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Washington Capitals Entry Drafts: 1984
For the first time, the 1984 Entry Draft was telecasted live by the Canadian Broadcasting Company. The biggest fish in the 1984 pool was Mario Lemieux, taken by Pittsburgh with the first overall pick. He resurrected hockey in that city and led the Penguins to two Stanley Cup championships. The top five was a strong group, as Lemieux was followed by Kirk Muller, Eddie Olczyk, Al Iaftrate and Petr Svoboda. Before the Caps made their selection at 17th overall, Shayne Corson (eighth), Doug Bodger (ninth), Sylvain Cote (11th) and Gary Roberts (12th) were taken off the board. The Caps took defenseman Kevin Hatcher, who holds the club record for most goals in a season by a defenseman (34).
Pivonka holds the Caps all-time assist mark

Besides Hatcher, the Caps scored a coup with Michal Pivonka, the 59th overall pick. Pivonka went on to play in 825 games with the Caps and is the franchise's all-time assist leader. Seven of Washington's 11 picks made it to the NHL with varying degrees of success.

New Jersey took Craig Billington with the 23rd overall pick; he was the first goaltender taken in that year's draft. The second round also produced Scott Mellanby (27th) and Stephane Richer (29th). Montreal snagged Patrick Roy with the 51st overall pick. He was the third goaltender taken, after Billington and Daryl Reagh.

Among late round sleepers, Brett Hull lingered until Calgary selected him with the 117th overall pick. Kjell Samuelsson (119th), Cliff Ronning (134th), Don Sweeney (166th), Luc Robitaille (171st) and Gary Suter (180th) were also inspired selections. Suter won the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year in 1986.

Hindsight is 20/20: Each of the Capitals' top four picks went on to play at least 13 NHL seasons. Ronning would have been a nice pick instead of Cramarossa and Sweeney instead of Joo, but that's what hindsight is all about.

NO. PLAYER POS. COMMENT

17

Kevin Hatcher
D
Productive offensive d-man for nine seasons in DC. Traded for Mark Tinordi.

34

Steve Leach
RW
Six seasons in DC, 16 in the NHL. Scored 31 goals once, mainly a journeyman.

59

Michal Pivonka
C
The Capitals all-time assist leader. Many strong years before sharp drop-off.

80

Kris King
LW
Never played for Caps but spent 13 years as an enforcer in NHL.

122

Vito Cramarossa
RW
Pro career consisted of four playoff games with AHL Binghamton in 1986.

143

Timo Iljima
C
Never played pro hockey in North America.

164

Frank Joo
D
Drafted from the Regina Pats, never turned pro.
185
Jim Thomson
RW
Played 115 games for six different NHL teams over parts of seven seasons.
205
Paul Cavallini
D
Productive career for a 10th-rounder; 10 seasons in NHL and two stints in DC.
225
Mikhail Tatarinov
D
Played 161 games for three NHL teams in four seasons. One year with Caps.

246

Per Schedrin
D
Never played pro hockey in North America.

 

 

 
 
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