The 1977 NHL Draft

The 1977 NHL Draft was one of the most eventful in recent memory. Not only were there a number of high-profile players drafted, but the draft itself was marred by a number of controversies.

The 1977 NHL Draft – Overview

The 1977 NHL Draft was held on August 8, 1977 at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec. It is notable for being the first draft where players from outside of North and Central America were eligible to be selected.

In total, 210 players were drafted by the NHL’s twenty teams. Of those 210 players, only 33 (15.7%) would go on to play at least one game in the NHL. Sixteen players (7.6%) drafted in 1977 would have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup

Notably, future Hall of Fame defenceman Ray Bourque was selected eighth overall by the Boston Bruins while future Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Mike Vernon was taken 56th overall by the Calgary Flames in the eleventh round.

The 1977 NHL Draft – Notable Selections

The 1977 NHL Draft’s first overall pick was Mario Lemieux, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in NHL history Other notable selections from the draft include future Hall of Famers Mike Gartner (4th overall), Dale Hawerchuk (1st overall), and Doug Gilmour (134th overall).

The 1977 NHL Draft – First Round Selections

The 1977 NHL Draft was held on June 15, 1977 at the Montreal Forum in Montreal. It was the first draft to be held outside of Detroit and New York City which had been the usual host cities for the event. A total of 210 players were drafted in the first round by the 18 NHL Teams

This draft was notable for several reasons. It was the first time that a Russian player (Vyacheslav Fetisov) was selected in the first round. It was also the first time that a goaltender (Craig Billington) was chosen as the first overall pick. Lastly, it featured 11 future Hall of Fame inductees, including five who would go on to have their jerseys retired by their respective teams.

Here are the first Round Selections from the 1977 NHL Draft

The 1977 NHL Draft – Later Round Selections

The later rounds of the 1977 NHL Draft saw some future stars get selected, although none of them would go on to be superstars. Some of the names selected in the later rounds included Glenn Anderson (9th round, 169th overall), Bernie Federko (7th round, 134th overall), and Mike Gartner (1st round, 15th overall).

The 1977 NHL draft – Trades

The 1977 NHL Draft was held on August 9, 1977 at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec. It was the first draft to be held in Montreal since 1963. A total of 264 players were drafted by the 14 teams that were in existence at that time.

There were a number of trades that took place leading up to and during the draft. The most notable trade saw the Toronto Maple Leafs trade forward Lanny McDonald and defenseman Sandy McCarthy to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for defenseman Barry Beck. This was a significant trade as Beck would go on to have a very successful career with the Leafs while McDonald would become an All-Star with the Rockies.

Other notable trades included:
-The Detroit Red Wings traded center Dan McLellan and a fourth round pick (88th overall – Mark Templeton) to the Washington Capitals in exchange for left winger Dennis Hextall.
-The Minnesota North Stars traded center Tom Reid and a first round pick (11th overall – Gilles Hamel) to the Cleveland Barons in exchange for right winger Bill Goldsworthy.
-The Buffalo Sabres traded goaltender Roger Crozier and cash to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for goaltender Jim Rutherford.

The 1977 NHL Draft – Aftermath

The 1977 NHL Draft was the first to feature multiple rounds, with 12 picks being made in the 1st round. The Buffalo Sabres made history by selecting future Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Dominik Hasek in the 10th round, 199th overall. Hasek would go on to win six Vezina Trophies as the NHL’s best goaltender, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalies of all time. He is one of only nine players to be drafted in the 10th round or later and go on to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

The 1977 NHL Draft – Legacy

The 1977 NHL Draft was one of the most important in the history of the sport. It was the first draft held after the NHL and WHA completed their merger, and it set the stage for some of the most successful teams in NHL history

It was also a very deep draft, with several Hall of Fame players coming out of it. The Montreal Canadiens selected future superstar Guy Lafleur with the first overall pick, but it was the Pittsburgh Penguins who had the best draft, selecting future Hall of Famers Mike Lange and Mario Lemieux with consecutive picks in the second round.

The 1977 NHL Draft – Trivia

The 1977 NHL Draft was held on August 8, 1977 at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec. It was the first draft to be held after the NHL expanded to sixteen teams with the addition of the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks A total of 234 players were drafted.

This was the first time that Europeans were drafted in large numbers, with 71 players coming from Europe. This draft is also notable for being the first in which a goaltender (Ken Dryden) was not taken in the first round.

In recent years many experts have argued that this is one of the best drafts in NHL history with 11 players going on to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

The 1977 NHL Draft – Media Coverage

The 1977 NHL Draft was held on June 15, 1977 at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec. It was the first draft held outside of Toronto in league history. The draft was televised on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada for the first time. A total of 217 players were chosen over 21 rounds by the NHL’s then 21 teams.

Many future stars were drafted in 1977, including Hockey Hall of Famers such as Mike Gartner, Glenn Anderson, Raymond Bourque and Bernie Federko. In addition, 16 players who would go on to have careers of at least 1,000 games were selected in the draft.

The 1977 NHL draft – In Retrospect

The 1977 NHL Draft was one of the most important in history, as it saw the selection of Future Hall of Famers like Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, and Ken Dryden. In retrospect, however, it’s clear that the draft was also deeply flawed. Many of the top prospects turned out to be busts, and the overall talent level was far lower than in previous years.

Scroll to Top