What's worse than a bad skater? If you said a bad hockey player, you are correct.
This list is pretty straightforward. I will admit, it is tough to have to call these guys the "worst" hockey players ever, but simply a necessary reality of sports writing. It is true that sometimes NHL teams are forced to compile their teams with some borderline NHL caliber talent. It might not have been apparent that these players were so horrible when they were either first drafted or picked up in free agency, but it became apparent after they had a chance to prove their worth.
Realistically, teams need roster-fillers. They don't cost much and keep the squad in tact with league standards regarding team size. Though I will reference a previous take of ours on the worst NHL players in history, as already written in this article, I will address how these guys are doing nowadays. In other words, and as the title says simply, where are they now? Have some of these players fell off the map? Lost a bunch of money? Or have some of the former players turned to a different life, a more successful endeavor? Read on to find out.
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15 Gord Kluzak
Kluzak was the first overall pick in the 1982 NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins. He was a top prospect from Canada. Gord was supposed to be a skilled defenseman, but he failed to live up to expectations. Injuries plagued his career, like many draft disappointments. The rest is history, and he played nine dreaded seasons with the Bruins -- well, sort of. He only played 299 games out of a possible 720, so obviously that was a tough stretch. Kluzak proved to be a horrible draft mistake by the Bruins as he missed playing in the NHL from 84-87 because of knee injuries.
Today, Gord is a managing director at Goldman Sachs. After the NHL, he enrolled in Harvard and majored in Economics. He then went to Harvard Business School.
14 14. Doug Berry
Berry had an extremely short hockey career. Drafted out of British Columbia, Doug had some hype surrounding him. He was the 38th overall selection in the 1977 NHL Draft by the Colorado Rockies. Additionally, he was drafted 17th overall in the 1977 WHA Draft. Berry never really progressed during his career according to his coach Don Cherry. Doug ended up playing overseas in Germany, and did better there but was very bad in the NHL.
Today, Doug coaches youth hockey. He recently coached the Manitowoc Breaker Pee Wees. Berry lives a very normal life and obviously is not on the star radar as a celebrity by any means. It's good that he found something that he is good at doing and helping children in the process.
13 Andre Racicot
"Red Light" was drafted 83rd in the 1989 NHL Draft by the Canadiens. He had a pretty long career, playing from 1989-2004. The goaltender never amounted to anything really, though. He was usually always a backup goalie, and never really progressed much in the NHL. He was nicknamed Red Light due to red light to signal a goal always coming on when he was in nets. Thankfully, when you're the backup for Patrick Roy, you don't have to be that good.
Andre lives in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts in the Laurentians. He works modestly for a gold mine at a company called Agnico-Eagle. Andre is clearly not a Canadiens legend by any means, but the organization does find interest in keeping up with him since he won a Stanley Cup with them.
12 Patrik Stefan
Stefan was the first pick in the 1999 NHL Draft by the expansion Atlanta Thrashers. He played from 1996-2007 -- a career that was very forgettable. He scored 177 points in six seasons with the Thrashers and floated out to the minors after being released. Eventually, in 2007, his contract expired with the Dallas Stars and he was not re-signed. He had a couple serious injuries during his career but ultimately should have never been the number one overall selection.
Stefan is a hockey agent and is located in Laguna Beach, California. He coaches hockey at the Orange County Ice Palace. He mentors younger children playing hockey, and relies on being a sports agent for the majority of his income. He was more of a businessman inevitably and is obviously knowledgeable in hockey, but wasn't suited for the NHL.
11 Brett Lindros
Because of his star brother Eric, there were hopes Brett would amount to the same success. Wrong. Lindros retired two years after being drafted ninth overall in '94 because of concussions. He was picked by the Islanders and only played 51 games for them. Lindros only scored twice.
Today, Lindros struggles with his post-concussion syndrome. In 2001, he was hurt very badly in a snowmobile accident. Lindros was still charged with operating a snowmobile without a permit. Lindros was interviewed in 2015 about the risks of head injuries and what advice he would offer to the next generation of NHL prospects.
"Nothing wrong with an extra season in junior or the minors to work on your game and get your confidence and playing ability to a higher level before you get out there with the big boys – this will also let your body mature a little more before you are playing with grown men which will help with longevity, which is the key to any good career regardless of profession."
Good advice, and likely something he learned the hard way.
10 Jay Caufield
The Philadelphia native went undrafted and played right wing for the Penguins, North Stars, and Rangers. Caufield was very aggressive as a skater, but clearly didn't have the talent to cut it in the NHL. Caufield had 273 penalty minutes in the short span of 65 games. He had but five goals in 208 games his entire career.
Today, Jay does a couple of different things. He was in a movie entitled, Sudden Death, where he played a hockey goalie named Brad Tolliver. Jay has worked as a personal trainer and works on Root Sports Live: Penguins Post Game as an analyst. Jay has done a couple of different things after hockey and has already been more successful in any of those endeavors than in the NHL.
9 Alek Stojanov
It is ridiculous that Alek Stojanov was the seventh pick in the 1991 entry draft. He is easily regarded as one of hockey's biggest busts ever. Alek is most notably recognized as the other guy in the Markus Naslund trade -- perhaps the most lopsided transaction in NHL history. Stojanov never cemented himself as a consistent player, either getting injured or failing to maximize his opportunities on the ice. He had a minus-12 rating by the time his career ended. Alek is beloved by Canucks fans everywhere because he was traded for superstar Markus Naslund.
Where is he now? No seriously...where is he now?
Today, Stojanov is almost non-existent in the media. Little to nothing is known of his whereabouts. Let's hope he's doing well.
8 Jason Bonsignore
Jason Bonsignore got selected fourth overall in the '94 entry draft by the Oilers. The center never amounted to anything. Bonsignore basically spent five seasons in the minors after his rookie year. Bonsignore played just 20 games for the Oilers and had two points. Total bust mode for this guy. Fortunately, the Oilers also nabbed Ryan Smyth in this draft, saving them some face.
Jason commented on his "bust status" in 2011. He said, "My version of a bust is someone who maybe didn’t deserve to be in the situation they were in. I kind of feel like up until the point where I played for Edmonton I kind of deserved to be where I was and was in the right situation there as far as where I was drafted and everything."
He went on to race in speedway and has had some success in it.
7 Alexander Svitov
Talk about a bust. Alexander Svitov was the worst Lightning selection EVER. He recorded eight points in his rookie year, got traded to the Blue Jackets and the rest is history. He then returned to Russia after it was obvious his career in the NHL had amounted to nothing. Svitov then actually went back to the Blue Jackets and scored 18 points in 76 games. He was very unimpressive to fans and had a strong reputation for taking penalties (stupid ones).
Today, he plays for the AK Bars Kazan in the KHL. He had eight goals this past season and six assists. Svitov has played on this team for three years and originally skated for Salavat Yulayev Ufa, most notably, in 2011, when he won the Gagarin Cup with Salavet.
6 Bill Mikkelson
Phil's brother (just kidding) is known for his plus/minus record of minus-82 for the Capitals from 1974 to '75. This record still stands. He was atrocious as a defenseman, obviously. He retired in 1977 as one of the worst players to ever play professional hockey, along with a staggering number of only five goals and 18 assists during his career. In fairness, that Capitals team was probably the worst hockey team ever put together,
Today, Bill is a mentor for his son Brendan. Brendan was the 31st overall pick in the 2005 draft but now plays inSweden for Luleå HF of the Swedish Hockey League. Additionally, Bill's daughter Meaghan won a gold medal with Team Canada in 2010 and 2014. He is a family man and mentors his children. Bill's career didn't work out, but he is making sure his kids' careers do.
5 John Scott
John Scott unsurprisingly went undrafted. His career began in 2006, and his first game in Canada was a bust. He couldn't play in Toronto because he didn't have his passport. Whoops. In 2010, he was eventually released because of his worse than mediocre play. His career then went on a journey involving many teams. Scott had 517 penalty minutes by the time he last played in the NHL. He played 274 regular season games but was unproductive in those games, as he was mostly around to fight.
Today, he is retired. He wrote an article entitled "Five Goals, Four Kids, One Hell of a Time," before retirement. He wrote an autobiography entitled, A Guy Like Me Fighting to Make the Cut. This came out on December 27, 2016. His career was a fluke, but in his book, he acknowledges this.
4 Ryan Hollweg
Ryan Hollweg had supposed potential working in his favor when he entered the league. Eh, scratch that. Ryan had literally five goals in 228 games playing in the NHL. He was selected 238th overall, so I'm not really sure why there was hype around him. Anyway, he had a minus-34 rating in the league and 349 penalty minutes.
Today, Ryan plays for HC Skoda Plzen in the Czech Extraliga. In his most recent season, he had two assists in 24 games played. He did not score once. Hollweg's playing time has been steadily decreasing anywhere he goes because it is apparent that he will never be whatever he was potentially supposed to be in the NHL. His career should be over. I would be shocked if another NHL team ever signed him.
3 Frazer McLaren
Frazen McLaren was selected 207th in the 2007 NHL entry draft. He played for the Worcester Sharks and had 181 penalty minutes. He then got to play for the San Jose Sharks in 2009, making his NHL debut. He signed a one-year contract extension with the Sharks too. He only scored one time in 23 games with the Sharks, so at least he got himself a souvenir. McLaren would go on to spend the majority of his time as a backup in the minors. He never amounted to much of an athlete and had four goals in his NHL career.
Frazer is now an unrestricted free agent. In 2015, he signed a one-year deal with the Sharks, but was quickly sent down to the minors.
2 Hardy Astrom
Hardy played three seasons in the NHL. The undrafted Swedish-born goalie struggled significantly in the box. He wasn't recognized as remotely productive. Don Cherry even nicknamed him "The Swedish Sieve" because he struggled so much in the crease. Don Cherry would commonly complain about this guy. Hardy's NHL totals were 14 wins and 44 losses with the Rockies. After this rough tenure with the Rockies, he went over to Sweden, then actually came back to the NHL to play one game for the Rangers.
Today, Astrom is the subject of a lot of hate on the internet, but comedy too. His whereabouts are unknown but if he Googles his own name, he will not be pleased by what he sees. Astrom never amounted to be a good player in the NHL, but fans take it a little too far when they mock him personally on forums.
1 Andre Deveaux
The 182nd pick in the 2002 draft didn't play until 2008 (with Toronto). He was unproductive in Toronto and actually went to the Rangers. Notably, he had 104 penalty minutes in his career and only two assists. The Bahamian played only one game his last season in Toronto, but made a comeback in 2011 with the Rangers and played nine games. He played 31 games in the NHL, had zero goals and three assists. Pathetic.
Deveaux's latest hockey action was with the Rögle BK in the second tier of the Swedish hockey league. He made waves in 2015 when he attacked Per Helmersson of the VIK Västerås HK from beind during warmups. As a result of the incident, Rögle terminated his contract and Deveaux hasn't been signed by a team since.
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