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The Mark Messier Question

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01-24-2006, 03:25 PM
  #1
sunb
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The Mark Messier Question

Mark Messier is the 2nd all-time leading scorer in NHL history. How was a guy this good passed up so many times and drafted in the 3rd round at 48th overall?

He grew up in North America, right in the backyards of the NHL scouts. Unlike other low draftees who turned around to have great careers, Messier didn't have many flaws as he was physical, a solid skater and great all around.

Was there a reason why he was drafted so low? I read a biography about him too. Apparently, he might not even have been drafted but the Oiler's scout played in the WHL (when it was a Pro league) with Messier's father, who played defense in the WHL for a long time. That was why Messier was drafted in the 3rd round. He may even have gone undrafted!

How was a guy this good rated so low?

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01-24-2006, 05:27 PM
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brianscot
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I believe it mostly had to do with the fact that Messier didnt play the top level of Canadian Junior hockey and that in those days, even scouting the best euro's was still something of an novelty.

Even U.S. college hockey players werent a given to be drafted despite being close at hand for scouting purposes. The notion soon wore off, but teams mostly relied upon the tried and true OHL, QMHJL, and WHL for draft picks.

Even with the St. Alberts Saints in the AJHL, Messier didnt put up eye catching numbers, nor did he do so as a man child with the Cincinnati Stingers in the WHA.

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01-25-2006, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianscot
nor did he do so as a man child with the Cincinnati Stingers in the WHA.
There's the magic words. He was drafted following that Stinger season and based on what he did there, he's lucky he went as high as he did.

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01-26-2006, 03:56 AM
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OK so heres a follow up question... How come he made the Oilers team straight up at 18 then after his draft? I mean today only the top 3 or 4 plus maybe a few others make it straight up. Surely no way a kid coming off an average WHA season and no major junior experience would be looked at to come straight in. You'd think he'd be sent away for a few years conditioning?

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01-26-2006, 04:38 AM
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He was also considered an 'untamed stallion' (can't remember who said that within the Oilers organization). Scouts recognized the potential he had, but there was major concern that he'd be too much of a hellion both on and off the ice for him to pan out. He wasn't really coachable.

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01-26-2006, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bugg
He was also considered an 'untamed stallion' (can't remember who said that within the Oilers organization). Scouts recognized the potential he had, but there was major concern that he'd be too much of a hellion both on and off the ice for him to pan out. He wasn't really coachable.
It was Sather himself that said that about him being like a young race horse. I think being around such a talented bunch of guys and a lot of guys his age at the time helped keep him inline. Always try to think what prospect/young player is like that today in their style of play but can never think of anyone.

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01-26-2006, 08:32 AM
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It was also the season they combined two draft years into one so there was a rich crop of players.

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01-26-2006, 04:53 PM
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The reason is simple... people were just stupid back then.

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01-26-2006, 06:03 PM
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For the record, the three players taken right before Messier were:

Jody Gage (Det): 68 career NHL games
Boris Fistric (Det): 0 career NHL games
Ken Ellacott (Van): 12 career NHL games

`79 is often called the greatest draft ever with Messier turning out to have the best career of any of the players in it (Ray Bourque would be a very close second). Aside from Edmonton the big winners were Montreal (Naslund and Carbonneau), Philly (Propp and Lindbergh) and Quebec (Goulet and Hunter).

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01-27-2006, 06:28 AM
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You also have to take into account 48th is a mid 2nd rounder these days in 1979 it was an early 3rd.

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01-27-2006, 02:27 PM
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Well sometimes drafts go bad. I mean Fleury was chosen 166th overall. Curtis Joseph or Martin St. Louis were never drafted.

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