The NHL Amateur Draft was created in 1963 as a means of phasing out the sponsorship of amateur teams by NHL clubs. Previously NHL teams would sign pre-junior players to C-Forms on a first come, first served basis. This committed the player to that particular organization from their mid-teenage years. With expansion in the horizon, the NHL wanted to abolish this program in order to level the playing field.
Because most of hockey's top junior players were already assigned to NHL teams, there were only a handful of top prospects available from 1963 through 1968. It wasn't until 1969 that all C-Form signed junior players were phased out.
1st pick - Garry Monahan - Montreal
Other notable players - Peter Mahovlich (2nd), Montreal; Walt McKenchnie (6th), Toronto; Jim McKenny (17th), Toronto; Gerry Meehan (21st), Toronto
Best player - Peter Mahovlich
1st pick - Claude Gauthier - Detroit
Other notable players - Tim Ecclestone (9th), NY Rangers; Ken Dryden (14th), Boston; Syl Apps, Jr. (21st), NY Rangers
Best player - Ken Dryden
1st pick - Andre Veilleux - New York Rangers
Other notable players - Pierre Bouchard (5th), Montreal
Best player - Pierre Bouchard
1st pick - Barry Gibbs - Boston
Other notable players - Brad Park (2nd), NY Rangers; Don Luce (14th), NY Rangers; Phil Myre (5th), Montreal
Best player - Brad Park
1st pick - Rick Pagnutti - Los Angeles
Other notable players - Battleship Kelly (16th), Toronto
Best player - Battleship Kelly
1st pick - Michel Plasse - Montreal
Other notable players - John Marks (9th), Chicago; Curt Bennett (16th), St. Louis
Best player - Curt Bennett
By the way, for those greatly appreciated regular visitors, the profiles of Battleship Kelly, Brad Park, Don Luce, Pierre Bouchard, Garry Monahan are all new profiles!