|Overall||Player Chosen||By||From||Player Removed|
From Protected List
|1||Jim Neilson||California Golden Seals||New York Rangers||Walt McKechnie||claim|
|2||Dave Fortier||New York Islanders||Philadelphia Flyers||Brian Lefley||cash|
|3||Jim Wiley||Vancouver Canucks||Pittsburgh Penguins||Jim Mair||cash|
|4||Brian Ogilvie||St. Louis Blues||Chicago Black Hawks||Butch Williams||cash|
|5||Ron Busniuk||Detroit Red Wings||Buffalo Sabres||Al McLeod||cash|
The biggest news story surrounding this year's draft was fall-out from the first selection. Before the draft the Golden Seals, Rangers and Bruins had come to an agreement such that the Seals would take Jim Neilson with their first pick, drop Walt McKechnie from their protected list to make room for Neilson, the Rangers would claim McKechnie as compensation, and they would trade McKechnie to the Bruins at a later date for Derek Sanderson. All was going according to plan until the Sabres had their turn. Because McKechnie was claimed as compensation for losing Neilson McKechnie wasn't placed on the Rangers' protected list. Sabres GM Punch Imlach, being Punch Imlach, thought he could claim McKechnie from the Rangers (his rationale being "McKechnie was the best player available"), thus negating the pre-arranged deal the Rangers and Bruins had agreed to. NHL President Clarence Campbell immediately ruled that the selection was invalid, explained that this year a team could only lose one player and the Rangers had already lost Neilson to the Golden Seals, and the Sabres would have to make another selection or forfeit their pick. Imlach threatened to appeal to the Board of Governors but Campbell rebuffed him, telling him appeals on this matter would not be allowed.
Imlach waived his selection and the rest of the teams passed as well, ending the draft. Two days later McKechnie was traded to the Bruins for Sanderson.