By Budd Bailey
Bob Sauve of the Sabres
Taken in Round 1 in 1975
The next pick: You really know your hockey if you recognize the name of Alex Forsyth. The center was the last pick in the first round by the Washington Capitals. Forsyth was stuck in the American Hockey League for almost all of his first two years. But he came up to play one game for the Caps in 1976-77. Then it was back to the minors, and he was done with pro hockey in 1978.
Other picks in the round: This was not a great class of players. Mel Bridgman was the first pick overall, and he at least played 977 games in the NHL. But the next four picks were Barry Dean, Ralph Klassen, Rick Lapointe and Don Ashby. Robin Sadler, the ninth pick in the first round, went to Europe instead of playing in the NHL or WHA.
The details: Most goalies need time to work their way into the NHL, and that was true for Sauve. He splayed for Providence, Charlotte, Hershey and Rhode Island before reaching Buffalo in 1976-77. He arrived with the Sabres for good in the 1978-79 season. Bob stayed in Buffalo through 1985 (except for part of a year in Detroit), and is best remembered for two straight shutouts of the Canadiens in the playoffs. Sauve finished as a New Jerseey Devil in 1989.
Other 17s: This won’t take long. Wayne Primeau (1994) finished his junior hockey career and turned pro. He arrived with the Sabres during the 1996-97 season and stayed through a trade to Tampa Bay in 2009. Wayne played through 2010, but he never had 10 goals with a single team in a season. (He did reach 11 with San Jose and Boston combined in 2005-06.)
He got away: The Bills and Vikings both took halfback Jim Lindsey of Arkansas in the second round in 1966. He stayed with the Vikings as a reserve running back for seven seasons.
From 1983 …
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