Canadiens: An In-Depth Look At The Franchise’s Top Five Draft Busts

Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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3. Brent Bilodeau

Position: Defenseman

Selected: 17th overall, 1991 NHL Entry Draft

NHL Games: 0

If you thought Fischer was the most specific this list was going to get, just wait. Bilodeau was a talented and extremely promising two-way defenseman coming out of the WHL. In a five-year career with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Swift Current Broncos, Bilodeau was a force on the ice, posting 11-57-68 totals over 59 games in his final season, whilst posting 100 PM three times in a single season. A selection for team USA at the 1992 and ‘93 World Juniors, Bilodeau was thought to have tremendous NHL potential (with one heck of a rookie card to boot). Unfortunately, nothing of that nature ultimately came. Bilodeau struggled heavily over his first two seasons with the AHL’s Fredericton Canadiens, settling into a role as more of an enforcer than anything else. With limited offensive numbers and a lack of any true future promise, Montreal cut ties with Bilodeau after the 1994-95 season.

After that, Bilodeau simply became another journeyman in the wild west that was mid to late 90s North American minor league hockey. Bouncing around the IHL and AHL on short, two-way contracts, Bilodeau never put it together offensively or defensively, and continued his role as an enforcer above anything else. In spite of this, he continued to find regular roles, and eventually settled into his own with the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs. While he’d played in bits and pieces variously over the past four seasons, Bilodeau found a home in Johnstown, playing a regular top-pairing defensive role for a consistent playoff contender. After the 2004-05 season, Bilodeau went into coaching briefly, serving as an assistant with the Las Vegas Wranglers and Tri-City Americans, and as head coach of the CHL’s Wichita Thunder for two seasons.

Bilodeau is yet another bizarre case, as ultimately, his career was extremely underwhelming considering his promise in junior, and he was largely nothing more than a lower-pairing defensive defenseman in the minors. He was the only first-rounder in the 1991 draft to not play in the NHL, and welp, Glen Murray, Martin Rucinsky, Dean McAmmond, Sandis Ozolinsh, Ray Whitney and Zigmund “how did they miss that seriously” Palffy were drafted after him. However, as crazy as it may sound, Bilodeau still had a lengthy career in the minors and served a regular role. if minor and moreso a product of 90s enforcer-driven minor league hockey than anything else. Though, ultimately, that distinction, and his lack of any NHL success, till earns him the number three spot on this list.