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  • Writer's pictureDerek Ochej

Forgotten history: the supplemental draft

With all the hype devoted to the current NHL Entry Draft, its hard to remember that draft day was once a subdued affair. Before the days of arenas packed with fans, draft-eligible players and their families, and franchise front offices, the amateur draft was contained to a Montreal hotel or the NHL head office. This changed in 1980 with the Entry Draft being held in the Montreal Forum, and over the next decade evolved by adding television broadcasting and moving the draft around the league.

In 1986 the NHL created a second draft, known as the Supplemental Draft. For this draft, American college players that were ineligible for selection in the Entry Draft due to being over the age of 20 could be selected. The supplemental draft was developed in response to the bidding war that took place for high-profile college free agents Adam Oates and Ray Staszak.

From 1986 to 1991 the draft was a two-round affair, with only non-playoff teams participating in the first round, and the second round open to all franchises. From 1992 to its demise in 1994, the draft was limited to a single round for non-playoff and expansion teams.

Much like the signing of college free agents in modern times, the supplemental draft contained more misses than hits. The first ever selection, Ian Kidd, was deemed ineligible as he started his college career after the age of 20. The first few drafts were marred by ineligible selections, and the occasional franchise declining their pick.

Players selected first overall include: Bob Kudelski (Los Angeles 1986, 442 NHL games), Dave Snuggerud (Buffalo 1987, 265 games), Mike McHugh (Minnesota 1988, 20 games), Dave DePinto (Quebec 1989, 0 games), Mike McKee (Quebec 1990, 48 games), Jeff McLean (San Jose 1991, 6 games), Cory Cross (Tampa Bay 1992, 659 games), Eric Flinton (Ottawa 1993, 0 games), and Sean McCann (Florida 1994, 0 games).

Some notable supplemental draft alumni include Steve Rucchin (who holds the record for most NHL games played by a supplemental draft player, with 735) and John Cullen, who holds the record for most career NHL points by a supplmental draft alumnus with 550. Shawn Chambers, Todd Krygier, Jamie Baker and Steve Martins are other players who carved out respectable NHL careers after being taken in the supplemental draft.

Card 297 - Brad Shaw

A defenceman, Shaw was drafted 86th overall by Hartford in 1982. He played two seasons with Ottawa in the OHL, turning pro in the 1984-85 season with Salt Lake City in the IHL. From 1985 to 1988 Shaw played with Binghamton in the AHL, squeezing in 14 NHL games with Hartford during that time, scoring one goal and three points. For the 1988-89 season he went to Europe, playing in Italy.

At age 25, Shaw made the NHL full-time in the 1989-90 season, scoring three goals and 35 points, being named to the all-rookie team. In the 1990 playoffs he led the team in playoff scoring with two goals and seven points as the Whalers lost to Boston in the Adams Division Semi-Finals. Over his next two seasons in Hartford, Shaw recorded seasons of 32 and 25 points respectively.

Despite his steady offensive contributions, Shaw was left exposed in the 1992 expansion draft and was selected by the Ottawa Senators. His first season with the Senators was a career-best offensively, scoring seven goals and 41 points. Like most of Shaw’s teammates, his offensive exploits could not keep up with the Senators’ defensive deficiencies, and Shaw finished with a -47 rating, third worst in the league.

Shaw’s second season in Ottawa saw him named team captain after the departure of Laurie Boschman. Much like his predecessor, after being named captain his time with Ottawa was soon up, playing only two games in the 1994-95 season, spending most of the season in the IHL. From 1995 to 1999 Shaw played with Detroit in the IHL before signing back with Ottawa as a free agent in March 1999. He wouldn’t get a chance to suit up for Ottawa, as he was claimed off re-entry waivers by Washington. Shaw played four games with the Capitals before a trade to St. Louis, where he played the last 12 games of his NHL career.

Over 11 NHL seasons Shaw played in 377 games, scoring 22 goals and 159 points. Since retiring Shaw has had various coaching stints, including head coaching gigs in the IHL with Detroit (2009-2010) and Cincinnati (2002-2005). In 2005-06 he was hired as an assistant with the New York Islanders, briefly taking on interim head coaching duties that season. From 2006-16 he was an assistant with St. Louis, and from 2016 to 2021 with Columbus. For 2021 he was hired by Vancouver as an assistant coach, and he has also coached internationally with Italy for the 2022 Olympic qualifying tournament.

YouTube clip: an interview with TSN during his first season in Ottawa.

Card 298 - Igor Larionov

A centre, Larionov was drafted 214th overall by Vancouver in 1985. Despite the late round selection, he was an internationally renowned player, having played at the highest levels in his native Soviet Union since 1977. In 1981-82 he joined the famed CKSA Moscow, aka the Red Army, where he played until 1989, forming the KLM Line with Vladimir Krutov and Sergei Makarov.

In 1989-90, the Professor, as he was nicknamed, joined the Canucks at age 29. He scored 17 goals and 44 points in his first NHL season. Larionov experienced some adjustments to the North American game, seeing his point totals dip to 34 in his sophomore season, bouncing back in 1991-92 with a career-high 21 goals and 65 points.

In October 1992 Larionov was claimed in the waiver draft by the expansion San Jose Sharks, but chose to join Lugano in Switzerland, signaling what many thought was the end of his North American pro career. He returned to the NHL in 1993-94 with the Sharks, scoring 56 points and earning Hart and Selke votes. Early in the 1995-96 season he was traded to Detroit for Ray Sheppard.

With the Red Wings Larionov would form part of the Russian 5 alongside Sergei Fedorov (pictured with Larionov on the front this card), Slava Kozlov, Vladimir Konstantinov and Slava Fetisov, becoming the first all-Russian unit in the NHL. In Larionov’s first season in Detroit he scored a career-high 71 points and added 13 points in 19 playoff games as the Wings lost to Colorado in the Western Conference Finals. The Red Wings would go on to win consecutive Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998, with Larionov contributing 12 and 13 points in each respective playoff season.

In 2000 Larionov signed as a free agent with Florida, playing only 26 games with the Panthers before a trade back to Detroit for Yan Golubovsky. In 2002 he won his third Cup with Detroit, contributing 11 points in 18 playoff games. In September 2003 the Professor signed with New Jersey, playing the final 49 games of his NHL career before retiring at season’s end at the age of 43.

In 14 NHL seasons, Larionov played in 921 games, scoring 169 goals and 644 points, keeping in mind he started his NHL career at age 29. Internationally, Larionov has won two world junior golds, four world championships and two Olympic gold medals, along with being a member of the Triple Gold club. He was named Soviet player of the year in 1988, was elected to the International Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009. Since 2010 he has coached a variety of Russian men’s national teams, primarily with the under 20 squad.

YouTube clip: scoring the winner in triple overtime of Game 3 of the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals. Larionov was 41 years old at the time of this goal, setting the record for oldest player to score a game-winning goal in the playoffs.

Card 299 - Ron Francis

Drafted fourth overall by Hartford in 1981, the centre had played one season with Sault Ste. Marie in the OMJHL before he was promoted to the NHL shortly after starting his second season in the Sault. As a rookie in 1981-82, Francis scored 25 goals and 68 points with the Whalers.

Over his next eight NHL seasons (1983-1990), Francis scored no less than 23 goals or 75 points in a season, scoring 30 or more goals and 90 or more points three times. He led the Whalers in scoring five times, never finishing lower than second. As much as Francis contributed individually on the ice, the Whalers were not a good team, advancing to the Division Finals only once in those eight seasons.

Late in the 1990-91 season Francis was traded to Pittsburgh in a six-player blockbuster that saw the Whalers acquire John Cullen. Francis scored 11 points in 14 regular season games with the Pens, adding 17 in 24 playoff games as the Penguins would win their first Cup in franchise history. The following season saw Francis record the lowest point total of his career (54), but he turned it up for the playoffs, scoring 27 points including a league leading 19 assists as the Pens won their second straight Cup.

In the mid 1990s Francis took his game to another level, leading the league in assists in back-to-back seasons (48 in 1994-95, 92 in 1995-96), winning the Lady Byng and Selke trophies in 1995 while also captaining the Penguins in Mario Lemieux’s absence. In 1996 he finished fourth in league scoring with 119 points, and second in Selke voting. He would win his second Selke Trophy in 1998, finishing fourth in Byng voting that season.

In 1998, Francis rejoined his former franchise, reconstituted as the Carolina Hurricanes, as a fre agent. In his first three seasons in Carolina he recorded 50 assists, winning his third Byng and first King Clancy Trophy in 2002. That season he helped the Hurricanes reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history, scoring 16 points in 23 games as the Canes ultimately lost to Detroit. The following season Francis scored 20 or more goals for the 20th time in his career.

At the 2004 trade deadline he was sent to Toronto for a draft pick. He played 12 regular season and 12 playoff games with the Maple Leafs before retiring. In 23 NHL seasons, Francis played in 1731 games (5th all-time), scoring 549 goals, 1249 assists (2nd all-time) and 1798 points (5th all-time). He surprisingly played in only four all-star games (1983, 85, 90 and 96). Francis was captain with Hartford from 1985 to 1990, and is the franchise leader in games played, goals, assists and points. He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 2006 Francis became the director of player development with the Hurricanes, adding the role of associate coach from 2008 to 2011. In 2014 he became the executive vice-president of hockey operations and general manager, a role he held until 2018. In 2019 Francis was named the first general manager of the expansion Seattle Kraken; he is also the associate GM for the 2022 Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team.

YouTube clip: Francis' video from being named one of the NHL's top 100 players of all-time.

Card 301- Bob Kudelski

A right winger, Kudelski played four years of college hockey at Yale before he was selected first overall in the 1986 supplemental draft (see more on that above) by Los Angeles. He turned pro for the 1987-88 season, primarily playing in the AHL, but managing 26 games with the Kings, recording one assist.

After 16 games the following season, Kudelski broke out in 1989-90, scoring 23 goals and 36 points in 62 games. The following season he produced the exact same stat line and was playing well into December 1992 when he was traded to the expansion Ottawa Senators in a four-player swap. Finishing the season with Ottawa, Kudelski recorded his third-straight 20 goal season, recording 35 points in 48 games with the Sens that season, finishing second on the team in scoring.

Playing for a historically bad Ottawa team, Kudelski continued to produce into the 1993-94 season, scoring 26 goals in 42 games with Ottawa before a January 1994 trade to Florida for two draft picks, Evgeny Davydov and Scott Levins. He ended the season playing 86 games (tied with Jimmy Carson for the single season record), scoring 40 goals and 70 points, both career-highs. He was rewarded with a trip to the 1994 all-star game, and still finished second on the Senators in goals despite playing only half the season.

Sadly Kudelski’s career went off a cliff after 1993-94, playing only 39 games for the Panthers between 1994 and 1996, scoring six goals and 10 points. He retired following the 1995-96 season.

In nine NHL seasons Kudelski played 442 games, scoring 139 goals and 241 points. During his time at Yale he graduated with a degree in economics and political science, and according to a LinkedIn profile, is currently vice-president of JBF Consulting in Utah.

YouTube clip: scoring a hat trick against Winnipeg in November 1993. The Senators trailed the Jets 6-3 going into the third period before Kudelski tied the game with less than 30 seconds left in regulation and potted the winner in overtime to complete the comeback and hat trick.

Card 302 - Larry Murphy

A defenceman, Murphy was drafted fourth overall by Los Angeles in 1980, having played two seasons of junior hockey with Peterborough. He jumped immediately to the NHL as a 19-year old, scoring 17 goals and 76 points, finishing second to Peter Stastny for the Calder Trophy and seventh in Norris Trophy voting. His 76 points set a record for rookie defencemen in a single season, one that stands to this day.

It proved hard to live up to his stellar rookie season, but Murphy still recorded seasons of 66 and 62 points the following two seasons respectively. Early in the 1983-84 season he was traded to Washington for Brian Engblom and Ken Houston. Over the next four seasons in Washington his point totals increased from 46 to 56 to 65 to 81, capped with a career-high 23 goals in 1986-87. That season he was also named a second team all-star and finished third in Norris voting.

Into his sixth season as a Capital, Murphy was traded to Minnesota in 1990 with Mike Gartner in exchange for Dino Ciccarelli and Bob Rouse. He played parts of three seasons with the North Stars before a trade to Pittsburgh in December 1990 with Peter Taglianetti for Jim Johnson and Chris Dahlquist. Murphy scored 28 points in 44 regular season games with the Penguins, then added 23 points in 23 playoff games as the Pens won their first Cup; Murphy also led the playoffs with a +17 rating.

1991 to 1995 represented the peak of Murphy’s career, scoring 70+ points three times and 20+ goals twice. He was twice named a second team all-star, finishing top five in Norris Trophy voting three times (finalist in 1993) and won his second Stanley Cup in 1992. As was the story through Murphy’s career, he was still not afforded the respect he deserved, and in the summer of 1995 he was shipped to Toronto for Dmitri Mironov and a second round pick.

Born in nearby Whitby, Murphy played less than two years for his hometown Maple Leafs, being unceremoniously traded to Detroit for ‘unknown compensation’ late in the 1996-97 season. In his time in Toronto he was frequently blamed for the Leafs shortcomings. Murphy proved that the best revenge is a life well lived, recording back-to-back seasons of 52 points with the Red Wings, and winning his third and fourth Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998 respectively. He led the playoffs in plus/minus rating during both of those Cup runs, and finished second in the NHL regular season in 1997-98 at +35. Murphy retired after playing 57 games during the 2000-01 season.

In 21 NHL seasons, Murphy played in 1615 games (12th all-time), scoring 288 goals and 1217 points. He ranks 19th all-time with 929 assists and was the all-time leader in games played by a defenceman when he retired, being surpassed only by Scott Stevens since. Murphy played in three all-star games (1994, 96 and 99) and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. In retirement he has worked as both a broadcaster and scout for the Red Wings, and is also involved in endurance car racing.

YouTube clip: scoring the Pens’ eighth goal in the Game 6 of the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals against Minnesota.

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