Andrew Cassels was one of many Montréal Canadiens first-round draft picks they lost their faith in and traded away in my lifetime. The complete opposite of Carey Price, if you will.
Cassels was chosen 17th overall in the 1987 draft, two spots behind my favourite skater of all time, Joe Sakic, and other notable players like Pierre Turgeon, Brendan Shanahan, Glen Wesley and Stéphane Quintal, but ahead of the likes of almost-teammate John LeClair, star defenseman Éric Desjardins, playoff hero Stéphane Matteau, goalies Rick Tabaracci and Jeff Hackett, as well as late picks Mathieu Schneider (great draft by the Habs with Cassels, LeClair, Desjardins, Ed Ronan, Steve McCool and Schneider!), Guy Hebert, and Theo Fleury.
He won all there awards possible in the OHL (rookie of the year, MVP, leading scorer, most gentlemanly player) and even tore up the AHL (67 points in 55 games) before the Habs decided to send him packing for a second-round pick (Valeri Bure, at least) following a 1990-91 season in which he gathered 25 points in 54 NHL games.
This is the only card of him I have in a Habs uniform (back when it was rare to get a card featuring the white - home- jersey), from Score's 1990-91 Score (American) set, card #422:
Then again, in the Habs' depth chart, Cassels fell behind offensive dynamo Stéphan Lebeau and Guy Carbonneau, the best two-way forward of the 90s... (and they were about to acquire Denis Savard and Vincent Damphousse as well).
(continued in the next post)