This also led me to do a little investigating into the annual NHL drafts of the time. The NHL had instituted a "Intra-League Draft" in the early 1950s to help the Bruins and Black Hawks be more competitive. This eventually became the Waiver Draft, which lasted until the 2003-2004 season. The 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and NHLPA eliminated the Waiver Draft. The purpose of this draft was to improve the non-playoff teams by allowing them to acquire their pick of some of the worst players on the playoff teams.
In the 1960s three other drafts were instituted: the Amateur Draft (now the Entry Draft), the Inter-League Draft and the Reverse Draft. The Inter-League Draft was akin to the Amateur Draft in that NHL teams picked players from other leagues but whereas the Amateur Draft was a draft of (mostly) junior players the Inter-League Draft was a draft of minor-league professionals playing in the Western Hockey League (not to be confused with the current Major Junior WHL), AHL and CPHL.
The Reverse Draft, inaugurated in 1965, was a 'reverse' version of the Inter-League Draft: WHL and AHL teams could draft players from the NHL teams. Pickings were usually quite slim as the number of players 'protected' by the NHL teams was two to three dozen. The minor pro teams were drafting players who were already playing in the minors anyway, some already playing for the minor team in question after been loaned to them by an NHL affiliate.
The results of Inter-League and Reverse Drafts weren't always reported well, probably because in some years these affairs were very brief. Tracing my way back through rosters there were a few players picked up by or lost from NHL teams for seemingly no reason when in fact they had been exchanged as part of these drafts.
The following are the results of the 1968 Inter-League Draft, which weren't even published in the NHL Guide that year.
|1||Brian Perry||Oakland Seals||Providence Reds (AHL)|
|pass||Detroit Red Wings|
|pass||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|2||Larry Hale||Minnesota North Stars||Seattle Totems (WHL)|
|3||Myron Stankiewicz||St. Louis Blues||Hershey Bears (AHL)|
|pass||Los Angeles Kings|
|4||Larry Leach||Chicago Black Hawks||Portland Buckaroos (WHL)|
|pass||New York Rangers|
|5||Len Ronson||Montreal Canadiens||San Diego Gulls (WHL)|
|all teams passed|
The NHL teams paid the respective minor league teams $30,000 for each pick.
"NHL clubs pick 5 players in interleague drafting". The Globe & Mail (Toronto). p. 30. June 12, 1968.