Monday, August 20, 2007


Patrik Stefan: Worst 1st Overall Pick, Ever!

by Jes

For the longest time, I've proclaimed and bleated that Alexandre Daigle is the worst 1st overall pick in NHL history.

That title, I'm afraid, must be passed on to a new man: Patrik Stefan.

Yes, we all know Daigle is the undisputed champion when it comes to unfulfilled expectations, not living up to the hype, and disappointing the fans.

Despite what Daigle couldn't accomplish, he was still a far more useful NHL player than Patrick Stefan could ever hoped to have been.

As bad as Daigle was defensively, and as much as he couldn't bring the Senators any level of success, he was still a useful and talented goal scorer in his early career. After his "I want to be an actor" phase, he came back and did well as a 2-way drone for Jacques Lemaire and the Minnesota Mild.

Stefan? He was the FRANCHISE pick for the Atlanta Thrashers, expected to be the next Bobby Holik, after being drafted 1st overall in 1999. After putting up a point-a-game in the IHL (R.I.P.), Stefan looked like a good prospect, despite the history of concussions.

Well, after 455 NHL games, all Stefan had to show for his efforts was 188 points and 0 playoff games played. Stefan never had more than 40 points in a single season, and wasn't particularly good at anything. Being a stiff skater with a lack of grit, Stefan couldn't be counted on to be a shut down type, nor could he really get his team's offence going.

Sure, Stefan could be a decent 3rd line center, but who wants a dime-a-dozen 3rd line center with their 1st overall pick?


Alex Daigle 616 129 198 327

D. Wickenheiser 556 111 165 276

Brian Lawton 483 112 154 266

Patrick Stefan 455 64 124 188

Of course, Stefan is only 26 (27 next month), and may be able to improve on his
career numbers, but it's highly doubtful he will. I can't see many teams all that eager to give Stefan the type of money he can earn overseas.

For all of his NHL crapiness, Stefan did do well during his lockout
stint in Finland (41 points in 37 games), and seems a lot more suited for the International style of play over the NHL style. In that regard, Stefan reminds me of Pavel Patera, who did very little during his NHL stint.

It's a close call, but I'm going to have to give the title to Patrik Stefan. Congrats, doofus!

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I concur, Jes. For years I consider Daigle the king of NHL draft busts, but as you aptly noted, Stefan did far, far worse.
1) We recall the 199 draft being lauded as one of the deepest in a generation. Looking back, with that kind of projection one has to call the entire 199 draft as a bust!
2) Other than the Sedins(and they have yet to become real superstars) there are a plethera of 'busts'/underachievers, with Stefan merely being the first of many that year!
What, no obligatory missed empty-netter video? For shame, Jes!
Precisely! Don't forget that the #4 pick in that draft was Pavel "Krispy" Brendl, who had recorded an eye-popping 134 (73/61) points in 68 games with the Calgary Hitmen.
In four partial seasons, he has amassed a very disappointing 22 (11/11) points in 78 NHL contests, and has developed a reputation as a very poorly conditioned and lazy player.
He played well enough in Sweden last year, but he and the NHL just don't get along.
As crappy as they are, at least Daigle and Stefan have played regularly at the NHL level.

Henrik Zetterberg was the #210 overall pick in the 1999 draft, and there are several other "good" players from late rounds in that draft. Funny
Close decision Mr. Golbez! Edge to Stefan, Daigle was at least a little bit nuts...
errrm, not sure if the move was leading to this story or you simply didn't know, but five days before you published this stuff, Stefan had signed a contract in Switzerland with SC Bern.

Ignore my previous post. I should read botto-up instead of vice versa like my mail.

I still think Anthony Stewart is the biggest first round draft bust the NHL has seen. Look him up, hes disgraceful
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