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11-17-2012, 05:29 PM
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Further proof that being picked 1st overall but NOT ending up the best player in your draft is very common, and not a disappointment/under-achieving:

Here's all the 1st overall picks from 1990 - 2006, and whether or not they ended up as the best player in their draft. I didn't include the most recent drafts, because for many it's too early to judge.

2006 - Erik Johnson - no (Jonathan Toews, Claude Giroux, Nicklas Backstrom, etc.)
2005 - Sidney Crosby - yes
2004 - Alex Ovechkin - arguable (Evgeni Malkin)
2003 - Marc-Andre Fleury - no (Eric Staal, Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey perry, Zach Parise, etc.)
2002 - Rick Nash - arguable (Duncan Keith, Cam Ward)
2001 - Ilya Kovalchuk - arguable (Jason Spezza)
2000 - Rick DiPietro - no (Lundqvist, Heatley, Gaborik, etc.)
1999 - Patrick Stefan - no (Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Ryan Miller, Martin Havlat, etc.)
1998 - Vinny Lecavalier - no (Pavel Datsyuk)
1997 - Joe Thornton - yes (though not far ahead of guys like Marian Hossa and Roberto Luongo)
1996 - Chris Philips - no (Zdeno Chara, Daniel Briere, Tomas Kaberle, etc.)
1995 - Bryan Berard - no (Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan, Miikka Kiprusoff, etc.)
1994 - Ed Jovanovski - no (Daniel Alfredsson, Patrik Elias, etc.)
1993 - Alexandre Daigle - no (Chris Pronger, Paul Kariya, Todd Bertuzzi, Kimmo Timonen, etc.)
1992 - Roman Hamrlik - no (Sergei Gonchar)
1991 - Eric Lindros - arguable (Peter Forsberg, Scott Niedermayer)
1990 - Owen Nolan - no (Jaromir Jagr, Martin Brodeur, etc.)

Of these 17 consecutive drafts, the 1st overall pick was only the clear best player in his draft on two occasions (Crosby in 2005 and Thornton in 1997). In another 4 cases the 1st overall pick was arguably the best player in his draft (and that's being generous, for example Lindros being arguably as good as Forsberg), and in the other 11 cases the 1st overall pick was clearly not the best player in his draft. So the vast majority of the time, the 1st overall pick does not end up the best player in their draft. That doesn't make them a disappointment, though, you'd be crazy to call guys like Owen Nolan and Vincent Lecavalier disappointments just because other players from their draft years ended up better.

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