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The Flyers had traded their No.1 in this draft a year earlier to Hartford for Mark Howe. Bob McCammon, who had coached the Flyers that season, was promoted to GM, too, just 10 days before the draft. He promptly fired eastern scout Eric Coville and ignored the computer rankings the Flyers had compiled. But with the help of Sault Ste. Marie coach Terry Crisp, the former Flyer center and assistant; and Sault GM Sam McMaster, head scout Jerry Melnyk put together a masterpiece.

“The mass confusion draft,” as called by McCammon, brought Peter Zezel at No. 41, Derrick Smith at 44, Tocchet at 125 and Pelle Eklund at 161. Just one year later, Zezel, Smith and Tocchet all were rookie regulars when the youngest team in the NHL, going cold turkey that season without Clarke, Barber and Darryl Sittler, won the Presidents Trophy and went to the Final. And Eklund joined up a year later to key the 1987 finalists.

Eklund was a tout of Ted Sator, a coach in Sweden who had assisted McCammon as a skating instructor and would become a full time assistant that year. McCammon, who now lives in Vancouver, didn’t recall the details when reached recently by phone, but when all these draftees were making an impact through the mid-eighties, he credited McMaster for the Eastern “book” on the first three picks, as Melnyk was based in Edmonton.

“Jerry wasn’t a shouter or a fist-pounder,” recalls Jay Snider, then a second year Flyer president. “I don’t remember specifically the dynamics at the table that day, but I believe he would have thought it wise to be guided by people who saw these prospects more than he did.

“I didn’t push any of those guys,” said McMaster, later the Kings’ GM and now a scout for the Blue Jackets, “I just agreed with Jerry that they would be good players.

“Tocchet had been eligible the year before and not been taken in 12 rounds. He wasn’t a great skater but I knew his heart and that he would score. Zezel was a strong, stocky guy who could shoot and make plays. Smith had size and could skate and knew how to play.”

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
8 WSH 49 25 14 10 144 125 60
9 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
11 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 51 17 41 11 58
C. Giroux 50 16 36 7 52
M. Streit 51 7 28 0 35
W. Simmonds 51 18 14 -3 32
B. Schenn 51 11 20 -2 31
S. Couturier 51 11 12 0 23
M. Read 51 3 15 -8 18
M. Del Zotto 39 5 12 -5 17
M. Raffl 40 12 3 6 15
V. Lecavalier 37 7 7 -9 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 11 12 6 .924 2.32
R. Emery 8 9 1 .887 3.38
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