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2009 Draft Watch: History in Montreal

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

John MacLean was selected sixth overall by the Devils at the 1983 Entry Draft in Montreal.

email – The NHL's Entry Draft returns to Montreal this season for the first time since 1992, when the event was held at the famed Forum.

This year, on the heels of the Canadiens' 100th anniversary, the Entry Draft will make its Bell Centre debut. Live coverage of the first round gets underway on VERSUS at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, June 26.

Ken Daneyko was the Devils' second pick, 18th overall, at the 1982 Entry Draft.
Though the Draft now visits a different city each year, it was once strictly a Montreal affair. It began in 1963, and was held in Quebec's largest city from then until 1985, when it moved to Toronto for one year.

The event rotated through a handful of different venues, moving from Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel (1969-72); the Mount Royal Hotel (1973); then to the NHL's Montreal office (1974-77).

It returned to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel for two years before settling at the Forum from 1980-84.

Those last few seasons at the Forum included the earliest days of the Devils' draft history following the franchise's relocation from Colorado in 1982. New Jersey selected Rocky Trottier with its first amateur pick, then added some of the names that would figure prominently in the team's rise.

The Devils used their second selection on Ken Daneyko, who went 18th overall and wound up appearing in a franchise-record 1,283 games. Daneyko hoisted the Cup three times with the Devils, one of just five players to do so.

Martin Brodeur and Scott Niedermayer, both Devils first-rounders, also won three rings in New Jersey, as did longtime captain Scott Stevens, who was awarded as compensation when former Devils first-rounder Brendan Shanahan signed with St. Louis in 1991. Sergei Brylin, drafted 42nd overall by the Devils in 1992, also won three times in New Jersey.

Daneyko spent his entire 20-year career in New Jersey, and had his No. 3 retired alongside Scott Stevens' No. 4 in 2006.

Pat Verbeek was the Devils' third pick in 1982, going 43rd overall. The feisty forward scored 20 goals in 1983-84, his first full season in New Jersey, and became the first Devil to reach to 40-goal plateau when he notched 46 in 1987-88.

Verbeek collected 170 goals and 151 assists for 321 points in 463 games with the Devils, and would amass 522 goals over two decades that included stops with Hartford, the Rangers, Dallas and Detroit. He won the Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999.


New Jersey had another top-10 pick the next year, and took John MacLean sixth overall in 1983. 

MacLean, one of the most prolific goalscorers in club history, broke into the NHL in 1983 and skated in New Jersey for 14 seasons. The only Devil ever to record three straight 40-goal seasons, MacLean eventually passed Kirk Muller for the team's all-time scoring lead in 1993 – a mark that MacLean held until Patrik Elias broke it with his 702nd point in 2008-09.

Currently a Devils assistant coach, MacLean hoisted the Cup in 1995.

Chris Terreri was New Jersey's third pick in 1983, and was the last goaltender to hold the starter's role before Brodeur took over full-time in 1994-95. Terreri was Brodeur's backup during the 1995 title run and currently serves as a Devils special assignment coach.

New Jersey took a future Hall of Famer with their sixth pick in 1983, tapping Russian defenseman Viacheslav Fetisov in the eighth round, 150th overall. Fetisov had originally been chosen by Montreal in 1978, but re-entered the draft in 1983.

Fetisov signed with New Jersey in 1988 and by 1989, the former Red Army great was allowed to begin his NHL career. He posted a career-best 42 points in his first season with the Devils, and scored 19 goals and 111 assists over six seasons in New Jersey.

Fetisov finished his nine-year NHL career by winning back-to-back titles with Detroit in 1997 and 1998, then returned to New Jersey to win the 2000 Cup as an assistant coach.

Muller went second overall to the Devils in 1984.
Further signalling the turning tide of Russian players in the NHL, the Devils took Alexei Kasatonov with their final pick (234th overall) in 1983. Kasatonov had been Fetisov's defensive partner in Russia, and joined the Devils for the 1989-90 season. He scored 31 goals and 88 assists over four campaigns in New Jersey, including a career-high 12 tallies in 1991-92. 

Kasatonov's seven NHL seasons included stops in Anaheim, St. Louis and Boston.

The Devils had their third straight top-10 selection at the Forum in 1984, and used the second overall pick to take Muller.

Muller was a standout centerman who recorded three straight 30-goal seasons and became the first Devil to reach 90 points (94, 1987-88).

"Captain Kirk" was the first player in franchise history to crack 500 points (520), and finished his Devils career with 185 goals and 335 assists in seven seasons.

Muller's 19-year NHL career featured a Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1993, and included stops with the Islanders, Florida, Toronto and Dallas. 

The Draft returned to the Forum in 1986, when the Devils selected center Neil Brady third overall, then again in 1988, when New Jersey took defenseman Corey Foster 12th overall.

In 1992, the last Draft held in Montreal, the Devils drafted defenseman Jason Smith 18th overall, and added Brylin in the second round.

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