Sul­li­man was also a first-round pick

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

I read with in­ter­est a sports sec­tion ar­ti­cle en­ti­tled ‘Scream­ing Ea­gles’ Svech­nikov picked in first round’ by David Jala in the June 27th edi­tion of the Cape Bre­ton Post.

In the ar­ti­cle, Jala noted that Evgeny Svech­nikov, se­lected 19th over­all by the Detroit Red Wings, was the third Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gle picked in the first round of the an­nual NHL En­try Draft. The other two Ea­gles were Marc An­dre Fleury, picked first over­all in 2003 by the Pittsburgh Pen­guins, and James Shep­pard, picked ninth over­all in 2006 by the Min­nesota Wild.

The re­porter also listed two Cape Bre­ton-born play­ers se­lected in the first round of the NHL En­try Draft. – Hall of Fame de­fence­man Al MacIn­nis of Port Hood, se­lected 15th over­all by Cal­gary Flames, and de­fence­man Paul Boutilier of Syd­ney, taken 21st over­all by the New York Is­lan­ders. Both of those play­ers were drafted in 1981.

How­ever, there was a third Cape Bre­ton-born player, Glace Bay’s Doug Sul­li­man, who was also taken in the first round of the NHL En­try Draft. He was taken 13th over­all in 1979 by the New York Rangers.

Sul­li­man played for 11 sea­sons with the Rangers, Hart­ford Whalers, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Fly­ers. He played in 631 games dur­ing which he com­piled 160 goals and 168 as­sists for 328 points.

Some say that the 1979 draft was one of the strong­est of all time and fea­tured first-round picks Ray Bourque, Mike Gart­ner and Michel Goulet, all of whom went on to be­come Hall of Famers.

Note that Bobby Smith, born in North Syd­ney, was se­lected 1st over­all by the Min­nesota North Stars in 1978. How­ever, he moved away at a young age and played his mi­nor hockey in On­tario, whereas MacIn­nis, Boutilier and Sul­li­man all played their mi­nor hockey in Cape Bre­ton.

There was another in­ter­est­ing note about Svech­nikov’s great achieve­ment.

At the draft, the pick was an­nounced by for­mer Cape Bre­ton Oiler, Tyler Wright, who is now Detroit’s di­rec­tor of am­a­teur scout­ing. Wright, a for­mer first-round pick him­self by the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers, 12th over­all in 1991, played for parts of three sea­sons with the Cape Bre­ton Oil­ers from 1993 through 1996.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Evgeny Svech­nikov on his first-round se­lec­tion and best of luck to him in the fu­ture. Brian McPhee Syd­ney

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