1979 NHL Entry Draft

1979 NHL Draft
General information
Date(s) August 9, 1979
Location Montreal, Quebec, Canada
First selection Rob Ramage
Selected by: Colorado Rockies

The 1979 NHL Entry Draft took place on August 9, 1979, at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. The National Hockey League (NHL) teams selected 126 players eligible for entry into professional ranks, in the reverse order of the 1978–79 NHL season and playoff standings. The draft was the first to be conducted after the NHL-WHA merger. As part of the terms of the merger, the four former WHA teams had joined the NHL on the condition that they be placed at the bottom of the draft order, as opposed to the top of the order as is usually the case for expansion teams.

In addition, the minimum draft age was lowered from 20 to 18. The NHL had been considering lowering the draft age for some time (the WHA did not have a minimum age), and timed the decision to lower the draft age at least in part to coincide with the merger. The lowering of the draft age caused three years' worth of draft picks to go in the same draft, resulting in what is generally considered one of the best draft classes in NHL Entry Draft history, which included future Hall of Famers Ray Bourque, Mike Gartner and Michel Goulet in the first round alone. Hall of Famers Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson would be drafted in later rounds. 12 of the 21 players selected in the first round would play in at least one All-Star game, 19 of the 21 would play at least 450 career NHL games, and all 21 had NHL careers of at least 235 games. The lowering of the draft age also made rising superstar Wayne Gretzky eligible to play in the NHL, although special circumstances as noted below prevented Gretzky from entering the draft. Under the old rules, Gretzky would not have been eligible to enter the NHL until the 1981 draft.

On the other hand, the NHL shortened the draft to only six rounds, whereas some previous drafts ran for more than twenty rounds. As a result, in spite of the larger number of teams participating the 1979 Draft had 108 fewer selections than the previous draft and was the shortest draft since 1971. As of 2015, it is the last Entry Draft to have fewer than 200 selections. Due to the strength of the class and fewer selections, there are many undrafted players who were eligible to be drafted who went on to have notable NHL careers, including Hall of Famer Dino Ciccarelli, five-time Stanley Cup champion Charlie Huddy and four-time 50-goal scorer Tim Kerr.

Wayne Gretzky

Rising superstar Wayne Gretzky had played for the Edmonton Oilers in the WHA's final season. As per the terms of the NHL-WHA merger, Gretzky was to have become eligible for the 1979 draft due to the lowering of the draft age. However, Gretzky had a personal services contract with Oilers owner Peter Pocklington.

The NHL had originally expected the contract would be voided. But Gretzky, faced with the likelihood of having to play for the struggling Colorado Rockies if he were to enter the draft, refused to void his contract with Pocklington. As a result, a compromise was reached in which the Oilers were allowed to keep Gretzky in exchange for being placed at the bottom of the draft order in the Entry Draft.

Selections by round

Below are listed the selections in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Club teams are located in North America unless otherwise noted.

 = NHL All-Star Team ·  = NHL All-Star[1] ·  = NHL All-Star[1] and NHL All-Star Team ·  = Hall of Famers

Round one

Pick #PlayerPositionNationalityNHL teamCollege/junior/club team
1Rob RamageDefence CanadaColorado RockiesBirmingham Bulls (WHA)
2Perry TurnbullLeft Wing CanadaSt. Louis BluesPortland Winter Hawks (WHL)
3Mike FolignoRight Wing CanadaDetroit Red WingsSudbury Wolves (OHL)
4Mike GartnerRight Wing CanadaWashington CapitalsCincinnati Stingers (WHA)
5Rick VaiveRight Wing CanadaVancouver CanucksBirmingham Bulls (WHA)
6Craig HartsburgDefence CanadaMinnesota North StarsBirmingham Bulls (WHA)
7Keith BrownDefence CanadaChicago Black HawksPortland Winter Hawks (WHL)
8Ray BourqueDefence CanadaBoston Bruins (from Los Angeles)Verdun Eperviers (QMJHL)
9Laurie BoschmanCentre CanadaToronto Maple LeafsBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
10Tom McCarthyLeft Wing CanadaMinnesota North Stars (from Pittsburgh via Washington)Oshawa Generals (OHL)
11Mike RamseyDefence United StatesBuffalo SabresUniversity of Minnesota (WCHA)
12Paul ReinhartDefence CanadaAtlanta FlamesKitchener Rangers (OHL)
13Doug SullimanLeft wing CanadaNew York RangersKitchener Rangers (OHL)
14Brian ProppLeft Wing CanadaPhiladelphia FlyersBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
15Brad McCrimmonDefence CanadaBoston BruinsBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
16Jay WellsDefence CanadaLos Angeles Kings (from Montreal)Kingston Canadians (OHL)
17Duane SutterRight Wing CanadaNew York IslandersLethbridge Broncos (WHL)
18Ray AllisonRight Wing CanadaHartford WhalersBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
19Jimmy MannRight Wing CanadaWinnipeg JetsSherbrooke Castors (QMJHL)
20Michel GouletLeft Wing CanadaQuebec NordiquesBirmingham Bulls (WHA)
21Kevin LoweDefence CanadaEdmonton OilersQuebec Remparts (QMJHL)
Reference: "1979 NHL Entry Draft hockeydraftcentral.com". Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 

Notes

1.* The Los Angeles Kings' first round pick went to the Boston Bruins as the result of a trade on October 9, 1978 that sent Ron Grahame to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for this pick.

2.* The Pittsburgh Penguins' first round pick went to the Minnesota North Stars as the result of a trade on October 18, 1978, that sent Dennis Maruk to the Washington Capitals in exchange for this pick.
Washington had acquired the pick previously as the result of a trade on October 17, 1977 that sent Hartland Monahan to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for this pick.

3.* The Montreal Canadiens' first round pick went to the Los Angeles Kings as the result of to a trade on October 5, 1978, that sent the first round pick in 1981 to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Murray Wilson and this pick.

Round two

Pick #PlayerPositionNationalityNHL teamCollege/junior/club team
22Blake WesleyDefence CanadaPhiladelphia Flyers (from Colorado)Portland Winter Hawks (WHL)
23Mike PerovichDefence CanadaAtlanta Flames (from St. Louis)Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
24Errol RausseLeft Wing CanadaWashington Capitals (from Detroit)Seattle Breakers (WHL)
25Tomas JonssonDefence SwedenNew York Islanders (from Washington)Modo Hockey (Sweden)
26Brent AshtonLeft Wing CanadaVancouver CanucksSaskatoon Blades (WHL)
27Gaston GingrasDefence CanadaMontreal Canadiens (from Minnesota)Birmingham Bulls (WHA)
28Tim TrimperLeft Wing CanadaChicago BlackhawksPeterborough Petes (OMJHL)
29Dean HopkinsRight Wing CanadaLos Angeles KingsLondon Knights (OMJHL)
30Mark HardyDefence CanadaLos Angeles Kings (from Toronto)Montreal Juniors (QMJHL)
31Paul MarshallLeft Wing CanadaPittsburgh PenguinsBrantford Alexanders (OMJHL)
32Lindy RuffDefence CanadaBuffalo SabresLethbridge Broncos (WHL)
33Pat RigginGoaltender CanadaAtlanta FlamesBirmingham Bulls (WHA)
34Ed HospodarDefence United States/
 Canada
New York RangersOttawa 67's (OMJHL)
35Pelle LindberghGoaltender SwedenPhiladelphia FlyersAIK IF (Sweden)
36Doug MorrisonRight Wing CanadaBoston BruinsLethbridge Broncos (WHL)
37Mats NaslundLeft Wing SwedenMontreal CanadiensBrynas IF (Sweden)
38Billy CarrollCentre CanadaNew York IslandersLondon Knights (OMJHL)
39Stuart SmithDefence CanadaHartford WhalersPeterborough Petes (OMJHL)
40Dave ChristianCentre United StatesWinnipeg JetsUniversity of North Dakota (WCHA)
41Dale HunterCentre CanadaQuebec NordiquesSudbury Wolves (OMJHL)
42Neal BrotenCentre United StatesMinnesota North Stars (from Edmonton)University of Minnesota (WCHA)
Reference: "1979 NHL Entry Draft hockeydraftcentral.com". Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 

Notes

1.* The Colorado Rockies' second round pick went to the Philadelphia Flyers as the result of a trade on June 15, 1978, that sent the second round pick in 1978 to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for this pick.

2.* The St. Louis Blues' second round pick went to the Atlanta Flames as the result of a trade on December 12, 1977, that sent Curt Bennett, Phil Myre, and Barry Gibbs to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Yves Bélanger, Dick Redmond, Bob MacMillan and this pick.

3.* The Detroit Red Wings' second round pick went to the Washington Capitals as the result of a trade on August 17, 1977, that sent Ron Low, the 46th overall pick to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Walt McKechnie, the third round pick in 1978 and this pick.

4.* The Washington Capitals' second round pick went to the New York Islanders as the result of a trade on October 19, 1978, that sent Michel Bergeron to the Washington Capitals in exchange for this pick.

5.* The Minnesota North Stars' second round pick went to the Montreal Canadiens as the result of a trade on August 9, 1979 that sent Bill Nyrop to the Minnesota North Stars in exchange for the second round pick in 1980 (changed to the second round pick in 1982 on June 11, 1980) and this pick.

6.* The Toronto Maple Leafs' second round pick went to the Los Angeles Kings as the result of a trade on June 14, 1978, that sent Dave Hutchison and Lorne Stamler to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Brian Glennie, Kurt Walker, Scott Garland and this pick.

7.* The Edmonton Oilers' second round pick went to the Minnesota North Stars as the result of a trade on August 9, 1979, that sent Dave Semenko and the 48th overall pick to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for the 63rd overall pick and this pick.

Round three

Pick #PlayerPositionNationalityNHL teamCollege/junior/club team
43Craig LevieDefence CanadaMontreal Canadiens (from Colorado)Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
44Guy CarbonneauCentre CanadaMontreal Canadiens (from St. Louis)Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL)
45Jody GageRight Wing CanadaDetroit Red WingsKitchener Rangers (OMJHL)
46Boris FistricDefence CanadaDetroit Red Wings (from Washington)New Westminster Bruins (WHL)
47Ken EllacottGoaltender CanadaVancouver CanucksPeterborough Petes (OMJHL)
48Mark MessierLeft Wing CanadaEdmonton Oilers (from Minnesota)Cincinnati Stingers (WHA)
49Bill GardnerCentre CanadaChicago BlackhawksPeterborough Petes (OMJHL)
50John-Paul KellyLeft Wing CanadaLos Angeles KingsNew Westminster Bruins (WHL)
51Normand AubinCentre CanadaToronto Maple LeafsVerdun Eperviers (QMJHL)
52Bennett WolfDefence CanadaPittsburgh PenguinsKitchener Rangers (OMJHL)
53Mark RobinsonDefence CanadaBuffalo SabresVictoria Cougars (WHL)
54Tim HunterDefence CanadaAtlanta FlamesSeattle Breakers (WHL)
55Jacques CloutierGoaltender CanadaBuffalo Sabres (from New York Rangers)Trois-Rivieres Draveurs (QMJHL)
56Lindsay CarsonLeft Wing CanadaPhiladelphia FlyersBillings Bighorns (WHL)
57Keith CrowderRight Wing CanadaBoston BruinsPeterborough Petes (OMJHL)
58Rick WamsleyGoaltender CanadaMontreal CanadiensBrantford Alexanders (OMJHL)
59Roland MelansonGoaltender CanadaNew York IslandersWindsor Spitfires (OMJHL)
60Don NachbaurCentre CanadaHartford WhalersBillings Bighorns (WHL)
61Bill WheltonDefence United StatesWinnipeg JetsBoston University (ECAC)
62Lee NorwoodDefence United StatesQuebec NordiquesOshawa Generals (OMJHL)
63Kevin MaxwellCentre CanadaMinnesota North Stars (from Edmonton)University of North Dakota (WCHA)
Reference: "1979 NHL Entry Draft hockeydraftcentral.com". Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 

Notes

1.* The Colorado Rockies' third round pick went to the Montreal Canadiens as the result of a trade on November 24, 1976, that sent John Van Boxmeer to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for this pick.

2.* The St. Louis Blues' third round pick went to the Montreal Canadiens as the result of a trade on August 18, 1977, that sent Jim Roberts to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for this pick.

3.* The Washington Capitals' third round pick went to the Detroit Red Wings as the result of a trade on August 17, 1977, that sent Walt McKechnie, the third round pick in 1978 and the 24th overall pick to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Ron Low and this pick.

4.* The Minnesota North Stars' third round pick went to the Edmonton Oilers as the result of a trade on August 9, 1979, that sent the 42nd overall pick and the 63rd overall pick to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Dave Semenko and this pick.

5.* The New York Rangers' third round pick went to the Buffalo Sabres as the result of a trade on March 12, 1979, that sent Jocelyn Guevremont to the New York Rangers in exchange for the third round pick in 1980 and this pick.

6.* The Edmonton Oilers' third round pick went to the Minnesota North Stars as the result of a trade on August 9, 1979, that sent Dave Semenko and the 48th overall pick to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for the 42nd overall pick and this pick.

Round four

Pick #PlayerPositionNationalityNHL teamCollege/junior/club team
64Steve PetersCentre CanadaColorado RockiesOshawa Generals (OMJHL)
65Bob CrawfordRight Wing CanadaSt. Louis BluesCornwall Royals (QMJHL)
66John OgrodnickRight Wing CanadaDetroit Red WingsNew Westminster Bruins (WHL)
67Harvie PoczaLeft Wing CanadaWashington CapitalsBillings Bighorns (WHL)
68Arthur RutlandCentre CanadaVancouver CanucksSault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OMJHL)
69Glenn AndersonRight Wing CanadaEdmonton Oilers (from Minnesota)University of Denver (WCHA)
70Louis BeginLeft Wing CanadaChicago BlackhawksSherbrooke Castors (QMJHL)
71John GibsonDefence CanadaLos Angeles KingsNiagara Falls Flyers (OMJHL)
72Vincent TremblayGoaltender CanadaToronto Maple LeafsQuebec Remparts (QMJHL)
73Brian CrossDefence CanadaPittsburgh PenguinsBrantford Alexanders (OMJHL)
74Gilles HamelLeft Wing CanadaBuffalo SabresLaval National (QMJHL)
75Jim PeplinskiRight Wing CanadaAtlanta FlamesToronto Marlboros (OMJHL)
76Pat ConacherCentre CanadaNew York RangersSaskatoon Blades (WHL)
77Don GillenRight Wing CanadaPhiladelphia FlyersBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
78Larry MelnykDefence CanadaBoston BruinsNew Westminster Bruins (WHL)
79Dave OrleskiLeft Wing CanadaMontreal CanadiensNew Westminster Bruins (WHL)
80Tim LockridgeDefence CanadaNew York IslandersBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
81Ray NeufeldRight Wing CanadaHartford WhalersEdmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
82Pat DaleyLeft Wing CanadaWinnipeg JetsMontreal Juniors (QMJHL)
83Anton StastnyLeft Wing CzechoslovakiaQuebec NordiquesSlovan Bratislava (Czechoslovakia)
84Maxwell KostovichLeft Wing CanadaEdmonton OilersPortland Winter Hawks (WHL)
Reference: "1979 NHL Entry Draft hockeydraftcentral.com". Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 

Notes

1.* The Minnesota North Stars' fourth round pick went to the Edmonton Oilers as the result of a trade on June 9, 1979, that the Edmonton Oilers promised to not make Paul Shmyr one of its priority selections in the 1979 NHL Expansion Draft in exchange for this pick.

Round five

Pick #PlayerPositionNationalityNHL teamCollege/junior/club team
85Gary DillonCentre CanadaColorado RockiesToronto Marlboros (OMJHL)
86Mark ReedsRight Wing CanadaSt. Louis BluesPeterborough Petes (OMJHL)
87Joe PatersonLeft Wing CanadaDetroit Red WingsLondon Knights (OMJHL)
88Tim TookeyCentre CanadaWashington CapitalsPortland Winter Hawks (WHL)
89Dirk GrahamRight Wing CanadaVancouver CanucksRegina Pats (WHL)
90Jim DobsonRight Wing CanadaMinnesota North StarsPortland Winter Hawks (WHL)
91Lowell LovedayDefence CanadaChicago BlackhawksKingston Canadians (OMJHL)
92Jim BrownDefence United StatesLos Angeles KingsUniversity of Notre Dame (WCHA)
93Frank NigroCentre CanadaToronto Maple LeafsLondon Knights (OMJHL)
94Nick RicciGoaltender CanadaPittsburgh PenguinsNiagara Falls Flyers (OMJHL)
95Alan HaworthCentre CanadaBuffalo SabresSherbrooke Castors (QMJHL)
96Brad KempthorneCentre CanadaAtlanta FlamesBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
97Dan MakuchRight Wing CanadaNew York RangersClarkson University (ECAC)
98Thomas ErikssonDefence SwedenPhiladelphia FlyersDjurgardens IF (Sweden)
99Marco BaronGoaltender CanadaBoston BruinsMontreal Juniors (QMJHL)
100Yvan JolyRight Wing CanadaMontreal CanadiensOttawa 67's (OMJHL)
101Glen DuncanLeft Wing CanadaNew York IslandersToronto Marlboros (OMJHL)
102Mark RenaudDefence CanadaHartford WhalersNiagara Falls Flyers (OMJHL)
103Thomas SteenCentre SwedenWinnipeg JetsLeksands IF (Sweden)
104Pierre LacroixDefence CanadaQuebec NordiquesTrois-Rivieres Draveurs (QMJHL)
105Mike ToalCentre CanadaEdmonton OilersPortland Winter Hawks (WHL)
Reference: "1979 NHL Entry Draft hockeydraftcentral.com". Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 

Round six

Pick #PlayerPositionNationalityNHL teamCollege/junior/club team
106Bob AttwellRight Wing CanadaColorado RockiesPeterborough Petes (OMJHL)
107Gilles LeducLeft Wing CanadaSt. Louis BluesVerdun Eperviers (QMJHL)
108Carmine CirellaLeft Wing CanadaDetroit Red WingsPeterborough Petes (OMJHL)
109Greg ThebergeDefence CanadaWashington CapitalsPeterborough Petes (OMJHL)
110Shane SwanDefence CanadaVancouver CanucksSudbury Wolves (OMJHL)
111Brian GualazziRight Wing CanadaMinnesota North StarsSault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OMJHL)
112Doug CrossmanDefence CanadaChicago BlackhawksOttawa 67's (OMJHL)
113Jay McFarlaneDefence CanadaLos Angeles KingsUniversity of Wisconsin (WCHA)
114Bill McCrearyRight Wing United StatesToronto Maple LeafsColgate University (ECAC)
115Marc ChorneyDefence CanadaPittsburgh PenguinsUniversity of North Dakota (WCHA)
116Rick KnickleGoaltender CanadaBuffalo SabresBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
117Glenn JohnsonCentre CanadaAtlanta FlamesUniversity of Denver (WCHA)
118Stan AdamsCentre CanadaNew York RangersNiagara Falls Flyers (OMJHL)
119Gord WilliamsRight Wing CanadaPhiladelphia FlyersLethbridge Broncos (WHL)
120Mike KrushelnyskiCentre CanadaBoston BruinsMontreal Juniors (QMJHL)
121Greg MoffettGoaltender United StatesMontreal CanadiensUniversity of New Hampshire (ECAC)
122John GibbDefence CanadaNew York IslandersBowling Green University (CCHA)
123Dave McDonaldLeft Wing CanadaHartford WhalersBrandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
124Tim WattersDefence CanadaWinnipeg JetsMichigan Technological University (WCHA)
125Scott McGeownDefence CanadaQuebec NordiquesToronto Marlboros (OMJHL)
126Blair BarnesRight Wing CanadaEdmonton OilersWindsor Spitfires (OMJHL)
Reference: "1979 NHL Entry Draft hockeydraftcentral.com". Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
 = NHL All-Star[1] ·  = NHL All-Star[1] and NHL All-Star Team ·  = Hall of Famers

Draftees based on nationality

Rank Country Amount
North America120
1 Canada111
2 United States9
Europe6
3 Sweden5
4 Czechoslovakia1

See also

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Players are identified as an All-Star if they were selected for the All-Star game at any time in their career.
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