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1977 Amateur Draft
The Red Wings drafted 16 players in the 1977 draft. They held the number one overall pick and chose OHL center Dale McCourt as the top choice. McCourt never became a franchise player, and the only other NHL regular picked by Detroit, Jim Korn, was traded away to Toronto early in his career.
Detroit's strategy seemed to revolve around bloodlines, as several of the players chosen had relatives that were pro hockey players. McCourt and Vasko were nephews of famous NHL'ers, Wilson was the son of of a former Detroit Player, and Plumb's brother was an all-star blueliner in the WHA.
When all was said and done, 11 of the 16 players drafted signed with the organization, and 7 played at least one game in the NHL. The best pick for the wings was defenseman Korn who played 596 games in the NHL over the course of his 11 year career.

1st Rnd, 1st Overall    NHL Totals 532-194-284-478-124
Center Dale McCourt
The consensus first overall pick in the 1977 draft, McCourt came to the NHL with quite a pedigree after captaining St Catherines to the Memorial cup. Voted best shot, best stickhandler, best penalty killer, best on face-offs, most dangerous in the goal area, smartest player, and best stickhandler in the OHA, as well as winning the Red Tilson trophy as the leagues outstanding player and Bill Hanley trophy as most gentlemanly player. This slick pivot scored 30 goals 3 times for the Wings, and averaged over a point per game during his 4 1/2 seasons in Detroit. He was involved in a landmark case in which he was awarded to Los Angles as compensation for the Wings signing of Rogie Vachon. McCourt refused to report, and took his case to the Supreme Court to be allowed to remain in Detroit. Two and a half seasons later he didn't argue when the wings shipped him to Buffalo in the Ill-fated deal for Danny Gare. McCourt played a season and a half for the Sabres before playing his last NHL season in Toronto. He left for Europe in 1984, and played there into the 90's before becoming a coach in the German League.
2nd Rnd, 19th Overall
 Traded to Chicago for the rights to JP Leblanc 11/20/75
3rd Rnd, 37th overall    NHL Totals 31-3-7-10-29
Defenseman Rick Vasko
Rated the most mobile blueliner in the OHA, Vasko was an excellent skater who moved the puck well and played a physical game. The nephew of NHL'er "Moose" Vasko, Rick was a 20-goal scorer twice in the minors,and was named first team all-star and defenseman of the year in the AHL in 1980. Vasko was traded at to Calgary in 1981, before leaving for Zurich in 1982 where he played until his retirement in 1984.
4th Rnd, 55th overall;   NHL Totals: 57-1-1-2-89
Defenseman John Hilworth
A 6'4 205 monster on skates, "Too Tall" as he was known, was a heavy weight enforcer, who could skate well and had enough skill to be a potential asset for the Wings. John got numerous chances in the NHL with Detroit, but was never aggressive enough for management, and was eventually waived in 1979. After missing a season recovering from a severe eye injury, he played the last 3 seasons of his career as a standout defenseman in the IHL and retired in 1985.
5th Rnd, 73rd overall;   NHL Totals: 596-66-122-188-1801
Defenseman Jim Korn
A hard-nosed collegiate defenseman with a nasty disposition, Korn was a rough, tough physical defender. The 6Í3, 210 pounder turned pro after a banner senior season, which saw him named an ECAC all-star, and to represent the US at the World championships. He was in the NHL for all but 14 games his first season as a pro, and looked to have a strong future in the organization, before attitude problems led to his trade to Toronto midway through the 1981-82 season. Despite being a poor skater, Korn played in the NHL until 1990 mostly as an enforcer, when the fighting and physical play finally took its toll on him and forced his retirement.
6th Rnd, 91st overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Goaltender Jim Baxter
Baxter was drafted after spending 2 seasons as the backup goalie at division II, Union College. Jim turned pro after the draft and spent the next 2 rocky seasons assigned to Kalamazoo (IHL) until knee injuries forced his retirement.
7th Rnd, 109th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Center Randy Wilson
The son of former wing Larry Wilson, Randy was a speedy, shifty scoring center from Providence College. Upon graduation, Wilson turned pro, joining the farm club in Kansas City (CHL) for the tail end of the season scoring 11 points in 13 games. Assigned to Johnstown (EHL) to start the 1979-80 season, but injuries limited him to just 14 games, and then he was out of the organization. He played in the AHL for a few years, including a 44-goal campaign in 1980-81, and then left for Europe where he played until his retirement.
8th Rnd, 125th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Center Ray Roy
Roy scored 32 goals and 86 points with the Sherbrooke Beavers of the QMJHL and piqued the interest of the Wings enough to take a chance with an 8th round pick. He got a 6 game tryout in Kalamazoo in 1977-78, and kicked around the low minors for parts of a few seasons before calling it quits.
9th Rnd, 141st overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Center Kip Churchill
A smallish center with a knack for scoring, Churchill put up huge numbers for Union College before leaving partway through his junior year in a show of solidarity for coach Ned Harkness who was forced to resign mid-season. He immediately turned pro with Kalamazoo (IHL), and finished the season with 14 goals in 39 games. Kip spent three years in the wings organization in Kalamazoo (IHL) and Johnstown (EHL) before calling it a career.
10th Rnd, 155rd overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Defenseman Lance Gattoni
Drafted from University of Toronto after winning CIAU Championship, Gattoni was a 6'1 195 pound blueliner that could move the puck well. Lance turned pro with Kalamazoo (IHL) in 1980 and put up decent numbers despite a string of injuries, before retiring at the end of the season.
11th Rnd, 163rd overall;   NHL Totals: 14-3-2-5-2
Center Rob Plumb
A 5'9 170 pound defensive center coming off a career best 20 goal season in the OHL, Plumb was the surprise of WingÍs camp in 1977, and made the parent club out of camp. He split his first 2 seasons between the CHL and the NHL and club management thought he was a rising star in the organization. The next season, he could not get it done at the AHL and was assigned to Kalamazoo (IHL) where he put up all star numbers, but could not get back to the NHL. After not being re-signed in 1981 he left for Switzerland where he finished his career as an offensive force on the larger rinks.
12th Rnd, 170th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Forward Alain Belanger
A big time QMJHL Enforcer, Belanger walked away from hockey after the draft and never turned pro.
13th Rnd, 175th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Left Wing Dean Willers
Another player who left Union College in 1977 in the Harkness scandal along with fellow draftee Churchill, Willers was a scorer who put up some decent numbers. Dean turned pro with Kalamazoo (IHL) upon leaving school, and bounced around in the low minors, and eventually out of the organization in 1980 before retiring from pro hockey in 1982.
14th Rnd, 180th overall;   NHL Totals: 34-8-9-17-2
Center Roland Cloutier
A real long shot, Cloutier was a 5'6 157 pound wispy center who put up a monster season in the QMJHL with Trois Rivieres, Scoring 63 goals, 68 assists, 131 points in 72 games. Made the Wing's roster out of his first training camp, and after being sent down, put up 56 points as a rookie with Kansas city (CHL). The next season he put up 30+ goals in the CHL, and scored 6 goals 12 points in 19 games in Detroit. Cloutier was claimed in the 1979 Expansion Draft by the Quebec Nordiques and spent the next 2 seasons in their organization, mostly in the AHL. Roland left for Europe in 1981 and played in France until retiring in 1988.
15th Rnd, 181th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Right Wing Ed Hill
A big right wing from the University of Vermont, Hill put up mediocre numbers prior to the draft, but the wings liked his size and felt he would improve as he grew into his body. His numbers actually went down over time, and aside from a look at camp in 1978, the wings werenÍt interested, so Hill never turned pro.
16th Rnd, 184th overall;   NHL Totals: 11-0-0-0-30
Left Wing Val James
A 6'2 205 enforcer, James played a physical, banging and checking game for the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL prior to the draft. He never signed with Detroit, instead returning home to Ontario and working as a bouncer while playing Sr. hockey. A year later he decided to try pro hockey and signed a contract in the EHL. His strong work ethic and fearsome fighting made up for his lack of talent, and he rose through the ranks, signing a contract with the Buffalo Sabres. Val was a fixture for years with the Rochester Americans, and was a devastating fighter that few people would challenge, he was known as the "Muhammad Ali on skates". He became the first African-American to play in the NHL.
17th Rnd, 185th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Right Wing Grant Morin
The last player chosen in the 1977 draft, Morin was a 5'9 scoring winger with a physical side. He sandwiched one season in the WCHL with Calgary where he averaged a point per game, and 390 penalty minutes, between 2 MVP seasons in the AJHL. He turned pro with the wings farm club in Kalamazoo in 1978, and after scoring 34 goals and winning a Calder cup as an IHL rookie, got an audition with Adirondack (AHL). He managed only 1 goal in 10 games, returned to Kalamazoo, won his second Calder cup and was out of hockey at the end of the season.