In 1997 the Calgary Flames used their 6th overall pick to select a big centreman named Daniel Tzachuk (no relation to Keith). Then, as with now, the Flames were looking for a big number 1 centre, and with Thornton, Marleau and Jokinen already taken, I guess the Flames felt their best option was Tzachuk.
Now, at the time, there was a debate within the Flames scouting staff as to the playability of one Sergei Samsonov. A lot of the scouts felt he was the best player not taken yet, while some scouts felt Samsonov was simply too small to be effective in the NHL.
Rumour has it a lot of Flames scouts quit that day. That day in particular was a nail in the coffin for Al Coates.
To say that Tzachuk was a draft day failure is an understatement, but up the road in Edmonton, another disaster was taking place.
With their 14th overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers selected Michel Reisen, who played in slightly fewer NHL games than Daniel Tzachuk.
Between Calgary and Edmonton, there was really only one NHL calibre player. The Oilers drafted Jason Chimera at 121st overall, in the 5th round. Now, I like Chimera, I think his performance at the World Hockey Championships speaks for itself. But one single 3/4th liner between two teams at a draft? Unacceptable.
I haven't been there for every Flame and Oiler draft, but those have to be among the worst ever.