The Biggest Blackhawks Draft Mistakes Of The Last 25 Years

Published May 2, 2022 at 2:09

It's doesn't matter what the sport is, draft picks bust all the time. Whether their game doesn't translate to the professional level, injuries derail their career or they aren't given the opportunity, the list goes on and on.

The Blackhawks for the most part have drafted well with the selections of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford, to name a few. However there have also been some head scratching selections that definitely didn't pan out.

Let's start with arguably the worst 3rd overall pick in recent memory, defenseman Cam Barker in 2004. Players taken right after him were Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler. To make matters worse, the Hawks should have had a top-two pick that season. Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin went 1-2. Oh what could have been.

Barker won gold playing for Canada at the 2005 and 2006 World Junior Championships and put up a solid 40 points in 2008-09, his first full season with the Hawks. His career would only take a downward turn from there though. He would struggle mightily the following season and was traded to the Minnesota Wild in a deal that brought in Nick Leddy. In 72 games with the Wild over two seasons, he only recorded a miniscule 12 points.

Next on the struggle bus was Jack Skille, the seventh overall pick in 2005. General manager Dale Tallon felt so strongly about Skille that he picked him over center Anze Kopitar. Ouch. Maybe he thought the winger actually had skill as his name would suggest. In 79 games with Chicago, Skille amassed only 25 points. Tallon continued his faith trading for Skille with the Florida Panthers in 2011 in a deal that brought Michael Frolik to the Hawks.

Finally, we'll look at the 2000 Draft where the Blackhawks had picks 10 and 11. They selected Mikhail Yakubov and Pavel Vorobiev, respectively. Yakubov played in 40 games for Chicago and registered just 11 points. Vorobiev, a speedy winger, registered 25 points in 57 games. Both players returned to the KHL in 2005. Still on the board after these two were picked were Brooks Orpik, Steve Ott and Niklas Kronwall.

It's easy to look back now and see these were clearly the wrong selections for many reasons, but the truth is no one knows for sure who is going to produce or be a potential difference maker. Every organization has their share of busts.

May 2   |   91 answers
The Biggest Blackhawks Draft Mistakes Of The Last 25 Years

Who was a bigger bust?

Cam Barker5459.3 %
Jack Skille3740.7 %
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