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Washington Capitals Entry Drafts: 1982
Before winning Cups in NJ, Stevens grew in DC
Interim general manager Roger Crozier manned the controls for the Capitals at the 1982 Entry Draft -- David Poile was still months away from taking over as the team's GM. The Bruins made a deal with the North Stars, getting Brad Palmer in exchange for passing on Brian Bellows and taking defenseman Gord Kluzak, a move that Beantowners would rue for years to come. Bellows scored nearly 500 goals while Kluzak's career was marred by injuries. Boston's gaffe was Minnesota's good fortune; the Stars took Bellows with the second pick.

After Gary Nylund and Ron Sutter were taken by Toronto and Philadelphia, respectively, the Caps were up. Crozier resisted pleas from the scouting department to take a forward and instead cast his lot with a hardnosed defenseman from Kitchener, Ontario, future Hall of Famer Scott Stevens. The pick stands as one of the best first-round selections the franchise has ever made.

The remainder of the draft was not as bountiful from a Capitals standpoint. Washington's next pick was late in the third round, and the Caps used it to take Czech center Milan Novy, a 30-year-old star of international and European competition. It was a creative pick by the Caps, but it did not work out. Novy was past his prime and had trouble adjusting to the physical nature of the NHL as well as North American culture. Dean Evason, the Caps' third pick, enjoyed a long NHL career but played only 17 games with the Caps. Evason is now a Caps assistant coach.

Among the other prominent first rounders were Phil Housley (sixth overall), Rich Sutter (10th), Dave Andreychuk (16th) and Ken Daneyko (18th). Among the other notables taken in 1982 are Pat Verbeek (43rd), Kevin Dineen (56th), Ray Ferraro (88th), Ron Hextall (119th), Doug Gilmour (134th) and Kelly Miller (183rd).

Hindsight is 20/20: You can't argue with the selection of Stevens. Two picks after the Caps took Novy, Boston tabbed longtime NHL character forward Dave Reid. Reid played for two Cup winners during an 18-year NHL career. When the Caps took Ed Kastelic with the 110th overall pick, left wing Tony Granato was still available. The Rangers took him with the 120th pick.

NO. PLAYER POS. COMMENT

5

Scott Stevens
D
Played 23 seasons, 1,635 regular season and 233 playoff games in NHL. Caps never adequately replaced him.

58

Milan Novy
C
Czech star played one season (18-30-48) with Caps before returning home.

89

Dean Evason
C
Played 17 games with Caps before being traded. Had a solid 13-year NHL career.

110

Ed Kastelic
RW
Scored two goals in 73 games with Caps. Had a seven-year NHL career.

152

Wally Schreiber
RW
Played 41 NHL games with Minnesota. Spent several seasons in Germany.

173

Jamie Reeve
G
Drafted from Regina Pats, never turned pro.

194

Juha Nurmi
C
Never played pro hockey in North America.
215
Wayne Prestage
C
Played three seasons as a pro in the AHL and IHL.
236
Jon Holden
G
Played his junior hockey with Peterborough and Guelph, never turned pro.
247
Marco Callas
C
Played his junior hockey in Winnipeg, never turned pro.

 

 
 
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