In 1975 the two time defending Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers made headlines by trading Bill Clement, Don McLean, and the 18th overall pick (Alex Forsyth) to the Washington Capitals for the number one overall selection.The Flyers selected a rough and tumble center out of the Victoria Cougars organization named Mel Bridgman. He was an aggressive power forward who was not afraid to drop the gloves. He was solidly defensively and a real gritty competitor. He was seemingly the perfect choice to take the torch from the great Bobby Clarke and lead the Broad Street Bullies to more championships.
Bridgman went on to play nearly 1000 NHL games and served as a captain for five seasons so he could never be considered a first overall draft bust. But he did not fulfill the immense expectations many had for him.
That, according to Bridgman, was largely due to circumstance.