Top 14 NHL Players Drafted Early In 2013 That Already Look Like Busts

It's been more than 1,000 days since the 2013 NHL Draft, and the annual event has already produced its fair share of NHL contributors. Of the 211 players drafted on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey

It's been more than 1,000 days since the 2013 NHL Draft, and the annual event has already produced its fair share of NHL contributors. Of the 211 players drafted on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey, 55 players have reached the NHL. Those players have combined to play more than 3,000 games, score about 500 goals and 1,300 points, and spend about 1,000 minutes in the penalty box. But with the players averaging only 58 games, nine goals and 24 points a player in their careers, it's pretty apparent that the results of the players have been a mixed bag.

Three of the top-six picks in the draft -- the Colorado Avalanche's Nathan MacKinnon, the Florida Panther's Aleksander Barkov and the Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan -- have already reached stardom, as they've combined for 191 goals and 431 points in just three seasons. The Phoenix Coyotes' Max Domi and the Washington Capitals' Andre Burakovsky, who combined for 35 goals and 80 points in 2015-2016, seem to be right behind them. Overall, there have been eight players (all of them forwards) from the draft who have scored at least 20 career goals.

But while those numbers appear to show that the draft has produced some NHL contributors, a closer look shows that the 2012 and 2014 NHL Drafts have produced more top-flight talent. Despite being a year later, 21 players from the 2014 draft have already played in the NHL, and five players have scored more than 20 goals, including one defenseman: the Florida Panthers' Aaron Ekblad. That draft, along with the 2014 draft, have also combined for more All-Star selections (four) than the 2013 NHL Draft (zero).

While there is still time for the 2013 NHL Draft to produce top-flight NHL players, the early returns haven't been great. Here's a look at 14 NHL Players drafted early in 2013 that already look like busts:

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14 Rasmus Ristolainen, 8th Overall, Buffalo Sabres

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Rasmus Ristolainen has been a solid player for the Buffalo Sabres since they drafted him eighth overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. The Finnish defenseman has posted 65 points in 194 games over the past two seasons, including 41 points and nine goals in 2015-2016. However, his scoring touch has not masked apparent deficiencies in his own end. Ristolainen is already a -68 in two and a half seasons, and while his teammates are partially to blame, there have been more shots allowed on goal than shots taken while he's been on the ice. The Sabres will be hoping his defense will improve enough to catch up with his puck-moving ability.

13 Valentin Zykov, 37th Overall, Los Angeles Kings

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Kings drafted Valentin Zykov in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft, it was widely considered a steal, as some pre-draft rankings had him as the third-best player overall. The Russian winger posted back-to-back strong seasons in the QMJHL (138 points and plus-61), but showed little improvement following that. A year after scoring decently again in the Q, the Kings promoted him to the AHL's Ontario Reign, where he struggled. After scoring only seven goals in 43 games, he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for Kris Versteeg. The 21-year-old posted a -4 in two games for the Charlotte Checkers and will likely start again in AHL next season.

12 Michael McCarron, 25th Overall, Montreal Canadiens

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

When the Montreal Canadiens drafted American center Michael McCarron, the reaction could be summarized into one question: "Who?" At 6-feet-6 and 230 pounds, the Canadiens front office compared him to former Boston Bruins left winger Milan Lucic. But his performance quickly showed otherwise. After a disappointing season in the OHL, he was dropped from the U.S. National Development Team in 2014 and responded with another mediocre OHL campaign. This season, he gave Canadiens fans a little confidence after posting 38 points in 58 AHL games. However, he flopped in a 20-game NHL stint, scoring one goal and profiling more as an enforcer (37 penalty minutes.)

11 Emile Poirier, 22nd Overall, Calgary Flames

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Emile Poirier moved toward the top of the Calgary Flames' prospect lists after scoring 43 goals in 63 games in his final season of junior hockey with Gatineau of the QMJHL. However, he has displayed quite the regression in two AHL seasons. In 115 games, the winger scored 31 goals and dished out 40 assists, with a -7 rating. The Flames have given him two stints with the pro club and he has responded with just one point in eight games. He's a possible trade chip this upcoming offseason, as the Flames look to surround Johnny Gaudreau and Dougie Hamilton with proven young talent.

10 Mirco Mueller, 18th Overall, San Jose Sharks

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

While the overall consensus is that Mirco Mueller is a potentially solid defensive-first blue liner, he has yet to reach that promise through his first three professional seasons. Mueller was fast-tracked through the minor leagues and made his debut in 2014-2015 with the San Jose Sharks. In 39 games, he scored only four points and was -8. The following season, the Sharks opted to let him spend most of 2015-2016 with the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL, where he posted a +7 and 11 points in 50 games. He was also a -4 in 11 games with the Sharks and has been a healthy scratch during the playoffs.

9 Morgan Klimchuk, 28th Overall, Calgary Flames

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames used the first-round pick they acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Jarome Iginla to draft native Calgarian Morgan Klimchuk. However, the left winger has yet to look like a first-rounder, playing just 59 games at the AHL level over the past three seasons. His performance in those games has also been discouraging, as he's scored just three goals and dished out just six assists. He's no longer considered among the Flames' top prospects.

8 Elias Lindholm, 7th Overall, Carolina Hurricanes

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After Elias Lindholm's first three full seasons in the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes are still waiting for their 2013 first-round pick to break out. The Swedish winger jumped to the NHL in his first professional season, and has posted 37 goals and 99 points in 221 games in the three years since. He had a 17-goal season in the 2014-2015 season, but followed it up with just 11 goals this past season. Lindholm's defenders point to his extremely low PDO, a hockey analytics measurement for luck, in 2015-2016. But he'll have to improve on his career-high 39 points to transform himself from a useful player to a star.

7 Pavel Buchnevich, 75th Overall, New York Rangers


Pavel Buchnevich was rated as the 10th-best international skater heading into the draft, but dropped to the third round because of concerns over his willingness to play in North America. Three seasons later, the left winger has still yet to play a game in either the AHL or NHL. Unlike the other players on this list, Buchnevich has actually played well, posting 87 points in 156 games in the KHL. However, he has publicly said that he won't make the move from Russia unless he's on the NHL team. He could play himself off this list quickly when that opportunity arises.

6 Frederik Gauthier, 21st Overall, Toronto Maple Leafs

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Frederik Gauthier, a big-bodied center, in the first round in 2013 and he responded with 52 points in 54 QMJHL games. He followed that up with 32 points in 37 games during an injury-plagued season, while also providing good defense and good face-off numbers. While the numbers weren't bad, the concern was that he plateaued. And those concerns were validated in 2015-2016, when he scored just 18 points in 56 games for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL and one assist and a -5 in seven games for the Maple Leafs.

5 Valeri Nichushkin, 10th Overall, Dallas Stars

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Russian left winger Valeri Nichushkin jumped right to the NHL after the Dallas Stars drafted him 10th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. He's battled injuries and inconsistency, and while he's posted good possession numbers, the scoring has not been there yet. In parts of three seasons, he's scored 23 goals and 41 assists in 166 games. However, 34 of those points (and 14 of those goals) came in his rookie season. While he'll stick around in the NHL based on defensive abilities alone, the jury is still out on whether or not he'll put enough pucks in the net to be a top-6 forward.

4 Darnell Nurse, 7th Overall, Edmonton Oilers

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Canadian defenseman Darnell Nurse got his first extended time in the NHL during the 2015-2016 season and, for the most part, struggled. The Edmonton Oilers paired him with Andrej Sekera in attempt to help develop him against the other team's top players, a move which partially backfired. While Nurse was on the ice at even-strength, the Oilers had a lower proportion of shot attempts and scoring chances. He also negatively impacted some of his teammates, as Taylor Hall and Ryan-Nugent Hopkins, among others, saw their number of shot attempts and scoring chances decrease with Nurse on the ice. The Oilers have a number of promising defenseman, including Oscar Klefbom, Brandon Davidson and Griffin Reinhart, so Nurse will need to turn things around quick.

3 Josh Morrissey, 13th Overall, Winnipeg Jets

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Morrissey has posted steady numbers in the Winnipeg Jets' system since he was drafted 13th overall in 2013. However, outside of a one-game stint in 2015-2016, he's yet to make an impact at the NHL level. After a disappointing season in the WHL during the 2014-2015 campaign, the Jets opted to move Morrissey up to the AHL, where he looked, for the most part, overmatched. He started coming on toward the end of the season, but finished the year with just 22 points in 57 games and a -9 rating. Part of the knock against Morrissey is that he's only 6-feet-tall and 195 pounds, so he'll need to figure out -- and figure it out quickly -- a way to use that to his advantage.

2 Seth Jones, Fourth Overall, Nashville Predators

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The son of a former NBA player, American defenseman Seth Jones was rated as the No. 1 prospect heading into the 2013 NHL Draft. However, he fell to fourth overall after the teams with the first three picks opted to pick forwards instead. Jones went straight to the NHL and had a solid first-year campaign, scoring 25 points in 77 games. After scoring eight goals the following season, he was traded half-way through 2015-2016 to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Ryan Johansen. Split between the two teams, he scored just three goals in 81 games. Coupled with the fact that he's a -34 over those three seasons, it's apparent that he hasn't quite yet reached the pre-draft hype.

1 Samuel Morin, 11th Overall, Philadelphia Flyers

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Samuel Morin is the highest-drafted player from the 2013 NHL Draft to not yet make his NHL debut. To put that into perspective, 28 out of 30 first-rounders and 27 players from the second-through-seventh rounds have played at least one NHL game. Outside of that factoid, the Flyers have been overly cautious with Morin as the conversation has turned from what he can do as a player to what he's currently doing. Morin stayed in the QMJHL for two more seasons after he was drafted, before jumping to the AHL during the 2015-2016 campaign. He scored just 19 points and was -5 with 118 penalty minutes in 76 games. He's dropping on Flyers' prospect boards and will most likely start with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms again next season.

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Top 14 NHL Players Drafted Early In 2013 That Already Look Like Busts