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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 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 76 21 55 7 76
C. Giroux 75 23 46 2 69
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 76 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 76 13 17 1 30
M. Del Zotto 58 9 20 -5 29
M. Read 74 7 22 -7 29
M. Raffl 61 20 6 7 26
V. Lecavalier 52 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 11 .927 2.24
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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