By Budd Bailey
Rick Martin of the Sabres
Taken in Round 1 in 1971
The next pick: The first round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 1971 has an odd history. In 1969, the Kings traded their top picks in 1971 and 1973 to Boston for Ross Lonsberry (a former member of the AHL Buffalo Bisons) and Eddie Shack (a future Buffalo Sabre). The Bruins used the selection in 1971 to take defenseman Ron Jones. It didn’t work out for Boston, which saw him play eight NHL games for the Bruins before he was lost to the Penguins in the Intraleague Draft in 1973.
Other picks in that round: You’d have to say the top of the draft was rather stacked. Guy Lafleur and Marcel Dionne went one-two to the Canadiens and Red Wings respectively. They combined for 1,291 goals in their career. Vancouver grabbed future Sabre Jocelyn Guevremont third. The last pick in the round was Terry O’Reilly by Boston.
The details: This was an easy one. Martin had scored 71 goals in 60 games in junior hockey in 1970-71, even though he didn’t have Gil Perreault centering him any more for the Montreal Junior Canadiens. Martin became one of the most feared goal-scorers of the 1970s in a career that was sadly shortened by a knee injury. Elsewhere, Shawn Anderson (1986) never could earn a regular spot on defense for the Sabres in the 1980s.
Other 5s: Speaking of goal-scorers, Thomas Vanek (2003) was another one who came to the Sabres at No. 5. He played more than eight seasons in Buffalo. Defenseman Jim Schoenfeld (1972) was another key piece of the Sabres’ exciting teams in the 1970s, and he even came back to coach for a while. There may never have been a better goaltender in the NHL at age 18 than Tom Barrasso (1983); he was traded to Pittsburgh for 1988. Jerry Butler (1979) was an elegant receiver for the Bills for seven seasons, but injuries shortened his career. Al Cowlings (1970) started for the Bills for three years before he was traded to Houston. Terry Miller (1978) gained 1,060 yards rushing as a rookie, and then essentially disappeared from view. Dhane Smith (2012) has been a terrific offensive player for the Bandits throughout his career, winning league MVP honors in 2016.
He got away: The Vikings took Carl Eller sixth in the 1964 NFL draft and signed him to a contract. Eller became one of the best defensive ends in the game, and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)