TOTAL NUMBER OF VICTORIA COUGARS DRAFTED
From 1972 to 1994, eight-five Cougars have been selected in the National Hockey League (NHL) entry draft. Thirty-seven went on to play at least one NHL game.
FIRST ROUND SELECTIONS
o There have been eight Cougars drafted in the first round:
1975: Mel Bridgman (1st overall - Philadelphia).
1975: Rick Lapointe (5th overall - Detroit)
1980: Brad Palmer (16th overall - Minnesota)
1980: Barry Pederson (18th overall - Boston)
1981: Grant Fuhr (8th overall - Edmonton)
1982: Paul Cyr (9th overall - Buffalo)
1983: Russ Courtnall (7th overall - Toronto)
1988: Joel Savage (13th overall- Buffalo)
FIRST ROUND PICKS ON THE COUGARS PROTECTED LIST BUT NEVER PLAYED FOR THE TEAM
o Craig Redmond - (1984 - 6th overall - Los Angeles)
o Rod Brind’Amour - (1988 - 5TH overall - St. Louis)
o Paul Kariya - (1993 - 4th overall - Anaheim)
FIRST ROUND PICKS WHO PLAYED FOR THE COUGARS BEFORE THEIR DRAFT YEAR
Cam Connor – attended Cougars training camp in 1973 but was traded to the Flin Flon Bombers before the season began. After scoring 91 points with the Bombers, the Montreal Canadiens took Connor 5th overall in the 1974 amateur draft.
Dan Lucas – left the Cougars in the middle of the 1975/76 season because of a disagreement with coach Pat Ginnell. He joined Sault St Marie of the Ontario Hockey League in 1977/78 and played on the same line with Wayne Gretzky. At the 1978 draft, the Philadelphia Flyers selected Lucas 14th overall.
FIRST NHL DRAFT IN TEAM HISTORY- 1972
After their inaugural season, two Cougars were picked at the NHL entry draft.
Goaltender Daryl Fedorak was the first Victoria player selected when he was taken by Philadelphia in the fifth round.
Chicago drafted forward Gary Donaldson in the ninth round. He led the 1972/73 Cougars in scoring with 75 points.
Gary Howatt began the season with Victoria but was traded to Flin Flon mid-season. He was a 10th round choice of the New York Islanders.
FIRST DRAFTED PLAYER TO APPEAR IN AN NHL GAME
Gary Donaldson was the first Cougar to play in the NHL. He made his debut with Chicago on December 5, 1973, versus Detroit in what turned out to be his only NHL game. He later appeared in five World Hockey Association (WHA) games with Houston in 1976/77.
FINAL DRAFT YEAR - 1994
In 1994, Dorian Anneck (Winnipeg, 3rd round) and Jeremy Jablonski (Edmonton 9th round) were the last Victoria Cougars drafted before the franchise relocated to Prince George.
LAST DRAFTED COUGAR TO APPEAR IN AN NHL GAME
Alex Vasilvesky (1993, St. Louis, 11th round) appeared in four NHL games with the Blues between 1995 and 1997.
LAST ACTIVE VICTORIA COUGARS’ ALUMNI
Chris Mason was the last active NHL player to have worn a Victoria Cougars jersey. In 1993/94, the Cougars' final year in Victoria, he appeared in five games. Mason became the Cougars starting netminder when the franchise moved to Prince George in 1994. The New Jersey Devils drafted Mason in 1995, and he went on to a long pro career, appearing in 317 NHL games. 2012/13 was his final NHL season, and he retired in 2015 after two years in Europe.
MOST PLAYERS DRAFTED IN ONE YEAR
Seven Cougars were selected in both the 1975 and 1980 draft.
Mel Bridgman - (1st round - Philadelphia)
Rick Lapointe - (1st round - Detroit)
Don Cairns – (2nd round – Kansas City)
Jim Gustafson – (5th round – St. Louis)
Kim Clackson - (5th round - Pittsburgh)
Eric Sanderson – (6th round – Kansas City)
Peter Morris - (6th round - Pittsburgh)
Brad Palmer - (1st round - Minnesota)
Barry Pederson – (1st round - Boston)
Bob McGill – (2nd round – Toronto)
Len Dawes – (2nd round – Chicago)
Torrie Robertson – (3rd round – Washington)
Tony Feltrin – (4th round - Pittsburgh)
Bob Jansch – (10th round – Colorado)
TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER DRAFTED A VICTORIA COUGAR
o Montreal, San Jose, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, and Florida
MOST COUGARS SELECTED BY ONE TEAM
o Vancouver, Pittsburgh and Buffalo have each drafted six Victoria Cougars
Mark Robinson - (1979 - 3rd round)
Paul Cyr - (1982 - 1st round)
Ken Priestlay - (1985 - 5th round)
Joel Savage - (1988 - 1st round)
Wade Flaherty - (1988 - 9th round)
Mike Barrie - (1993 - 8th round)
Terry Ewasiuk - (1973 - 7th round)
Kim Clackson - (1975 - 5th round)
Peter Morris - (1975 - 6th round)
Tony Feltrin - (1980 - 4th round)
David Shute - (1989 - 8th round)
Andrew Wolf - (1989 - 9th round)
Rick Durston - (1976 - 5th round)
Murray Bannerman - (1977 - 4th round)
Curt Fraser - (1978 - 2nd round)
Stu Kulak - (1981 - 6th round)
Shawn Green - (1982 - 12th round)
Mark Cipriano - (1990, 9th round)
WORLD HOCKEY ASSOCIATION (WHA)
Seventeen Cougars were selected by teams in the World Hockey Association between 1973 and 1977.
Of those seventeen, Mark Lomenda, Peter Morris and Kim Clackson are the only ones to have played in the WHA
MOST NHL POINTS BY A VICTORIA COUGARS DRAFT PICK
Russ Courtnall - 1983 1st round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Over a sixteen-year career, Courtnall scored 744 points in 1029 NHL games.
MOST NHL POINTS BY AN UNDRAFTED VICTORIA COUGAR
Geoff Courtnall has more NHL points (799) and games played (1048) than any other Victoria Cougar alumni. After being passed over in the NHL draft, Courtnall signed a free-agent contract with Boston in 1983.
Greg Adams, Gary Lupul, Al Hill also had successful careers after going undrafted.
Craig Richardson - CougarsHockeyProject@protonmail.com
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