Although he was often ‘overshadowed’ by a certain Smythe Division rival, Dale Hawerchuk (HHOF ’01) began putting Hall of Fame numbers up right from the start. Selected first overall by the Winnipeg Jets in 1981, Hawerchuk led the Jets to the largest single season turnaround in NHL history – a 48-point improvement. He finished his rookie season with 103 points and easily won the Calder Trophy. After ‘only’ scoring 91 points the next year, he would post five consecutive 100+ point seasons. After the Jets traded him to Buffalo, Hawerchuk would lead the team in scoring three out of five seasons. He was instrumental in the 1987 and 1991 Canada Cup victories, especially after replacing an injured Wayne Gretzky. Signed by St. Louis as free agent in 1995, he recorded 41 points in 66 games before moving to Philadelphia, where he retired in 1997. His 518 goals and 891 assists give him 1409 points, ranking him 19th all-time. Currently, Dale Hawerchuk is head coach of the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

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