After the weak class of 1985, things didn’t get a whole lot better in 1986. For the first time, a player from a US college was the first player chosen.
WINGS TAKE MURPHY
The Detroit Red Wings owned the first overall selection in 1986, and they went in a new direction, taking Joe Murphy from Michigan State. It was the first time (and still to date the only time) that the number one pick was plucked from an NCAA school.
There wasn’t really a ton of impact players selected late that year. Greg Hawgood played nearly 500 games, and was taken in the 10th round, 202nd overall, so I guess that gives you more than could be expected in that spot.
Neil Brady, New Jersey Devils – For a third overall pick to play fewer than 100 games, you would haven’t choice but to call him a bust. If the name sounds familiar, Sens fans, it is because Brady is the answer to the question Who scored the first goal in the modern Senators era? However that season was pretty much the highlight of his career. He played almost 2/3 of his NHL games that first Ottawa season, had a stint with the Stars the next year before bouncing around the minors for the next 8 years.
CLASS OF THE CLASS OF 1986
Here are the best players from each position from the ’86 draft:
G: Ron Tugnutt – The former Senators fan favorite is the most prolific netminder taken in the draft, playing over 500 games and posting 186 career wins.
D: Brian Leetch – The most talented player (and only Hall-of-Famer) in this draft class. One of the most dynamic defensemen in the game, and the native of Texas was a trailblazer of sorts.
D: Teppo Numminen – The Jets nabbed Numminen in the second round, and it proved to be a great pick. He went on to play 15 seasons in Winnipeg/ Phoenix followed by a season in Dallas and 4 in Buffalo. He played over 1,300 games and amassed over 600 points.
LW: Adam Graves – Detroit took Graves with its second round pick and he outshine Murphy. Graves went on to be a part of 2 Stanley Cup winners, in Edmonton in 1990 (ironically as a part of the Kid Line with Murphy) and then 1994 with the Rangers.
C: Vincent Damphousse – Taken by Toronto with the 6th overall pick, Damphousse went on to have a great career, having the distinction of leading three different teams in scoring over a three year period (TOR, MTL, EDM). Twelve hundred points in a stellar career for the elite forward from the draft.
RW: Scott Young – Drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the first round, Young was a very consistent performer who often flew under the radar. He played 1,181 games and scored nearly 800 points with 6 different franchises.
So while the draft class wasn’t exactly deep, there were a couple of legitimate stars in Damphousse and especially Leetch. Other notables from the draft included Jyrki Lumme, Lyle Odelein and Jimmy Carson.