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DATE: MAY 15, 1973

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 Cleveland.
Eligible For Draft: All amateur players born before January 1, 1954. 
Draft 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.
Total Rounds: Thirteen
Cost to Draft: The NHL paid a lump sum to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association to support major junior hockey as a whole.
Draft Rights: Team could offer player contract at any time after draft.
No. 1 pick: Denis Potvin (by N.Y. Islanders)
Reached NHL: 70 players (41.7 percent)
Won Stanley Cup: 8 players (4.8 percent)
Most NHL Games: Bob Gainey (1,160 games)
Most Playoff Games: Denis Potvin (185 games)
Highest Pick to Miss: No. 22 (Peter Marrin)
Lowest Pick to Reach: No. 162 (Greg Fox)
Players Drafted: 168 (103 forwards, 53 defense, 12 goalies)

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Total Selected: 168
Forwards: 103
Defense: 53
Goaltenders: 12
Major Junior: 131
College Players: 28
Canadian: 151
Euro-Canadian: 3
USA Citizens: 14
U.S.-Born: 14
European: 0
Reached NHL: 70
Won Stanley Cup: 8
Hall of Fame: 3
All-Star Game: 13
Year-end All-Star: 3
Olympians: 4
Picks Traded: 35
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