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NHL Entry Draft

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The NHL Entry Draft is a collective meeting in which the franchises of the National Hockey League systematically select the rights to available amateur players who meet the eligibility requirements to play professional hockey in the NHL.

HistoryEdit

The first NHL Amateur Draft was held on June 5, 1963 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. Any amateur player that was 17 years of age and older and was not already sponsored by an NHL club was eligible to be drafted.

In 1969 the rules were changed so that any amateur player under the age of 20 was eligible to be drafted. 84 players (more than four times the average in each of the first six drafts) were selected that year.

In 1979, the name of the Draft was changed from "Amateur" to "Entry" to accommodate a rule change that allowed players who had previously played professionally to be drafted. This rule change was made to facilitate the absorption of players from the now defunct World Hockey Association.

Beginning in 1980 and continuing today, any player who is 18-20 years old is eligible to be drafted. In addition, any non-North American player over the age of 20 can be selected.

Also in 1980, the Entry Draft became a public event. Prior to this year the Entry Draft was conducted in Montreal hotels or League offices and was closed to the general public. The 1980 draft was held in the Montreal Forum and there were more than 2,500 fans in attendance.

In 1985 the first draft outside of Montreal was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario in 1985. The event was attended by 7,000 fans.

Live television coverage of the Draft began in 1984 when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation covered the event in both English and French for Canadian audiences. SportsChannel America began covering the event in the United States in 1989.

C formEdit

The C form was the standard document issued by the National Hockey League to acquire amateur players in the Original Six era. Prior to the Universal Draft of 1969, amateur drafts were for players who were not on a sponsorship list.

The form, which usually led to a professional contract, would be signed by an amateur prospect at age 18 and it was permissible to be renewed only once. The player would usually be a member of a junior team that was affiliated with a National Hockey League franchise.

Misconceptions about the C formEdit

There was a popular view at the time that parents signed very young children's hockey lives over to the teams. This comes from the fact that at the time, most Junior clubs were owned or subsidised by NHL teams, and usually subsidised minor hockey in their areas.

However, a prospect had to be 18 years of age or older to sign a C-Form. Players as young as 14 could be put on a 4-name future negotiation list (as was the case for Bobby Orr in 1962).

List of DraftsEdit

NHL Draft busts and stealsEdit

The NHL draft is often unpredictable in terms of what a draft pick will achieve as a professional. It is impossible to predict with absolute certainty how successful a young player will be in the NHL, and many factors weigh on a player's development. Determining a young player's potential is not an exact science: scouts and managers can misevaluate talent or young players can simply fail to reach their potential. Some players are heralded as the next Mario Lemieux and selected with an early pick only to end up a career minor leaguer. Such players are considered draft "busts".

Examples:


Likewise, a prospect that had been shrugged off by scouts as not having an impact in the NHL ends up having a fruitful or outstanding career in the league. In this case, a player is considered to be a draft "steal".

Examples:

There are no set criteria for labeling a player a bust or a steal, so the terminology is subjective by definition. Most of the time, players are termed busts if they are selected early in the draft and never make it as an NHL player, and players are considered steals if they are taken in the later rounds and become a top NHL pro. However, the terms can also be used more loosely: any player who fails to live up to expectations could be called a bust, and any player who outperforms those who were taken ahead of him could be called a steal.

Draft odditiesEdit

In the 1974 entry draft, Buffalo Sabres General Manager Punch Imlach deliberately selected an imaginary Japanese center, Taro Tsujimoto, supposedly of the Tokyo Katanas of the Japanese Ice Hockey League, in the 11th round (183rd overall). Only after weeks had passed did the league discover that Tsujimoto did not in fact exist. Imlach later revealed that he had played the prank because of his frustration with the excessive tedium and length of that year's draft proceedings. Today, the league officially records the 183rd selection of the 1974 entry draft as an "invalid claim".

Player numbers by league summaryEdit

Below is a chart showing where players have been drafted from by year. The leagues represented are the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, United States Colleges, United States High Schools, International players. Those player listed under Other do not fit any of the other listed categories. International players who were playing for teams in North American leagues are listed in the chart as being drafted from their respective league rather than being listed as international. [1]

Year OHL WHL QMJHL NCAA USHS Int'l Other
2006 29 24 25 22 18 63 35
2005 43 43 23 13 18 50 40
2004 42 44 27 28 18 88 44
2003 44 41 38 23 10 93 43
2002 35 43 23 41 6 110 32
2001 41 45 26 24 8 119 26
2000 39 41 21 35 7 123 27
1999 52 40 20 36 9 94 21
1998 50 44 41 27 7 75 14
1997 52 63 19 26 4 63 19
1996 51 54 31 25 6 58 16
1995 54 55 35 5 2 69 14
1994 45 66 28 6 28 80 33
1993 60 44 23 17 33 78 31
1992 57 45 22 9 25 84 22
1991 43 40 25 43 37 55 21
1990 39 33 14 38 57 53 16
1989 39 44 16 48 47 38 20
1988 32 30 22 48 56 39 25
1987 32 36 17 40 69 38 20
1986 66 32 22 22 40 28 42
1985 59 47 15 20 48 31 31
1984 55 37 16 22 44 40 36
1983 57 41 24 14 35 34 37
1982 60 55 17 20 47 35 18
1981 59 37 28 21 17 32 17
1980 73 41 24 42 7 13 10
1979 48 37 19 15 - 6 1
1978 59 48 22 73 - 16 16
1977 42 44 40 49 - 5 5
1976 47 33 18 26 - 8 3
1975 55 57 28 59 - 6 12
1974 69 66 40 41 - 6 25
1973 56 49 24 25 - - 14
1972 46 44 30 21 - - 11
1971 41 28 13 22 - - 13
1970 51 22 13 16 - - 13
1969 36 20 11 7 - 1 9
Total 1858 1614 900 1069 703 1731 832
Total Players Drafted (1969-2006): 8,727


See alsoEdit

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