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Washington Capitals 1976 Entry Draft
Once again, Washington finished with the worst record in the league thus "earning" the first overall pick in the draft. Because of the team's terminally porous defense, the Caps elected to choose defensive defenseman Rick Green. Said Caps GM Max McNab after the proceedings: "We're satisfied we got Green because we've got to start cutting down our goals against and we believe he's the type of defenseman who can help."

Green did help, but he was so clearly the Caps' best defenseman that the team rode him hard. He frequently played 35-40 minutes a night because Washington didn't have three or four more defensemen like him.

Melrose a Cap?

The California Golden Seals took Bjorn Johansson with their first pick (5th overall), making him the first player from outside North America to be selected in the first round. Johansson went on to play in only 15 NHL games.

Other notables in that draft were Bernie Federko (St. Louis, 7th) and the first of the six Sutter brothers, Brian (St. Louis, 20th). Montreal used the last pick of the second round (36th overall) on a defenseman from Kamloops named Barry Melrose.

Hindsight is 20/20:
As far as pure defensive defensemen, Green was the best of the bunch in 1976. Reed Larson (Detroit, 22nd overall) and Randy Carlyle (Toronto, 30th) offered more offensive punch. Carlyle was the 1981 Norris Trophy winner. Center Greg Malone went four picks after Carroll, and he went on to enjoy a successful 704-game NHL career.

NO. PLAYER POS. COMMENT

1

Rick Green
D
Six seasons with Caps, went to Habs in Langway deal, won a Cup in 1986.

15

Greg Carroll
C
Signed with Cincinnati of WHA, returned to play 24 games with Caps, 131 in NHL.

37

Tom Rowe
RW
Played 185 games with Caps; scored 31 goals in 1978-79.

55

Al Glendinning
D
Also drafted by the WHA's Quebec Nordiques. Played two seasons of pro hockey.

73

Doug Patey
RW
Brother of former NHLer Larry, Doug played 45 games over three seasons with Capitals.

91

Jim Bedard
G
Went 17-40-13 in two years with Caps. Played in Finland from 1980-88. Now Detroit's goalie coach.

100

Don Wilson
D
Never turned pro.
109
Dale Rideout
G
Played three seasons of pro hockey.
119
Allan Dumba
RW
Also drafted by the WHA's Edmonton Oilers. Had two 30- and two 40-goal years in IHL.

 
 
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