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Wasted picks (cont.)

Posted: Thursday June 22, 2006 3:02PM; Updated: Thursday June 22, 2006 3:34PM
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Once upon a time, Wild defenseman Andrei Zyuzin was the No. 2 overall pick -- by the San Jose Sharks.
Once upon a time, Wild defenseman Andrei Zyuzin was the No. 2 overall pick -- by the San Jose Sharks.
Jeff Vinnick/Gett Images

4. Doug Wickenheiser, C, Montreal Canadiens
Selected: No. 1 overall, 1980
GM: Irving Grundman
NHL stats: 556 games, 111 goals, 276 points

The fans wanted Quebec native Denis Savard, but the Habs opted for a Western League star who scored 89 goals and 170 points in his final year of junior in Regina. After netting 19 goals in his first 97 games over two injury-marred seasons, Wickenheiser posted career-highs of 25 goals and 55 points in '82-83. He was popular in St. Louis, where he played three-plus seasons before bouncing around the NHL, playing in Europe and finally the IHL. Sadly, Wickenheiser lost his battle with cancer in January 1999, at age 37.

Other '80 first-round picks: Dave Babych (WPG, 2nd), Denis Savard (CHI, 3rd), Larry Murphy (LA, 4th), Paul Coffey (EDM, 6th), Mike Bullard (PIT, 9th), Brent Sutter (NYI, 17th), Barry Pederson (BOS, 18th)

5. Alexander Daigle, C, Ottawa Senators
Selected: No. 1 overall, 1993
GM: Randy Sexton
NHL stats: 616 games, 129 goals, 327 points

A prolific scoring machine in junior with Victoriaville, Daigle was inked by the Sens to a five-year, $12.5-million deal. The Montreal native produced 20 goals and 51 points as a rookie, but he has not surpassed that point total in a career that has seen him skate for six teams, plus a two-year hiatus in which he attempted to catch on in Hollywood. Daigle, 31, played in 46 games for the Wild this season and registered 28 points.

Other '93 first round picks: Chris Pronger (HFD, 2nd), Paul Kariya (ANA, 4th), Jason Arnott (EDM, 7th), Saku Koivu (MTL, 21st), Todd Bertuzzi (NYI, 23rd).

6. Pat Falloon, RW San Jose Sharks
Selected: No. 2 overall, 1991
GM: Jack Ferreira
NHL stats: 575 games, 143 goals, 322 points

Following Quebec's selection of Eric Lindros, San Jose picked Falloon, who had a pair of 60-goal seasons with Spokane. Ironically, he would later play with Lindros in Philly and have one of his best seasons. Yet, his best didn't come close to measuring up. He scored 25 goals twice, but could do no better, and never had as many as 60 points in any of his nine seasons. Speaking of Philly, Falloon was dealt by the Flyers to Ottawa during the '97-98 campaign for. . . Alexander Daigle.

Other '91 first-round picks: Scott Niedermayer (NJ, 3rd), Peter Forsberg (PHI, 6th), Brian Rolston (NJ, 11th), Alexei Kovalev (NYR, 15th), Markus Naslund (PIT, 16th), Glen Murray (BOS, 18th)

7. Dave Chyzowski, LW, New York Islanders
Selected: No. 2 overall, 1989
GM: Bill Torrey
NHL stats: 126 games, 15 goals, 31 points

After Quebec took Mats Sundin, the Islanders selected Chyzowski, who was coming off a 56-goal season for Kamloops. But Chyzowski spent more time with the AHL's Capital District Islanders than he did on Long Island during his six seasons (118 NHL games) with the organization. After a few years in the IHL, Chyzowski traveled to Europe, where he continues to flourish. The 35-year-old scored 25 goals in 48 games this season while playing in Austria.

Other '89 first-round picks: Bill Guerin (NJ, 5th), Bobby Holik (HFD, 10th), Olie Kolzig (WSH, 19th)

8. Andrei Zyuzin, D, San Jose Sharks
Selected: No. 2 overall, 1996
GM: Dean Lombardi
NHL stats: 415 games, 35 goals, 109 points

Ottawa selected Chris Phillips No. 1, leaving the Sharks to pluck the Russian Zyuzin with the first of their two opening-round picks. (Marco Sturm, 23rd, was the other.) The defenseman starred in international competition as a junior, but he played all of 81 games in San Jose and was suspended late in the 1998-99 season for leaving the team without permission. Zyuzin, still only 28, has since played for three more teams in an injury-plagued career. He had 18 points in 57 games for the Wild in '05-06.

Other '96 first-round picks: J.P. Dumont (NYI, 3rd), Derek Morris (CGY, 13th), Daniel Briere (PHX, 24th).

9. Blair Chapman, RW, Pittsburgh Penguins
Selected: No. 2 overall, 1976
GM: Wren Blair
NHL stats: 402 games, 106 goals, 231 points

Ironically, when Barry Dean was dealt from Edmonton to Phoenix, the Oilers received the Roadrunners' No. 1 pick in the 1976 WHA Draft, which turned out to be Chapman. The Pens also selected him in the NHL Draft after he scored 71 goals in 69 games for Saskatoon. He reported to the NHL club and scored in his debut. Chapman had three 20-goal seasons, but topped out at 25 with St. Louis in 1979-80 before injuries derailed his career.

Other '76 first-round picks: Bernie Federko (STL 7th), Real Cloutier (CHI, 9th)

10. Doug Smith, C, Los Angeles Kings
Selected: No. 2 overall, 1981
GM: George Maguire
NHL stats: 535 games, 115 goals, 253 points

After scoring 101 points in 54 games in junior with Ottawa, the 18-year-old was then the youngest player to put on a Kings uniform. Picked behind Winnipeg's Dale Hawerchuk, Smith scored 16 goals as a rookie, but would top that total only once (21 in '84-85) and he never scored more than 41 points. Later in his career, Smith was called up from Rochester when Sabres great Gil Perreault retired, and scored Buffalo's 5,000th goal.

Other '81 first-round picks: Bobby Carpenter (WASH, 3rd), Ron Francis (HART, 4th), Grant Fuhr (EDM, 8th), James Patrick (NYR, 9th), Al MacInnis (CAL, 15th)