With the ninth pick in the 2008 NHL draft, the Chicago Blackhawks selected Kyle Beach. Beach wouldn’t play a single NHL game.
The Chicago Blackhawks drafting Kyle Beach over stars Jake Gardiner, Erik Karlsson, Braden Holtby, Tyler Myers, Tyler Ennis, and Twitter troll Zach Boychuk was a big mistake. Beach would never lace up the skates for the Blackhawks during the regular season, leaving the organization during the 2013-14 season.
Even scouts were hyping Beach up as one of the best forward’s in the entire draft. It turns out, he was one of the worst.
"The top, true power forward in the draft, drawing comparisons to Owen Nolan and Claude Lemieux. He plays with a nastiness that sometimes gets him into trouble. He can do it all, score, hit, and fight if need be. Not a great skater."
Beach wasn’t always a terrible player though, his skill just didn’t transfer to the professional level. With the Everett Silvertips, he scored 64 goals with 75 assists for 139 points in 149 games throughout three seasons there.
What the Blackhawks saw was talent, without taking the Ryan Leaf diva attitude into play. If there’s anyone to compare Beach to, it’s Leaf. Beach and Leaf were projected to do big things in their respective sports. Beach was out of the AHL at 24, Leaf was out of the NFL at 25.
The credit I give Dale Tallon for the success of the 2010s Blackhawks doesn’t make him perfect. He’s slipped up in the first round many times. His guys have been home run or miss. It just turns out that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane turned out to be first-ballot Hall of Famers.
So why didn’t Beach find any success in the NHL?
"“There were a million things but I have to take responsibility for my part in it,” – Kyle Beach"
Beach had a lack of talent and a bad attitude when he started. He had no shot of being an NHL player with his poor work ethic and Stan Bowman having no interest in him. Bowman didn’t draft Beach, he didn’t have the attachment Tallon had.
I wasn’t around him or the IceHogs during his time there, so I can’t give my full assessment on the player, who is considered one of the biggest draft busts in team history.
Besides a shot of playing with the Blackhawks, they also gave Beach a Stanley Cup ring in 2010, even though he never played.
Beach currently still plays hockey for Miskolci DVTK Polar Bears in the Slovak league. Even though he’s found teams to play on since leaving the AHL, he hasn’t captured that success that many believed he would have.
Final Assessment: “Was Kyle Beach the biggest bust in franchise history?: Yes. With all of the other big busts, at least they played games for the team. Beach didn’t even touch the ice.