The '80s high time for studs

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

COLUMBUS -- Back in 1989, the Maple Leafs decided to hold their own running of the Bulls at the annual NHL entry draft.

Upon further review, the team's decision to use first-round picks on three Belleville players -- Scott Thornton, Rob Pearson and Steve Bancroft -- has been described by disgruntled Leafs fans as, well, just that ... a bunch of Bull.

Such have been the highs and lows of the Leafs' inconsistent draft history.

In the past 25 years, the Leafs have made 24 first-round picks. And for every stud such as Wendel Clark, there has been a Jeff Ware.

With the '07 draft taking place here in Columbus beginning tomorrow, here is a list of the best and the worst selections made by the Leafs in the past quarter decade.

Keep in mind that the jury is still out on more recent picks such as Alex Steen, Carlo Colaiacovo, Brad Boyes and Nik Antropov.

STUDS

F Wendel Clark (1st overall, '85): Arguably most popular player in franchise history.

F Vincent Damphousse (6th, '86 ): How can you argue with 1,205 career points?

D Kenny Jonsson (12th, '93): Swedish blue liner named top D-man at Turin Olympics.

F Russ Courtnall (7th, '83): Flowing hair and 297 career goals to boot.

D Al Iafrate (4th, '84): Lived on a different planet than the rest of us, but he was talented.

D Luke Richardson (7th, '87): Nothing flashy but grinded out a two-decade career.

DUDS

D Jeff Ware (15th, '95): Just one point in 21 career games, and that was with Florida.

D Steve Bancroft (21st, '89): Career lasted only six games, with one assist.

F Brandon Convery (8th, '92): You expect more than nine goals from such a high pick.

F Landon Wilson (19th, '93): Claim to fame was being part of the Clark-Mats Sundin deal.

G Eric Fichaud (16th, '94): Posted a career 22-47-10 record, none with the Leafs.


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