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Washington Capitals 1974 Entry Draft
The 1974 NHL Entry Draft was conducted via a secret conference call from Montreal. With the World Hockey Association's raid on NHL talent in full swing, the NHL wanted to inhibit the upstart WHA from negotiating with players before their NHL clubs could tender a contract offer.

Capitals GM Milt Schmidt, architect of the 1969 and 1971 Stanley Cup-winning Boston Bruins, conducted the draft for Washington. With the first overall pick, the Caps took defenseman Greg Joly. Schmidt touted Joly as an excellent puck-rushing defenseman, the type of player that teams were after since Bobby Orr came into the league. Joly didn't pan out in DC and he was dealt to Detroit after two seasons as a Capital. Injuries curtailed his career and he is remembered as one of the least successful of all first overall picks.

Schmidt took winger Mike Marson -- a stockily built native of Toronto -- with his second pick. Marson followed in the footsteps of Willie O'Ree, becoming the second African-American player to don an NHL uniform. Because the talent acquired by the Capitals in the expansion draft was so thin (another by-product of the inroads made by the WHA), the Caps had to bring the teenaged Marson along at the NHL level. Instead of learning his craft in junior hockey or in the minors, Marson was force-fed at the NHL level. It had an overall negative effect on Marson's career, as he never managed to fulfill his potential.

Of the 25 players selected by the Capitals, only six ever skated on an NHL ice surface. Aside from Joly and Marson, left winger Tony White made the biggest splash. He had one big year with the Caps (25 goals and 42 points) in 1975-76 but faded quickly afterwards. White later played six games with the Minnesota North Stars before finishing his career in Germany.

Hindsight is 20/20: The Caps took Joly because they wanted to build around a puck-rushing defenseman with offensive skills. Better choices would have been Mark Howe and Ron Greschner. Howe was taken by the Bruins with the 25th pick. He chose to sign with the Houston Aeros of the WHA because of the opportunity to play with father Gordie and brother Marty. Mark Howe went on to play in 929 NHL games, scoring 197 goals and 742 points. Given that Howe jumped to the WHA, Greschner would obviously have been the optimal pick. Drafted 32nd overall, he played in 982 NHL games, scoring 179 goals and totaling 610 points.

And if the Caps had not been so fixed on taking a defenseman, either of the New York Islanders' top two picks that year -- Clark Gillies (4th overall) or Bryan Trottier (22nd overall) -- would have looked nice in a Caps sweater for the better part of the 70s and 80s.

NO.
PLAYER
POS.
COMMENT

1

Greg Joly
D
Spent two seasons in DC, traded to DET for Bugsy Watson.

19

Mike Marson
LW
Talented power forward was rushed to the NHL. Five seasons with Caps.

37

John Paddock
RW
Eight games with Caps, went to Philly for Bob Sirois. Later coached the Jets.

55

Paul Nicholson
LW
Spent parts of three seasons with Caps, scoring four goals in 62 games.

73

Jack Patterson
LW
Spent most of his pro career in the IHL, never made it to the NHL.

91

Brian Kinsella
C
Played 10 games for Caps, had an assist. Big scorer in IHL into the mid-80s.

109

Garth Malarchuk
G
Clint's older brother. Never played in NHL, spent a few seasons in the IHL.
127
John Nazar
LW
Also drafted by the WHA's New England Whalers. Pro career consisted of 3 IHL games.
144
Kelvin Erickson
G
Also drafted by the WHA's Indianapolis Racers. Played one game in the IHL.
161
Tony White
LW
Scored 25 goals for the Caps in '75-76. Scored 37 in 158 lifetime with Caps.
176
Ron Pronchuk
D
Also drafted by the WHA's Michigan Stags. Spent a few years in the NAHL.
190
Dave McKee
LW
Drafted from the Oshawa Generals but never turned pro.
202
Scott Mabley
D
Also drafted by Indy Racers. Pro career was one game with NAHL's Buffalo Norsemen.
212
Bernard Plante
LW
Younger brother of former NHLer Pierre Plante. Drafted from Trois Rivieres of the QMJHL but never turned pro.
220
Jacques Chiasson
RW
Drafted from Drummondville of the QMJHL but never turned pro.
225
Bill Bell
LW
Drafted from Regina Pats. Pro career consisted of one game with Long Island of NAHL.
228
Bob Blanchet
G
Played in four games for the San Diego Mariners of the WHA.
231
John Bower, Jr.
D
Son of legendary goaltender was drafted from Downsview of OPJHL (Junior A), never turned pro.
234
Yves Plouffe
D
Also drafted by Indy Racers but never turned pro.
237
Terry Bozack
D
Pro career consisted of one game with Greensboro Generals of the SHL.
240
Gord Cole
LW
Spent two years as a pro, including a season with the Philadelphia Firebirds of the AHL.
242
Mike Cosentino
C
Drafted from Hamilton of the OHA, never turned pro.
244
John Duncan
D
Also drafted by the WHA's Winnipeg Jets, never turned pro.
246
Barry Kerfoot
RW
Drafted from Smiths Falls (Junior A), never turned pro.
247
Ron Poole
C
Drafted from Kamloops, never turned pro.


 

 
 
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