1963 NHL Amateur Draft

Queen Elizabeth HotelQuick Facts

Date: June 5, 1963

Site: The Queen Elizabeth Hotel
Host City: Montreal

Draft History

The first NHL Amateur Draft came into being as a way to level the NHL playing field. Prior to 1963, all NHL players arrived in the NHL via sponsorship of their junior teams. The draft was the brainchild of NHL president Clarence Campbell, who had been under pressure from U.S.-based teams, particularly the New York Rangers, to do away with the traditional sponsorship system that favored Montreal and Toronto because they were scouting in their own backyards. Amateur drafts already existed in the National Football League and the National Basketball Association. Initially referred to as a draft of the players' "junior priority rights", the league did not immediately release the names of drafted players to the media. Players reported to their drafting teams' tryout schools or were assigned to a junior club that the drafting team had sponsored.


The Basics

Eligible For Draft: Amateur players not on NHL teams' sponsorship lists prior to May 1, 1963, who were born between Aug. 1, 1946, and July 31, 1947.
Draft Order: Order set by league with exemption to last-place finisher from 1961-62 season -- had the right to choose its draft position -- and requirement that Stanley Cup champion be last to draft in first round.
Irregularities: Boston chose to pick No. 3 instead of No. 1. Detroit passed after second round and Chicago passed after third round. Montreal had option to take first two French-Canadian players before start of draft, but the Canadiens chose not to exercise option and instead went ahead and used regular first and second-round picks. Rotation: Montreal, Detroit, Boston, New York, Chicago, Toronto.
Total Rounds: Four
Rotation: Montreal, Detroit, Boston, New York, Chicago, Toronto.
Cost to Draft: Amateur teams were paid $2,000 per drafted player.
Draft Rights: Team could offer player contract on his 18th birthday.

Draft Recap

No. 1 pick: Garry Monahan (by Montreal)
Reached NHL: Five players (23.8 percent)
Won Stanley Cup: One player (4.8 percent)
Most NHL Games: Walt McKechnie (955 games)
Most Playoff Games: Pete Mahovlich (88 games)
Highest Pick to Miss: No. 3 (Orest Romashyna)
Lowest Pick to Reach: No. 21 (Gerry Meehan)
Players Drafted: 21 (13 forwards, 7 defense, 0 goalies, 1 unknown)

Total Selected: 21
Forwards: 13
Defense: 7
Goaltenders: 0
Position n/a: 1
Major Junior: 4
College Players: 0
Canadian: 21
American: 0
European: 0
Reached NHL: 5
Won Stanley Cup: 1
Hall of Fame: 0
All-Star Game: 2
Year-end All-Star: 0
Olympians: 0
Picks Traded: 0