The Boston Bruins have selected some pretty terrific players in the first round of the draft, but they've also made some pretty terrible selections as well.
With the NHL season on pause due to the coronavirus, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at some of the worst B's draft picks since 2000. It's important to note that not all of these players are total busts, but could end up in that category if they don't shape up in the next few years.
So, without further ado, here are the worst Bruins' first-round selections the past 20 years.
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Martin Samuelsson - 27th overall (2000)
Samuelsson was selected by the Bruins 27th overall in 2000 and honestly, it wasn't a great pick. They could've had Justin Williams, who was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers right after Samuelsson, or defenseman Niklas Kronwall. who landed with the Detroit Red Wings.
Samuelsson had just one assist through 14 games with Boston, and could never stick on the NHL roster. His 2002-03 season with the AHL Providence Bruins was promising: 39 points (24 goals, 15 assists) in 64 games, but that didn't translate to NHL success.
Hannu Toivonen - 29th overall (2002)
When you select a goalie in the first round, you should probably be sure he can handle NHL action. While goaltenders do take longer to develop, the Bruins' choice of Toivonen at 29th in 2002 was not a good one. The other goaltenders drafted in the first round included Kari Lehtonen and Cam Ward, both of whom have found success in the NHL.
Players selected after Toivonen include Johnny Boychuk, Duncan Keith, Matt Stajan and Jiri Hudler, all of whom could've been a better fit in Boston. In 38 games with the Bruins, Toivonen went 12-14-5 with a .896 save percentage and a 3.33 goals-against average. Yikes. And people say Tuukka Rask is bad.
It should be noted that Toivonen suffered a rough ankle sprain halfway through the 2005-06 season, and it seemed like he never regained his form after that. He posted some great numbers for the B's AHL affiliate in Providence, but ultimately couldn't make things work in Boston.
Matt Lashoff - 22nd overall (2005)
What's funny about this pick is that Rask was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs one spot ahead of Lashoff, and yet, the B's still managed to land Rask in a trade with the Leafs. Anyway, this Lashoff pick was pretty bad. T.J. Oshie, Andrew Cogliano, Matt Niskanen and Steve Downie were all selected behind him. Downie wasn't that great, but he certainly had a better career than Lashoff. And how about that Oshie guy, huh?
In three seasons and 46 games with the Bruins, Lashoff tallied eight points (one goal, seven assists) before being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Mark Recchi and a second-round pick. Now that ended up being a steal as Recchi played a big role in the B's 2011 Stanley Cup championship.
Lashoff was actually pretty good in AHL Providence, recording two 30-plus point seasons. Not bad for a defenseman. Unfortunately, he never took his game to the next level.
Zach Hamill - 8th overall (2007)
The Hamill pick is absolutely, without a doubt, the worst Bruins pick of the past two decades. Let's take a look at all the players selected after Hamill: Logan Couture, Ryan McDonagh, Lars Eller, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ian Cole, Riley Nash, Max Pacioretty, Mikael Backlund, David Perron, the list goes on. How did the Bruins miss so badly with this pick? Honestly, who knows?
In 20 games with the Bruins, Hamill recorded a measly four assists. For the record, though, Hamill had some impressive numbers in the WHL, recording three 50-plus point seasons, but that ultimately didn't translate to professional success.
Jordan Caron - 25th overall (2009)
Selecting Jordan Caron 25th in 2009 is another head-scratcher, especially when Kyle Palmieri was selected immediately after him. In five seasons and 134 games with the Bruins, Caron tallied just 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists). He also wasn't ever really that great in the AHL either. So, this was a disappointing selection.
*NOTE: The next two players aren't necessarily busts... yet. But they could be within the next few years*
Jakub Zboril- 13th overall (2015)
This is where things get difficult. Zboril wasn't drafted too long ago and still has some time to develop, but things just don't seem to be pointing in his favor. You can't help but look at all the players who have found success that were drafted behind him... Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, Thomas Chabot, Brock Boeser, Travis Konecny and Anthony Beauvillier.
How long are Bruins fans going to keep saying "He still has time to develop, relax." or "It can still work out. He's developing well in Providence?" Sure, but time is dwindling for this kid to crack Boston's lineup.
Since joining Providence in 2017, Zboril has recorded three consecutive seasons of 19 points. Now, that's consistent, and it's not bad, but he's not necessarily improving on the offense. However, he has become much smarter defensively. Another full season in Providence could do him some good.
The other problem with Zboril cracking the lineup is the immense amount of depth the Bruins have at the position now. He's going to need to step up if he plans on beating out Jeremy Lauzon or Urho Vaakaninen.
Now, Zboril isn't necessarily a bust... yet. But he could be within the next few years.
Zach Senyshyn - 15th overall (2015)
The Senyshyn situation is the same as Zboril's. Shape up or you're not going to crack the Bruins roster. After two 20-plus point seasons in Providence, Senyshyn has just 16 points on the 2019-20 season. Now, it's important to note that Boston is trying to develop Senyshyn into a more complete player from top to bottom, so he hasn't been playing on Providence's top line and isn't going to tally as many points.
However, how is this going to impact his overall point production? Boston doesn't need another bottom-six forward. They need someone to slot in on David Krejci's right wing. In his short four-game stint with the Bruins this season, Senyshyn was actually impressive. You could tell his game has improved, and he even recorded two assists.
We won't say he's a bust just yet, but he could be if the Bruins don't utilize him correctly.