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New Book Reveals Hilarious Reason San Jose Drafted Patrick Marleau over Olli Jokinen


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TJ Tucker
October 4, 2023  (11:34)
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It may seem like ancient history now, but it's always fun to learn about the behind-the-scenes incidents that took place in the NHL. A new book has revealed that the San Jose Sharks were not going to pick Patrick Marleau at number two in 1997, but an encounter between their head scout and the player he wanted changed everything.

In a new book released this week by Doug MacLean and Scott Morrison entitled "Draft Day: How Hockey Teams Pick Winners Or Get Left Behind, MacLean, a former NHL coach and GM, told a story of the 1997 draft that included some big names. Joe Thornton would be taken number one by the Boston Bruins, with Patrick Marleau going to the Sharks next, and Olli Jokinen selected by the LA Kings third. However, MacLean writes that John Ferguson Sr., head scout with the Sharks at the time, had made up his mind to take Jokinen in the number two spot until a chance encounter at a night club.
MacLean said Ferguson travelled to Finland to watch Jokinen play in the World Championships. In the wee hours of the morning, he stopped into a popular bar for a nightcap, and happened to spot Jokinen on the dance floor. The book states Ferguson went over to Jokinen and told him to go get some sleep. Jokinen's response was one that Ferguson didn't appreciate.
"F--k off, old man," - Jokinen's reported response to Ferguson when he told him to go get some rest.

According to MacLean, Ferguson then convinced San Jose to take Marleau with the 2nd overall pick, leaving Jokinen for the LA Kings at third.
"At the next scouting meeting, 'Fergie' declared that he was never going to draft Jokinen," said MacLean on Bob McCowan's podcast, where he was promoting his book."

Things could have been very different for both Marleau and Jokinen in terms of their careers if not for the night club incident. At the same time, both went on to have successful NHL careers.
Source: HS.fi
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OCTOBER 4   |   120 ANSWERS
New Book Reveals Hilarious Reason San Jose Drafted Patrick Marleau over Olli Jokinen

Who had the better NHL career?

Patrick Marleau8873.3 %
Olli Jokinen75.8 %
About the same1714.2 %
Not sure86.7 %
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