Montreal Canadiens 5th Overall History Part 1: Pierre Bouchard

The Montreal Canadiens recieved the 5th overall pick this year, for the 8th time in their long and storied franchise. So for the summer months we are going to go over all the past 5th overall picks, from Bouchard to Reinbacher.
Bouchard Vs. Irvine
Bouchard Vs. Irvine / Melchior DiGiacomo/GettyImages
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The 1965 NHL Draft

Okay, so first off, the 1965 NHL draft was really weird.

It was only the 3rd NHL draft ever, and clearly the league was still working out the kinks. The biggest, and most impactful for this year's draft, change was upping the age of selection from turning 17, to turning 18. This meant that most of the higher quality prospects were already spoken for.

NHL Awards
NHL Awards / Dave Sandford/GettyImages

In fact, the Toronto Maple Leafs just didn't draft anyone that year. Which was something you could do way back then. If for some reason you don't want to draft a player, you can just defer to the next team. So that just left 5 of the Original Six teams to pick, and one AHL team.

Because this draft also had a new rule that AHL, CHL and WHL teams could make selections after the NHL teams, the Pittsburgh Hornets of the AHL got to pick. All the other teams in the AHL, CHL and WHL opted to not pick. Which leads, as far as I know, the Pittsburgh Hornets to be the only non-NHL team to make a pick in an NHL draft.

And the teams weren't wrong about the quality to be found. 10 selections, 2 NHLers. That is an 18% hit rate. Recent drafts generally go for about 35-40%. But credit to the Montreal Canadiens, they found the diamond in the rough.

Pierre Bouchard was drafted 5th overall, and last in the first round by the Montreal Canadiens. The only other NHL player, Michel Parizeau was the 10th and last pick that year of the New York Rangers, played just 58 games.

Pierre Bouchard finished with 10 times the games played (595), 8 times more goals (24), and over 100 points for a defender.