Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Season In Autographs: 2016/2017

With the 2017/2018 regular season now over, time to do a little housekeeping and post the 2016/2017 list of NHL debuts. I tend to wait at least a few months after a player's debut before hunting for an autograph, giving card companies enough time to produce a certified autograph. If a year passes and the player still doesn't have one released, I'll mark it as time to try sending a letter.

With 162 player's added to the all-time player list, the grand total of NHL debuts since 1917/18 now stands at 7,608.


162 Players made their NHL debuts through the 2016/2017 season

In The Collection:  44/162 = 27%

Note: Charles McAvoy made his NHL debut during the playoffs

Sebastian Aho

Jorge Alves

Rasmus Andersson
Brady Austin
Yohann Auvitu

Nicholas Baptiste

Ivan Barbashev
Riley Barber

Mathew Barzal

Anthony Beauvillier

Matt Benning
Tyler Bertuzzi

Antoine Bibeau

Anton Blidh
Brock Boeser
Jonny Brodzinski

Pavel Buchnevich

Erik Burgdoerfer
Drake Caggiula

Patrick Cannone

Brandon Carlo

Gabriel Carlsson

Alexander Carrier

William Carrier

Peter Cehlarik
Thomas Chabot

Jakob Chychrun

Blake Coleman
J.T. Compher

Eric Comrie

Kyle Connor

Jared Coreau
Joseph Cramarossa

Lawson Crouse

Austin Czarnik

Jean-Sebastien Dea

Anthony DeAngelo

Aaron Dell
Chris Didomenico
Jake Dotchin

Justin Dowling

Christian Dvorak

Remi Elie
Andreas Englund
Joel Eriksson Ek

Adam Erne

Christian Fischer

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson
Gustav Forsling

Martin Frk

Frederick Gaudreau
Jon Gillies
A.J. Greer
Matthew Grzelcyk
Jake Guentzel

Brendan Guhle

Denis Gurianov

Robert Hagg

Shane Harper
John Hayden
Tim Heed

Danton Heinen

Samuel Henley
Joshua Ho-Sang
Julius Honka
Mark Jankowski
Tristian Jarry
Nick Jensen
Connor Jones
Tyson Jost
Vladislav Kamenev
Michael Kapla
Ondrej Kase
Clayton Keller
Adrian Kempe
Michal Kempny

Nicolas Kerdiles

Travis Konecny

Kalle Kossila
Sean Kuraly

Kevin Lebanc

Joseph Labate
Paul Ladue
Patrik Laine
Marek Langhamer
Nick Lappin
Jacob Larsson
Artturi Lehkonen
Mike Liambas
Anton Lindholm

Matthew Lorito

Roman Lyubimov
Denis Malgin
Sean Malone
Mitch Marner

Spencer Martin

Auston Matthews
Charles McAvoy
Ian McCoshen
Evan McEneny
Zane McIntyre
Wade Megan
Jaycob Megna

Timo Meier

Garrett Mitchell

Zack Mitchell

Griffen Molino
Brandon Montour
Samuel Morin

Tyler Motte

Alex Nedeljkovic
Cristoval Nieves
Nelson Nogier
Markus Nutivaara
Alexander Nylander
Rob O'Gara
Daniel O'Regan
Matthew Peca

Brendan Perlini

Brayden Point

Andrew Poturalski
Ivan Provorov
Jesse Puljujarvi

John Quenneville

Dan Renouf
Tanner Richard
David Rittich
Anton Rodin
Kevin Rooney
Jack Roslovic
Carter Rowney
Robbie Russo
Zachary Sanford
Nikita Scherbak
Jordan Schmaltz

Nick Schmaltz

Lukas Sedlak
Mikhail Sergachev
Dillon Simpson
C.J. Smith
Gemel Smith

Jeremy Smith

Marcus Sorensen
Nick Sorensen
Blake Speers
Troy Stecher

Anthony Stolarz

Dylan Strome

Evgeny Svechnikov
Ben Thomson
Matthew Tkachuk
Alex Tuch
T.J. Tynan
Mike Vecchione

Jimmy Vesey

Jakub Vrana

Lucas Wallmark
MacKenzie Weegar

Zach Werenski

Colin White
Nikita Zaitsev

Valentin Zykov

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May Mail Day ft. Tom Edur

A few factors at play make this a smaller than usual mail post. First is that I recently blew about 2 months worth of my hobby budget on one purchase, a lot, that should be the feature of my next mail post. Second factor that makes this a smaller than usual post is that (as I've mentioned here before) most of my incoming mail has been related to my new "Pucks & Politics" collection. After hockey, reading and studying Canadian politics is my favorite pastime so merging the two made sense and a whole lot of fun. I've gotten about 150 returns (Canadian Members of Parliament, Mayors, Senators and Premiers) so far and I'm working on scanning them all and making a post for them here since they're all tied to hockey. Finally, I just haven't been writing to as many NHLers as I have in the past. I'm running out of addresses and need to spend some time researching new whereabouts. With 'real life' taking up much of my evenings lately, that is easier said than done (we're currently in the midst of our first home purchase). However, I'm slowly but surely adding a new signature here and there. My passion hasn't faded and I most certainly won't be stopping this quest anytime soon.

This post features 8 new NHL autographs, raising the grand total of unique NHL players signatures to 5,765 for 77% of everyone to ever play in the league.

                                 Tom Edur
Tom Edur has an incredibly interesting story and I was thrilled to get this reply back. It was certainly a surprise seeing that I had sent to Mr. Edur in 2012 c/o his Estonia home. Defenceman Tom Edur spent 3 seasons in the WHA and 2 seasons in the NHL. He was emerging as one of the NHL's top offensive D-men, scoring 43 points in 58 games with the 1977/78 Pittsburgh Penguins when he left the game. At 23 year old and emerging as a star, he abruptly retired from hockey to become a Jehovah's Witness. He never looked back and in his letter back to me wrote that he never regretted the decision. He's been working as a missionary in Estonia since 1990. It would certainly never be my life choice, but I have a great deal of respect for someone like Edur to walk away from a huge contract and fame for something he truly believes in. I'm also thrilled to find his autograph, as he's certainly one of the more difficult NHL alumni to track down.

                               Kari Eloranta
From 1981 to 1987 Finnish defenceman Kari Eloranta scored 116 points in 267 career NHL games, mostly with the Calgary Flames. He represented Finland at the World Junior Championships, Men's World Championships, Canada Cup and Olympics. He helped his country win Silver at the 1988 Olympics.

                          Jason Simon
A tough customer, Jason Simon played 4 games in the NHL with the 1993/94 New York Islanders and 1 game with the 1996/97 Phoenix Coyotes. He accumulated 34 penalty minutes in 5 career NHL games. A player with aboriginal heritage, Simon is now a well known advocate in Native community development.

               Shane MacEachern
Shane MacEachern played 1 game in the NHL with the 1987/88 St. Louis Blues. What makes this addition notable is that Mr. MacEachern lives just a few minute drive away from me in Charlottetown, PEI. Even though were a hospitable bunch here on the Island, I thought it might be crossing a line knocking on his door so I sent this to him via snail mail. Interesting fact, all of our Island mail gets sent to the distribution centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. So even though he only lives a hop and a skip away, this autograph put on some miles to get back to me. Seeing as how he didn't answer any of my questions or acknowledge the Island connection we have, I'm guessing I made the right decision not approaching him. Still very happy to add this signature. Now Maynard Schurman, an old Hartford Whaler, is the last living Prince Edward Island born NHL player I need to track down. 

       Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman
From 2007 to 2009 Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman played 4 games in the NHL with the Atlanta Thrashers, scoring 1 goal and 2 points. As a junior, he helped the Quebec Remparts win the 2006 Memorial Cup. A couple years later he helped the AHL's Chicago Wolves win the 2008 Calder Cup.

                    Matt Hussey
The Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Matt Hussey in the 9th round of the 1998 NHL draft. He was a high school player committed to the University of Wisconsin. After completing his education, Hussey started his pro hockey career in 2002. From 2003 to 2007 he played 21 games in the NHL between the Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

                             Warren Peters
From 2008 to 2012 Warren Peters scored 4 goals and 8 points in 96 NHL games, dressing with the Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild. Interesting fact about Warren Peters, he's one of just a few modern day NHL players who have slipped under the radar and was never featured on an NHL card. 

                               Cam Paddock
Cam Paddock scored 2 goals and 3 points in 16 career NHL games with the 2008/09 St. Louis Blues. He was originally drafted by the Penguins in 2002 but spent a few years in the minors before making it to the NHL. As a junior, Paddock is notable for helping the Kelowna Rockets win the 2004 Memorial Cup.

To finish the mail post, some new additions to my 'baseball but hockey' oddball collection. I must have close to 100 of these baseball/hockey signatures now.

                                                               Brian Looney
As noted on this baseball card, Brian Looney was indeed an exceptional hockey player. He has a page and he did play a few NCAA Divsion I games with Boston College, playing with a number of future NHL players.

                                                                 Dustin Molleken
I made these images extra large so you can read the backs, because it explains the link to hockey. For briefly playing in the WHL with the Regina Pats, Dustin does have a page.

                                                                    Stubby Clapp
Stubby Clapp played high level junior hockey before becoming an MLB regular.

                                                                      Ken MacKenzie
Ken MacKenzie was a star NCAA hockey player with Yale.