ATD10/MLD10/AAA10/Double-A The Undrafted Players Thread (arguably Top-1000 All Time)
672 guys were selected in the main ATD10 draft
288 selected in the ML10 draft
216 selected in the AAA10 draft
120 selected in the Double-A draft
and a couple of add/drops
1298 in total.
That presumably includes the best 1000 of all time.
And yet... there may be great players undrafted. What players and coaches were overlooked in the #10 ATD, MLD, AAA and Double-A drafts?
Who could arguably have been a depth pick on a main ATD team or a call-up quality guy if had been selected in the MLD?
Avoid listing scrubs and players having no business on at least a MLD team if not late round ATD selection (only mention career minor leaguers if there's a case to be made that a guy was one of the best in any league but just happened to play in that lower league). There might be Top-1000 players out there undrafted, especially among role players like enforcers, penalty killers, defensive defensemen, etc. Let's list some of them. State why it'd be a good pick. Give some stats or description, something. Don't just drop a name.
UNDRAFTED GREATS OF ALL TIME
D/LW Wilf Loughlin
RW/D Yuri Krylov
D/RW Valeri Nitikin
I can think of a few....
Left winger Sergei Yashin scored 35 goals on the Soviet national team between 1982-89, winning two world championships, an Olympic gold and played in the 1984 Canada Cup.
6'2 fast, skilled center Michal Pivonka was a defensively-responsible passing pivot who scored 418 assists, 599 points in 825 NHL games, twice leading the Capitals in scoring; 1991–92 (23G, 57A, 80P) and 1995–96 (16G, 65A, 81P). he scored 55 playoff points in 95 NHL post-season games including 13 in 14 games in the 1988 playoffs.
Capitals all-time assists leader
I move that any selection in this thread needs to be backed up with evidence and "seconded" by another member, to be added to the list.
Congrats to everyone so far for not being tempted to name some defensemen just for playing 1000+ games or mediocre multiple cup winners.
I'd like to post an entire 24-man roster over the course of two days.
Joe Murphy was on my AA team.
G: Wayne Stephenson
LW: Rob Zamuner
He only played five seasons, but I'm extremely surprised no one could have found a use for C Don Gallinger.
-30+ points in every full season he played.
-Led '46 Bruins in scoring (17-23-40 in 50 games)
-Led '48 Bruins in assists (21 in 54 games)
Of course, the life-time ban knocked him out of the game at 22, but there's no question he could have been a superstar.
In terms of minor league domination, it's hard not to mention C Art Jones
-13 30+ goal seasons in the WHL.
-Six-time 100 point scorer in the WHL.
-145 points in 140 WHL playoff games.
-Lead the league in scoring five seasons in a row.
-Won 3 Lester Patrick Cups.
-WHL record, points in a season (127)
Finally, A personal favorite of mine in the minor league excellence + NHL playoff one-year wonder category is C Milan Marcetta
-6'1, 185 lbs. The guy was absolutely ripped- a bull on skates.
-24th all-time in goals in the WHL. He did it in just six full seasons, and likely would be up there if he hadn't played in about a million different leagues during his 17-year career
Career totals: 393 goals and 915 points in 1058 games between the WHL, AHL, EPHL, CPHL, CHL and NHL.
However, two things make him notable.
-Became the first of two players- along with Aut Erickson- to win the Cup without playing in the playoffs as a member of the Leafs.
-Scored 14 points in 14 games for the Minnesota North Stars during the 1968 playoffs, and scored the OT winner in Game 6 of the first round to force Game 7, which the Stars would go on to win.
**** ******** mentions him in his book as someone he played poker with often.
Edit: Another guy I'd like to nominate is Ken 'The Shutout King' Campbell:
"Ken Campbell had to be one of the best Regina Pats' goaltenders in that area. Jock Campbell said, "Ken came from a farming family at Lumsden, of 10 children, 3 boys, Ken was the youngest." He started his hockey career in Regina, coming up through the Crescent Midget team, graduated to the Juvenile Caps, then played for the Junior "B" Argos. In the 1929-30 season, at the age of 17 and only 140 pounds, he joined the Regina Pats when the Argos and Pats amalgamated.
While playing for the Regina Pats from 1929-30 to 1931-32 season, he had an incredible record as follows:
Played in 39 exhibition games - 15 shutouts - (7 Jr.; 1 Int.; 7 Sr.)
Played in 11 league games - 6 shutouts
Played in 24 play-off games - 17 shutouts
Played in 74 total games - 38 shutouts
The following year, 1932-33, Ken played senior hockey with the Regina Aces in the Southern Sskatchewan League and Interleague play against the North League. he shared duties with Any Young. Ken played in 14 league and play-off games, 875 minutes played, 18 goals against, 5 shutouts, and had an average of 1.23.
Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame Curator Jacqueline Campbell's, Great Grandfather was Ken Campbell. Her father, Jock Campbell stated, "In 1935-36 season Ken and Regina Pats teammate, Ralph Redding, both went west and got jobs with "Kimico" at Kimberley. They both played for the Kimberley Dynamiters." Kimberley played in the West Kootenay Senior League with the well-known Trail Smoke Eaters until the 1939-40 season. ken played in 50 league and play-off games, 3,000 minutes played, 193 goals against, 3 shutouts, and had an average of 3.86. The following sesason, 1941-42, he was the head coach of the Dynamiters. The club went onto win the League Championship, winning the "Savage Cup".
The Dynamiters reached the very pinnacle of the hockey world in 1937, only five years and two months after the team was first formed. The Dynamiters claimed the Allan Cup (emblematic of senior hockey supremacy in Canada) in 1936, defeating the Sudbury Falcons in two straight games, 2-0 and 4-3. the following season, the Allan Cup Championship was a busy one for the boys from Kimberley. having qualified the previous year, the Dynamiters played 14 exhibition games across Canada with a 62-game tour of Europe.
They eventually ending up in London, England, the site of the 1937 World Ice Hockey Championships which were hosted by the British Ice Hockey Association. At the time, Great Britain was the reigning European, Olympic and World Ice Hockey Champions. However it was the Dynamiters who dominated the Championship tournament as they swepy aside Great Britain and everyone else who got in their way. The Dynamiters were unbeaten in nine games at the tournament, outscoring their opponents by a margin of 60-4. Their only loses were English Teams compiled of Canadian players. Netminder Ken Campbell registered 6 shutouts in the nine games played.
Following the world championship, Campbell continued to stone the opposition in Budapect, Berne, and Zurich, as the Dynamiters won 27 of 29 games with 1 tie. They out scored their
opposition, the best in the world 144-32."
One thing that article doesn't mention is why Campbell played all those games during Kimberley's Euro tour.
The Dynamiters had a perfectly serviceable goaltender in Eric 'Swede' Hornquist. However, while preparing to board the ship to Europe in Halifax, a taxi containing Hornquist and two other Dynamiters was involved in a collision with a streetcar. Hornquist was the worst-hurt of the bunch, and as a result, the Dynamiters had just one goalie during the Eurotour and World Championships- Campbell. He played 67+ games in a row.
Here's a trio of active NHLers who're often underrated and overlooked in their exceptional skills
11-year NHL veteran left winger Marco Sturm quietly excelled in San Jose and now Boston, a seven time 20+ goal scoring defensive-minded role player who's always IN the game
Speedy centre/right winger Ian Laperriere is another great role player who languished in California for much of his 16-year NHL career, playing in 994 NHL games (to date), with 100+ PIM in 11 of his last 12 seasons (including this one); 6'1 200 lbs Lappy is well-liked by teammates and fans, is hard working and fast, an effective agitator
Center Daymond Langkow has 602 points in 939 NHL games (34 in 53 NHL playoff games) but that's misleading because he's been miscast as a top-line center when on a championship team he'd be an excellent third line center, not only does he do a lot of little things right, the aggressive, hard-working forward is clutch, raising his game when it matters most, having scored 42 NHL game-winning goals
Left winger/center Petr Nedved, 310 goals, 717 points in 982 NHL games (42 playoff points in 71 NHL postseason games)
Dave Hannan: two-time Stanley cup winning ('88 Oilers, '96 Avs) 16-year NHL veteran role-playing left winger/center scored 305 points and got 942 PIM in 841 NHL games, scoring 3 goals and 8 points in 8 games to help Canada win silver at the 1992 Olympics and is top-50 all-time in shorthanded goals with 22.
I understand that in the context of this draft, they may be just as likely to be the next guys selected since certain roles have to be filled, but in a top-1000 discussion it's laughable to throw their names out there over guys who were elite goal scorers, if only for three years.
Here is one of my favorite left wingers (who had great positional sense defensively as well as offensively, truly sublime away from the play imo), really a scoring line role player:
Martin Rucinsky: the tall, speedy Czech scored 612 points in 961 NHL games (14 in 37 NHL playoff games) including a decent 35 game winners and 15 shorthanded, was an all-star at the world juniors (1991), an all-star at the world championships (1999) and in nhl all-star game (2000), is an Olympic gold medalist (1998) and world championship winner (1999), played in 1991 Canada Cup, 1998 and 2004 World Cups.
You may weigh offensive talent heavily in considering who is one of the best thousand hockey players of all time, but the fact is a great hockey team always has several role players: penalty killing, checking, energizing, agitating, enforcing, shot blocking, etcetera.
The ATDs have always respected those aspects to the game.
Look at the line-ups of past ATDs and MLDs and consider whom would be more valuable as a depth pick, extra forward, a Lappy and Hannan or a Cheechoo/O'Neill. The former duo have actually had long, solid performing careers at what they do (and are faster to better handle all-time context level play) whereas the latter have had peaks and valleys at what they do, and really are dead weight when not at their peak, in an all-time competitive hockey context.
O'Neill isn't good enough to be a first liner in an all-time context and isn't of use otherwise (would you play him over Lappy on a 4th line?), "ONeill... could still improve his defensive game. Must show more discipline on and off the ice. Takes too many nights off."
I understand that some people think scoring is so important but a peak-and-valley scorer who is slow and dogs it and has a mediocre career overall is simply discounted well past the point where a fast, hard-working, defensively-skilled, consistent performing back-line role player would be on my top-1000 of all time list.
It all comes down to what criteria you use and how much weight you give to each.
If we're including role players, C Forbes Kennedy deserves a mention.
He played over 400 games during the O6 era which is fairly impressive for a checker, which suggests he was pretty good at what he did.
C Ab DeMarco had a couple of big seasons during the war years. Guys like Herb Cain and Ray Getliffe that built their resumes up during the war years were good enough to be selected in the MLD, so I think he's worth mentioning.
He may not have been great defensively, but D Zarley Zalapski had three top-15 finishes for defensemen (if my numbers are right from hockey-reference, 11th, 12th, 12th) during a fairly deep era for good offensive defensemen.
Kyle if you wanna profile O'Neill and Cheechoo go right ahead.
I'd rather have Laperriere and Hannan over Cheechoo, Nedved or O'Neill. Laperriere has been one of the most effective players, for his role, in this decade. He's a very valuable guy to have: a solid
The following words effectively describe Pouting Petr Nedved: Malcontent. Suitcase. Underachiever. Lazy. Negative influence in the locker room. He had great talent, and one of the best wrist shots in the league. He had the ability to do so much more. His one full season over a point-per-game came with two of the top offensive players in NHL history on his line.
Cheechoo had the Rocket Richard season, and a couple other good scoring seasons (28 goals as a sophomore in 03-04, before Thornton arrived, and 37 goals in 06-07) but he's been awful the last two years.
Jeff O'Neill had the ability to be a big star. He was compared to future HHOFers before he ever stepped on the ice, but with the exception of a couple seasons, he was an inconsistent underachiever who left you wanting more. Four straight 60-point seasons is pretty good. I'm not sure if there are many RWs out there who have done that. But O'Neill was capable of so much more than four straight 60-point seasons.
Don't know if he was picked or not, but I expected Ryan Kesler to be drafted. Over the last two seasons, he's been, for my money, one of the top two checking centres in the league. He should have been a Selke finalist last year, and he should win the Selke this year. (Although I think a certain centre in Philly will win it this year). He's big, and he's really mobile for a centre his size. He has excellent hockey sense, great defensive ability, and a strong physical presence. He is becoming everything I projected him to be when he was in college. At worst, I think he'll be in the MLD at this time next year, and if he continues to play at this level, he'll be in the ATD in two years.
Edit: Another current Philly center in the same mold as the first two mentioned, Jeff Carter could be added into the mix as well.
But Cheechoo, while he's fallen off the map offensively, still brings some grit and physicallity to the table. I've never heard him described as a bad locker room guy.
O'Neill, while an underachiever, still led his team in goals four years in a row. This was a guy who was in the running for the Canadian Olympic team in 2002. The general feeling was that had he not turned down invitations to the World Championships repeatedly in the preceding years, he might have snuck onto the team. He was one of the better scoring RW in the NHL in the early 2000's.
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