In the 1999 NHL Draft, the New York Rangers selected a “can’t miss” prospect with the fourth overall pick. His career will infamously live on in Rangers’ lure, however as one of the biggest draft busts in NHL history.
Star in the Making
Leading up to 1999 draft, Pavel Brendl was looked as if he would emerge as one of the next best players in the NHL. After scoring 134 points in 68 games as a 17 year old in the Western Hockey League (WHL), scouts were sure Brendl had what it took to become the next star of the league. The Hockey News ranked him as the #1 prospect in his class.
Brendl accomplished a multitude of accolades at such a young age. He set single-season record for most goals (73) and points (134) in a WHL season. Additionally, he scored 21 goals and 25 assists in 20 playoff matches, leading the Calgary Hitmen to a WHL title. In his three seasons in the WHL, Brendl posted 320 points, playing only 178 contests, earning the WHL and Canadian Hockey League Rookie of the Year awards.