NHL Draft retrospective: A look back on the No. 9 overall pick

Calgary Flames, NHL Draft
Calgary Flames, NHL Draft / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Bust - Vitali Kravstov (2018)

Unfortunately, no spot in any draft is immune to busts, and at the No. 9 pick, there’s been no bigger bust in recent times than Russian winger Vitali Kravstov, who was drafted by the New York Rangers back in 2018. While he had all of the skill on the ice to be a solid player, it was seemingly non-stop issues away from the ice for Kravstov, and after a trade to the Canucks didn’t help, he headed back to the KHL where he remains.

Despite being drafted six years ago, Kravstov is still just 24-years of age and can certainly turn it around, but for a team getting production from Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil among others, they would have loved for Kravstov to turn into a genuine middle-six winger. The Flames are familiar with first-round picks that don’t quite turn out at the NHL level, but with this top pick they can’t miss, so after nine solid pickups at this position and just one bust, they have great odds at landing a future key piece of their lineup.