to draft. Why haven't my Vancouver Canucks won a Stanley Cup? They haven't traded bonafide stars since Daniel and Henrik Sedin since 1999. Life can be hard.
But hey, every NHL team has drafted some major busts while missing out on franchise superstars. Here's a look at each team's worst drafting mistake, and how they could have possibly turned it into a franchise-changing pick.
30 Anaheim Ducks: Jarome Iginla (1995)
Original Pick: Chad Kilger
A year after nailing their first-round selection in Paul Kariya, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim had the golden opportunity to supply their future face of the franchise with another big weapon.
They drafted Chad Kilger fourth-overall in 1995, but he only played 45 games in Anaheim before going on to have a solid few years with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Meanwhile, that Jarome Iginla guy became quite the superstar.
Imagine having the speedy Kariya and sniper Iginla on the same line. All Iginla has done in his career is score 30-plus goals in 12 different seasons. That includes two 'Rocket Richard' Trophies. Iginla is part of the 600-goal club and could have been a mega star for the Mighty Ducks.
29 Arizona Coyotes: Jamie Benn (2007)
Original Pick: Kyle Turris
The selection of Kyle Turris at number-three overall seemed like the right call at the time for the Coyotes. They had just found themselves a true number one centre to build their franchise around. The only problem was that Coyotes' management never gave Turris a chance to shine, and he was traded to the Ottawa Senators in 2011. Though he's now a standout in Ottawa, Turris has to be classified as a bust for the Coyotes and their fans.
The Coyotes missed out on a chance to draft 2015 Art Ross Trophy winner, Jamie Benn. He wasn't taken until the 129th pick by the Dallas Stars, but has posted remarkable numbers.
Since his 2009-10 rookie season, Benn has scored at least 20 goals every year except the 2012-13 48-game season. He's on pace to reach the 70-point mark for the fourth-straight season, too.
Definitely a mistake here on Coyotes management -- a group that has drafted far more busts than standouts in recent years.
28 Boston Bruins: Brett Hull (1984)
Original Pick: Dave Pasin
What can we say about 'The Golden Brett' that you haven't heard about already? His 741 career goals are the third-most in NHL history and he'd be first if Jaromir Jagr wasn't an inhuman like object playing in his mid-40s. Brett Hull, a two-time Stanley Cup champion and 1991 Hart Trophy winner, was the purest of 'pure' goal scorers.
While guys like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe could score and set up, all Hull was asked to do was shoot -- and he did. He reached the 70 goal mark three times -- including an 86-goal campaign in 1990-91. Hull reached the 30-goal mark a whopping 30 times.
Instead of having Hull, the Bruins draft Dave Pasin with their first pick in 1984. He appeared in just 71 games with the Bruins.
27 Buffalo Sabres: Mark Messier (1979)
Original Pick: Mike Ramsey
It doesn't feel right putting Mike Ramsey on here. He wasn't exactly a 'draft bust', but he didn't pan out necessarily as hoped while Mark Messier became one of the NHL's most dominant athletes to ever live.
Ramsey was a stay-at-home defenceman for 14 years in Buffalo, but never transformed into a superstar. As for Mark Messier, many classify him as the greatest leader in hockey history. It's not hard to to agree with that.
Messier, who ranks third all-time in points with 1,887. He was part of five Stanley Cup championship teams in Edmonton and captained the New York Rangers to the Cup in 1994 -- the franchise's first in 54 years. If the Sabres had Messier, Edmonton wouldn't be a dynasty and perhaps the Rangers' championship drought would have continued...
26 Calgary Flames: Marian Hossa (1997)
Original Pick: Daniel Tkaczuk
Marian Hossa has been one of the NHL's most dynamic goal-scorers for nearly two full decades. He's part of the 500 goal club and is getting close to 1,200 career points. A three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks, Hossa has been the definition of consistency throughout his career.
Since the 1999-2000 season, Hossa has scored at least 20 goals all but two years -- with one of those including 17 goals in a 48-game 2012-13 campaign. Hossa has reached 70-plus points nine times and has been one of the NHL's flashiest all-around players during his tenure.
Unfortunately for the Flames, they passed out on Hossa by selecting Daniel Tkaczuk, who played in just 19 NHL games.
25 Carolina Hurricanes: Erik Karlsson (2008)
Original Pick: Zach Boychuk
There has been no defenceman more breathtaking and dazzling than Ottawa Senators star, Erik Karlsson. The two-time Norris Trophy winner is a defenceman and yet threatens to score 20 goals every year and has already reached the 70-point mark three times. Did we mention he's a blueliner?
The Hurricanes draft Zach Boychuk with the 14th-overall selection in 2008 -- the pick before Karlsson was taken by the Senatoes. Boychuk played in just 127 NHL games and scored 12 goals and 30 points.
Karlsson, meanwhile, is arguably the NHL's best defenceman. Nobody is faster with the puck and no blueliner has changed a game with his offensive skills since...I don't know...Paul Coffey two decades ago?
24 Chicago Blackhawks: Anze Kopitar (2005)
Original Pick: Jack Skille
Jonathan Toews, Anze Kopitar and Patrice Bergeron are the NHL's three best defensive forwards -- with each of them winning it at least once in the last five seasons. The trio also have six Stanley Cups and four Olympic gold medals between them.
So could you imagine if the Blackhawks, who already have three Stanley Cups under Toews' leadership, had Anze Kopitar? All they had to do was draft him over Jack Skille, who has bounced around in the NHL from team-to-team throughout his career.
Kopitar was a cornerstone of the Los Angeles Kings' Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014, and his team was a thorn in the Blackhawks' quest to become a dynasty for some years.
I'm going to go out on a limb and just say Chicago would probably have five Cups with Toews and Kopitar as their top-two centres. It'd be next to impossible to score and defend against these two star centres in the playoffs.
23 Colorado Avalanche: Evgeny Kuznetsov (2010)
Original Pick: Joey Hishon
The 2009-10 year was supposed to be promising for the Colorado Avalanche. They reached the playoffs in a rebuilding year and came fairly close to eliminating the top-seeded San Jose Sharks in round one.
They then got the 17th-overall pick in an extremely talented NHL Draft Class. They used it to select centre Joey Hishon the crafty centre who played for Owen Sound of the OHL. However, he played in just 13 NHL games and had two points.
Meanwhile, Evgeny Kutnetsov put up 77 points last year and is close to putting up 60 again in 2016-16. With 176 points in 250 NHL games, he would have undoubtedly been the much better pick for Colorado in this draft. But they struck out big time on Hishon.
22 Columbus Blue Jackets: Ryan Getzlaf (2003)
Original Pick: Nikolay Zherdev
Here's the thing -- Nikolay Zherdev wasn't necessarily a bust as he had a pair of 20-goal seasons with the Blue Jackets. But his tenure in Columbus didn't last long, and the 2003 Draft class was LOADED. Columbus took Zherdev fourth-overall while these stars went after him: Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Suter, Joe Pavelski, Thomas Vanek, Shea Weber, Jeff Carter, Brent Seabrook, Brent Burns, Zach Parise and others.
But Getzlaf would have been the best pick for the Jackets, because that would mean giving superstar Rick Nash a legitimate number one centre -- something he never had. Getzlaf, a Stanley Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, has five-20 goal and five 70-point seasons.
He could have turned around the misfortunes in Columbus with Nash as his teammate, but they missed out on Getzlaf and many other would-be stars.
21 Dallas Stars: Vladimir Tarasenko (2010)
Original Pick: Jack Campbell
I did want to throw Brian Lawton (the first pick in 1983), on here, but the Stars were based in Minnesota at the time, so we'll pertain this to Dallas.
Jack Campbell seemed like a money selection for Dallas (11th-overall), as he had backstopped Team USA to gold at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship.But Campbell only played in one NHL game with the Stars...and allowed six goals.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Tarasenko (taken 16th-overall), just reached his third-straight 30-goal season and could also rack up his third 70-point season. If he was playing on a Stars team with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, this would be an offence MUCH scarier than that of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
But the Stars thought Campbell was their answer and passed on the flashy Russian sniper.
20 Detroit Red Wings: Mark Recchi (1988)
Original Pick: Kory Kocur
The Red Wings haven't had any major draft busts in 25 years, since they're not used to picking in the top 15 or anything like that. We had to go way back to 1988 when they made a legitimate drafting error.
They took Kory Kocur with the 17th-overall pick in the 1988 Draft, but he never played an NHL game. In the fourth round, the Pittsburgh Penguins selected Mark Recchi. As if the Red Wings weren't talented enough in the '90s with Nicklas Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan, Chris Osgood, Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov and Steve Yzerman, imagine if they had Recchi.
A three-time Stanley Cup champion, Recchi had three 100-point seasons in his career and finished with 577 career goals and 1,533 points. He was among the league's top goal scorers for two decades, and the thought of him playing on Detroit all those years is quite terrifying -- isn't it?
19 Edmonton Oilers: Martin Brodeur (1990)
Original Pick: Scott Allison
With the 17th-overall selection in 1990, the Oilers drafted Scott Allison, who never played an NHL game. Who was drafted three selections later? None other than Martin Brodeur, arguably the greatest goalie in hockey history.
His 691 wins and 125 shutouts are unlikely to be matched. Put it this way, Roberto Luongo has the most victories among active goalies. He's 37 years of age and only has 453 wins. He's not going to catch Brodeur.
The backbone of three New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup teams, Brodeur also won four Vezina Trophies. The Oilers struggled to replace Grant Fuhr in goal once the dynasty of the '80s ended. Perhaps they could have done some more damage to the NHL if they had Brodeur.
18 Florida Panthers: P.K. Subban (2007)
Original Pick: Keaton Ellerby
Keaton Ellerby was one of the top-five ranked skaters by scouts in North America for the 2007 Draft. The Florida Panthers took Ellerby 10th-overall in 2007, but he never played more than 54 games in a season with Florida. He played in just 212 NHL games and scored four goals and 27 points.
Imagine if they got P.K. Subban, who wasn't selected until the second round by the Montreal Canadiens? Subban, the 2013 Norris Trophy winner, has put up three 50-point seasons and is only 27 years of age. The Panthers have a franchise defenceman in Aaron Ekblad, and pairing him with Subban would be one of the greatest tandems in recent memory.
If it's any consolation for the Panthers, they were far from the only team that passed on Subban.
17 Los Angeles Kings: Patrice Bergeron (2003)
Original Pick: Brian Boyle
You know that stacked 2003 Draft we mentioned? The Kings owned three picks in the first round and came away with Dustin Brown (solid, but hasn't been a standout for five years), Brian Boyle and Jeff Tambellini. Most of the stars were taken by the time they used the 26th pick. But there were better choices than Boyle.
Take Patrice Bergeron, for example. The three-time Selke winner led the Boston Bruins to a Stanley Cup in 2011 and has two Olympic gold medals with Canada. He's a seven-time 20-goal scorer and has hit the 50-point mark in eight different seasons.
Bergeron is the top two-way player of his generation, and having him and Anze Kopitar on the same team would probably give the already-stingy L.A. Kings the most dangerous defence in NHL history.
16 Minnesota Wild: Carey Price (2005)
Original Pick: Benoit Pouliot
The Wild had the chance to make a franchise-changing pick with the fourth selection in 2005. They took 6-foot-3, 193-pound left winger Benoit Pouliot who never played a full season with Minnesota and has bounced around from team to team throughout much of his career.
And who was selected right after Pouliot? The world's greatest goalie in Carey Price, who is an Olympic gold medalist, Hart Trophy and Vezina winner who has four 30-win seasons under his belt and has turned the Montreal Canadiens into one of the NHL's top teams.
With the exception of an excellent two years from Niklas Backstrom in 2007 and 2008, the Wild went nearly a decade without a top-tier goalie until landing Devan Dubnyk in 2015. So yeah, taking Price could have really helped them all this time.
15 Montreal Canadiens: Paul Coffey (1980)
Original Pick: Doug Wickenheiser
The Canadiens had the first-overall pick and drafted Doug Wickenheiser, who played 556 NHL games but never lived up to his full potential. Tragically, he died from cancer in 1999.
Three of the following five picks became Hockey Hall of Famers, but Paul Coffey was undoubtedly the best of the bunch. A cornerstone of the Edmonton Oilers dynasty, Coffey was a three-time Norris Trophy winner. Coffey reached the 100-point mark five times in his career and helped the Oilers win three Stanley Cups before winning another with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991.
Coffey was an eight-time 20-goal scorer (as a defenceman), and simply changed and controlled games with his insanely awesome skating, speed and mind. Oh, if the Canadiens could have had a nice cup of Coffee all those years.
14 Nashvillle Predators: Kris Letang (2005)
Original Pick: Ryan Parent
With the 18th-overall selection in the 2005 NHL Draft, the Predators drafted Ryan Parent. This team had recently drafted Shea Weber and Ryan Suter as blueliners, so what could go wrong with selecting Parent?
Well, despite winning gold with Team Canada at the 2006 and 2007 World Junior Hockey Championship, Parent never played a game for Nashville -- being packaged away as part of the failed Peter Forsberg trade in 2007.
The Pittsburgh Penguins made an NHL landscape-changing selection by getting Kris Letang 62nd-overall. Letang has been the Penguins' top defenceman for nearly a decade and has led them to a pair of Stanley Cup championships.
Could you imagine this Predators defence with Roman Josi, Kris Letang and P.K. Subban today? That would literally be the best trio of blueliners on one team ever.
13 New Jersey Devils: Roman Josi (2008)
Original Pick: Mattias Tendenby
I would just like to point out that because of New Jersey's success in the '90s and early 2000s, that brought in three Stanley Cups, we found it difficult to pinpoint most picks from 1980-2007 hard to label as 'busts'. If the Devils wasted a first-round pick, they found ways to acquire new gems.
So we go to 2008, where the Devils drafted Mattias Tendenby 24th-overall. He played in just 120 NHL games and scored 10 goals and 30 points. New Jersey really needed a defenceman after the lockout with franchise blueliners Scott Niedermayer and Scott Stevens long gone. They missed out on Roman Josi, though.
In 2016-17, Josi hit double-digit goals and the 40-point mark for the fourth-straight season with the Nashville Predators. He's everything the Devils have lacked, and he would have been a great addition to a team that's lacked a true franchise defenceman for some seasons.
12 New York Islanders: Nicklas Lidstrom (1989)
Original Pick: Dave Chyzowski
The 1989 NHL Draft featured a number of Hockey Hall of Famers, but the New York Islanders didn't draft one of them with the second-overall selection. They took Dave Chyzowski, who played in just 126 NHL games and scored 31 points. And then there was Nicklas Lidstrom...
The Detroit Red Wings nabbed him 53rd-overall, and the selection forever changed the NHL landscape. Nicklas Lidstrom led the Red Wings to four Stanley Cups and turned them into hockey's model organization in the '90s and 2000s. Lidstrom won seven Norris Trophies and scored 264 goals and 1,142 points in his two-decade long career.
New York struggled through most of the '90s, 2000s and 2010s. They have just one playoff series win since 1993, but you have to believe it would be a lot different if they had Lidstrom. Even if he didn't pan out, at least the Red Wings wouldn't have been the league's best team for nearly two decades.
11 New York Rangers: Corey Perry (2003)
Original Pick: Hugh Jessiman
With so many future stars in the 2003 NHL Draft, the Rangers opted to go with Hugh Jessiman with the 12th selection. Jessiman, listed at 6-feet-6, 224 pounds, was supposed to bring the Rangers the next great power forward of the NHL. Except, he didn't exactly pan out. Jessiman only appeared in two NHL games, and both were with the Florida Panthers.
The Rangers had the chance to draft sniper Corey Perry, one of the NHL's top goal-scorers since the lockout. The 2007 Stanley Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist took home the 'Rocket' Richard and Hart Trophies in 2010-11 after scoring 50 goals and 98 points. As of this writing, Perry has scored 344 goals and 710 points.
New York hasn't won a Cup despite being in the playoffs all but one year since 2006. Perhaps having Perry would have led them to a championship by now.
10 Ottawa Senators: Chris Pronger (1993)
Original Pick: Alexandre Daigle
The Ottawa Senators owned the top pick in one of the most loaded draft classes of all-time. They saw Alexandre Daigle as a franchise centreman and took him with the lottery selection. Daigle showed promise in his rookie year and scored 20 goals goals and 51 points. Daigle also scored 26 goals and 51 points in 1996-97.
But Daigle struggled the following year and joined the Philadelphia Flyers. He never transitioned into a top-notch star, while the Hartford Whalers took Chris Pronger with the pick after Daigle.
All Pronger did was win the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Anaheim Ducks, two Olympic gold medals and the Norris Hart Trophies in 2000. It's easy to believe if the Senators had him in 2007, they could have beaten Anaheim in the Stanley Cup Final.
Oh, and how about Pronger being paired with Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara all those years? The Senators really missed out on a dream team pairing.
9 Philadelphia Flyers: Chris Chelios (1981)
Original Pick: Steve Smith
A quick note, Steve Smith is like the most common athlete name in the world. There was the other Steve Smith who put the puck in his own net during Game 7 of the in the 1986 Smythe Division Final. There's future Hall of Fame NFL wide receiver Steve Smith who just retired. There's the other Steve Smith who had a few big catches in Super Bowl 42 for the champion New York Giants.
Any who, this Steve Smith, whom the Flyers drafted 16th-overall in 1981, registered just one assist in 18 NHL games.
Meanwhile, the Flyers passed on legendary defenceman Chris Chelios. He played two-and-a-half decades in the NHL, winning three Norris Trophies and a trio of Stanley Cups. Chelios had 185 goals and 948 career points. The Flyers really could have used him in the '90s and 2000s. when they had so many long playoff runs that didn't result in a championship.
8 Pittsburgh Penguins: Luc Robitaille (1984)
Original Pick: Roger Belanger
In a re-draft, we have Hull going to the Boston Bruins. Patrick Roy was also available, but goalie Tom Barrasso held his own and helped the Penguins win two Stanley Cups. So we believe the Penguins should have drafted 'Lucky' Luc Robitaille -- the highest-scoring left wingers in NHL history.
The Penguins used the 16th selection on Roger Belanger, who played in just 44 NHL games. Pittsburgh was loaded for years with Mario Lemieux, Kevin Stevens, Larry Murphy, Paul Coffey, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis. They could have easily won more championships if they drafted Robitaille, who was taken 171st-overall by the Los Angeles Kings.
Robitaille did spend one season with Pittsburgh in 1994-95, but if Lemieux was his centre, he could have easily finished with more than an already impressive 668 goals and 1,394 points. Wow!
7 San Jose Sharks: Scott Niedermayer (1991)
Original Pick: Pat Falloon
The Sharks took Pat Falloon with second pick in 1991. He did have a pair of 20-goal seasons in San Jose, but only played one full season with the Sharks and was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers during the 1995-96 season. Falloon finished with 143 goals and 322 points in 575 games.
Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer was drafted third-overall by the New Jersey Devils in 1991. If it weren't for Nicklas Lidstrom, he'd probably have at least five Norris Trophies. Nonetheless, Niedermayer was a pure winner.
He won four Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, World Junior Hockey and World Hockey Championship Gold and The World Cup of Hockey. The 2004 Norris Trophy and 2007 Conn Smythe winner had a resume much more complete than that of most NHLers.
The Sharks surely wish they had him all those years, as Niedermayer was among the top defencemen in hockey during his two-decade long career.
6 St. Louis Blues: Jonathan Toews (2006)
Original Pick: Erik Johnson
Erik Johnson was the first-overall selection in 2006, and though he's been a solid defenceman for the Colorado Avalanche -- he hasn't quite turned into the franchise-changing blueliner. He only played two-and-a-half seasons with the Blues as well.
Jonathan Toews went third in 2006, and he's helped the Chicago Blackhawks become the NHL's model organization. He's a three-time Stanley Cup champion who won the Conn Smythe in 2010 and the Selke Trophy in 2013. Toews also has two Olympic gold medals and is regarded by many as the league's best captain.
He has 271 goals and 617 points (and counting), so far. But the Blues especially regret not drafting Toews because his Blackhawks have always been in the way of St. Louis' Stanley Cup aspirations. Being Central Division rivals, the Blues are often reminded by Toews that they made a mistake not drafting him.
5 Tampa Bay Lightning: Jeff Skinner (2010)
Original Pick: Brett Connolly
Well, consider Brett Connolly a bust for the Lightning. He was taken sixth-overall in 2010 but never put up more than 15 points in a season with them; nor did he play 70 games with them once. Connolly was considered a can't-miss prospect at the time, but the Lightning never developed him.
Right after Connolly was taken, the Carolina Hurricanes took Jeff Skinner. He put the league on notice right away in his rookie 2010-11 season, scoring 31 goals and 63 points. Skinner has 169 goals and 316 points throughout his career. Could you imagine him on a line with Steven Stamkos, as if Tampa's offence wasn't scary enough?
The Lightning really haven't been able to find a lot of offensive support for Stamkos over the years, and Skinner would have been the perfect match.
4 Toronto Maple Leafs: Teemu Selanne (1988)
Original Pick: Scott Pearson
The 1988 NHL Draft was fairly weak when it came to depth, but the small handful of superstars went on to become current or future Hall of Famers. Scott Pearson, who the Maple Leafs took sixth-overall, was not one of them. He played four different seasons with the Leafs in two stints. His most productive season? 1989-90 when he scored five goals and 15 points.
Four selections later, the Winnipeg Jets drafted Teemu Selanne. He scored 76 goals (a rookie record), and 132 points in his first NHL season. Selanne went on to become one of the most decorated players in the NHL.
Selanne scored 40-plus goals in six seasons, too. He won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He finished his career with 684 goals and 1,457 points. If only the Maple Leafs drafted him -- he and Mats Sundin could have won a Stanley Cup in Toronto together.
3 Vancouver Canucks: Brian Leetch (1986)
Original Pick: Dan Woodley
The Canucks made a lot of porous draft choices, but Dan Woodley was easily among the worst selections. What makes it worse is that missing out on Brian Leetch turned out to hurt them big time eight years later.
Woodley, the seventh-overall pick by the Canucks in 1986, played in just five NHL games. The New York Rangers took Leetch with the ninth pick, and he's in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Leetch scored 247 goals and 1,028 points, winning two Norris Trophies and the Stanley Cup along with the Conn Smythe in 1994. And who did the Rangers beat in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final? The Vancouver Canucks. Leetch even scored the opening goal in Game 7.
Can we just assume the Canucks would have won the Stanley Cup in 1994 if they had Leetch? Yeah, let's go with that.
2 Washington Capitals: Daniel Alfredsson (1994)
Original Pick: Nolan Baumgartner
Nolan Baumgartner was taken by the Capitals with the 1oth-overall pick in 1994. He only played in 18 games for the Capitals and never lived up to the hype of being a franchise defenceman for a team to build around. Baumgartner had a career that saw him alternate between the NHL and AHL. Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators drafted Daniel Alfredsson 133rd-overall in 1994.
Alfredsson became the franchise leader and captain of the Ottawa Senators, leading them to the postseason all but three years in his tenure there. Alfredsson scored 20-plus goals in 13 different seasons and hit the 70-point mark 10 times. He also led the Senators to their first Stanley Cup final berth in 2007.
Alfredsson and Alexander Ovechkin together does have a nice ring to it; or is it just me?
1 Winnipeg Jets: Johnny Gaudreau (2011)
Original Pick: Adam Lowry
We're not going to count the Jets franchise history when they were based in Atlanta (as the Thrashers). This team has only been around since 2011, and the team has actually drafted insanely well in the first round. They've taken Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba, Josh Morrissey, Nikolaj Ehlers, Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine in the first round. Hard to be disappointed with any of those.
So we went back to the third round of 2011, when they drafted Adam Lowry 67th-overall. Lowry has just 31 goals and 65 points in 226 games. Now, about Johnny Gaudreau, whom the Calgary Flames selected 104th-overall in 2011?
He has 71 goals and 195 points in 195 NHL games, having reached the 20 goal and 60-point mark in his first two full NHL seasons. 'Johnny Hockey' is the long-term future of the Flames. But he could have been the long-term future of the Winnipeg Jets.
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