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The first NHL Amateur Draft was held on June 5, 1963 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. Any amateur player that was 17 years of age and older and was not already sponsored by an NHL club was eligible to be drafted.

In 1969 the rules were changed so that any amateur player under the age of 20 was eligible to be drafted. 84 players (more than four times the average in each of the first six drafts) were selected that year.

In 1979, the name of the Draft was changed from "Amateur" to "Entry" to accommodate a rule change that allowed players who had previously played professionally to be drafted. This rule change was made to facilitate the absorption of players from the now defunct World Hockey Association.

Beginning in 1980 and continuing today, any player who is 18-20 years old is eligible to be drafted. In addition, any non-North American player over the age of 20 can be selected.

Also in 1980, the Entry Draft became a public event. Prior to this year the Entry Draft was conducted in Montreal hotels or League offices and was closed to the general public. The 1980 draft was held in the Montreal Forum and there were more than 2,500 fans in attendance.

In 1985 the first draft outside of Montreal was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario in 1985. The event was attended by 7,000 fans.

Live television coverage of the Draft began in 1984 when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation covered the event in both English and French for Canadian audiences. SportsChannel America began covering the event in the United States in 1989.

C Form

The C form was the standard instrument used by the NHL to acquire young players in the Original Six era, prior to the Universal Draft of 1969 (prior drafts were of players not on sponsorship lists).

The form, which usually led to a professional contract, would be signed at 18 and could be renewed once. The player usually would already be on one of the Junior teams affiliated with an NHL franchise.

Misconceptions about the C-Form

There is a popular view that parents signed very young children's hockey lives over to the teams. This comes from the fact that at the time, most Junior clubs were owned or subsidised by NHL teams, and usually subsidised minor hockey in their areas.

However, one had to be 18 to sign a C-Form. Players as young as 14 could be put on a 4-name Negotiation list (as Bobby Orr was in 1962).
History Of The Draft
Toronto Maple Leafs Draft History:
6   C   Walt McKechnie
12   C   Neil Clairmont
17   D   Jim McKenny
21   L   Gerry Meehan
5   R   Tom Martin
11     Dave Cotey
17   D   Mike Pelyk
23   D   Jim Dorey
4     John Wright
10     Cam Crosby
16   D   Rick Ley
22   C   Dale MacLeish
16   L   J.-Bob Kelly
10   D   Brad Selwood
9   R   Ernie Moser
20   C   Doug Brindley
31   D   Larry McIntyre
43   R   Frank Hughes
55   L   Brian Spencer
67     Bob Neufeld
8   C   Darryl Sittler
22   F   Errol Thompson
36   R   Gerry O'Flaherty
50   F   Bob Gryp
64   L   Luc Simard
78     Cal Booth
91   F   Paul Larose
103   G   Ron Low
22   F   Rick Kehoe
23   D   Dave Fortier
30   D   Ralph Hopiavouri
37   C   Gavin Kirk
51   D   Rick Cunningham
65     Bob Sykes
79   D   Mike Ruest
93   L   Dale Smedsmo
98   D   Steve Johnson
107   D   Bob Burns
11   F   George Ferguson
27   F   Randy Osburn
43   D   Denis Deslauriers
59   D   Brian Bowles
75   F   Michel Plante
91   F   Dave Shardlow
107     Monte Miron
123   F   Peter Williams
139   C   Pat Boutette
143     Garry Schofield
4   F   Lanny McDonald
10     Bob Neely
15   D   Ian Turnbull
52   L   Frank Rochon
68     Gord Titcomb
84   D   Doug Marit
100     Dan Follett
116     Les Burgess
132     Dave Pay
144     Lee Palmer
147   C   Bob Peace
159     Norm McLeod
13     Jack Valiquette
31   F   Dave Williams
49   F   Per-Arne Alexandersson
67   L   Peter Driscoll
85   G   Mike Palmateer
103     Bill Hassard
121   L   Kevin Devine
138   D   Kevin Kemp
155   D   Dave Syvret
170   G   Andy Stoesz
185   D   Marty Feschuk
6   C   Don Ashby
24   C   Doug Jarvis
42   C   Bruce Boudreau
78   L   Ted Long
96   D   Kevin Campbell
114   R   Mario Rouillard
132     Ron Wilson
149   R   Paul Evans
165     Jean Latendresse
166   R   Paul Crowley
179   F   Dan D'Alvise
180     Jackie Laine
188   G   Ken Holland
189     Bob Barnes
191   F   Gary Burns
193   C   Jim Montgomery
199     Rick Martin
30   D   Randy Carlyle
48   R   Alain Belanger
52   R   Gary McFadyen
66   D   Tim Williams
84   D   Greg Hotham
102   F   Dan Djakalovic
116   C   Charlie Skjodt
11   L   John Anderson
12   D   Trevor Johansen
24   D   Bob Gladney
29   F   Rocky Saganiuk
65   C   Dan Eastman
83     John Wilson
101   C   Roy Sommer
119   L   Lynn Jorgenson
134     Kevin Howe
149     Ray Robertson
21   D   Joel Quenneville
48   C   Mark Kirton
65   G   Bob Parent
81   F   Jordy Douglas
92   L   Mel Hewitt
98   R   Normand Lefebvre
115     John Scammell
132     Kevin Reinhart
149   D   Mike Waghorne
166     Laurie Cuvelier
9   F   Laurie Boschman
51   F   Normand Aubin
72   G   Vincent Tremblay
93   C   Frank Nigro
114   L   Bill McCreary
25   D   Craig Muni
26   D   Bob McGill
43   D   Fred Boimistruck
74   R   Stewart Gavin
95     Hugh Larkin
116   G   Ron Dennis
137   C   Russ Adam
158   F   Fred Perlini
179   D   Darwin McCutcheon
200   R   Paul Higgins
6   D   Jim Benning
24   F   Gary Yaremchuk
55   C   Ernie Godden
90   F   Norman Lefrancois
102     Barry Brigley
132     Andrew Wright
153   D   Richard Turmel
174     Greg Barber
195   L   Marc Magnan
3   D   Gary Nylund
24   R   Gary Leeman
25   F   Peter Ihnacak
45   G   Ken Wregget
73   F   Vladimir Ruzicka
87     Eduard Uvira
99     Sylvain Charland
108     Ron Dreger
115     Craig Kales
129   D   Dominic Campedelli
139   D   Jeff Triano
171   F   Miroslav Ihnacak
192   F   Leigh Verstraete
213   D   Tim Loven
234   G   Jim Appleby
7   R   Russ Courtnall
28   F   Jeff Jackson
48   G   Allan Bester
83   F   Dan Hodgson
128   D   Cam Plante
148     Paul Bifano
168   D   Cliff Abrecht
184   F   Greg Rolston
188     Brian Ross
208   C   Mike Tomlak
228     Ron Choules
4   D   Al Iafrate
25   D   Todd Gill
67   G   Jeff Reese
88   D   Jack Capuano
109   C   Fabian Joseph
130     Joe MacInnis
151   R   Derek Laxdal
172   F   Dan Turner
192   D   David Buckley
213     Mike Wurst
233     Peter Slanina
1   L   Wendel Clark
22   D   Ken Spangler
43   L   Dave Thomlinson
64     Greg Vey
85   D   Jeff Serowik
106   D   Jiri Latal
127   L   Tim Bean
148     Andy Donahue
169     Todd Whittemore
190   L   Bobby Reynolds
211   F   Tim Armstrong
232     Mitch Murphy
6   C   Vincent Damphousse
36   D   Darryl Shannon
48     Sean Boland
69   C   Kent Hulst
90   D   Scott Taylor
111     Stephane Giguere
132     Dan Hie
153     Steve Brennan
174   R   Brian Bellefeuille
195   R   Sean Davidson
216   R   Mark Holick
237   D   Brian Hoard
7   D   Luke Richardson
28   R   Daniel Marois
49   C   John McIntyre
71   R   Joe Sacco
91   C   Mike Eastwood
112   G   Damian Rhodes
133   C   Trevor Jobe
154   D   Chris Jensen
175   D   Brian Blad
196     Ron Bernacci
217     Ken Alexander
238   D   Alex Weinrich
6   L   Scott Pearson
27   R   Tie Domi
48   G   Peter Ing
69   D   Ted Crowley
86   D   Len Esau
132     Matt Mallgrave
153     Roger Elvenes
174     Mike Delay
195   C   David Sacco
216   G   Mike Gregorio
237   C   Peter DeBoer
3   C   Scott Thornton
12   R   Rob Pearson
21   D   Steve Bancroft
66   D   Matt Martin
96   D   Keith Carney
108   D   Dave Burke
125   W   Mike Doers
129     Keith Merkler
150   D   Derek Langille
171     Jeff St. Laurent
192   F   Justin Tomberlin
213   R   Mike Jackson
234   F   Steve Chartrand
10   D   Drake Berehowsky
31   G   Felix Potvin
73   C   Darby Hendrickson
80   L   Greg Walters
115   D   Alexander Godynyuk
136   L   Eric Lacroix
157   R   Dan Stiver
178   G   Robert Horyna
199     Bob Chebator
220   D   Scott Malone
241   L   Nicholas Vachon
47   C   Yanic Perreault
69   R   Terry Chitaroni
102   C   Alexei Kudashov
113   L   Jeff Perry
120   C   Alexander Kuzminski
135   R   Martin Prochazka
160   D   Dmitri Mironov
164   L   Robb McIntyre
167   C   Tomas Kucharcik
179   D   Guy Lehoux
201   D   Gary Miller
223   C   Jonathan Kelley
245   D   Chris O'Rourke
8   C   Brandon Convery
23   R   Grant Marshall
77   R   Nikolai Borschevsky
95   D   Mark Raiter
101   D   Janne Gronvall
106     Chris DeRuiter
125   C   Mikael Hakansson
149   L   Patrik Augusta
173   R   Ryan VandenBussche
197     Wayne Clarke
221     Sergei Simonov
245   D   Nathan Dempsey
12   D   Kenny Jonsson
19   R   Landon Wilson
123   C   Zdenek Nedved
149   W   Paul Vincent
175   L   Jeff Andrews
201   G   David Brumby
253   R   Kyle Ferguson
279     Mikhail Lapin
16   G   Eric Fichaud
48   L   Sean Haggerty
64   L   Fredrik Modin
126   C   Mark Deyell
152   D   Kam White
178   D   Tommi Rajamaki
204   L   Rob Butler
256   L   Sergei Berezin
282   D   Doug Nolan
15   D   Jeff Ware
54   R   Ryan Pepperall
139   G   Doug Bonner
145   D   Yannick Tremblay
171   C   Marek Melenovsky
197   W   Mark Murphy
223   D   Danil Markov
36   D   Marek Posmyk
50   G   Francis Larivee
66   D   Mike Lankshear
68   R   Konstantin Kalmikov
86   R   Jason Sessa
103   R   Vladimir Antipov
110   C   Peter Cava
111   D   Brandon Sugden
140   D   Dmitriy Yakushin
148   D   Chris Bogas
151     Lucio DeMartinis
178   C   Reggie Berg
204   D   Tomas Kaberle
230     Jared Hope
57   C   Jeff Farkas
84   R   Adam Mair
111   L   Frank Mrazek
138   L   Eric Gooldy
165   D   Hugo Marchand
190   R   Shawn Thornton
194   C   Russ Bartlett
221   L   Jonathan Hedstrom
10   C   Nikolai Antropov
35   D   Petr Svoboda
69   G   Jamie Hodson
87   C   Alexei Ponikarovsky
126   R   Morgan Warren
154   D   Allan Rourke
181   L   Jonathan Gagnon
215   D   Dwight Wolfe
228   L   Mihail Travnicek
236     Sergei Rostov
24   C   Luca Cereda
60   D   Peter Reynolds
108   L   Mirko Murovic
110   D   Jonathan Zion
151   D   Vaclav Zavoral
161   F   Jan Sochor
211   G   Vladimir Kulikov
239   D   Pierre Hedin
267   D   Peter Metcalf
24   C   Brad Boyes
51   C   Kris Vernarsky
70   G   Mikael Tellqvist
90   G   Jean-Francois Racine
100   C   Miguel Delisle
179     Vadim Sozinov
209   D   Markus Seikola
223   D   Lubos Velebny
254   R   Alexander Shinkar
265   D   Jean-Philippe Cote
17   D   Carlo Colaiacovo
39   D   Karel Pilar
65   D   Brendan Bell
82   D   Jay Harrison
88   C   Nicolas Corbeil
134   C   Kyle Wellwood
168   D   Maxim Kondratiev
183   L   Jaroslav Sklenar
198   F   Ivan Kolozvary
213   G   Jan Chovan
246   D   Tomas Mojzis
276   F   Mike Knoepfli
24   C   Alexander Steen
57   C   Matthew Stajan
74   G   Todd Ford
88   D   Dominic D'Amour
122   D   David Turon
191   D   Ian White
222   C   Scott May
254   C   Jarkko Immonen
285   D   Staffan Kronwall
57     John Doherty
91   L   Martin Sagat
125   R   Konstantin Volkov
158   C   John Mitchell
220   C   Jeremy Williams
237   C   Shaun Landolt
90   G   Justin Pogge
113   F   Roman Kukumberg
157   D   Dmitry Vorobiev
187   L   Robbie Earl
220   D   Maxim Semenov
252   C   Jan Steber
285   R   Pierce Norton
21     Tuukka Rask
82   D   Phil Oreskovic
153     Alex Berry
173     Johan Dahlberg
216     Anton Stralman
228   F   Chad Rau
13   LW   Jiri Tlusty
44   W   Nikolai Kulemin
99   G   James Reimer
111   D   Korbinian Holzer
161   LW   Viktor Stahlberg
166   C   Tyler Ruegsegger
200   C   Leo Komarov
74   RW   Dale Mitchell
99   RW   Matt Frattin
104   LW   Ben Winnett
134   D   Juraj Mikus
164   C   Christopher Didomenico
166   C   Tyler Ruegsegger
194   D   Carl Gunnarsson