It was on this day in NHL history that the Edmonton Oilers held the NHL Entry Draft for the first and only time in franchise history.
25 years ago today, the NHL held its annual Entry Draft in Edmonton. Bryan Berard went first overall to the Senators, followed by Wade Redden to the Islanders, and Aki Berg to the Kings #Hockey365 pic.twitter.com/OVqNNpT5lZ
— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) July 8, 2020
On July 8th, 1995, the Edmonton Oilers acted as hosts for the NHL Entry Draft which was held at the old Coliseum. It was the only time our city has ever hosted the annual entry draft, and saw 238 selections made all on the one day. It was also the day where Oilers fans in attendance famously chanted Shane Doan’s name when the club stepped up to the podium with their first round pick that was eventually spent on Steve Kelly.
Selected at number 6 overall, one pick ahead of now-former Coyotes captain and All-Star Shane Doan, Kelly dressed for only 23 games in Edmonton before being shipped out of town during the 1997-98 season. Aside from Doan, the Oilers also missed out on some other first round stars such as Jarome Iginla, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Jay McKee and Petr Sykora, who were all still on the board when the club decided to select Kelly.
On the bright side, the team also selected Georges Laraque — a fan favourite and one of the greatest enforcers of all time — in the second round. Laraque played in 490 games with the Oilers, scoring 43 goals and 68 assists for 111 points to go along with 826 PIMs.