Buffalo Sabres: Is Dominik Hasek the best 199th overall pick ever?

28 May 1998: Dominik Hasek #39 of the Washington Capitals in action during an Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 against the Buffalo Sabres at the Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo, New York. The Capitals defeated the Sabres 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit
28 May 1998: Dominik Hasek #39 of the Washington Capitals in action during an Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 against the Buffalo Sabres at the Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo, New York. The Capitals defeated the Sabres 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit /
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The Buffalo Sabres acquired the 199th overall pick in the 1983 NHL Draft, Dominik Hasek, on August 7th, 1992 from the Chicago Blackhawks. 

You could safely say the former Buffalo Sabres goaltender was the best 199th overall pick in the history of North American professional sports. Then a man named Brady started to change that narrative in 2001, and he became all too familiar with Buffalo sports fandom.

So, with seven Super Bowl championships, did Brady surpass Hasek or does the two-time Stanley Cup winner have a case that he is still the best 199th overall pick in North American pro sports history? Keep reading to find out where I stand.

Does former Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek hold the edge over Tom Brady in terms of who is the greatest of all-time at 199?

Let’s start with Hasek, who won two Hart Trophies, which translates to the MVP award if we are talking about other sports. He also won the Vezina six times, an award that goes to the best goaltender in hockey, so you can liken it to the offensive or defensive player of the year in a league like the NFL.

Although he did not do it with the Sabres, Hasek also earned First Team All-Rookie honors, and he competed in six All-Star Games. Hasek won the Jennings Trophy twice, an award that goes to the goaltender with the fewest allowed goals over at least 25 starts.

Hasek also won two Pearson Awards (now known as the Lindsay Award), which goes to who the NHLPA believes was the best player in hockey. And of course, Hasek won two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings. Finally, the Buffalo Sabres retired Hasek’s 39, and he carved out a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Brady’s accolades and a case for Hasek

Then, we got seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Brady won three MVP awards, and five Super Bowl MVP awards. He is a six-time All-Pro, and he made the Pro Bowl 15 times. When you look at these numbers, you would think it is Brady all the way on paper.

But, we also need to remember that Hasek only played 16 seasons, as opposed to Brady’s 23 and counting. Hasek also didn’t start at least half his games in a single season until1993-94, at age 28. So with lesser playing time overall than Brady, it would be unfair to say the latter is the better of the two 199th overall picks – Brady played longer, and he got his chance at age 24. 

And when you look at seasons where Hasek played in at least half of the games, that number sits at 11. For Brady, it will be 21 seasons barring something unforeseen. Even when you take things into percentages, Brady still holds the edge in distinctions like Pro Bowls and of course, Super Bowl Championships.

But Hasek holds the edge in accolades like MVP’s (Hart), Player of the Year (Vezinas), and even league-wide All-Star Teams (All-Pro). Further, Hasek is the only goaltender in NHL history to win the Hart twice, and one of just seven goaltenders total to win the award. In Brady’s case, the quarterback often wins awards like MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. So this tips the scales in Hasek’s favor.

3 reasons Dominik Hasek is the G.O.A.T. light. Related Story

So, really, as to who the better 199th overall pick is, it really comes down to your subjective opinion. Longevity and championships? Then Brady is your pick. But if you are breaking things down as meticulously as I am, then Hasek most definitely has a case. This article isn’t saying Hasek is the better 199th overall pick. But it is also saying Brady is not the undisputed champion of late-round draft picks either.

(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference and Pro-Football-Reference)