NHL hockey is right around the corner, and as a fan this is a great time of year. As a Bruins fan I'm even more excited for the upcoming season than I normally would be since the team (who only missed the Eastern Conference finals last year due to a monumental collapse) appears to have gotten significantly better. Team scapegoat Dennis Wideman (who in all fairness played pretty well in the playoffs last year) was dealt, bringing Nathan Horton into the fold, and more importantly the B's used the number 2 overall pick, acquired from Toronto in the Kessel trade to draft highly-touted prospect Tyler Seguin.
Like most Bruins fans, I'm really excited to see what Seguin can bring to the table as a scorer, something the Bruins have been desperately lacking of late. Well, last night, while scanning in some cards I ran across one that reminded me to temper my expectations for Tyler:
For those of you who aren't NHL fans or don't recognize the name, here's a little background info. This guy was the number 1 overall pick in the 1993 NHL entry draft. In the season before that draft everyone was predicting that he would be an absolute stud, sure to be a prolific goal scorer at the NHL level. In fact, he was so coveted that some accused the Senators of tanking games towards the end of the prior season to ensure they got the number 1 overall pick. The Nordiques were so high on him that apparently they offered players like Peter Forsberg (and draft picks!) for a chance to draft him. Even I, as an 11 year old, had heard enough that if I were to pull this card from a pack back in '93 it probably would've gone into a screw-down holder!
Well as it turns out Daigle never really amounted to much as an NHL player (and I got this card from the quarter bin). In fact, that's an understatement. You could make an argument that he was the single biggest bust of any #1 overall draft pick in the history of the league. The Senators owners stuck by him, in fact they did so for far too long, pissing off Alexei Yashin (who was far more effective yet was paid less and eventually became so frustrated he left the team) in the process. Eventually even they realized he was a bust and he bounced around to a few more teams. He was out of hockey altogether after the 1999-2000 season, at age 25!
He did attempt a (fairly successful) comeback a couple of years later, and actually had his best NHL season in 2003-04 with the Minnesota Wild (51 points in 78 games). Nonetheless, he is living proof that you don't always get what you expect in the draft. Let's hope Seguin has a much better career with the Bruins than Daigle did. By the way, do you know who was taken 2nd right after Daigle? Chris Pronger. Ouch!