Perhaps the victim of being part of another weak draft class, 1995 draftee Terry Ryan (eighth overall) gets the higher rank (relative to Fischer) because Montreal’s ninth-round pick, Eric Houde, actually enjoyed more success than he did.
If you’re wondering who Eric Houde is, that’s kind of the point, unfortunately. But, for the record, he’s a center that played a total of 30 games in the NHL, all with Montreal, spanning three seasons. He notched two goals and three assists in those games.
Ryan, conversely? In a similar career spanning three seasons (but just eight games), he wasn’t able to register a single point, despite having all the tools, including grit, size and an adept scoring touch that led him to notch 50 goals and 110 points in his draft year with the Tri-City Americans.
Unfortunately, considering his lack of production, that pre-pro success might very well have been the result of the playmaking ability of his junior linemate, Daymond Langkow, taken three spots earlier. That’s just one possible explanation, though (and an unlikely one to say the least, considering Langkow’s skill set).
Truth be told, Ryan never seemed to get a fair shake with the Habs. There’s an interesting story behind that theory, at least according to him. He didn’t expect to go quite as high as he did—at least not to Montreal. The Habs were apparently one of the only teams that didn’t bother to interview him.
In fact, it seems the only contact the Habs had with Ryan prior to drafting him was in the elevator as he was on his way to his seat when Habs scout Doug Robinson chatted him up. They exchanged pleasantries and enjoyed a nice conversation before Robinson made it apparent he thought he had been talking to Kamloops Blazer Shane Doan all along, congratulating him on the Memorial Cup performance (Ryan didn't play in the Memorial Cup) immediately before each headed their separate ways.
Perhaps Montreal had wanted Doan all along, but, alas, he went one pick earlier to the Winnipeg Jets and then went on to enjoy great success with them and the Phoenix Coyotes.
Ryan? He went on to write a yet-to-be-released book, “Tales of a First-Round Nothing,” which pretty much sums up his career, but, I think everyone can agree, is actually quite something.
Other Players Montreal Could Have Drafted Instead: Jarome Iginla (11th overall), Petr Sykora (18th), Marc Savard (91st) and Miikka Kiprusoff (116th)