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Pavel Bure: Perceived in 1989 as the Best Player in the '89 Draft [With Sources].

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Pavel Bure: Perceived in 1989 as the Best Player in the '89 Draft [With Sources].

With the abundance of discussion in recent years about where Pavel Bure would have stood amongst his peers in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, some members of this forum have speculated that there were other eligible players who, at the time, were more heralded than Pavel Bure. The documents below will illustrate the widespread belief in 1989 that even prior to the draft, which took place on June 17, 1989, Bure was widely regarded as the best player available. We've discussed in the past whether he would have been taken first overall had he not been at the mercy of the Soviet factor -- the excerpts below confirm this, illustrating a complete picture of the perception of Bure at the time. He was, in fact, eligible to be picked in the first three rounds, falling beneath the first 63 draft choices only because of fears he would not ever leave the Soviet Union. Thus, a selection in the draft would have been a risky choice, a selection in the first three rounds even riskier:

Quote:
Swede likely top NHL pick: [3* Edition]
Beamish, Mike. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 15 June 1989: D1.

...

Two draftees who have the potential to make an immediate impact are Soviet left winger Pavel Bure and Czech left winger Robert Holik. If they were available, many scouts feel they'd go one-two ahead of Sundin. Neither is expected to go in the first round, though, because they might not be available for several years.

Mike Penny, Vancouver's director of scouting, says the drafting process, always a risky business, is filled with more than the usual number of imponderables this year.

"There are a lot of diamonds in the rough," Penny says. "The kid who's drafted 10th or 15th this year could turn out to be better than ones taken third or four."
Quote:
Top draftees likely to come from Europe: [3* Edition]
Beamish, Mike. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 16 May 1989: E2.

...

Unless Bure and Holik defect, don't plan on seeing them here for a long time. That leaves Sundin who could be available in two years after his military and club commitments are through.
Many believed, if Bure had not faced the obstacle of being behind the Iron Curtain, he would have easily been selected first overall. Mike Penny, the Canucks scout who would eventually help select Bure for Vancouver, assumed drafting him would have been impractical:

Quote:
Holik on his way?: [1* Edition]
Gallagher, Tony. The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 15 June 1989: 74.

...

With Soviet Pavel Bure another star who would be certain to be No. 1 overall if he were willing to take the Alexander Mogilny defection route, the draft is shaping up to have a few wrinkles.

"Bure is a great player, but would he be willing to come out?" says Canucks chief scout Mike Penny. "I know the situation we're in with the Soviets trying to get (Igor) Larionov, we're not likely to be taking him."
Quote:
Esposito pursues Swede to Europe
Houston, William. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 20 Apr 1989: A.24.

...

Strubb says there are several good European prospects in this year's NHL entry draft.

...

The best of the group is Soviet star winger Pavel Bure, a spectacular player with outstanding speed. He is compared to Vladimir Krutov and also the late Soviet superstar of the 1970s, Valeri Kharlamov. ''He's a great player,'' Strubb said. ''But he won't go in the first round. The chances of getting the Soviet federation to allow him to play in the NHL are not good.''
Quote:
NHL teams look to European trio: [Final Edition]
Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 16 June 1989: G3.

...

The consensus is the draft crop is moderate to weak, partly because the best three players eligible are not immediately available.

For the first time in the draft's 27- year history, the top three prospects are Europeans -- Mats Sundin of Sweden, Pavel Bure of the Soviet Union and Robert Holik of Czechoslovakia.

"They are a little bit ahead of our kids," says Kevin Prendergast of the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau in Toronto which provides the 21 clubs with ratings of all eligible players. "They are a notch ahead."

...

Unlike Bure and Holik, Sundin does not have to defect, although he is two years away from the NHL.
Some scouts at the time, especially then-Edmonton Oiler chief scout Barry Fraser, believed Bure should have been taken in the first three rounds anyway. Even if he would have been eligible in all twelve rounds, as Fraser assumes here, he expected Bure to be drafted in the first three rounds. Fraser hints that some would have selected him in the first three rounds simply to own his rights, as once the fourth round arrived he was assumed to be ineligible. It seems Edmonton Oilers management may have been waiting to see if Bure would have been selected in the first three rounds; if not, they apparently would have taken him much later in the draft. Edmonton Journal writer, Jim Matheson, provides some of these details from prior to the '89 draft:
Quote:
Oilers were ready to grab Mogilny in draft: [Final Edition]
JIM MATHESON Journal Staff Writer. Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 01 June 1989: H3.

...

With Mogilny gone, Pavel Bure is the rising star. The unbelievably quick centre may get drafted in the first three rounds of the National Hockey League lottery in Minneapolis on June 17, now that Mogilny has fled. It's not a good draft year, so why not pick a Soviet? Who knows how far glasnost will go?

"If they let him out at 22 or 23 (years old) they've got their nuts," said Fraser, who says Bure is an amazing talent. "They're not going to destroy their national or Olympic team and if anybody thinks so they're asinine."

But Bure, 18, is probably still as good a selection to make the NHL as the 60th pick in the draft.

"Actually he can be picked in any of the 12 rounds because he's played in their Elite League (Red Army)," said Fraser. Bet on somebody taking him in the top three rounds, though.
It seems the Oilers waited too long, though, as the Canucks drafted Bure first:
Quote:
HOCKEY: Bure mystery unsolved; Russian's draft status tipped to Canucks: [VALLEY Edition]
Anderson, Dave. The Ottawa Citizen [Ottawa, Ont] 08 June 1994: E1.

...

"We had procured the Red Army game sheets," Burke said. "They were in Cyrillic, but you could see that Bure's number was in the lineup for those 11 games. And say this for Glen Sather, the Oilers' general manager who would've taken Pasha if we hadn't. He had the same information we did, and even though we were in the same division he told Mr. Ziegler that the draft choice should stand."
Frank Orr of the Toronto Star even reported, due to the easing tensions between the Soviets and the West, Bure could have been picked as high as the second round. Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov expressed regret at not bringing him to the 1989 World Hockey Championships tournament:
Quote:
Fetisov, coach keep winning and feuding: [SU2 Edition]
Frank Orr Toronto Star. Toronto Star [Toronto, Ont] 30 Apr 1989: F4.

...

The coach added he was "more nervous about my team and the opposition" during this tournament than in any of the previous competitions. He was pleased with the play of young forwards Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Mogilny, a 20-year-old for which any NHL general manager would trade his soul.

"My only regret is that I didn't bring Pavel Bure, too, even though he is only 17 years old," Tikhonov said.

Bure is a brilliant young prospect who could be claimed as high as the second round in the NHL draft this season, just in case the comrades are serious about more exchanges with the West.
Here's a scouting report from May 13, 1989:
Quote:
Soviet teen-age star Bure draws accolades More dynamic than Sabres' Mogilny
Fisher, Matthew. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 13 May 1989: A.17.

As good as defector Alexander Mogilny of the Buffalo Sabres may be, the best teen-age hockey player from the Soviet Union is probably Pavel Bure , and he is eligible for this June's National Hockey League draft.

''From what I've seen of him, Bure can play on any team in the NHL right now,'' says Edmonton Oiler chief scout Barry Fraser, who has watched the 17-year old Soviet forward play in a few games. ''He's quick, real quick, small and very exciting. He may be the top player in this year's draft, but because he is from the Soviet Union, we don't analyze him the same way as a kid from the West.

''In the past, Bure might have gone in the fifth or sixth round (Mogilny was drafted in the fifth). Since the Mogilny defection, some teams may now be willing to take him around the third round. I don't expect him to go really early because it is still too much of a gamble to hope he will defect.''

At the recent world junior hockey championships in Anchorage, where the Sabres apparently made their initial contact with Mogilny, Bure was chosen as the outstanding forward. Canadian Olympic coach Dave King compares Bure to Valeri Kharlamov, the great little Soviet superstar of the 1970s.

''Believe me, as dynamic as Mogilny is, Bure's even more dynamic,'' King says. ''Sometimes during the play, you don't see Mogilny, but you always see Bure. He can make a big difference in a game.''

...

''If Bure were from the West, he'd be a No. 1 choice for sure,'' Lachapelle says. ''He's not the biggest guy, but he has the moves and nothing scares him. He's a hell of a prospect.''

While it is improbable that Bure or many other young Soviet players will risk destroying their families' lives by following Mogilny's daring path to the NHL, Fraser says it is likely in this, a particularly thin draft year, that the defection and the release of Sergei Priakin to the Calgary Flames will result in some NHL teams revising their draft charts in the next few weeks.

''I don't see mass defections - after all we've been playing them 15 years and only one kid has done that,'' Fraser says. ''How many people are willing to give up their lives and families to live in another country and language?

''But if as part of glasnost we're going to get players like Priakin after five or six years and there is an outside chance for a Mogilny it might be worth risking going for them a little higher.''
Many regarded Bure's addition to the 1990 World Championship lineup as the key to transforming the Fedorov line into the national team's top line, illustrating the perceived impact and status of Bure in 1989:
Quote:
Last hurrah for old gang of Soviets Fabled Green Unit fades away as new generation takes over
Houston, William. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 29 Apr 1989: A.17.

...

Both are major talents. Expected to join that line next season is Pavel Bure, an 18-year-old speedster, who is often compared to the late Valeri Kharlamov. Bure is of Swiss decent and his father was a world-class swimmer.

At this point, Fedorov's line is considered the team's third unit. But with the addition of Bure, it could quickly become the new No. 1 unit.
His performance at the 1989 World Junior Championships, where he scored 8 goals and 14 points in 7 games and was named Player of the Tournament, factored into this acknowledgement of his skill:
Quote:
Calibre of European players emphasizes needs for Canada
Kerr, Grant. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 06 Jan 1989: A.14.

...

Soviet winger Pavel Bure, 17, was considered the best young player in the tournament. Bure was selected the top forward, although teammate Mogilny starred in the final game. . . . The 1990 world junior tournament will be in Helsinki.
The Soviet factor generated anxieties about most Soviet-born players at the time, causing Alexander Mogilny to fall to the fifth round of prior year's draft, and Sergei Fedorov to the fourth round in 1989. The difference between Bure's national team linemates and himself was the belief that he had not played enough games to be eligible beyond the first three rounds. He might have been drafted in the fourth round had teams been aware of his eligibility -- even with the expectation that he would never play in the NHL. The rule, as phrased by Elliott Pap of The Vancouver Sun, was as follows:
Quote:
Ziegler to rule on Canuck case: [3* Edition]
Pap, Elliott. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 28 June 1989: D8.

...

Draft rules prohibit the selection of 18-year-olds after the first three rounds with some exceptions. In Bure's case, his eligibility hinges on whether he's made six international appearances with the Soviet senior national team.
This eligibility rule, thus, generated controversy when the Canucks selected Pavel Bure in the sixth round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft:
Quote:
Canucks get Herter thanks to Stars: [3* Edition]
Beamish, Mike. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 19 June 1989: C2.

...

In the sixth round (113th overall), they took dynamic Soviet left winger Pavel Bure, who would have been a consensus No. 1 overall pick if he were a North American.

Bure is superstar material.

"There's no question it was a coup," said Jack Button, Washington's director of player personnel.

But several teams, including the Capitals, cried foul when the Canucks picked the Soviet youngster. Many believed that, according to their interpretation of the sometimes confusing and subtle draft rules, Bure was not draft eligible after the third round.

League officials told Minnesota general manager Jack Ferreira that Bure had to be picked in the first three rounds because of his limited international experience.

"Everybody would have taken him earlier. We assumed he was not eligible," Button admitted. "You've got to give the Canucks credit for doing their homework."

It may be a moot point when you consider that Bure is only 18, plays for Central Red Army and is regarded as one of the Soviets' future stars. So there's no guarantee Bure will play in the NHL for several years, if it all.

Said Canuck general manager Pat Quinn: "When it came time for us to pick (in the sixth round), Bure was still there and we said 'Heck, we've got to do something. Nobody else has jumped on it.' Apparently there was a kerfuffle over it. But we had it verified and we took him. He's one of the finest players in the draft."
Quote:
Jets pay price to net talented puck stopper: [Final Edition]
Duhatschek, Eric. Calgary Herald [Calgary, Alta] 18 June 1989: E3.

...

* The Canucks made a shrewd move in drafting Pavel Bure, an 18-year-old from Central Red Army, in the sixth round. Many teams thought Bure, rated by The Hockey News as the "best player eligible for the 1989 entry draft," could only be drafted in the first three rounds. When the Canucks announced their selection, there was a flurry of protests. However, NHL executive vice-president Brian O'Neill ruled that the Canucks made a legal selection.
Quote:
CANUCKS GET A JASON: [1* Edition]
Gallagher, Tony. The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 18 June 1989: 62.

...

In the sixth they took Pavel Bure, the presently unavailable Soviet star considered the finest talent in the draft.

After the Bure pick, several teams including Pittsburgh and Washington came storming to the podium claiming league rules determined he had to be taken in the first three rounds. But the pick was allowed to stand.
Quote:
NEW TOGS, OLD FACES: [1* Edition]
Ullrich, Lowell. The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 23 June 1989: 49.

...

The Canucks will have to withstand a challenge of the validity of their sixth-round pick in Saturday's draft, Soviet right winger Pavel Bure. Washington has protested to the NHL, claiming Bure hasn't played the required number of games to be available for selection.

General manager Pat Quinn remains poised to leave for the Soviet Union as soon as internal matters surrounding the signing of Igor Larionov are resolved.
Quote:
Draft tough on Quebec players; Rush on for European talent: [Final Edition]
JIM MATHESON Journal Staff Writer. Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 19 June 1989: F3.

...

The Oilers took two Soviets -- Anatoly Semenov and Sergei Yashin -- who were in Edmonton with Dynamo Riga during the Christmas break. Both are 27, three years younger than defenceman Vladimir Zubkov, the Oilers' 10th-round draft who played in France last winter.

There's no guarantee we'll ever see either Soviet national team player at Northlands, but the Oilers have a better chance with them than, say, the Canucks who took Pavel Bure -- their newest sensation who's only 18.

"At that point of the draft (sixth round), you're dealing with questionable players, but who knows what will happen (glasnost)? Bure was the best talent in the draft," said Canucks' general manager Pat Quinn. True, but it's taken them four years to try and get Red Army player Igor Larionov out and now he's signed a letter of intent to play at Helsinki, something Quinn will discuss this week when he goes to Moscow.

With Bure, it may take him 10 years to ever get near him. And both are army guys; it certainly seems a better bet to maybe take a Soviet from Dynamo.
The pick was risky, as Pavel himself stated he would remain loyal to the Soviet national team and honor his allegiance to his country. The allure of being the star of the next generation of Soviet players was also quite tempting. After the selection was made, the Canucks fought hard to legitimize the pick:
Quote:
Soviet junior coming of age at right time: [HO2 Edition]
Frank Orr TORONTO STAR. Toronto Star [Toronto, Ont] 01 Jan 1990: D3.

...

Pavel maintains the family tradition of good timing, although that has nothing to do with watches. He's coming of age in hockey in the U.S.S.R. at a time of good opportunity, both domestic and foreign, some of that resulting from the large, almost shocking, changes that have swept his homeland.

...

"There is a rule in my country that a hockey player does not have the right to go abroad to play until he is 28 years old," said Bure through an interpreter. "But everything is changing at home very quickly these days so who knows what the future brings?"

...

"I could never do what Alexander did, no matter what happens," Bure said. "I love my country and feel a debt to it for all it has done for me. I could never leave my parents or friends that way. It was an enormous shock to all of us when he left that way."

That doesn't subdue a healthy curiosity about the NHL or a wish to play in it some day. The NHL can't agree on which team owns the rights to Bure.

Vancouver Canucks claimed him in the '89 waiver draft but Washington Capitals have challenged the claim. The draft rules state that players 18 years old can be claimed only on the first three rounds while the Canucks claimed Bure on round four. The Canucks insist their claim is valid because the age rule applies only to North American players. The NHL has yet to rule on the matter, a rather sticky one.

...

"To be in the NHL is not any large goal of mine but a man wants to know other countries and to play hockey in a new place would be a way to find out."
When John Zeigler voided the pick a month before the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, the Canucks were irate:
Quote:
Canucks' brass distressed at Ziegler's ruling on Bure: [3* Edition]
Beamish, Mike. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 22 May 1990: D1.

EDMONTON - Pavel Bure, a good-looking Soviet of German descent, had the potential to be one of the best draft picks the Vancouver Canucks ever made.

Explosive speed. Great instincts. A body built for durability, even though Bure is only 5'9".

"Any team that gets him is going to get a helluva player," said Brian Burke, Pat Quinn's right-hand man.

Last year's draft preview by The Hockey News stated, "Bure is, without question, the best player available in this draft. He is not, however, the best available player."

...

But Bure probably will never play for the Canucks. The National Hockey League made sure of that. In a three-paragraph release issued here Monday, NHL president John Ziegler voided the Canucks' pick and declared that Bure was ineligible for selection after the third round of last year's draft.

According to Ziegler's statement, evidence showed that Bure hadn't played a significant number of games in an elite or first division league in Europe to qualify.

The ruling means that the 19-year-old winger will be thrown back into the '90 draft, scheduled June 16 in Vancouver, and any of the other 20 teams can take a crack at him, in any round.

Quinn said, "I don't agree with the result, obviously. But I want to meet with Ziegler and find out what (appeal) procedures, if any, are now open to us."

Burke, however, thinks the Canucks were royally screwed. "Bure has the ability to be a great player in the NHL," he said. "I'm just astounded by the decision. I'm outraged. There are some hard questions to be asked about the people we pay to tell us whether a player is eligible or not."

Burke refers to Central Scouting, the talent-seeking combine run by the NHL to identify and evaluate the best juniors around the globe. He said NHL officials assured him three times on draft day that Bure was fair game in the sixth round.

"The NHL's own stats indicated he was eligible," Burke fumed. "Never again are we going to rely on accuracy from Central Scouting as it relates to drafting a European player."

...

Now that it has been shown that the Soviets can send players to the NHL and still win gold medals, there are signs they may be willing to soften their stand and release younger players, rather than just over-the-hill stars. Also, the Soviets are in desperate need of dollars.

...

Though they have three picks among the first 23 in the June draft, the Canucks can't afford to use one on a player who might come over who knows when. Their situation is too desperate for that.

Canucks don't have a pick available in the third round this year. And even if they did, Bure could be long gone by then.

So you can forget about the potential superstar the Canucks almost had.
Phrases such as "much-heralded" and "rising star" were used to describe him:
Quote:
Europeans fear exodus of their hockey talent
Fisher, Matthew. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 01 May 1990: A.23.

...

Rhyzhkov said the indifferent play in the NHL last season of half a dozen Soviet stars, including Sergei Makarov and Vyacheslav Fetisov, was a clear indication that many European players are not good enough for the incessant travel and the vicious hurly-burly of the North American game.

He lamented that young Soviet players, such as the much-heralded Pavel Bure, no longer had the chance to play with or against the likes of Makarov and Fetisov. "With so many players going to the NHL, the players who stay at home will have no good examples," Ryzhkov said.
Quote:
Krutov seeing press box duty: [FINAL Edition]
By Jim McKay Star Sports Writer. The Windsor Star [Windsor, Ont] 03 Jan 1990: C2.

...

Bure: Krutov was asked about the talent of Pavel Bure, the rising star of Soviet hockey currently starring in the World Junior Championships.

"Yes, Bure will be big star, like Larionov or (Sergei) Makarov," Krutov said.
Quote:
Time to deal with Flyers?: [1* Edition]
Gallagher, Tony. The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 06 May 1990: 68.

With the Vancouver Canucks management entourage having shipped over to Bern for one of those all-expenses paid holidays disguised as a business trip, let us hope the Swiss air stimulated their brain cells.

...

The intention was to sign one Pavel Bure, the extraordinary talent they claimed in last year's draft to the outrage of some other NHL teams. The 19-year-old speedster is the apple of Viktor Tikhonov's eye and his presence would even raise a twinkle in Bob McCammon's lamps were the discussions with his parents and Soviet officials fruitful.
When Pavel Bure thus was considered eligible for the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, scouts and analysts from across the hockey world looked at Bure with a keen eye:
Quote:
WHO's No. 1 That's the question as NHL teams ponder the crop of junior players leading up to draft day Saturday in Vancouver: [SU2 Edition]
Damien Cox Toronto Star. Toronto Star [Toronto, Ont] 10 June 1990: G12.

...

That's, of course, if they even have the pick by that time. The Nords, under new general manager Pierre Page, are at least listening to offers of great riches in return for the No. 1 selection.

The uncertainty over the possible events that could unfold over the next week and the excellent young talent at stake will undoubtedly make this year's draft the most exciting and dramatic in years.

Five players have the reputation and talent to be taken first over-all. To complicate matters further, two excellent Soviet players are eligible, with one, Pavel Bure, possibly the most talented junior in the world.
In a shocking turn of events, however, John Ziegler reversed his decision to annul the 1989 Bure draft choice, awarding the Canucks with the pick and at the same time sparking outrage amongst the rest of the league's general managers. This was a pivotal moment in the ongoing feud between Ziegler and some of the league's teams:
Quote:
NHL president challenged by dissident club owners Ziegler's handling of expansion among sore points
Strachan, Al. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 18 June 1990: C.10.

Vancouver BC -- BY AL STRACHAN The Globe and Mail VANCOUVER -For the first time in his tenure as National Hockey League president, John Ziegler is facing a serious threat to his authority.

A dissident group of owners, none of whom will make any public statements on the matter, have expressed growing dissatisfaction with Ziegler and have recently become incensed by a series of moves that they consider inappropriate.

...

At this stage, it would be incorrect to say that Ziegler is facing a palace revolt. The dissidents can claim to have only a quarter to a third of the NHL's 21 board members on their side. A majority vote would be needed to fire Ziegler.

...

Although there has been sporadic unhappiness with Ziegler, only in recent months has opinion hardened to the point that rebellion is being expressed openly.

...

Thursday's reversal of the Pavel Bure ruling also upset many NHL teams. Bure was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks last year, then ruled ineligible about a month ago. Then, Ziegler changed his mind after the Canucks provided further documentation.

At Friday's supplemental draft, a number of general managers, some of whom had been willing to expend a first-round pick on Bure, openly challenged Ziegler. One called the scene ugly and another said that he could not recall any league executive being exposed to such strident and open criticism.
Quote:
Red Wings lament the Russian who got away: [Final Edition]
McKenzie, Bob. Toronto Star [Toronto, Ont] 19 June 1995: D.4.

DETROIT IT ISN'T something he does often or with any sense of purpose, but Detroit Red Wings assistant GM Kenny Holland sometimes engages in a game of What If.

For instance, Holland wonders: What if the Wings had drafted Pavel Bure?

For Holland, though, imagining the Vancouver Canucks' Russian Rocket in Red Wings red is not so much a mental flight of fancy as it is a legitimate query of what really might have been.

``I don't think many people know how close we came to getting Bure in the '89 draft,'' said Holland, who was a Wings scout then but is now one-third of the Detroit management triumvirate (along with Scott Bowman and Jimmy Devellano).

...

``We're at the draft table and Christer tells Neil, `Now we should take Bure,' '' Holland said. ``Neil said he didn't think Bure had played enough games to be eligible. So Neil goes and checks with (NHL vice-president) Gil Stein and Stein tells Neil that Bure has played only seven games and it has to be 11.

``Neil comes back and tells us that and Christer says, `No, that's not right. He played 11. I know he played 11.' Neil goes back to Stein and tells him our European scout said Bure should be eligible. Stein still said no. So Neil comes back to the table and it's coming to our turn. We didn't think Bure was eligible, so we took someone else.'' That turned out to be fifth-rounder Shawn McCosh...

...

Rockstrom, however, was still insisting that the Wings choose Bure.

``Finally,'' Holland said, ``Neil said we were going to take Bure with our next pick no matter what and let the league settle the eligibility thing later. We were just about to pick Bure when the Canucks announced his name.''

Vancouver took Bure 113th over-all, three slots ahead of Detroit's 116th pick, which was Dallas Drake.

When Vancouver selected Bure, there was a storm of protest from clubs that had been told he wasn't eligible. A year later, just hours before the 1990 draft, NHL president John Ziegler ruled Bure had indeed played 11 games and was eligible for the '89 draft and the rightful property of the Canucks.

``We should have had (Bure),'' Holland said.
Though the Soviet factor caused the idea of drafting Pavel Bure in the first three rounds of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft to become a risk, some teams were considering selecting him in the top three rounds despite the fear he would never leave Russia. His talent alone solidified him in the minds of many scouts as the top player in the draft and the best young Soviet player in the world. If he were a North American player, he would have easily been drafted first overall, according to some analysts. This uncertainty about his status, thus, was ultimately the reason the Canucks succeeded in drafting him. The ramifications of this pick, however, included another strike against John Ziegler as team managers became frustrated with his ethics.

There are those who would debate Pavel Bure was not the most anticipated draft pick of the season and that he was not thought of as the best player of his draft year at the time. The Pavel Bure draft saga was well-publicized at the time as the Canucks stole the chances of drafting him from the rest of the league. The fact that so many teams clamored to have a chance to draft him, especially in the first round in 1990 and despite the uncertainty about his future behind the borders of Russia, speaks to the reverence teams had for his ability as a player and how excellent he was considered to be in relation to his contemporaries at the time.

Quote:
Works Cited:

Anderson, Dave. "HOCKEY: Bure Mystery Unsolved; Russian's Draft Status Tipped to Canucks." The Ottawa Citizen: 0. Jun 08 1994. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Beamish, Mike. "Canucks' Brass Distressed at Ziegler's Ruling on Bure." The Vancouver Sun: 0. May 22 1990. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Beamish, Mike. "Canucks Get Herter Thanks to Stars." The Vancouver Sun: 0. Jun 19 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Beamish, Mike. "Top Draftees Likely to Come from Europe." The Vancouver Sun: 0. May 16 1989. ProQuest. Web. 5 Aug. 2013 .

Beamish, Mike. "Swede Likely Top NHL Pick." The Vancouver Sun: 0. Jun 15 1989. ProQuest. Web. 5 Aug. 2013 .

Cox, Damien. "WHO's no. 1 that's the Question as NHL Teams Ponder the Crop of Junior Players Leading Up to Draft Day Saturday in Vancouver." Toronto Star: 0. Jun 10 1990. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Duhatschek, Eric. "Jets Pay Price to Net Talented Puck Stopper." Calgary Herald: 0. Jun 18 1989. ProQuest. Web. 5 Aug. 2013 .

Fisher, Matthew. "Europeans Fear Exodus of their Hockey Talent." The Globe and Mail: 0. May 01 1990. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Fisher, Matthew. "Soviet Teen-Age Star Bure Draws Accolades More Dynamic than Sabres' Mogilny." The Globe and Mail: 0. May 13 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Gallagher, Tony. "CANUCKS GET A JASON." The Province: 62. Jun 18 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Gallagher, Tony. "Holik on His Way?" The Province: 74. Jun 15 1989. ProQuest. Web. 5 Aug. 2013 .

Gallagher, Tony. "Time to Deal with Flyers?" The Province: 68. May 06 1990. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Houston, William. "Esposito Pursues Swede to Europe." The Globe and Mail: 0. Apr 20 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Houston, William. "Last Hurrah for Old Gang of Soviets Fabled Green Unit Fades Away as New Generation Takes Over." The Globe and Mail: 0. Apr 29 1989. ProQuest. Web. 5 Aug. 2013 .

Kerr, Grant. "Calibre of European Players Emphasizes Needs for Canada." The Globe and Mail: 0. Jan 06 1989. ProQuest. Web. 5 Aug. 2013 .

Matheson, Jim. "Draft Tough on Quebec Players; Rush on for European Talent." Edmonton Journal: 0. Jun 19 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Matheson, Jim. "Oilers were Ready to Grab Mogilny in Draft." Edmonton Journal: 0. Jun 01 1989. ProQuest. Web. 5 Aug. 2013 .

McKay, Jim. "Krutov Seeing Press Box Duty." The Windsor Star: 0. Jan 03 1990. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

McKenzie, Bob. "Red Wings Lament the Russian Who Got Away." Toronto Star: 0. Jun 19 1995. ProQuest. Web. 10 Aug. 2014 .

"NHL Teams Look to European Trio." Edmonton Journal: 0. Jun 16 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Orr, Frank. "Fetisov, Coach Keep Winning and Feuding." Toronto Star: 0. Apr 30 1989. ProQuest. Web. 5 Aug. 2013 .

Orr, Frank. "Soviet Junior Coming of Age at Right Time." Toronto Star: 0. Jan 01 1990. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Pap, Elliott. "Ziegler to Rule on Canuck Case." The Vancouver Sun: 0. Jun 28 1989. ProQuest. Web. 5 Aug. 2013 .

Strachan, Al. "NHL President Challenged by Dissident Club Owners Ziegler's Handling of Expansion among Sore Points." The Globe and Mail: 0. Jun 18 1990. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Ullrich, Lowell. "NEW TOGS, OLD FACES." The Province: 49. Jun 23 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .


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08-06-2013, 07:29 AM
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89 was yummy and singlehandedly made the Wings a power house but Fedorov and Lidström wouldn't have been in the same pool as Bure and Sundin today. Between Bure and Sundin Bure was more dynamic but teams probably would have gone fifty fifty, or slight edge Sundin, with Sundin's size, centre qualities and his more "canadian game".

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08-06-2013, 10:13 AM
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Some of the sources you cite call Bure the best player in the draft, but others seems to hold Bobby Holik on the same level.

I'm not really surprised Bure was that highly thought of, but Holik does surprise me a bit.


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08-06-2013, 06:39 PM
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Some of the sources you cite call Bure the best player in the draft, but others seems to hold Bobby Holik on the same level.

I'm not really surprised Bure was that highly thought of, but Holik does surprise me a bit.
As Holik was drafted tenth overall, I think one can see the discrepancy between the uneasiness about his future in the NHL and the even greater concern about Bure's status. Holik was touted by many to be the second-best player in the draft and though he was drafted in the first round, the concerns had him slip below Sundin in the draft. There was a debate regarding whether Sundin or Holik was considered the better player of the two. Of the three players, though, Sundin was the safest pick, Holik the second-safest, and Bure a total long-shot. Many assumed Bure would never join the NHL, though teams were willing to draft him early simply to obtain his rights; of course, once the first three rounds had passed, most thought he was ineligible anyway. The Oilers seemed to think they had him and were waiting to draft him late -- probably their greatest mistake of the draft. There was some uncertainty about Holik, but just prior to the draft came the revelation that he would potentially be available to play in the NHL, thus moving him from a projected mid-round draft choice to a first-round selection:
Quote:
Esposito pursues Swede to Europe
Houston, William. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 20 Apr 1989: A.24.

...

The No. 2 prospect in Europe is Robert Holik of Czechoslovakia. He can play centre or the wing. His sister lives in Minnesota and is married to North Star defenceman Franisek Musil.
Quote:
HOCKEY Penguins would like change in flight plans
Houston, William. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 03 Jan 1989: A.21.

...

Two factors pose an intriguing problem for NHL teams. One, Holik plays for Dukla-Jihlava, the Czechoslovak army squad, which happens to be coached by his father. That's a good reason not to take him.

However, his sister lives in Minnesota with North Star defenceman Frantisek Musil, who defected in 1986 from, yes, Dukla-Jihlava. Look for Holik to be drafted high. It is speculated that the Capitals will gamble by taking him in the first round.
In fact, one of the reasons Holik was drafted in the first round was because a rumor surfaced days before the 1989 NHL Entry Draft that he was in the midst of defecting from Czechoslovakia:
Quote:
Czech player has NHL teams rubbing hands: [3* Edition]
Beamish, Mike. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 15 June 1989: D3.

MINNEAPOLIS - If his passport didn't say "Czechoslovakia", 18-year-old Robert Holik would be one of the top picks in the NHL entry draft here Saturday.

The scouts say he has few weaknesses and plays like the Canucks' Trevor Linden, last year's No. 2 overall pick.

But most teams probably will lay off Holik, a 6'1", 205-pound centre/left winger, in the first round because they may not see him for several years . . . unless, of course, he were to defect.

And that's one of the more intriguing rumors making the rounds as hockey people graze in hotel lobbies to gossip and talk shop.

There is a persistent rumor that Holik is already in Minnesota and is planning to defect, as did countryman Frantisek Musil in 1986 to the North Stars.

Adding a delicious twist to the intrigue is the fact that Holik's sister, Andrea Holikova, lives in Minnesota. She is Musil's fiancee.

...

"If it's true, it could have a big effect on the player we get in the draft," said Brian Burke, the Canucks' director of hockey operations.

The Canucks have the eighth pick in the first round, just behind Minnesota.
Quote:
Czech player may disrupt at NHL draft: [FIN Edition]
Mark Harding Toronto Star. Toronto Star [Toronto, Ont] 15 June 1989: B1.

Robert Holik, one of the premier hockey players in the world, is thought to be in hiding in Minnesota after defecting from Czechoslovakia.

"The question of the day here is: Where is Robert Holik?" said one NHL executive who was in Minneapolis yesterday for meetings leading up to Saturday's entry draft.

"If he's in North America, as is rumored, it could throw the draft upside down."

Holik, an 18-year-old left winger with Dukla Jihlava and a member of the Czechoslovak national team, is apparently being kept under wraps by the North Stars. If this is the case, the North Stars would make the international star their No. 1 pick and No. 7 over-all in Saturday's draft.

A safer pick

"I can't say I've heard any direct scuttlebutt, but there's a lot of GMs here who feel he may be a safer pick than (Mats) Sundin," said Leafs general manager Gord Stellick, in Minneapolis to attend executive meetings. "Some people are of the opinion that he might be available to play in the not-too-distant future.

"I certainly expect (Holik) to go in the first round, but it won't be us who takes him," added Stellick, who has three selections in the opening round and four in the first 24.

...

"Holik's father is very high up in the (Czechoslovak) government and apparently has quite a bit of freedom to travel," said an NHL insider who asked to remain anonymous. "Holik spent a month in Minnesota last summer visiting with his sister."

Another source close to the North Stars said Musil and general manager Jack Ferreira met at great length early last season to discuss Holik's situation.

"He's a top-five player, no question of that," said an NHL scout. "He's big and strong and really has no flaws. He's tough and has tremendous skills.

"The most interesting aspect of this draft now might be where Holik goes. Quebec could very easily take a gamble and pick Holik."
Gord Stellick seemed to be under the assumption that the rumors were true, though the North Stars denied having any discussions with Holik. Thus, uncertainty loomed as the 1989 NHL Entry Draft approached:
Quote:
Stars said to be hiding Czechoslovak star Holik: [FINAL Edition]
The Gazette [Montreal, Que] 16 June 1989: F2.

TORONTO (CP) -- Robert Holik, an 18-year-old left-winger with the Czechoslovakian national hockey team, is believed to have defected to join the Minnesota North Stars, the Toronto Star says.

"The question of the day is: Where is Robert Holik?" the newspaper quotes an unnamed NHL executive, attending league meetings in Minneapolis that will be capped by the annual entry draft on Saturday.

The Star says hockey officials believe the young player, rated highly by NHL scouts, is being kept hidden by the North Stars with the intention of making him their No. 1 pick -- seventh overall -- in Saturday's draft.

"There's absolutely no truth to it," said former Minnesota general manager Lou Nanne. "The kid has been here before and I've had (Frantisek) Musil working on him, but he doesn't want to leave. With Musil I knew when he was only 18 years old that he wanted to play in North America. Maybe Holik will change his mind when he's older."
That ultimately explains why he fell to tenth overall but still remained a first round draft pick. There was certainly optimism that he would eventually join the NHL, though the uncertainties kept him from becoming a top-three pick in the draft. There was debate that he would be drafted ahead of Sundin, but questions about his status remained and the Nordiques seemed adamant about drafting Mats. In fact, the rumors of the Stars having helped Holik defect seem to have been untrue, as they drafted Doug Zmolek seventh overall and the Canucks drafted Jason Herter immediately afterward. The uncertainty caused him to fall to tenth, where he was drafted by the Hartford Whalers.

Quote:
Coffey offered to Kings: [Final Edition]
Matheson, Jim. Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 19 June 1989: F3.

...

Hartford GM Eddie Johnston looked a little silly with an empty Whaler jersey and a ballcap after they picked Czech Robert Holik, who's still in Prague despite the rumor he'd defected and was being stashed away somewhere. "In our mind (No. 1 pick) Mats Sundin and Holik are at the same level. We won't have to worry about him being able to play. If he comes out, he's a lot better player than anyone available at No. 12," Johnston said. Still it's a large risk. He's going into the army June 30 for two years and his dad Jaroslav coaches the Czech army team. The Minnesota North Stars, who talked to Holik a few days before the draft, knew he wasn't going to be granted a visa to visit his sister Andrea, a world-class tennis player who's the fiancee of the Stars' Frantisek Musil. Still they had planned on drafting him in round two . . .
Quote:
Habs surprise scouts by drafting Vallis First-round pick wasn't rated highly by most experts: [Final Edition]
By RED FISHER Gazette Sports Editor. The Gazette [Montreal, Que] 18 June 1989: C4.

...

A surprise, however, was the first-round pick (No. 10 overall) by the Hartford Whalers. They reached out for a high-quality Czechoslovak named Robert Holik, which goes against the normal practice of not drafting an Iron Curtain country player early in the draft.

"We know he still has two years to serve in the army," explained Whalers general manager Eddie Johnston. "He'll be only 20 then, and we're confident we can get him over here after that."
Quote:
Picking Czech in draft a major gamble for Whalers: [Final Edition]
Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 18 June 1989: D2.

...

"We called him today (in Czechoslovakia)," said Minnesota general manager Jack Ferreira. "His visa has been denied."

That didn't stop Whalers general manager Eddie Johnston from stepping up to the podium to make the announcement.

"We have a few things going but nothing really definite," Johnston said about being able to get Holik out of Czechoslovakia.
There seemed to be some optimism that Holik would be able to join the NHL, and so it was unlikely he would have slipped past the first round. Of course, the breakup of the Soviet Union simplified matters shortly thereafter, but the Whalers felt they could potentially have had him join their team in any case. He was a risky pick, but safe enough not to fall past the first round.

If the draft had occurred based solely on rankings of the best players available, the top three would have been 1) Pavel Bure; 2) Bobby Holik; 3) Mats Sundin.
Quote:
Works Cited

Beamish, Mike. "Czech Player has NHL Teams Rubbing Hands." The Vancouver Sun: 0. Jun 15 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Fisher, Red. "Habs Surprise Scouts by Drafting Vallis First-Round Pick Wasn't Rated Highly by most Experts." The Gazette: 0. Jun 18 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Harding, Mark. "Czech Player may Disrupt at NHL Draft." Toronto Star: 0. Jun 15 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Houston, William. "Esposito Pursues Swede to Europe." The Globe and Mail: 0. Apr 20 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Houston, William. "HOCKEY Penguins would Like Change in Flight Plans." The Globe and Mail: 0. Jan 03 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

Matheson, Jim. "Coffey Offered to Kings." Edmonton Journal: 0. Jun 19 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .

"Picking Czech in Draft a Major Gamble for Whalers." Edmonton Journal: 0. Jun 18 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013.

"Stars Said to be Hiding Czechoslovak Star Holik." The Gazette: 0. Jun 16 1989. ProQuest. Web. 6 Aug. 2013 .


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08-06-2013, 10:47 PM
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Some of the sources you cite call Bure the best player in the draft, but others seems to hold Bobby Holik on the same level.

I'm not really surprised Bure was that highly thought of, but Holik does surprise me a bit.
what really surprises me is that none of those articles consider fedorov the best player in the draft, or mention him in the same breath as bure, sundin, and holik.


but holik was a monster as a teenager. good showing in the WJC in his draft year, helping czechoslovakia to bronze. here's sundin on holik:

Quote:
The two have clashed often, beginning with Sweden-versus-Czechoslovakia internationals during the 80's.

"I've played against him since I was 16," said Sundin. "The thing is, he was the size he is today when we were 16.
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2001/...din010424.html

and i remember this other quote, which i can't find, where sundin is reminiscing about the lead-up to the '89 draft and he ways, "we were just kids, but bobby holik was already a man."

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08-07-2013, 11:37 AM
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Holik was a very highly thought-of prospect. I remember there was a big SI article on him when he first came over. He never became a big point producer, but he was an absolute force before the Rangers turned him into a punchline.

As for Bure, Ken Holland once said that they had the same information on him that the Canucks had, and that they were going to pick him at No. 116 in the fifth round of the 1989 Draft. They knew he was eligible, but decided to go with other options before chancing a pick on Bure. Then the Canucks stepped in. It wasn't a total loss for Detroit - they wound up taking Dallas Drake - but Drake obviously wasn't Plan A.

It does show how highly thought-of Bure was that:
a) He was likely the first top-notch Soviet prospect to be drafted as an 18-year-old. All the others (including Fedorov) were passed over at least once.
b) The fact that the Bure selection was allowed to stand was the beginning of the end for John Ziegler as president.

I have no doubts that a lot of scouts would have regarded Bure as the best 71-born prospect in the world. (Not that it was much of a horse race; 1971 wasn't a good year for prospects). And he wouldn't have been the first Soviet to hold that distinction. Many felt that Alex Mogilny was the best prospect born in 1969. He only had to wait one year before he was drafted.

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08-07-2013, 01:38 PM
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Holik

Yep, Holik was very, very highly rated at the time. Lots of people expected him to be a 40-goal scorer in the NHL and he was mentioned in the same breath as guys like Selanne and Mogilny and Jagr.

At the 1989 draft there were all sorts of rumors that Holik had secretly defected to the U.S. and the North Stars were hiding him and planned to pick him at #7. That turned out to be false.

Instead, Ed Johnston took a big gamble and picked Holik at #10 and the Whalers did a lot of work to pry him out of Czechoslovakia—as I recall, they had tennis star Ivan Lendl lobbying the country's hockey federation to let Holik play in North America.

Holik's first two years in Hartford were a bit weird. He was very good, but not the superstar everyone expected, and there was a lot of weird speculation that his love life was distracting him from hockey. Eventually, Brian Burke got impatient and traded the center for Eric Weinrich and Sean Burke--who was considered one of the best young goaltenders in the world after the '89 playoffs but then lost the starting job in New Jersey and held out.

I might be misremembering, but most people thought it was a pretty fair trade at the time. New Jersey probably got the better deal in the end, even though Holik was never a superstar.

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08-07-2013, 04:33 PM
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Wow, it's crazy to think Holik was 6-1 205 in his draft year, considering he played in the NHL at 6-4 230.

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08-07-2013, 06:52 PM
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Wow, it's crazy to think Holik was 6-1 205 in his draft year, considering he played in the NHL at 6-4 230.
yeah, that doesn't seem right, especially considering what sundin -- who was 6'3, 185 as a 19 year old rookie -- says about holik being bigger and stronger than him when they faced off as juniors. but his rookie card (pictured below) indicates the same size. but i guess it's not that uncommon-- didn't kevin garnett also grow a lot after he was drafted (as an 18 year old)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dissonance View Post
Yep, Holik was very, very highly rated at the time. Lots of people expected him to be a 40-goal scorer in the NHL and he was mentioned in the same breath as guys like Selanne and Mogilny and Jagr.

At the 1989 draft there were all sorts of rumors that Holik had secretly defected to the U.S. and the North Stars were hiding him and planned to pick him at #7. That turned out to be false.

Instead, Ed Johnston took a big gamble and picked Holik at #10 and the Whalers did a lot of work to pry him out of Czechoslovakia—as I recall, they had tennis star Ivan Lendl lobbying the country's hockey federation to let Holik play in North America.

Holik's first two years in Hartford were a bit weird. He was very good, but not the superstar everyone expected, and there was a lot of weird speculation that his love life was distracting him from hockey. Eventually, Brian Burke got impatient and traded the center for Eric Weinrich and Sean Burke--who was considered one of the best young goaltenders in the world after the '89 playoffs but then lost the starting job in New Jersey and held out.

I might be misremembering, but most people thought it was a pretty fair trade at the time. New Jersey probably got the better deal in the end, even though Holik was never a superstar.
kind of surprising being that he was just a 21 year old kid who everyone thought was falling too hard for his own good, and she was an older lady, but he did end up marrying her and they remain together, with their daughter, today.


one last thing on young holik: my memory is he was drafted as a winger. is that right? i think he played wing in the WJC in his draft year with reichel as his center and beranek on the opposite wing, and then wing again on that amazing line with reichel and jagr during jagr's draft year. (sidenote: beranek was that team's star in the WJC, and was drafted an over-ager in '89 draft, in round 4 soon after the also-over-aged fedorov went; reichel was holik's age, and also went in round 4, slightly before fedorov; holik, who was good in that WJC but not as polished as either of his linemates, obviously went much higher; but reichel especially put up major points as a 17 year old in the czech elite league, significantly more than holik.) and as i recall, he was played a crash and bang, young keith tkachuk-kind of role his first years in hartford right? (hockey-reference lists him as a LW in hartford.)

it's confusing. here are three rookie cards listing three different positions:







but the real question, i guess, is for TDDM or anyone else who remembers: if he came in as a big bruising winger, did he play that in NJ when he got there too? or was he turned into a center immediately? (hockey-reference lists holik as a LW his first year in NJ, then as a C starting his second year there.)

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08-07-2013, 07:20 PM
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Wow, it's crazy to think Holik was 6-1 205 in his draft year, considering he played in the NHL at 6-4 230.
he couldn't get to the draft, so his sister came and wore the jersey on draft day

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08-07-2013, 09:54 PM
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but the real question, i guess, is for TDDM or anyone else who remembers: if he came in as a big bruising winger, did he play that in NJ when he got there too? or was he turned into a center immediately? (hockey-reference lists holik as a LW his first year in NJ, then as a C starting his second year there.)
Hmm... this article claims that Hartford used Holik almost exclusively on wing (both left and right), even though he really wanted to play center.

Then this follow-up article from late 1992 says that New Jersey tried Holik at center after the trade--he was even their #1 for awhile, mainly because they didn't have much else--but soon gave up "when it became more and more evident that he is a genuine wing rather than a center."

Obviously Holik made the transition to full-time center at some point later on, but it sounds like it was a bit bumpy.

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08-08-2013, 12:39 AM
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Hmm... this article claims that Hartford used Holik almost exclusively on wing (both left and right), even though he really wanted to play center.

Then this follow-up article from late 1992 says that New Jersey tried Holik at center after the trade--he was even their #1 for awhile, mainly because they didn't have much else--but soon gave up "when it became more and more evident that he is a genuine wing rather than a center."

Obviously Holik made the transition to full-time center at some point later on, but it sounds like it was a bit bumpy.
nice sleuthing. in that first article, holik claims he had always played center before he came to the NHL. i guess the WJC was a one-time thing on reichel's wing for those two years. still, fun to think of an alternate reality where holik is 30-40 goal power forward like clark gillies. he certainly had the mean streak.

the '89 draft has always fascinated me because it would have been a completely different draft in a different political climate, but we'll never know what order those players should have gone in. but here's an interesting comment i found while trying to google young holik's position:

Quote:
With the national team he formed a legendary trio that goes into the books as one of the best forward lines the Czechs ever had. Jagr had Robert Reichel and Robert 'Bobby' Holik along side him.

Back then Reichel was considered to become the best player out of those three. "Reichel was smaller and possesed a great technique even in 1990 World Championship, he was the brain of the young gun line," David Schlegel says. "Jagr needed more time, but he was remarkable as well."
http://www.eurohockey.net/playerofth...omir_jagr.html

that can't be right, can it?

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08-08-2013, 12:50 AM
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but the other thing that fascinates about this draft is the euro factor. i think if GMs knew everything we know now and re-did that draft, it would look something like this:

1. lidstrom
2. fedorov
3. bure
4. sundin
5. konstantinov
6. foote
7. kolzig
8. holik
9. guerin
10. draper

but it isn't inconceivable that foote falls behind olie, holik, and guerin. which means that the top eight picks would all have been born outside canada, which is kind of nuts. is there another draft where the unequivocal top five guys are all european?

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08-08-2013, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
but the other thing that fascinates about this draft is the euro factor. i think if GMs knew everything we know now and re-did that draft, it would look something like this:

1. lidstrom
2. fedorov
3. bure
4. sundin
5. konstantinov
6. foote
7. kolzig
8. holik
9. guerin
10. draper

but it isn't inconceivable that foote falls behind olie, holik, and guerin. which means that the top eight picks would all have been born outside canada, which is kind of nuts. is there another draft where the unequivocal top five guys are all european?
The 1999 draft would be close, but Ryan Miller would probably be in the top 5. The best 5 skaters though are clearly Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg, Martin Havlat, and Martin Erat.

The 1992 entry draft would also merit consideration. The top 10 players (in rough order) are probably:

Alexei Yashin
Sergei Gonchar
Nikolai Khabibulin
Roman Hamrlik
Jere Lehtinen
Michael Peca
Cory Stillman
Martin Straka
Adrian Aucoin
Darius Kasparitis

I think it would come down to "Jere Lehtinen or Michael Peca?", which is amusing considering that question was posed many times when they were both in their primes.


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