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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
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