1987 Entry Draft
Although the 1987 PHL Entry Draft was not nearly as deep as the ’86 Draft, there was still plenty of talent available. Calgary selected American forward Drew Atwood number one. With a 1968 birthday, Atwood just missed the age cut off in 1986, making him one of the oldest players in the draft. He had already enjoyed a very productive year of college hockey, scoring 45 goals. The rest of the draft was dominated by defensemen. Twelve defensemen were taken in the first round, half of the players selected. Quebec took the top D-man, selecting tough, hard-hitting Scott Harrison, while New York also selected their future franchise defenseman, Ryan Evans. One of the more interesting picks was Milwaukee’s Syong Li, the PHL’s first player of Asian descent. Li’s parents were refugees from Korea during the Korean War living in Montreal, where Li was born in 1969.
1. Calgary – Drew Atwood, F, USA
2. Quebec – Scott Harrison, D, CAN
3. New York – Ryan Evans, D, CAN
4. Denver – Brett Norris, F, USA
5. Toronto – Trevor Hudson, D, CAN
6. California – Marcus Ohlsson, F, SWE
7. Ottawa – Luke Baker, D, CAN
8. Edmonton – Brent Caldwell, D, CAN
9. Montreal – Daniel Herder, F, GER
10. Detroit – Travis Lindsay, F, USA
11. Minnesota – Jared Morton, D, USA
12. Vancouver – Mats Carlsson, D, SWE
13. Washington – Jarri Kaila, F, FIN
14. Boston – Nick Boyd, F, CAN
15. LA – Clifford Dexter, D, USA
16. Winnipeg – Josh Powell, G, USA
17. Long Island – Daniel Ostrom, D, SWE
18. Philadelphia – Kevin Peters, F, CAN
19. Milwaukee – Syong Li, F, CAN
20. Chicago – Carl Leblanc, D, CAN
21. Nova Scotia – Jake Meyer, D, CAN
22. Seattle – Jeff Poole, D, USA
23. Pittsburgh – Darryl Goodwin, F, USA
24. St. Louis – Sheldon Cox, F, CAN
Freddie Huff – D, NYC, 1968 – 1987
For nearly two decades, Freddie Huff served as the heart and soul of the New York Civics. When the Civics drafted Huff second overall in 1968, they were not a playoff team. Huff led the team to the Lewis Cup finals twice in 1973 and ’75, leading them to victory in 1975. Huff retires as one of the highest-scoring defensemen in PHL history.
Kirk Saunders – F, DET, 1968 – 1987
Another superstar from the famously deep inaugural entry draft in 1968, Kirk Saunders made an immediate impact on the Detroit Mustangs, helping them to two consecutive Lewis Cups in his first two seasons. As his career went on, Saunders became a leader in Detroit as the Mustangs became one of the PHL’s most powerful dynasties through the early ‘70s. In the latter half of his career, Saunders became a valuable leader and mentor to Detroit’s younger players.
Denis Carter – G, LA, QUE, 1969-1987
Denis Carter was drafted by the Wizards as they entered the PHL in the 1969 merger with the Global league. Carter eventually became one of the best goaltenders in the league, backstopping the LA dynasty during the late 1970s. Carter finished his career in Quebec, serving in a tandem with talented young goalie John Gage.
Tim Douglas – F, WPG, MTL, 1969 – 1987
The first franchise player the Pioneers ever had, Tim Douglas played a key role in turning Winnipeg from a lowly expansion team in the late ‘60s, to division winners by 1971. Unfortunately, Douglas never managed to win a championship in Winnipeg. Douglas was traded to Montreal in 1977, where he spent the remainder of his career.
Seattle trades F Kyle Gray to Toronto in exchange for F Ted Lovell.
The Grey Wolves establish themselves as a primary Lewis Cup contender with the addition of veteran Lovell. Toronto adds a solid prospect in Gray.
Seattle trades F Filip Holmgren to Ottawa in exchange for F Eric Bridges.
The Grey Wolves make room for incoming Ted Lovell by dealing Holmgren to Ottawa. Bridges adds depth for the Wolves while Holmgren gives the Beavers a solid young player.
Long Island trades F Ulf Linden to California in exchange for F Alan Chadwick.
The Nuggets get a potential superstar in Linden, while Long Island gets an established star player in Chadwick as they load up for a run.
Key Free Agents
Renaud becomes only the second millionaire goaltender in PHL history.
Dennis Aguilar (NYC) signs 3-year deal with Pittsburgh worth $700,000/year.
Pittsburgh adds veteran depth in an attempt to make one more run.
Ron Borden (CGY) signs 3-year deal with Montreal worth $400,000/year.
Montreal adds a much-needed enforcer to protect Vincent Ducharme.
Bids were formally submitted for expansion beginning in January, 1987. By June, the league had received official bids from eight cities including Kansas City, Miami, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Houston, Atlanta, Portland, and Oakland. The city of Hamilton had also been pursuing a franchise, but without a prospective owner to front the bid, they were forced to back out. Deputy Commissioner Darryl Byrd would oversee the expansion committee beginning on July 1, 1987.
Former Montreal Royale head coach Jacques Corbet finally found a new job after two years of unemployment, signing with the Pittsburgh Stingers following Bob King’s retirement. After a disappointingly slow rebuild, Boston fired coach/GM Bill Truman, replacing him with former college coach Gary Shantz and GM Bob Canton.
In Halifax, Claymores owner Jim MacDonald made an official request to the city of Halifax and the province of Nova Scotia for funding for a new arena. The Claymores have played in the 13,000-seat Barrington Arena since their inception in 1959. At the start of the summer, Commissioner Alan Garcia stated that several PHL teams would need new arenas in the very near future.