Drafting is one of the hardest things to do in professional sports because there's no way to really know if someone is going to be a good player or not. Every team makes bad draft picks from time to time, it's just a part of sports. However, over the past decade, it seems the Boston Bruins have been particularly bad at drafting, which has set the team back greatly. Here I look at the 10 worst draft picks by the Bruins in the last 10 years. This goes from the 2006 draft to the 2016 draft. Also, it's based on expectations, the higher the pick, the higher the expectations.
10. Joe Colborne, 16th overall in 2008
When the Bruins drafted Joe Colborne in the 1st round of the 2008 draft, they thought they were getting a big forward that would develop into a solid two-way player. Unfortunately, that never happened. Colborne never played a game for the Boston Bruins, and didn't even last a full season in Providence, Boston's AHL team. In 2010-11, after 55 games with the Providence Bruins, Colborne had just 12 goals, 26 points, and was -16. This prompted the Bruins to involve him in a trade to Toronto for Tomas Kaberle. Since leaving the Bruins, Colborne has bounced around the league and has played games for Toronto, Calgary, and Colorado. While Colborne has stuck around the NHL, he certainly has not lived up to the expectations of a first round pick. In 264 career games he has just 110 points and a career -30 rating. The Bruins were certainly hoping for a lot more from such a high draft pick.
Notable players taken shortly after Colborne: Luca Sbisa, Michael Del Zotto, and Jordan Eberle
9. Ryan Button, 86th overall in 2009
When the Bruins spent their third round pick in 2009 on defenseman Ryan Button, they hoped he would at least have a chance of the making the NHL. They were very wrong. Button was a total bust for the Bruins, and actually spent for time in the ECHL than AHL. He never came close to playing in Boston. Button bounced between the AHL and ECHL for a number of years before leaving for Europe. Button has spent the last 3 seasons in the German elite league DEL, where he has been fairly successful. Still, Button was a huge bust for the Bruins, playing in zero NHL games. Certainly not what Boston was hoping for from a 3rd round pick.
Notable players taken shortly after Button: Casey Cizikas, David Savard, and Mattias Ekholm
8. Anthony Camara, 81st overall in 2011
The Boston Bruins took Anthony Camara in the third round of the 2011 draft with the hopes that he would develop into a power forward that could at least play on the 4th line in Boston. He was supposed to be a guy that could hit, fight, kill penalties, and add a little bit of offense. He turned out to be pretty bad at all of those things. Camara spent 3 seasons with the Providence Bruins and progressively got worse every year. He never touched NHL ice. In 150 games with Providence, Camara scored just 12 goals and 35 points, plus he never had more than 54 penalty minutes. Camara turned out to be nothing like the Bruins thought he would be, and was traded last season. He has spent most of this season in the ECHL, playing in just 2 AHL games. At the time he was drafted, Camara seemed to be the perfect Boston Bruin, but he turned out to be a total waste of a pick.
Notable players taken shortly after Camara: Nick Shore, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Johnny Gaudreau
7. Yuri Alexandrov, 37th overall in 2006
You never know what is going to happen when you draft a Russian player, and the Bruins took a big chance when they drafted Yuri Alexandrov in the second round of the 2006 draft. Their risk did not pay off as Alexandrov never touched NHL ice and played just one season with the Providence Bruins before returning to Russia. Alexandrov's only season in North America was in 2010-11 when he played 66 games for the Providence Bruins. He went back to the KHL after that season and has played there ever since. Boston gambled and lost by picking Alexandrov with such a high pick.
Notable players taken shortly after Alexandrov: Nikolay Kulemin, Jeff Petry, and Shawn Matthias
6. Jordan Caron, 25th overall in 2009
One of the few people on this list to spend substantial time in Boston, Jordan Caron was still a huge bust for the Bruins. Caron was supposed to be a big power forward with a lot of offensive upside for the Bruins. Unfortunately he never developed into a good player and still plays in the AHL. Caron bounced between Providence and Boston for most of his career with the Bruins, and eventually was traded away. Not the fate the Bruins had hoped for when they took him in the first round. Caron has played 157 NHL games, but has just 28 career points and will likely never see NHL ice again.
Notable players taken shortly after Caron: Kyle Palmieri, Ryan O'Reilly, and Kyle Clifford
5. Maxime Sauve, 47th overall in 2008
Maxime Sauve was supposed to be a highly skilled forward coming out of the QMJHL, and the Bruins thought he would develop into a top six NHL forward. Sauve played 158 games with the Providence Bruins, but only put up moderate offensive numbers. He got to play one game in Boston in 2011-12, but that was it. He never became the point producer he was supposed to, and has bounced around the AHL, ECHL, and Europe for the last few years. The Bruins were hoping for a lot more with their 2nd round pick.
Notable players taken shortly after Sauve: Derek Stepan, Travis Hamonic, and Marco Scandella
4. Alexander Khokhlachev, 40th overall in 2011
Another Russian and another bad 2nd round pick. Much like Sauve, Khokhlachev was a highly skilled forward taken in the second round that was supposed to develop into an NHL point producer. He never did. Khokhlachev spent a number of years in Providence and put up great numbers. In 197 games, he scored 171 points, mostly assists. Unfortunately for the Bruins and Khokhlachev, those numbers never translated to the NHL, and in 9 NHL games, he had zero points. Knowing his time as a Bruin was up after last season, Khokhlachev returned to Russia this year. He is just another bad second round pick by the Bruins.
Notable players taken shortly after Khokhlachev: Brandon Saad, Brett Ritchie, and Joel Edmundson
3. Jared Knight, 32nd overall in 2010
The list of atrocious second round picks continues for the Bruins with Jared Knight. After a very successful career in juniors, Knight was supposed to be goal scoring winger for the Bruins. Unfortunately, he was putrid for the Providence Bruins and never played a game in the NHL. In 107 games with Providence, Knight scored just 7 goals and 27 points. Of all the bad second round picks, Knight was by far the worst. He was absolutely abysmal. The Bruins finally got rid of him in 2015 and he now plays in Denmark. Knight was a big miss for the Bruins.
Notable players taken shortly after Knight: Alex Petrovic, Justin Faulk, and Devante Smith-Pelly
2. Malcom Subban, 24th overall in 2012
We're finally done with bad second round picks and now we have a terrible first round pick. Rather than help an aging defense, Bruin's management saw it fit to draft a goalie with their first round pick in 2012. Big mistake! Malcolm Subban has been a disaster for the Bruins and can't even win the starting job in the AHL. Subban has never won more than 16 games in the AHL and never been the starter for an entire season. This season he has been abysmal, and his career as a Bruin appears to be coming to an end. He has played two NHL games and lost both, while posting a 5.81 goals against average. Subban will not be resigned after this season and likely won't be picked up by another team. Europe may be his only option after his career with the Bruins.
Notable players taken shortly after Subban: Brendan Gaunce, Brady Skjei, and Tanner Pearson
1. Zach Hamill, 8th overall in 2007
Zach Hamill is by far the worst Bruins draft pick of the last decade. A top ten pick is expected to be not only an NHL player, but a quality NHL player. Hamill turned out to be neither. He played 256 games for the Providence Bruins, putting up 139 points. Those are not good numbers for a top ten draft pick, and his NHL numbers are even worse. Hamill only played in 20 games for Boston and scored 0 goals and 4 assists. Those 20 games were 20 too many. Since leaving the Bruins in 2012, Hamill bounced around the AHL for a few years, and is now bouncing around Europe. He is one of the worst Bruin's picks in the team's history. What a waste of a pick that should be spent on a future star.
Notable players taken shortly after Hamill: Logan Couture, Ryan McDonagh, and Kevin Shattenkirk