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7 Draft Steals (one per year)


1963 - Pete Mahovlich, 1963, 2nd overall, Detroit (21 players selected)
Selected right after Garry Monahan, the Little M went on to win four Stanley Cups with Montreal and was a member of the historic Summit Series for Canada in 1972.

1964 - Ken Dryden, 1964, 14th overall, Boston (24 players selected)
A steal for Boston, the Bruins turned right around and traded the future star to Montreal just days later.

1965 - Pierre Bouchard, 1965, 5th overall, Montreal (11 players selected)
Bouchard went on to win five Stanley Cups with the Habs in the '70s during a career that lasted almost 600 games.

1966 - Brad Park, 1966, 2nd overall, New York (24 players selected)
Park played most of his 1,113 career games with New York and Boston, and although he never won a S-tanley Cup he was, for most of his career, considered the second best defenceman in the game to Bobby Orr.

1967 - Bob Kelly, 1967, 16th overall, Toronto (18 players selected)
Not to be confused with the "Hounddog" of the Flyers, this Bob played six years in the NHL, scoring 25+ goals twice with Pittsburgh in the mid-'70s.

1968 - Gary Edwards, 1968, 6th overall, St. Louis (24 players selected)
Edwards played in three decades with seven teams, and despite playing for mediocre teams most of his career still maintained a respectable GAA of 3.65.

1969 - Bobby Clarke, 1969, 17th overall, Philadelphia (84 players selected)
Drafted 17th overall, the 16 other choices ahead of him never panned out to the same degree as did Clarke, the Future Hall of Fame captain of the Cup-winning Philadelphia Flyers.


10 High Draft Picks That Failed To Pan Out


1964 - Claude Gauthier, 1964, 1st overall, Detroit
Selected first overall by Detroit in 1964 in a 24-player draft, Gauthier came out of the Rosemount Midgets but did not play a single NHL game for the Wings or any other team.

1965 - Andre Veilleux, 1965, 1st overall, New York
A right-winger, Veilleux was chosen first overall in 1965 by the Rangers from the Montreal Jr. B organization but his career never took him even once to the NHL.

1965 - Andrew Culligen, 1965, 2nd overall, Chicago
Selected right after Veilleux by Chicago, Culligan played for the St. Mike's Buzzers in junior B but didn't pan out as he matured.

1966 - Ron Dussiaume, 1966, 9th overall, Chicago
Selected 9th overall by Chicago in 1966, Dussiaume never played in the NHL. The Hawks could have chosen later picks such as Don Luce, Rick Ley, or Ace Bailey.

1967 - Rick Pagnutti, 1967, 1st overall, Los Angeles
First overall in '67 when only 18 players were drafted altogether, Pagnutti was another who never made it to the big time even though the L.A. Kings had figured him to be the best of the junior crop.

1967 - Steve Rexe, 1967, 2nd overall, Pittsburgh
Drafted right behind Pagnutti by the expansion Pittsburgh Penguins, Rexe played his junior hockey in Belleville and never made it much further.

1968 - Roger Belisle, 1968, 2nd overall, Montreal
A forward with the Montreal North Beavers, Belisle went a promising second overall in 1968, one of the first three French-Canadians Montreal was allowed to pick. He never got any further along the hockey food chain.

1968 - Jim Benzelock, 1968, 5th overall, Minnesota
Minnesota drafted Benzelock 5th overall in '68, but he was a disappointment and never figured in the North Stars' plans.

1969 - Bob Currier, 1969, 6th overall, Philadelphia
Drafted out of Cornwall by the Flyers 6th overall in 1969, Currier was chosen ahead of Bobby Clarke, Ivan Boldirev, Jim Rutherford, and Ron Stackhouse.

1969 - Ernie Moser, 1969, 9th overall, Toronto
Moser was the only other first round selection from '69 not to play in the NHL, going 9th overall to Toronto and not going much further.


10 Notable Intra-League Draft Selections


1961 - Toronto selects Al Arbour from Chicago, 1961
Success followed Al Arbour. He won the Cup with Detroit in 1954 and with Chicago in 1961, and that summer he was claimed by Punch Imlach's Leafs that went on to win the Cup the next three years.

1964 - Toronto selects Dickie Moore from Montreal, 1964
Moore had retired a year previous but the Leafs' GM Punch Imlach was able to lure the legendary Diggin' Dickie from the crowd to the ice for 38 games in '64-'65.

1964 - Toronto selects Terry Sawchuk from Detroit, 1964
In a move that helped the Leafs win the Stanley Cup three years later, Imlach selected Ukey from Detroit and the 35-year old was spectacular in his three seasons with the Blue and White.

1965 - Boston selects Gerry Cheevers from Toronto, 1965
Buried in the Toronto farm system, Cheevers saw little hope of playing for the Leafs because they felt they were talent rich in goal with Bruce Gamble, Al Smith, and Gary Smith all waiting to inherit the Bower-Sawchuk throne. He was left exposed in the '65 draft, and Cheevers went on to win two Cups with the Bruins.

1965 - Chicago selects Pat Stapleton from Toronto, 1965
Stapleton played two years for Boston before being traded to Toronto a day before the '65 Intra-League Draft. The day the Leafs exposed him, "Whitey" was picked up by the Hawks, and he spent the rest of his career in the Windy City.

1968 - Minnesota selects Larry Hillman from the Rangers, 1968
Hillman had been with the Leafs for eight years when they left him exposed and the Rangers claimed him. Later that day, however, the Rangers exposed him and the North Stars claimed the four-time Cup winner.

1968 - Oakland selects Carol Vadnais from Montreal, 1968
Vadnais was with Montreal for parts of the two previous seasons, but the Habs gave up on the 23-year old and allowed the hapless Seals to take him. He stayed in California for four years, then played for Boston and the Rangers during a career that lasted more than 1,000 games.

1968 - St. Louis selects Jacques Plante from the Rangers, 1968
Even though he hadn't played since 1965, Plante was chosen by the year-old Blues in the hope he could be lured out of retirement. No only did he agree to join the Blues with fellow great Glenn Hall, the two won the Vezina Trophy that year and led St. Louis to the Stanley Cup finals.

1969 - Chicago selects Tony Esposito from Montreal, 1969
Tony O had played just 13 regular season games the year before during Montreal's Stanley Cup year but the Habs felt he was expendable and let him go to Chicago where he stayed 15 years and almost 900 games.

1969 - Pittsburgh selects Glen Sather from Boston, 1969 In his skating days Slats was a quick-moving forward, playing for six teams in just ten NHL years. Boston let him go just as it was about to win the Cup, and Pittsburgh claimed him, though he lasted just a year and a half with the Pens.



Did You Know?

The 1966-67 season was the only in league history in which not a single trade was made during the schedule.

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