First off, I'm glad to be back posting after a week on vacation. Secondly, I wanted to thank Ryan for the awesome job that he did in my absence.
With the draft approaching, I thought I'd be interesting to do a bit of a retrospective look at the careers of the first picks by the Red Wings over the last 20 years. Note that this is the first selection that they made, not necessarily first round-ers. We'll start with the 1990 draft and cover 5 years in this post, then the next 15 years over the span of three days.
1990- Rd 1, pick 3: Keith Primeau (C)
Keith Primeau was drafted by the Red Wings out of Niagara Falls of the OHL and spent six years with the Detroit franchise before moving on to Hartford/Carolina and then eventually Philadelphia. In his six years and 363 regular season games with Detroit, he tallied 97 goals and 133 assists. Primeau was dealt along with Paul Coffey to the Hartford Whalers for Brendan Shanahan following the 1995-1996 season. As a member of the Hartford/Carolina franchise, he was selected to the All-Star team in 1998-1999 and then again as a Philadelphia Flyer in 2003-2004. Primeau retired in 2006 following concussion problems. Primeau played 909 career games in the NHL and scored 266 goals with 353 assists and was captain of both the Hurricanes and the Flyers during his tenures there.
Notable others drafted: Slava Kozlov (RW, 3rd round)
1991-Rd 1, pick 10: Martin Lapointe (RW)
Ah, Martin Lapointe. Lapointe used to be one of my favorite players on the Red Wings back in the 1990s. A classic agitator and tough guy with a tad of a scoring touch, Lapointe was drafted out of the QMJHL and split a lot of his early time between Adirondack and Detroit before spending six full seasons in Detroit starting in the 1995-1996 season. Lapointe scored 108 regular season goals in his time in Detroit and had decent playoff production, including 9 goals in the 1997-1998 playoffs. For me, the most memorable Lapointe moment was the goal he scored on Patrick Roy in the 1997 playoffs. Lapointe won two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings before moving on to the Boston Bruins and then Chicago Blackhawks. Currently, Lapointe is a scout for the Chicago Blackhawks.
1992-Rd 1, pick 22: Curtis Bowen (LW)
Bowen never played a game for the Red Wings after being drafted out of the OHL, although he did play 3 seasons with the Adirondack squad in the AHL. Bowen spent some time in the IHL before heading to the UK and the EIHL. Bowen last played professionally in 2006 for Nottingham Panthers of the EIHL.
Notable others drafted: Darren McCarty (RW, 2nd round)
1993-Rd 1, pick 22: Anders Eriksson (D)
The 6'3" Swedish defenseman has been a journeyman in his professional hockey career. Starting in the SEL and then coming to the AHL/NHL via the draft, going to the RSL for a season and then back to the AHL and NHL. Eriksson has played 572 regular season NHL games and has spent numerous games in the AHL as well. Eriksson spent four years in Detroit, scoring 9 goals and adding 30 assists. Most notably, Eriksson was part of the trade with Chicago that brought Chris Chelios to Detroit. Since Eriksson's time in Chicago, he has bounced around from team to team and league to league, finishing the 2009-2010 season with the New York Rangers.
Notable others drafted: Norm Maracle (G, 5th round)
1994-Rd 1, pick 23: Yan Golubovsky (D)
When I told Petrella about this post idea, his first response was "Yan Golubovsky FTW!". Gulobovsky spent six seasons as a part of the Red Wings organization, but the majority of that time was spent in the AHL with Adirondack. The Russian born defenseman played a total of 50 regular season games with Detroit, notching one goal. Golubovsky was traded to the Florida Panthers for fellow Russian Igor Larionov. Golubovsky spent the majority of his North American hockey career in the AHL and he then returned to Russia to play in the RSL. Most recently, he played in the Austrian Elite League.
'95 through '99 tomorrow.