Sunday, November 25, 2012

Brent Bilodeau Autograph Card

There was a time when the Montréal Canadiens took their first round draft picks from the WHL, usually players of little discernible offensive talent who stood taller than 6 feet and weighed more than 200 pounds. As the only first-rounder of the class of 1991 to never play in the NHL, Brent Bilodeau sure fit the bill perfectly, although fans would probably have preferred any of the 100 players chosen after him to have played, including Glen Murray, Dean McAmmond, Ray Whitney, Zigmund Palffy, Sandis Ozolinsh, Steve Staios, Jozef Stumpel, Yanic Perreault, Chris Osgood, Igor Kravchuk, Alexei Zhitnik, Mike Knuble, Dmitri Yushkevich, Brian Holzinger, Dmitri Mironov, or Brian Savage.

But the draft can be unpredictable, and one mistake can happen. The Habs of the 1980s and 1990s, however, made it a habit that their first rounders would rarely pan out, so either their scouts were awful, or their player development was lacking. Who knows which department is most to blame?

And Bilodeau couldn't have been that bad, seeing as he dressed for Team Canada at the World Juniors and for the WHL All Stars at CHL All Star events...

Speaking of the WHL All Stars, this card from Classic's 1991-92 Draft Picks set (signed in blue sharpie, numbered 386/1000) sees him wearing that exact uniform.

I met him and got a card signed in the mid-90s, I'll have to find it and write about it sometime soon.

For now, he's an assistant coach in junior hockey, for the Tri-City Americans.

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