For the first time, the Entry Draft was opened to the public in 1980. The event was held at the Montreal Forum and was attended by some 2,500 hockey fans. The locals were disappointed right away. Montreal, having acquired the top overall pick in a 1976 trade with the Colorado Rockies, used the selection to take Doug Wickeneheiser, a center from western Canada. The Habs passed on the people's choice, local boy Denis Savard. Wickenheiser's career was that of a journeyman while Savard went on to election to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
After Winnipeg took Dave Babych and the Kings selected Larry Murphy, the Caps made it three defensemen in the top five by tabbing Darren Veitch. Veitch's career would last less than half as long as those of Babych and Murphy, however. The Caps traded away their second round pick in the deal that brought netminder Mike Palmateer to DC.
Of the rest of the Caps 1980 picks, third-rounder Torrie Robertson went on to enjoy the most success at the NHL level. He was dealt to the Whalers where he served as the team's chief of police for several seasons.
Hindsight is 20/20: As much as they still needed defensemen in 1980, the Caps would have been better off passing on a blueliner once Babych and Murphy were off the table. A pair of rugged centers went in the first round -- Mike Bullard to the Penguins and Brent Sutter to the Islanders -- and both could have helped the Capital cause. By the time the Caps got around to making their next pick, stalwart backliner Craig Ludwig was still available. And think of the fun we could have had watching either Jari Kurri or Bernie "The Pumper" Nicholls had the Caps taken either of those two players instead of Robertson. Late round steals included Aaron Broten (106th overall), Steve Larmer (120th), Brian Mullen (128th), Andy Moog (132nd), Doug Lidster (133rd) and Randy Cunneyworth (167th). The Oilers added two more pieces to the puzzle that would become a dynasty of the '80s when they nabbed Kurri and Moog.
|NO. ||PLAYER ||POS. ||COMMENT |
|Darren Veitch ||D ||Spent parts of six seasons with Caps before being traded to Detroit. |
|Dan Miele ||RW ||Played at Providence College before spending five seasons as a pro. |
|Torrie Roberston ||LW ||Parts of three seasons with Caps; traded to Hartford for Greg Adams. |
|Timo Blomquist ||D ||Parts of five seasons in NHL then returned to Europe, playing through '96-97. |
|Todd Bidner ||LW ||Scored two goals in 12 NHL games with Caps, played 11 years in Britain. |
|Frank Perkins ||RW ||Played seven seasons as a pro in three different leagues. |
|Bruce Raboin ||D ||Played college hockey at Providence College, never turned pro. |
|173 ||Peter Andersson ||D ||Three seasons with Caps, traded to Quebec for third-rounder (Shawn Simpson). |
|194 ||Tony Camazzola ||D ||Played three games with Caps as a teenager then eight seasons in the minors. |
Full Draft Results Here