San Jose Sharks: Top 10 Worst First Round Picks


As the Stanley Cup Finals began earlier in the week, it means we are closing in on a very important offseason for the San Jose Sharks. This offseason will determine whether or not the front office realized their mistakes last year were ridiculous, or if they want to carry on with this “rebuild” or whatever it is they’re doing.

But before we speculate on who would fit in the Sharks system, I’m going to fulfill my love of lists while honoring the disappointing season it was, and bring you the Top-10 worst first round draft picks in San Jose Sharks history.

10. Ty Wishart

Ty Wishart was drafted 16th overall in the 2006 NHL draft and never played a game for the Sharks. Normally, not playing a game for the team that drafted you in the first round would be top-5 worthy, but he never played a game for the Sharks because he was traded for Dan Boyle.

Wishart has only played 26 games in his NHL career, and the Sharks were able to get rid of him in return for one of the Sharks top defenseman for the last seven years, and that means he only ends up 10th. But make no mistake, he’s still a bust.

9. 2008 First Rounder

The Sharks had no first round pick, because they traded it away for Brian Campbell. Campbell was a rental defenseman to help the Sharks get a chance at a Cup, and left in free agency the following season. Everybody knew Campbell was a rental, but with the pick the Sharks gave them, the Buffalo Sabres drafted Tyler Ennis. Obviously, hindsight is always 20/20, but I’d rather have Ennis then half of a year of Campbell, and that puts this at number nine.

8. Andrei Nazarov

Andrei Nazarov was a left-winger taken 10th overall in the 1992 NHL Draft. He played for the Sharks for four years, but never played a full season with the team, and only managed 23 career goals in 169 games. For a 10th overall pick, a winger needs more goals than that.

7. Viktor Kozlov

Viktor Kozlov was taken 6th overall in the 1993 NHL Draft, and managed to score a whopping 29 goals with the Sharks in the span of 174 games. Not only did he have a short career with the Sharks, but his disappointing numbers for a 6th overall center puts him at number seven on this list.

6. Jeff Jillson

Jeff Jillson was taken 14th overall in the 1999 NHL Draft and only played a total of about one season with the Sharks. Not good.

More from Draft

5. Andrei Zyuzin 

Taken 2nd overall in the 1996 NHL Draft, defenseman Andrei Zyuzin played a total of about one season with the Sharks. Yeah, exactly like Jillson. But being taken 2nd overall makes it much worse in the case of Zyuzin. Complete bust.

4. Lukas Kaspar

Lukas Kaspar was taken 22nd overall in the 2004 NHL Draft and played 16 games with the Sharks. Not even 1/4th of a season as a first round draft pick. Shockingly bad, and yet somehow not the worst.

3. Nick Petrecki

How do you get worse than only playing 16 games as a first round pick for the team that drafted you? Try playing one game. As the 28th pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, Petrecki played a whopping total of one game in the NHL. But hey, at least he got to play in the NHL…

2. Mike Morris

Just like Nick Petrecki, Mike Morris was a late first rounder in the 2002 NHL draft. Now, I know late first rounders like Morris and Petrecki aren’t guaranteed stars in the league, but a first round draft pick should be able to play more than just one game in the NHL for the team that drafted them. Petrecki wasn’t able to, and neither was Morris. Morris never played a game with the San Jose Sharks. Not a single game. What could possibly be worse than that?

1. Teemu Riihijarvi 

I can tell you what’s worse than playing no games in the NHL as the 27th overall pick. Playing no games in the NHL as the 12th overall pick. That’s right. As the 12th overall pick in the 1995 draft, Teemu Riihijarvi has played the exact same number of games in the NHL as I have. Zero.

Fear not though, fellow Sharks fans. While there have been some pretty horrid first round draft picks over the years, there have also been some really good ones. But more on that at a later date…

More from Blades of Teal