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Mike Ditka

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Gary Nylund

Photo of Gary Nylund

A highly touted prospect, Gary Nylund went to the Toronto Maple Leafs chosen third overall in 1982. Nylund injured his knee twice in his rookie season, causing development delays. He returned the next season and was a feared defender on the Toronto blue line. He moved to Chicago in 1986 and then to the New York Islanders in 1988; his play was definitely more stable and solid with these teams. After retiring in 1993, Nylund went back to BC to run a trucking company. He is now a firefighter in Delta, British Columbia and has won the Medal of Heroics for his life-saving efforts. Nylund is an effective speaker on teamwork and facing adversity.