There have been plenty of busts along the way, a lot more than we thought there would be.
The No. 10 slot in the NHL entry draft has produced a lot of good players over the years. But we were surprised to see not one of them in the Hockey Hall of Fame, although one will surely get there in the next several years.
In the 39 years of the NHL draft, well over half of the No. 10 picks had careers that were less than distinguished considering the lofty standards expected of a top 10 selection.
Al Blanchard, 1972, where did you go? Hal Philipoff, 1976, and Dan Blackburn, 2001, we know you had injury issues. Dan Gratton, 1985, and Mikhail Yakubov, 2000, your NHL careers burned out not long after the opening faceoff.
Here are our 10 best in the No. 10 slot:
10. Jocelyn Thibault, 1993. Resilient stopper was always on the verge of greatness.
9. Martin Lapointe, 1991. Third line specialist very valuable at both ends of the ice.
8. Rich Sutter, 1982. He didn’t have the polish of the other Sutters, but all the grit and more.
7. Jim Fox, 1980. Crafty King had a short-lived career, but now talks a good game.
6. Steve Vickers, 1971. Moustachioed Ranger regularly led NHL in shooting percentage.
5. Garth Butcher, 1981. Tough as nails in his own end; teammates loved his short fuse.
4. Mark Napier, 1977. Speedy forward had nice finish and versatility.
3. Rick Chartraw, 1974. Unsung defensive defenseman for multiple champion Habs teams.
2. Bobby Holik, 1989. Two-way shutdown artist was a force in New Jersey.
1. Teemu Selanne, 1988. Destined to become only No. 10 pick in the Hall of Fame.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on thehockeyenews.com. If you enjoy this feature, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine for the exclusive countdown, Starting From 10, and other great features from the world of hockey.