To commemorate the 50th NHL Draft which takes place next Friday in Pittsburgh, TSN.ca looks back at 10 memorable storylines from the history of the event in 10 days. Today, we look back at Gilbert Perreault, the first-ever superstar pick by an expansion team.
Vancouver took Toronto Marlboros defenceman Dale Tallon with the second pick and while he mounted a solid NHL career, comparing him to Perreault was comparing apples and oranges. Perreault would mount an impressive, point-per-game career, tallying 512 goals and 1,326 points in 1,191 NHL games.
And while he would be the first player to become a 'franchise pick,' he wouldn't be the last. Since then, 12 expansion teams have had a crack at trying to land a "face of the franchise" at their first draft to varying degrees of success.
While four teams have taken their first-ever picks with the top selection, none have come close to touching Perreault's impact on the league. However, a few teams have managed to hit home runs with their first picks.