Early Europeans in North America

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  1. Robert Gordon Orr
    I thought it would be neat thing to take a look at the early European players who got attention from North Americans.

    Players that were put on negotiaion lists of NHL clubs, were invited to training camps or just generally were commented on that they could play in the NHL.

    When time permits I will look at each and everyone of them, how they did at the training camps, or just comment on their chances to make it over in North America.

    Of course, the criteria is that they spent their formative years playing in Europe, thus players like Stan Mikita, Ivan Boldirev, Walt Tkaczuk, Stan Smrke, etc do not qualify.

    Here’s a list of the ones that I am aware of at the moment, please add players if you see that I am missing anyone. I know that for example Bohumil Modrý, the Czechoslovakian goalie had offers from the NHL in 1947 or 1948, but I have not found any contemporary sources. Aside from that, I do have some other names in my files that I haven't been able to verify.

    I believe that this might be the most comprehensive list that's been presented so far.
    But having said that, it's not complete, and I'm sure I have forgot about some players.

    YearNameCountryComment
    1922Alfred de RauchFranceNHL'er Gerry Geran thought he could play in the USA
    1922Louis BrasseurFranceNHL'er Gerry Geran thought he could play in the USA
    1922Robert LacroixFranceNHL'er Gerry Geran thought he could play in the USA
    1931Josef MalečekCzechoslovakiaInvited to attend New York Rangers training camp
    1949Jaroslav DrobnýCzechoslovakiaBoston Bruins negotiation list
    1949Vladimir ZábrodskýCzechoslovakiaInterest from Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks (PCHL)
    1956Nikolai PuchkovSoviet UnionCleveland Barons (AHL) negotiation list.
    He was also offered a $ 10.000 contract
    1956Nikolai SologubovSoviet UnionNHL-calibre player according to North American observers
    1956Yuri KrylovSoviet UnionNHL-calibre player according to North American observers
    1956Aleksei GuryshevSoviet UnionNHL-calibre player according to North American observers
    1956Yuri PantyukhovSoviet UnionNHL-calibre player according to North American observers
    1957Sven JohanssonSwedenBoston Bruins training camp
    1958Lars BjörnSwedenBoston Bruins training camp
    1958Veniamin AleksandrovSoviet UnionChicago Blackhawks negotiation list
    1958Ivan TregubovSoviet UnionNHL-calibre player according to North American observers
    1958Yuri KopylovSoviet UnionNHL-calibre player according to North American observers
    1962Lennart HäggrothSwedenInvited to attend Boston Bruins training camp
    1962Ulf SternerSwedenInvited to attend Boston Bruins training camp
    New York Rangers negotiation list 1963
    New York Rangers training camp 1963 & 1964
    Drafted by New York Raiders (WHA) 1972
    Los Angeles Sharks (WHA) training camp 1972
    1962Roland StoltzSwedenInvited to attend Boston Bruins training camp
    1962Nils NilssonSwedenInvited to attend Boston Bruins training camp
    1963Carl-Göran ÖbergSwedenToronto Maple Leafs training camp
    1963Kjell SvenssonSwedenToronto Maple Leafs training camp
    1963Jiři (George) KrenCzechoslovakiaToronto Maple Leafs training camp
    1963Jean PaupardinFranceMontreal Canadiens training camp
    1964Juha WidingSwedenInvited by New Rangers
    Attended Brandon Wheat Kings training camp
    Drafted by Ontario (Ottawa) Nationals (WHA) 1972
    1964Folke BengtssonSwedenNew York Rangers training camp
    1964Jan-Erik SjöbergSwedenNew York Rangers training camp
    1964Sören BlomgrenSwedenNew York Rangers training camp
    1964Øystein MellerudNorwayNew York Rangers training camp
    1965Václav NedomanskýCzechoslovakiaNew York Rangers negotiation list
    Drafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA) 1972
    1965Vladimir DzurillaCzechoslovakiaInvited to attend Toronto Maple Leafs training camp
    Los Angeles Kings negotiation list 1967
    Montreal Canadiens negotiation list 1976
    1965Luděk BukačCzechoslovakiaBoston Bruins training camp
    Skated with Chicago Blackhawks
    1965Tord LundströmSwedenDetroit Red Wings negotiation list
    1965Håkan NygrenSwedenDetroit Red Wings negotiation list
    1965Stig-Göran JohanssonSwedenInvited to attend New York Rangers training camp
    1967Jaroslav HolikCzechoslovakiaLos Angeles Kings negotiation list
    1967Jozef GolonkaCzechoslovakiaLos Angeles Kings negotiation list
    Drafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA) 1972
    1967Lennart SvedbergSwedenInvited to attend St. Louis Blues training camp
    Detroit Red Wings training camp 1969
    1967Pentti LindegrenFinlandInvited to attend St. Louis Blues training camp
    1968Lauri MononenFinlandInvited to attend Los Angeles Kings training camp
    1968Jorma AhoFinlandNew York Rangers training camp
    1968Sakari AhlbergFinlandNew York Rangers training camp
    1968Leif HolmqvistSwedenScrimmaged with Boston Bruins (March 1968)
    Invited to attend Boston Bruins training camp
    Drafted by Edmonton Oil Kings (WHA) 1972
    Detroit Red Wings training camp 1973
    1968Arne CarlssonSwedenMinnesota North Stars negotiation list
    1968Lars-Göran NilssonSwedenMinnesota North Stars negotiation list
    St. Louis Blues negotiation list (year unknown)
    1968Leif HenrikssonSwedenDetroit Red Wings training camp
    1968Josef HorešovskýCzechoslovakiaSt. Louis Blues negotiation list
    Drafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA) 1972
    1968Jan HavelCzechoslovakiaSt. Louis Blues negotiation list
    1968Jaroslav JiříkCzechoslovakiaSt. Louis Blues negotiation list
    St. Louis Blues training camp 1969
    Drafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA) 1972
    1968Viktor Tišlar (Tišler)YugoslaviaSt. Louis Blues training camp
    Drafted by New York Raiders (WHA) 1972
    1968Albin FelcYugoslaviaSt. Louis Blues training camp
    1968Anton GaleYugoslaviaBoston Bruins training camp
    Chicago Blackhawks training camp 1970
    Chicago Cougars (WHA) training camp 1972
    Drafted by New York Raiders (WHA) 1972
    1968Ivo JanYugoslaviaDetroit Red Wings training camp
    1968Viktor RavnikYugoslaviaDetroit Red Wings training camp
    1968Ciril KlinarYugoslaviaInvited to attend Detroit Red Wings training camp
    1968Ivo RatajYugoslaviaInvited to attend Detroit Red Wings training camp
    1969Tommy SalmelainenFinlandSt. Louis Blues training camp
    Drafted by St. Louis Blues 1969
    1969Veli-Pekka KetolaFinlandDetroit Red Wings training camp
    Drafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA) 1972
    1969Petr HejmaCzechoslovakiaDetroit Red Wings training camp
    Toronto Maple Leafs training camp 1970
    Drafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA) 1972
    1969Jiři BastlCzechoslovakiaChicago Blackhawks training camp
    Chicago Cougars (WHA) training camp 1973
    1969Karel StrakaCzechoslovakiaOttawa 67's (OHA) training camp
    1970Miroslav GojanovićYugoslaviaChicago Blackhawks training camp
    Los Angeles Sharks (WHA) training camp 1972
    Drafted by Los Angeles Sharks (WHA) 1972
    1970Rudi HitiYugoslaviaChicago Blackhawks training camp
    Los Angeles Sharks (WHA) training camp 1972
    Drafted by Los Angeles Sharks (WHA) 1972
    1970Lasse OksanenFinlandVancouver Canucks training camp
    1970Jorma PeltonenFinlandInvited to attend Vancouver Canucks training camp
    1970Kjell-Rune MiltonSwedenInvited to attend Vancouver Canucks training camp
    1971Ard SchenkNetherlandsChicago Blackhawks negotiation list
    (This was a publicity stunt as he was a speedskater)
    1972Juhani TamminenFinlandToronto Maple Leafs training camp
    1972Jorma ValtonenFinlandToronto Maple Leafs training camp
    1972Marek (Mark) TurekCzechoslovakiaToronto Maple Leafs training camp
    1972Thommie BergmanSwedenDetroit Red Wings training camp
    1972Jaroslav (Jarda) KrupičkaCzechoslovakiaLos Angeles Sharks (WHA) training camp
    1972Zoltan HorvathHungaryLos Angeles Sharks (WHA) training camp
    1972Anatoli FirsovSoviet UnionDrafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA)
    1972Yuri BlinovSoviet UnionDrafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA)
    1972Valeri KharlamovSoviet UnionDrafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA)
    1972Jan EysseltCzechoslovakiaDrafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA)
    1972Gunnar LindqvistSwedenDrafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA)
    1972Alois SchloderWest GermanyDrafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA)
    Also drafted by Los Angeles Sharks (WHA)
    1972Vladislav TretiakSoviet UnionDrafted by New York Raiders (WHA)
    1972Seppo LindströmFinlandDrafted by Winnipeg Jets (WHA)
    1972František TikalCzechoslovakiaDrafted by Winnipeg Jets (WHA)
    1972Reinhold BauerWest GermanyDrafted by Miami Screaming Eagles (WHA)
    1972Aleksandr RagulinSoviet UnionDrafted by New York Raiders (WHA)
    1972Evgeny MishakovSoviet UnionDrafted by Miami Screaming Eagles (WHA)
    1972Aleksandr MaltsevSoviet UnionDrafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA)
    1972Vladimir PetrovSoviet UnionDrafted by Calgary Broncos (WHA)
    1972Jiří HolečekCzechoslovakiaDrafted by Ontario (Ottawa) Nationals (WHA)
    1972Jiří KochtaCzechoslovakiaDrafted by Ontario (Ottawa) Nationals (WHA)
    1972Vladimir BouzekCzechoslovakiaDrafted by Los Angeles Sharks (WHA)
    1972Jiří HolikCzechoslovakiaDrafted by Los Angeles Sharks (WHA)
    1972Ivan HlinkaCzechoslovakiaDrafted by Los Angeles Sharks (WHA)
    1972Leif SvenssonSwedenDrafted by Edmonton Oil Kings (WHA)
    1972Boris MikhailovSoviet UnionDrafted by Miami Screaming Eagles (WHA)
    1972Aleksei KosyginSoviet UnionDrafted by Winnipeg Jets (WHA)
    A mock pick as he was the Soviet prime minister
    He was one week shy of his 68th birthday - The oldest pick ever

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