After 1984's bountiful draft crop, the 1985 class paled in comparison. Although several longtime NHL fixtures were taken in the first round, there were no clear-cut franchise players. With the first overall pick, the Toronto Maple Leafs took defenseman Wendel Clark. The Leafs converted Clark to a winger and he went on to score more than 300 NHL goals and become a fan favorite in Toronto where he served three separate tours of duty.
The Caps' first overall choice of Yvon Corriveau was largely a bust. He knocked around the NHL for nine seasons, shuttling back and forth between the minors and the NHL. He appeared in 280 games over those nine seasons. Washington's best pick was Bill Houlder, a defenseman taken with the 82nd overall selection. Houlder enjoyed a 16-year career in the NHL. He played in only 79 games for the Caps, whose defensive corps was extremely tough for a youngster to crack in the mid- to late-'80s.
Later-day Caps Ulf Dahlen (seventh overall) and Calle Johansson (14th) were also selected in the first round. The second round produced Joe Nieuwendyk (27th), Mike Richter (28th) and Eric Weinrich (32nd). Bill Ranford was the seventh goaltender taken; he went to Boston with the 52nd overall pick.
Late-rounders who made good include Freddie Olausson (81st), Randy McKay (113th), Joe Reekie (119th), Kelly Buchberger (188th) and Igor Larionov (214th). Wayne Gretzky's brother Keith was taken by Buffalo with the 56th overall pick but he never made it to the NHL.
Hindsight is 20/20: Nieuwendyk in lieu of Corriveau would have been a coup. Nieuwendyk became the second rookie ever to score 50 goals and he also won the Calder Trophy. Druce had some big moments with the Caps, but Nelson Emerson was stilll on the table at that point.
|NO. ||PLAYER ||POS. ||COMMENT |
|Yvon Corriveau ||LW ||Played 280 games in parts of nine NHL seasons; five seasons with Caps. |
|John Druce ||RW ||Had two good seasons and one HUGE playoff with Caps. Nine NHL seasons. |
|Rob Murray ||C ||Journeyman tough guy played in 107 NHL games and was still bouncing around the pros (AHL) as late as 2002-03. |
|Bill Houlder ||D ||Played 16 seasons in the league toiling for seven NHL teams. |
|Larry Shaw ||D ||Drafted from Peterborough, pro career consisted of 11 games in the AHL and IHL. |
|Claude Dumas ||C ||Four pro seasons in North America followed by eight in Britain. |
|Doug Stromback ||RW ||Spent nine seasons as a pro in five different leagues. |
|145 ||Jamie Nadjiwan ||LW ||Drafted from Hamilton, played one season of pro hockey in now defunct ACHL. |
|166 ||Mark Haarman ||D ||Drafted from Oshawa, never turned pro. |
|187 ||Steve Hollett ||C ||Played four pro seasons in the AHL and IHL. |
|Dallas Eakins ||D ||Played 120 NHL games and played pro through 2003-04. Now an assistant coach in the NHL. |
|Steve Hrynewich ||LW ||Drafted from Ottawa, never turned pro. |
|250 ||Frank DiMuzio ||LW ||Played one AHL season in Baltimore, later played five seasons in Italy and Germany. |
Full Draft Results Here