Which franchise has had best luck in the draft all-time
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03-15-2013, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
You have to pick the Pens here although I will say that the Red Wings with all of their late picks are up there too. However, until they got Yzerman in 1983 they had a string of awful teams and awful drafts.
From a top end perspective I'd say the Pens. In 1984 they wanted Lemieux so bad they sort of tanked near the end of the season in order to make sure New Jersey didn't have less points than them. They brought up their minor league goalie and so on and so forth. The difference was they got Lemieux and Jersey got Muller. Ask me if the Pens would do that over again.
So they get the most talented player to ever play the game. Then Jagr slips in the first few picks of the draft which never made sense to me. Then winning the lottery in 2003 to get Fleury, having a big top end draft in 2004 with two elite Russians (Malkin will have the better career IMO) and winning the lottery to get Crosby, who is his generation's best player. Also being lousy the first year and getting Staal that high didn't hurt. So the Pens were bad at the right time.
Another pick for me, the Islanders. What? That's right, just because they are a poorly managed team it doesn't mean they didn't get lucky with the draft. Potvin 1st overall in 1973. Trottier somehow doesn't go until 22nd overall in 1974. Bossy goes 15th in 1977 and teams shy away from him thinking he lack of physicality will hold him back. Then they get Lafontaine in 1983 right after they win 4 Cups (can't remember the trade that made them pick that high).
When all the dust is settled and they start becoming awful again they get lucky in the mid 1990s. Berard holds out from Ottawa and then comes to NYI for Redden. They had two picks in the top 5 in 1997 (Luongo, Brewer) and were in the position to draft either one of Heatley or Gaborik in 2000. Not to mention had the chance to get Spezza in 2001. So yes, they had great luck in the draft but just terrible management and Milbury did quite the number on that franchise.
Good luck doesn't always mean success (eg. Columbus, NYI in later years, Florida)
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