History Has Judged!
Last time out, we looked at the best Canuck draft picks of all time.
In today’s article, the focus is on the biggest disappointments. Vancouver has had the benefit, thanks to some truly dire past seasonal performances, of very high section positions but conspired to completely bollox the opportunities.
Although the choices of the 1970s were actually reasonable for the most part, the 1980s and 1990s were the apex of this ineptitude, and constitute the lion’s share of the top five biggest draft busts.
5. Petr Nedved (1990 – Round 1 – 2nd overall)
The Canucks have had the second choice (their best position ever) in the draft four times in their history. The other selections were Dale Tallon (very solid long term player), Trevor Linden (greatest Canuck ever), and Daniel Sedin (pure talent). By comparison, Petr Nedved was a real disappointment.
He came out of the Seattle Thunderbirds with an immense reputation and highly impressive stats, but played weakly and had a poor attitude.
He lasted only three years after a contract impasse and would go on to play for a variety of teams in the NHL, often wearing out his welcome. For all his talent Nedved only broke a point-a-game pace in two seasons, one was injury interrupted and the other was with the Mario Lemieux led Pittsburgh Penguins.
Coulda Woulda Shoulda: Instead of Nedved in 1990, the Canucks could have had Jaromir Jagr or Martin Brodeur.
4. Jason Herter (1989 – Round 1 – 8th overall)
Herter was an offensive defenseman with some promise who struggled with groin injuries throughout his career. He lasted just a couple of seasons in the Vancouver minor leagues before moving on.
He would play a grand total of one game in the NHL, with the Islanders, and ended up in Europe.
Coulda Woulda Shoulda:Instead of Herter in 1989, the Canucks could have selected Bobby Holik, Mike Sillinger or Adam Foote.
3. Dan Woodley (1986 – Round 1 – 7th overall)
Woodley was an offensive centre who played a grand total of only 5 games in the NHL, all with the Canucks. He was shipped off to Montreal but had two poor years in their minor leagues and eventually dropped down to the ECHL.
Coulda Woulda Shoulda: Instead of Woodley in 1986, The Canucks missed out on Brian Leetch two picks after.
2. Patrick White (2007 – Round 1 – 25th overall)
White joined the University of Minnesota program just after being drafted by Vancouver but faded quickly after a promising freshman season.
His rights were traded away to the San Jose Sharks, in a salary dump for the finned ones, as part of an exchange that brought Christian Ehrhoff on the bright side.
White’s poor play and attitude has yet to see him make it to the NHL.
In a world of scouting where teams are supposed to have the ability to compile a much more comprehensive profile of potential players, the choice of White was quite disappointing.
Coulda Woulda Shoulda: Instead of White in 2007, the Canucks could have chosen David Perron or PK Subban.
1. Libor Polasek (1992 – Round 1 -21st overall)
Hands down, Polasek reigns as the absolute worst Canucks pick of all time.
The team chose him based on his supposed potential as a large, skilled centre but his production was appalling.
He managed a paltry 22 minor league goals in five AHL/ECHL seasons despite overly generous playing time and never made it to the NHL. He quietly lived out his professional career banished to the hinterland of the Czech & Slovak leagues, where presumably his North American contract money afforded him a nice little herd of goats.
Coulda Woulda Shoulda: Instead of the statue that was Polasek, the Canucks could have selected Pavel’s little brother Valeri Bure.
Enjoy some video of Patrick White. Ya we WERE excited about bringing this young kid into Vancouver. Key word there. “WERE”