Doug Jarvis and the 10 Most Successful 24th Overall Draft Picks in NHL History
Although the history of the 24th overall pick in the NHL draft will directly involve the Boston Bruins for the first time on Friday, one past player selected in that slot has a sound behind-the-scene presence with the team.
Doug Jarvis, who went No. 24 in 1975, is coming of his second year as a member of Claude Julien’s coaching staff.
A more recent 24th overall selection, Marcus Johansson, just finished his sophomore campaign as an NHL player, highlighted in part by his Washington Capitals terminating Boston’s title defense.
Before Johansson, there was Brad Boyes, whose delayed break-in was enabled by the Bruins after two trades.
Another No. 24 choice, journeyman Peter Ferraro, had his most eventful season in 1998-99. He saw a career-high 46 NHL games with Boston and won the AHL’s playoff MVP award as part of Providence’s run to the Calder Cup.
Naturally, as it is with virtually every slot in the draft, these picks have a dense hit-and-miss history. That said, there is ample evidence to encourage Bruins buffs as to the future of whomever general manager Peter Chiarelli summons to the podium at the Consol Energy Center Friday night.
The 10 quintessential cases of a 24th overall gem are presented as follows in chronological order.
Doug Jarvis (1975, Toronto)
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Jarvis was swapped from the Leafs to the Montreal Canadiens before his NHL debut and logged 964 regular-season games between tenures with the Habs, Washington Capitals and Hartford Whalers. His entire career constituted a league record for consecutive games played that still stands to this day.
Jarvis capped his final full NHL season with the 1987 Bill Masterton Trophy, which joined the 1984 Frank J. Selke Award in his personal trophy case.
A four-time Stanley Cup champion at the start of his playing career, Jarvis garnered a fifth ring in 1999 as one of Ken Hitchock’s assistants on the Dallas Stars coaching staff. He added a sixth title last year through his ongoing role as Julien’s assistant with the Bruins.
Normand Rochefort (1980, Quebec)
Although never the most outstanding player on his team, even in his position, Rochefort often boasted a respectable plus/minus rating. No year was better in that department than his plus-41 in 1983-84, his fourth season with the Quebec Nordiques.
Rochefort eventually slipped downhill to play his last five professional seasons in the now-defunct International League, followed by a five-year retirement and a brief comeback attempt in various lower-level leagues. But that was not before he logged 598 games and a cumulative plus-83 rating over 12 years with the Nordiques and Rangers.
Gary Leeman (1982, Toronto)
Leeman debuted with the Maple Leafs during the 1983 playoffs and was a full-timer by 1986 after splitting time between Toronto and its AHL farm team in St. Catherine’s.
Not long after he established himself, Leeman peaked with 21-, 30-, 32- and 51-goal seasons between 1986-87 and 1989-90. The last of those years saw him beat Vincent Damphousse for the Leafs team by one point with 95.
By the end of his career, Leeman had played all but two of his 667 regular-season games with Canadian franchises. He coupled that with 36 postseason outings and a Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1993.
Sean Burke (1985, New Jersey)
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Burke was rarely among the top 10 NHL goaltenders in any major category, one notable exception being the 2000-01 season, when he boasted the third-best save percentage among regulars.
But he instilled enough faith to current and prospective employers to ultimately log 820 games in 18 seasons, primarily with New Jersey, Hartford and Phoenix.
Stephane Fiset (1988, Quebec)
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Fiset was supplanted as the starter for the franchise that drafted him when the Colorado Avalanche acquired Patrick Roy in the middle of the 1995-96 season. But he held up the Avs well enough in his 37 appearances that year, posting a 22-6-7 record and putting in a brief playoff appearance during Colorado’s run to the Stanley Cup.
By the conclusion of his career, he had rolled up a 164-153-44 record in 390 appearances.
Danny Briere (1996, Winnipeg)
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Briere led the Buffalo Sabres in scoring in 2003-04 and 2006-07 and has placed second on the Phoenix or Philadelphia scoring chart three times. He has been selected to two All-Star Games, winning the game MVP award in 2007.
And then there was that little run in 2010 that saw him lead the league and set a Flyers’ franchise record with 30 points in the playoffs.
Brad Boyes (2000, Toronto)
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Boyes was traded twice while spending three years in the AHL, putting in only one appearance with the San Jose Sharks in between. He finally blossomed on the other side of the lockout with the Bruins, garnering a spot on the NHL’s All-Rookie team in 2006.
More recently, Boyes’ production has been much leaner with St. Louis and Buffalo, but he did tally 43 goals in 2007-08 and 33 in 2008-09. He only turned 30 this spring, meaning there is ample time for a turnaround.
Alexander Steen (2002, Toronto)
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Breaking into The Show after the lockout, Steen consistently produced goals in the teens and assists in the 20s over three full seasons with the Maple Leafs.
More recently, his first two full seasons after a trade to the St. Louis Blues, Steen has had his first two 20-plus-goal campaigns and tallied new career highs in back-to-back years. He indubitably would have built upon that trend in 2011-12 if not for a concussion that kept him out of 39 games.
Despite the missed time this past season, Steen mustered a 15-13-28 scoring log coupled with a plus-24, which overwhelmingly eclipsed his previous career high of plus-six.
Mike Richards (2003, Philadelphia)
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Immediately following the conclusion of his major-junior days, Richards joined the Philadelphia Phantoms for their run to the 2005 Calder Cup.
He has competed strictly in the NHL and Olympics since then. In that time, he has twice led the Flyers in scoring, won a gold medal with Team Canada and claimed a Stanley Cup in his first year as a Los Angeles King.
T.J. Oshie (2005, St. Louis)
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This past season, Oshie’s fourth with the Blues, proved a career year as he tied David Backes for the team lead with 54 points.