MONTREAL - One year after the Habs' draft class of 1984 helped deliver a Stanley Cup to Montreal in the spring of 1986, general manager Serge Savard was busy laying down the foundation of what would be the Canadiens' next Cup triumph.
Savard's day of work began with picking centerman Andrew Cassels at No. 17 overall. Although Cassels would only spend one season in Montreal, he went on to enjoy a 17-year career that saw him suit up for over 1,000 NHL games.
The Canadiens' GM then went on to draft John LeClair (33rd), Eric Desjardins (38th), Mathieu Schneider (44th) and Ed Ronan (227th) that day. Four players destined to win the Stanley Cup with the Habs in 1993.
Desjardins and LeClair were hardly passengers that spring, with both making their mark during the Habs' thrilling playoff run. For blue-liner Desjardins, it was his hat trick in a 3-2 overtime win over the Kings in Game 2 of the Cup final. For LeClair, scoring back-to-back overtime winners in Games 3 and 4 in Los Angeles won't soon be forgotten.
|Overall ||Position ||Name |
|17 ||C ||Andrew Cassels |
|33 ||LW ||John LeClair |
|38 ||D ||Éric Desjardins |
|44 ||D ||Mathieu Schneider |
|58 ||G ||François Gravel |
|80 ||D ||Kris Miller |
|101 ||D ||Steve McCool |
|122 ||G ||Les Kuntar |
|143 ||LW ||Robbie Kelley |
|164 ||D ||William Geist |
|185 ||D ||Éric Tremblay |
|206 ||D ||Barry McKinlay |
|227 ||RW ||Ed Ronan |
|248 ||C ||Bryan Herring |
Aside from Ronan, who played under 200 games in his career, LeClair, Desjardins and Schneider went on to have long and prosperous careers with other teams. But like so many other players before them, their only Stanley Cup rings came by way of Montreal.
On their way to leading the Canadiens to Stanley Cup No. 24, the Class of 1987 chipped in with 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points.
Another player chosen that year by the Habs who reached the NHL is goalie Les Kuntar, who saw action in six games for the Canadiens in 1993-94.
Schneider is the only player still active from that Habs draft crop and one of just five chosen league-wide in 1987 that are still going strong.
Overall, the Canadiens' Class of 1987 played 4,577 games and piled up 2,896 points to go with four Stanley Cup rings.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com