Talk about a draft pick with lifelong implications!
On this day in 1983, the Detroit Red Wings drafted the player who would be the cornerstone of their franchise for years to come – 18 year old Steve Yzerman.
The Red Wings had originally intended to draft Pat Lafontaine, who had played hockey outside the Detroit area. But the New York Islanders nabbed him first with the third overall pick, so the Red Wings took Yzerman with the fourth overall pick.
Can you imagine how history would be different had Detroit gotten their original preference??
Though the Red Wings were ready to send Yzerman back to Peterborough for one more year, “after one (training camp) season, you knew he was a tremendous hockey player”, said Ken Holland.