Each year in the NHL Entry Draft, teams are hopeful that their picks will pan out. But heading into the draft every year, there seems to be a couple of players with huge hype that is going to follow them into their career. While some players like Crosby and Ovechkin could handle it and live up to the hype, these three guys could not.
1. Rick Dipietro
In the 2000 NHL Draft, the New York Islanders made Rick Dipietro the first ever goalie selected first overall. Not only that, but the team actually traded their two talented and established goalies (Roberto Luongo and Kevin Weekes) and basically handed their rookie the starting job, all while vouching for the guy’s special talent in the media. After two years of decently successful play, the team rewarding him with a ridiculous 15 year contract worth over 16 Million dollars. With that kind of pressure and hype behind him, he was destined to fail to live up to it. While he had a bit of moderate success, none that would justify them picking him that high or paying him that much.
2. Patrik Stefan
When you’re a former first overall pick and your career is most remembered for you missing a wide open net to win a game, you’ve had a pretty rough career. Stefan was taken first overall in the 1999 NHL Draft and was hyped up a ton as a great scorer. Unfortunately, Stefan scored under 200 points in over 450 career games and his highest scoring output was only 40 points. While his hype wasn’t as big as our next entry (and his draft class was fairly weak), there is no arguing that he didn’t live up to the hype.
3. Alexandre Daigle
This is one of the craziest examples and I would argue we have never seen hype like this in NHL history. Leading up to the 1993 NHL Draft, Daigle was seen as a can’t-miss prospect and it was even accused that the Ottawa Senators intentionally lost games that season to get the first pick. They weren’t the only team into him as a number of teams offered a king’s ransom to the Sens, but they wouldn’t trade the pick. Throughout his career, Daigle would never score more than 51 points in a season and was a humungous disappointment.