|1973 DRAFT QUICK FACTS|
|DATE: MAY 15, 1973|
ROYAL HOTEL (MONTREAL)
The 11th NHL Amateur Draft was the first to be held on its own day apart from
other league administrative events. Originally scheduled to take
place in June, the draft was moved several weeks earlier into May so it would not detract
from the rest of the annual summer meetings. The league learned its lesson
in 1972, when the draft began to overshadow the rest of the meetings.
Some teams' representatives were so focused on the amateur draft that
they had stopped paying attention to other issues and were spending all of their
time in Montreal preparing for draft day. Adding to the focus on the amateur
draft was the fact that teams were feeling the heat of the WHA. With the new league having already operated for
a full season, NHL executives realized they would have to fight hard to
sign their top picks. This was especially important in a year when the draft was
considered exceptionally deep and the WHA was scheduled to draft players just
three days after the NHL. The top pick was a no-brainer, because
Ottawa 67s star Denis Potvin had dominated junior hockey like no defenseman
since Bobby Orr. Montreal, the most active team on draft day, was
determined to get Potvin. The Canadiens re-positioned themselves by trading for
several extra high picks and then offered the Islanders all kinds of deals for
the No. 1 choice. Islanders general manager Bill Torrey was not interested,
however. He held on to the top pick and wisely selected Potvin, who became the
building block for a future hockey dynasty. In the end, the NHL showed the WHA
it was still boss, signing all 16 of its first-round picks before the rival
league could get its hands on any of them. The NHL-WHA competition was great for
players, who were able to sign the most lucrative rookie contracts in NHL
history. This included a staggering five-year, $600,000 contract for Toronto's Lanny
McDonald, which kept the No. 4 pick from signing with the WHA's team in
|Eligible For Draft: All amateur players born before January 1, 1954. |
Order: Teams drafted in reverse order of their 1972-73 finish.
Irregularities: There was no set number of rounds. Teams had the right to pass in any round, and
the draft continued until all teams were done selecting. Los Angeles passed in
the ninth round. N.Y. Rangers passed in the 10th round. Toronto, St. Louis,
Minnesota, Philadelphia, Detroit, Buffalo, N.Y. Rangers and Boston passed in the 11th round. All teams except Montreal passed in the
12th and 13th rounds.
Rotation: N.Y. Islanders, California, Vancouver,
Toronto, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minnesota, Philadelphia,
Detroit, Buffalo, Chicago, N.Y. Rangers, Boston, Montreal.
Cost to Draft: The NHL paid a lump sum to the Canadian
Amateur Hockey Association to support major junior hockey as a whole.
Team could offer player contract at any time after draft.
|No. 1 pick: Denis Potvin (by N.Y. Islanders)|
NHL: 70 players (41.7 percent)
Won Stanley Cup: 8 players
Most NHL Games: Bob Gainey (1,160 games)
Playoff Games: Denis Potvin (185 games)
Highest Pick to Miss:
No. 22 (Peter Marrin)
Lowest Pick to Reach: No. 162 (Greg Fox)
168 (103 forwards, 53 defense, 12 goalies)
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