This is Willie Huber. He was the 9th overall pick in the 1978 Entry Draft and a pretty famous junior. He’d played on a Memorial Cup team, he’d played in the WJC’s in ’77 and ’78 and he was rated by the Hockey News as the 4th best prospect in the 1978 draft.
He was a huge man, 6-5, 228. For pretty much all of his playing career he was the tallest and heaviest man in the NHL, and his injuries were always pretty serious: cracked ribs, broken cheekbone, torn MCL in his right knee and it was that injury (among other things like contract issues) that saw his career fade.
Willie Huber debuted in October 1978, and he retired in the spring of 1989. That’s 18 years ago.
He is 4 years older than Chris Chelios.
You can do this with lots of players.
Chelios was drafted in 1981, 40th overall. Among the players taken 1-39 that season were Dale Hawerchuk, Bobby Carpenter, Ron Francis, Grant Fuhr, Tony Tanti, Al MacInnis.
Chris Chelios is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. He’s old enough to be the father of many of the Red Wings, and he began showing up in the Hockey News in the 1970s! He played U.S. High School Hockey, he played in the Saskatchewan Junior League, he played U.S. College hockey and he played on the 1984 U.S. olympic team and the 2006 team, plus two more in between.
Chris Chelios is coming up on 1600 NHL games, is 46 years old and I honestly wonder if his goal is to pass Gordie Howe (who was 51 years old when he played for Hartford in the NHL 79-80).
Chris Chelios’ career has spanned the lifetime of some of the people who will read this blog today.