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1978 Amateur Draft
The Wings drafted a whopping 19 players in the 1978 draft. Quite a few of the players taken came from Championship Junior teams in Hamilton and New Westminster. The rules in place during this draft did not limit how many players could be drafted, with teams being allowed to pick until everyone passed. Detroit and Montreal were 2 organizations that kept picking long after everyone else stopped. Eight of the players drafted played at least 1 game with Detroit, 13 players turned pro at some level of the Detroit organization. Both 1st round choices turned out to be disappointments, and no one chosen went on to become a star player.

1st Rnd, 9th Overall    NHL Totals 655-104-217-321-950
Defenseman Willie Huber
Rated as the #4 prospect in the draft by the Hockey News, Huber was a hulking 6'5, 225 pound rearguard with good mobility, soft hands, and a cannon of a shot. Huber made the Wings in 1978 at his first camp, and averaged 15 goals, 45 points in each of his 4 seasons in Detroit. His lack of aggressiveness and questionable defensive game led to him being packaged in a deal to the Rangers for Ron Duguay in 1983. Willie played 5 more seasons in the NHL, but never played at the level he had with the Wings.
1st Rnd, 12th overall    NHL Totals 620-72-141-213-484
Center Brent Peterson
An abrasive, hard-working, 2-way center, Peterson suffered from a run of bad luck that affected his NHL career. After an impressive camp in 1978, Brent had made the wings and drawn rave reviews from observers. In his 5th game of the season, he suffered a severely broken right leg, an injury that cost him an entire season, and when he returned he had lost a half step. At the beginning of the 1979 season, Peterson suffered a broken cheekbone, and a fractured left ankle, again taking him out of the lineup. Brent spent most of the 1980-81 season in Detroit, and in December of 1981 was traded in a disastrous trade with Mike Foligno and Dale McCourt to the Buffalo Sabres. Peterson carved out another 8 years in the NHL as a steady defensive center before retiring as a player and becoming an NHL assistant coach in 1989.
2nd Rnd, 28th overall    NHL Totals 108-6-12-18-107
Left Wing Glenn Hicks
A speedy, aggressive, 2-way winger with Flin Flon, Hicks scored 50 goals and 119 points during his draft year. He promptly signed a 3-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets of the rival WHA. This complication did not stop Detroit from drafting him in the 2nd round, and in 1979 they reclaimed him from the Jets during the leagues merger. His offensive game was not NHL caliber, but the rules of the merger stated he had to stay on the Wings roster for 2 years. After the 1980-81 season he was released and bounced around the minors until retiring in 1986.
2nd Rnd, 31st overall    NHL Totals 179-95-53-18-3.35 GAA 8 SO
Goaltender Al Jensen
Jensen was the #1 rated goalie in the 1978 draft after a spectacular junior career with the Hamilton/ St Catherines franchise. Al continued his winning ways after turning pro in 1978 winning a Turner cup in Kalamazoo (IHL) in 1979 and a Calder cup with Adirondack (AHL) in 1981. Despite all his success, he only played in one game for the parent wings and gave up 7 goals. He was traded to Washington at the end of the 80-81 season for minor leaguer Mark Lofthouse, and became a credible NHL goaltender for Washington for 6 seasons, with a winning percentage of .664 tops in caps history.
3rd Rnd, 53rd overall    NHL Totals 0-0-0-0-0
Center Doug Derkson
Derkson was a product of the New Westminster Bruins championship factory, which the Wings mined heavily with out a lot of success. A willowy center who scored 38 goals his final season of junior, Doug won a contract with Detroit in his first training camp in 1978. Derkson spent five seasons with Kalamazoo, winning the turner cup in 1979 and 1980, but despite scoring at a point per game pace in the IHL, could not make the move to the next level.
4th Rnd, 62nd overall;   NHL Totals: 1-0-0-0-0
Center Bjorn Skaare
A rangy, playmaking center, Skaare was the first Norwegian player drafted by an NHL team. After putting up great numbers in the Swedish Jr. leagues, Bjorn joined the OHA's Ottawa 67's where he rang up 12 goals and 30 assists in only 38 games. Signed to a contract before training camp, he made his NHL debut early in the year playing a scoreless game in Detroit, and spent half a season with the wings top farm club in Kansas City (CHL). After the season, he returned to Norway where he played pro hockey until his untimely death in a car accident at age 31.
5th Rnd, 78th overall;   NHL Totals: 78-6-16-22-105
Left Wing Ted Nolan
A full blooded Ojibway Indian, Ted was a tough, grinding, defensive left winger, who was successful because of his work ethic and high energy. Nolan turned pro in 1978 with the Kansas City Red Wings (CHL) putting together a good rookie season, he won a Calder cup in Adirondack (AHL) in 1981, and made the NHL in 1982. After spending the next 3 seasons between Detroit and the AHL, Nolan departed for the Buffalo and Pittsburgh organizations until suffering a career ending back injury while playing for the Penguins. After retirement, Ted became a successful coach, winning at every level including the Jack Adams award in the NHL.
6th Rnd, 95th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Center Sylvain Locas
Rated as the #6 QMJHL prospect by the Hockey News, Locas was a junior scoring superstar, racking up 83 goals and 81 assists in 68 games. He slipped to the 95th pick because teams were scared off by his small size at 5'9, 168 pounds. Sylvain put up solid numbers during his rookie season with Kansas City (CHL), but found himself traded out of the organization during his second season, as he had a hard time adjusting to the AHL.
7th Rnd, 112th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
LW Wes George
A highly regarded junior player, Wes was a 6'3 220 pound offensive winger who played a banging aggressive game. At the conclusion of his junior career he signed with the WHA's Edmonton Oilers a move that scared off a lot of NHL teams. Detroit took a chance on him in the 7th round, and he joined the organization in 1979. Health problems, most notably a heart condition discovered during the 1978-79 season derailed a once promising career, and George only spent one season in the organization.
8th Rnd, 129th overall;   NHL Totals: 480-20-77-97-604
Defenseman John Barrett
A hard-nosed defensive defenseman, Barrett was an adept shot-blocker, and was willing to drop the gloves when needed. John turned pro in the IHL in 1978 and worked his way up through Adirondack (AHL) to the parent club partway through the 1980-81 season. After 6 seasons as a serviceable defenseman in Detroit, he was traded with Greg Smith to Washington. In his second season with the capitals he broke his kneecap blocking a shot, and after almost 2 seasons of rehab was forced to retire.
9th Rnd, 146th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Center Jim Malazdrewicz
A sniper in juniors, Jim turned pro in 1978 with Kansas City (CHL) and scored 32 goals. The next season he was a 20 goal scorer in the AHL, before turning in a 51 goal 105 point performance in Kalamazoo (IHL). His lack of size 5'8 prevented him from making the parent Wings despite his touch around the net, and he was out of hockey by 1981.
10th Rnd, 163rd overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Right Wing Geoff Shaw
A good-sized right wing, Shaw was drafted from the same Hamilton team as Willie Huber and Al Jensen. Given a look at training camp in 1978, Geoff did not make the grade, and left to attend college in Toronto.
11th Rnd, 178th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Defenseman Carl Van Harrewyn
A tough, puck moving defenseman that could also play the wing, Van Harrewyn was another New Westminster product the wings drafted. Carl did not turn pro after attending camp in 1978, and chose to retire.
12th Rnd, 194th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Left Wing Ladislav Svosil
Red Wings Scouts got a good look at Svosil during the 1978 World Junior Championships where his Czech team took 4th place. Ladislav played in Europe into the nineties, but never came to North America to play.
13th Rnd, 208th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Right Wing Tom Bailey
At 6'4, 190 pounds, Bailey was a gamble with a good upside. A light scorer in junior, Tom did not turn pro, and was out of hockey after his draft year.
14th Rnd, 219th overall;   NHL Totals: 30-6-11-7 4.32 GAA 0 SO
Goaltender Larry Lozinski
Larry seemed to suffer from a poor sense of timing, he was traded from New Westminster right before their championship run, arrived in Kalamazoo right after their 2 cups, and left Adirondack for Detroit just long enough to miss the 1981 Calder cup. Lozinski, had a good showing at all levels of the farm system before coming up to Detroit in 1981 and he played as well as could be expected, thrown to the wolves as the starter for a terrible club. He lost his spot at training camp the next season to rookie Carrado Micalef, and never made it back.
15th Rnd, 224th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Left Wing Randy Betty
Yet another cog from New Westminster's championship machine that Detroit took a chance on, Betty was a good sized winger with a nose for the net. An injury suffered during his draft year cost him a job in the organization, but after a season in the IHL, he signed with Detroit. Randy spent the 1979-80 season with the Johnstown Wings (EHL), and then was out of hockey.
16th Rnd, 226th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Defenseman Brian Crawley
A 6'1 Defenseman from St Lawrence University, Crawley chose an education over a pro career.
17th Rnd, 228th overall;   NHL Totals: 0-0-0-0-0
Center Doug Feasby
A slick, High scoring centerman in ECAC division II hockey, Feasby was part of the player revolt at Union college that saw the entire senior hockey program leave in Mid-season over Coach Ned Harkness's mistreatment. Doug turned his back on the pros and finished his degree at Concordia University where he was a record breaking offensive force.