Monday, June 14, 2010

Junior B Gretzky

This is a cool item I recently came across while looking through the great site, Below is pictured a program from early in the 1976/77 season of the Seneca Nationals a Toronto area Junior B squad. Most will be familiar with this team as one of Wayne Gretzky's stepping stones to greatness. He had played the previous year with the Vaughan Nationals and scored 60 points in 28 games in a season which he started as a 14 year old. This 76/77 year, he would tally 72 points in 32 games. What is interesting is the program has a list of Gretzky's team mates during this early part of his career.

Somewhat amazingly, this junior B team would produce, not only Wayne Gretzky, but three other NHLers and a total of 6 professional players. Bill Gardner, brother of Paul Gardner was almost a year older than Gretzky and scored 102 points in 68 games this season. He would go on to have two more 100 point years in the OHL with Peterborough and be drafted in the fourth round by Chicago in 1979. He would top out at 27 goals in 83/84 and played a total of 380 NHL games while scoring 188 points.

Daryl Evans also played on the Seneca Nationals in 76/77 and would also go on to star in the OHL. As a 20 year old, Evans scored 58 goals, 112 points in 58 games for Gretzky's hometown Brantford Alexanders. He was drafted in the ninth round by Los Angeles in 1980, and of course his path would cross with The Great One's once again in 1982. Evans scored the winning goal for the Kings to complete the "Miracle on Manchester" upset of Gretzky's Oilers. After a full 80 games the next season in which he scored 40 points, Evans would play a grand total 19 additional NHL games over the next four years.

Stuart Smith would join Bill Gardner in Peterborough and be drafted even higher at 39th overall in 1979 by Hartford. Smith played a total of 77 games in the bigs, scoring 12 points and collecting 95 PIMS.

Wayne Thompson tore up the OHL with London tallying 121 points in 79/80. He would score a point per game with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs in the AHL before playing four years of pro in Finland. He finished in the Colonial League, ironically with the Brantford Smoke.

Brian Carroll had two good seasons with Niagara Falls of the OHL and played minor pro in the IHL, AHL and ACHL.

Following the completion of Seneca's season in 76/77, Gretzky joined a few of his team mates in playing three games in the OHL with Peterborough. Incidentally, the Peterborough Petes are the only team that Gretzky played for in his career without scoring a goal. In three games, he counted three assists and zero goals.


Geoff_9 said...

Gretzky also didn't score a goal with another team ... Team Canada at the Olympics in 98.

In six games he score Z-E-R-O goals.

Mmmm ... Maybe that's why he wasn't picked in the overtime shoot-out?

will said...

Bill Gardner was not a brother of Paul Gardner or Dave.
Dave and Paul were brothers. Their father was Cal..all NHL's from Toronto

Tim said...

i have that card if you would like to purchase it not a greztky fan...or a hockey fan ... the card is in mint shape

emailme at


Anonymous said...

Came across this site on a google search of my dad's name (Wayne Thompson). Did you buy the program?

Nitzy said...

No, I never did get that program.

secy sarah said...

I have that Gretzky card .... For sale .... 780-397-8348

secy sarah said...

Sorry 780-387-8348

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