By Budd Bailey
Craig Ramsay of the Sabres
Taken in Round 2 in 1971
The next pick: If the Sabres knew then what we know now, they might have taken the next player. Larry Robinson turned out pretty well for the Montreal Canadiens. He was a cornerstone of the Canadiens’ dynasty in the late 1970s, did everything well, etc. Then again, many other teams would have taken him earlier had they had the chance too.
Other picks in the round: Rick Kehoe (No. 22 to Toronto) was third among the players picked in the round in games played with 906, and he scored 371 goals with 396 assists. Tommy Williams (No. 27 to the Rangers) had a good career with the Rangers and Kings.
The details: Ramsay learned two-way hockey from one of the best possible teachers, Roger Neilson, in Peterborough in junior hockey. Craig spent part of his first pro season in Cincinnati, and then came up for good. Ramsay was a player until 1985, when he won the Selke Trophy as his last season. Then he moved into the front office, working as a coach for several teams through 2015.
Other 19s: Shaq Lawson (2016) saw his sack totals improve during his four years with the Bills. He then jumped as a free agent to Miami. Perry Tuttle (1982) ranks with the all-time bad choices by the Bills, catching 24 passes in two seasons in Buffalo. He did win two championships in six years in Canada. Tom Ruud (1975) held out after he was drafted and never caught up. The linebacker was gone after three years. Fred Hilton (1971) never saw a shot he didn’t like during his two seasons with the Braves. The streak shooter was never consistent during his brief time in the NBA.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)