|1974 DRAFT QUICK FACTS|
|DATES: MAY 28-30, 1974|
The 12th NHL Amateur Draft shook up the league like none before it. History
was made in several areas, but the biggest impact involved the drafting of
underage players in the first two rounds. This came about because the WHA had
already begun signing underage players before they became eligible for the NHL
draft, and the NHL felt it had to react. A full year earlier, underage juniors
Mark Howe, Marty Howe, Wayne Dillon and Tom Edur all joined WHA teams, which
also managed to pre-sign 18-year-old stars Dennis Sobchuk and Jacques Locas for
the 1974-75 season. When the WHA's Vancouver Blazers signed 19-year-old Pat
Price in May 1974, the NHL fumed because it had been hoping to get Price on its
expansion team in Washington. In fact, the league had already held a special
expansion pre-draft in which the Capitals chose Price and the Kansas City Scouts
agreed to take Wilf Paiement.|
The NHL countered the Price deal by petitioning
the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association for permission to draft top underagers
within the first two rounds of the draft. In exchange for the promise of $40,000
per underage player, the CAHA granted equal permission to
both the NHL and WHA, and underage drafting became official just days before the
two leagues were set to draft. The inclusion of underage players angered the
three major junior leagues, who banded together to form the Canadian Major
Junior A Hockey League in order to strengthen their position for future deals
with the NHL and WHA. The CMJHL would eventually become the CHL, running all of
major-junior hockey in Canada.
Because the NHL and WHA were in such fierce competition to sign players, the
NHL elected to stage its draft in a secret conference call based out of NHL
headquarters in Montreal. By keeping the draft picks a secret, the league hoped
to prevent the WHA from tampering with its contract negotiations for individual
players. The NHL also set its draft two days before the WHA's to make sure it
would have the jump on signing junior talent. The decision to have a secret
conference call ended up prolonging the draft. It took three days to complete
all the picks, and Buffalo general manager Punch Imlach was so disgusted by the
process that he mocked it by drafting a fictional player (Taro Tsujimoto) with
his 11th-round selection (No. 183 overall). In the end, Imlach was right to complain because the
secrecy plan was a fiasco, as word of all the picks leaked out through agents
and unnamed league sources. The draft also ended up dragging right up to the day
of the WHA draft, all but negating the benefit of starting it early.
The 1974 draft was a breakthrough for two other groups. It was a breakthrough
for American hockey, as a record 40 Americans were chosen. Many came from
Minnesota, as the NHL began to reap the benefits of its seven-year presence in
that state. Rick Chartraw became the first U.S. citizen drafted in the first
round of an NHL draft, and Lee Fogolin followed him as the first American-born
player drafted in the first round. The draft was also a breakthrough for
European-trained players. Five Swedes and one Finn were chosen, an indication of
how well Europeans had come to be regarded by NHL scouts.
The Montreal Canadiens were the big story at the draft with a record five
first-round picks. By the time the three-day marathon session was over, a record
246 players had been selected. The 25 total rounds remains the highest number of
rounds in NHL draft history.
|Eligible For Draft: All amateur players born before
January 1, 1957, were eligible in Rounds 1 and 2. Only amateur players born
before January 1, 1954 were eligible in the remaining rounds.|
Order: Teams drafted in reverse order of their 1973-74 finish.
Irregularities: There was no set number of rounds.
The expansion teams, Washington and Kansas City, were given the first two
picks in each round, with Washington picking first because it won a coin flip.
No team could draft more than one underage player, and that had to be in the
first two rounds. Four teams -- Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia and
Vancouver -- did not choose any underagers. Teams had the right to pass in any round, and
the draft continued until all teams were done selecting. Kansas City passed in
the eighth round, but re-entered for Rounds 9-14 before passing again in Round
15. California passed in Round 9. Vancouver and Detroit passed in Round 10.
Boston passed in Round 11. Atlanta and Toronto passed in Round 12. St. Louis
and Buffalo passed in Round 13. Montreal and Chicago passed in Round 14. Los
Angeles and Philadelphia passed in Round 15. Minnesota and Pittsburgh passed
in Round 16. N.Y. Islanders passed in Round 21. N.Y. Rangers passed in Round
24, leaving only Washington to pick in Rounds 24 and 25.
Washington, Kansas City, California, N.Y. Islanders, Vancouver, Minnesota, St.
Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Atlanta, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Toronto, N.Y.
Rangers, Montreal, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston.
Cost to Draft: The NHL paid a lump sum to the Canadian
Amateur Hockey Association to support major junior hockey as a whole. As part
of the deal to allow the drafting of underage juniors, the NHL agreed to pay
$40,000 for each underage junior drafted (a total of $560,000) and $20,000 for
other draft picks in the first two rounds.
Team could offer player contract at any time after draft.
|No. 1 pick: Greg Joly (by Washington)|
NHL: 98 players (39.8 percent)
Won Stanley Cup: 15 players
Most NHL Games: Bryan Trottier (1,279 games)
Playoff Games: Bryan Trottier (221 games)
Highest Pick to Miss:
No. 18 (Don Larway)
Lowest Pick to Reach: No. 245 (Jim Warner)
246 (138 forwards, 84 defense, 24 goalies)
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