Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: nhl entry draft
This series has been taking a look back at #1 draft picks since the draft’s inception in 1963, their careers on the ice and after they hung up their skates. Links to the previous decades are at the bottom of this post, but for now, let’s tackle the 1980s.
First off, 1980 was the year the NHL Amateur Draft actually became the NHL Entry Draft we refer to today. It’s also the first year the event was open to the public, and in 1984 was televised for the first time. In short, the NHL draft went from being a purely utilitarian exercise intended only for teams to select players, to becoming an actual ‘event.’
The draft process itself had changed at roughly the start of each decade, and 1980 was no different. Here’s some background from Wikipedia:
Beginning in 1980, any player who is between the ages of 18 and 20 is eligible to be drafted. In addition, any non-North American player over the age of 20 can be selected. From 1987 through 1991, 18 and 19-year-old players could only be drafted in the first three rounds unless they met another criterion of experience which required them to have played in major junior, U.S. college and high school, or European hockey.
Not being particularly knowledgeable about the NHL’s Entry Draft and its history, I thought I’d educate myself on the process while also sharing some bits and pieces with readers. I’ll also be running down all those players who were picked at #1 in the NHL draft, from 1963 till the present day, to see where their careers (and lives in general, when information is available) ended up.
For now, let’s look at the very first days of the NHL Draft: the 1960s.
Prior to 1963, players were signed to teams in what was basically a ‘first-come, first served’ basis, which gave a substantial advantage to some teams over others. In particular, the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple leafs, according to Jamie Fitzpatrick at About.com:
There are times in the last few months when I (and many others, I’m sure) suspected the Tampa Bay Lightning organization had nearly re-defined the word “crazy”—even by NHL standards. And then there have been moments when they’ve seized my attention in more positive ways, marketing their team with such a bang this summer as they have.
But it’s the story of David Carle that I like most of all—a situation that hints they might be both a little crazy and a pretty classy organization.
The New Twins
Jeff Paterson, the Canucks Insider, wrote an adoring essay on the Canucks first two draft picks, Cody Hodgson and Yann Sauvé. They also happen to share the same birthday: February 18th, 1990.*
Random trivia on Paterson’s new boys: Hodgson likes to think of himself as Sidney Crosby, has spent most of the last 5 years playing for a coach named “Titanic”, and has a thing for Madonna; And as to why Sauvé was picked, I’m guessing the fact that his favorite book is “Moneyball” probably didn’t hurt. (Mike Gillis is also a big fan, and geez… how many 18 year old jocks read books on statistical models and sports team management?)
With the exception of the Movie People*—who are no doubt thrilled to have zero problems getting uninterrupted shots of Sara Orlesky on the air—everything else broadcasting out of Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place has run into the brick wall of the building’s badass, non-existent wifi signal.
Hockey coverage in 1998 must have sucked, because this has been a massive pain in the a$$.
An FYI from Mike Gillis: Roberto Luongo won’t be traded this Friday. (Did anyone seriously think he would be??)
Anyway, a very good article from Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun, on the goings-on preparing for Draft day:
Gillis said he has been fielding offers for the 10th over-all pick, and expects many more will arrive before the first round Friday night. The final six rounds are Saturday. Gillis holds five picks, none in the third or fourth rounds due to deals the Canucks made in 2007 and 2005.
This is Gillis’s first draft. This will be the first of many judgement days on his leadership.
I often worry I should start a blog subject-category entitled “Things Everyone Else Probably Knows Yet Alanah Never Heard Of.” Case in point…
Today, perusing Sabretooth House (and enjoying Anne’s entertaining indictment of Alexander Daigle and the blunders of the Ottawa Senators on draft day 1993) I came across this tidbit from Sabres’ draft history 1974: the drafting of Japanese superstar, Taro Tsujimoto.
On the off-chance that I’m not the only person who somehow missed out on this awesome bit of hockey history, here’s the story:
The other day we had a discussion around here about the possibility of the Vancouver Canucks ditching their #10 draft pick in favor of picking up an established offensive player.
Today, Jeff Sargeant at BC Sports Beat has something to say on the topic:
Now managing a club that has one of the worst draft histories in the league, Gillis has options many of his 29 adversaries could dream of. The team has a large amount of salary cap dollars to play with since the likes of Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, Aaron Miller, and Brad Isbister are set to become unrestricted free agents July 1st.
Gare Joyce’s new book Future Greats and Heartbreaks* is an education in the workings of the NHL draft and hockey scouting itself. It was a riveting read that also had me comparing his observations to old draft guides, and looking up the current stats of the many players he met at an earlier time in their development. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
After reading the book, I had a chance to ask Joyce a few questions about his experiences. That interview is below, as well as a few more details about the book.
About the author:
Gare Joyce is a writer on the masthead of ESPN The Magazine. He is also a regular contributor to Christian Science Monitor, Canadian Geographic, Maclean’s, and The Walrus. Joyce has won three National Magazine Awards and is the author of three previous books, Sidney Crosby: Taking the Game by Storm, The Only Ticket Off the Island: Baseball in the Dominican Republic and When the Lights Went Out.