Chicago Blackhawks: Top Five Biggest Draft Busts

By Sean Fitzgerald

Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman announces Nick Schmaltz (not pictured) as the number twenty overall pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With the draft right around the corner, there are big wins and there are losses in the draft. This past week we have looked at the best 1st round picks and best sleepers, but today we are looking at the biggest draft busts in Chicago Blackhawks history. The list might be skewed to recent history, there has been a set of RECENT big time busts. Here are the top 5 BIGGEST First round busts in Blackhawks history.

5. Cam Barker (2004) 3rd overall pick- The Blackhawks should have had the number one or two pick in 2004 but the ping pong balls didn’t fall in the Blackhawks favor. The Blackhawks pick fell to third with the first two picks being pretty good in the names of Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. So Former Blackhawks GM Dale Talon didn’t have many options so he took Cam Barker. Barker pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes. during his last year in juniors, he tailed 65 points in 69 games. Barker turned out to a below average defenseman despite all the physical tools. In 296 games, He recorded 94 points and 21 goals. The silver lining when talking about Cam Barker was that the Chicago Blackhawks were able to turn him into Nick Leddy after trading Barker to the Minnesota Wild.

4. Mikhail Yakubov (2000) 10th overall pick-He had a large frame and excellent array of skills which of course we never really witnessed in Chicago. Yakubov was not supposed to fall to former Blackhawks GM Mike Smith at number 10, but when he slipped Smith didn’t pass on Yakubov which in hindsight he should have. Yakubov only appeared in 40 NHL games with the Blackhawks; he racked up a whopping 2 goals and 9 assists for 11 points. He is now currently playing in the KHL.

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3. Dmitri Nabokov (1995) 19th overall pick- He was selected by the Blackhawks 19th in 1995. He was smaller than Jack Skille and actually had reports on him stating “He does not put in the effort”. He appeared in 25 games for the Blackhawks, he had 7 goals and 4 assists. He then moved onto the New York Islanders where he recorded 2 assists in four games. Nabokov went back to Russia and played out the rest of his career there. (This paragraph is longer that his wiki page) .

2. Jack Skille (2005) 7th overall pick- Jack Skille was supposed to be the next big name in the NHL, Skille was going to be the next great NHL power forward. He had a good season final season at the University of Wisconsin, where he racked up 13 goals and 7 assists in route to a National Championship at Wisconsin. Skille did not meet his potential with the Blackhawks and is viewed by some as one of the biggest busts in the last 25 years. In 79 games with the Blackhawks, he had 12 goals and 13 assists. Again like Cam Barker it wasn’t a complete lost when he was shipped out Chicago for another first rounder in Michael Frolik.

1. Kyle Beach (2008) 11th overall pick-Beach was a “true power forward” in the draft. Beach was coming off a solid season with the Everett Silvertip, 60 points in 60 games. The big knock on Beach was his attitude and temperament; he racked up 222 penalty minutes in those 60 games. Many GM’s passed on Beach because of his temperment , but after several more seasons in juniors the Chicago Blackhawks finally inked Beach to an entry level contract. In first season at Rockford, Beach STRUGGLED. He was a -24 and racked up an awful 163 penalty minutes. Beach would never make the Blackhawks and would never reach his potential. He would be dealt to the New York Rangers for Brandon Manshinter, while in Rockford Beach had 41 goals and 35 assists in 169 games.

Well those are the Blackhawks draft busts!

Who is your biggest Draft Bust in Chicago Blackhawks history?

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