Backdraft: How High Were Today’s NHL GMs and Coaches Drafted?

While preparing another post on the draft, I discovered that more of today’s NHL General Managers and head coaches were selected at the 1978 Amateur Draft than any other draft to date.

In order to verify that fact, I had to go through the bios of every GM and head coach to find out when they were drafted. This research produced a fun (at least for someone who enjoys sifting through old records) byproduct: a list of where, when, and how each GM and coach who used to play professional hockey was drafted. I thought that readers might enjoy skimming this list, so I’ve arranged it in terms of overall draft rankings (regardless of draft year) so that you can see which current behind-the-bench and manning-the-war-room personage was drafted highest.

NOTE: This list only includes former players who were drafted. If you’d like an overview of undrafted players who became part of an NHL team’s hockey operations, please say so in the comments section and I’ll work on something. Naturally, this list does not include anyone who was neither drafted by nor played in the NHL.

31. Ray Shero: 1982 (208th overall–Los Angeles Kings)

30. Dallas Eakins: 1985 (208th overall—Washington Capitals)

29. Ken Holland: 1975 (188th overall—Toronto Maple Leafs)

28. Darryl Sutter: 1978 (179th overall—Chicago Blackhawks)

27. Alain Vigneault: 1981 (167th overall–St. Louis Blues)

26. Craig MacTavish: 1978 (153rd overall –Boston Bruins)

25. Garth Snow: 1987 (114th overall–Quebec Nordiques)

24.  Paul MacLean: 1978 (109th overall–St. Louis Blues)

23. Dan Bylsma: 1989 (109th overall–Winnipeg Jets)

22. Paul Holmgren: 1975 (108th overall–Philadelphia Flyers)

21. Todd McLellan: 1986 (104th overall—New York Islanders)

20. Jim Nill: 1978 (89th overall—St. Louis Blues)

19. Jack Capuano: 1984 (88th overall–Toronto Maple Leafs)

18. Darcy Regier: 1976 (77th overall–California Golden Seals)

17. Marc Bergevin: 1983 (59th overall Chicago Blackhawks)

16. Kevin Dineen: 1982 (56th—Hartford Whalers)

15. Bob Murray: 1974 (52nd overall—Chicago Blackhawks)

14. Patrick Roy: 1984 (51st overall—Montreal Canadiens)

13. Todd Richards: 1985 (33rd overall—Montreal Canadiens)

12.Bruce Boudreau: 1975 (32nd overall—Toronto Maple Leafs)

11. Lindy Ruff: 1979 (32nd overall—Buffalo Sabres)

10. Randy Carlyle: 1976 (30th overall–Toronto Maple Leafs)

9. Don Maloney: 1978 (26th overall—New York Rangers)

8. Joel Quenneville: 1978 (21st  overall—Toronto Maple Leafs)

7. Kevin Cheveldayoff: 1988 (16th overall—New York Islanders)

6. Jim Rutherford: 1969 (10th overall–Detroit Red Wings)

5. Doug Wilson: 1977 (6th overall—Chicago Blackhawks)

4. Steve Yzerman: 1983 (4th overall—Detroit Red Wings)

3. Mike Gillis: 1978 (5th overall—Colorado Rockies)

2. Dale Tallon: 1970 (2nd overall—Vancouver Canucks)

1. Kirk Muller: 1984 (2nd overall–New Jersey Devils)

2 thoughts on “Backdraft: How High Were Today’s NHL GMs and Coaches Drafted?”

  1. In the case of Paul Holmgren, he spent his first few months in the NAHL with the Johnstown Jets, teammates with some of the players who would go on to appear in “Slap Shot”. Called up to the Minnesota Fighting Saints in the WHA, Holmgren was the leading scorer in the NAHL at the time. He said it told you what kind of league it was if he was leading scorer.

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