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Friday, July 10, 2020

On this day: Detroit Red Wings make best-value trade in NHL history

27 years ago today, the Detroit Red Wings made a trade to bring in C Kris Draper from the Winnipeg Jets for future considerations. Drafted 62nd overall by the Jets in the 1989 NHL Draft, Draper did not see much playing time with the Jets in his three seasons there. He played in just 20 games, scoring just three goals. The Jets decided to part ways with Draper, and the future considerations became $1.

After being traded to the Red Wings, Draper became a mainstay on the team, playing 14 seasons. In his 1,137 games played with the Red Wings, Draper scored 158 goals and added 203 assists. Perhaps his most important goal for the Red Wings came in the 1998 Stanley Cup Final against the Washington Capitals where he scored the game-winner of game two 15:24 into overtime.

Draper also helped to shape the heated rivalry of the Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche in the mid-’90s. Claude Lemieux’s hit on Draper lead to the infamous brawls between the two clubs and resulted in a broken jaw for Draper.

When all was said and done for Draper, he had amassed quite the career accomplishments. Draper was the winner of four Stanley Cups, four gold medals (1 World Championships, 1 World Cup of Hockey, 2 World Junior Championships, 1 silver medal (World Championships), and a recipient of the Frank J. Selke Trophy (best defensive forward).

The value that the Red Wings got out of Draper for just a dollar is incomparable. It could be seen as perhaps one of the best trades in NHL history, and one the Jets wish they would have had back at the time.

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