August 05, 2010

Dale Craigwell

Televised hockey coverage of Canadian junior hockey leagues greatly improved with the arrival of the much talked about Eric Lindros to the Oshawa Generals. Curious eyes all tuned into watch the young phenom named Lindros, but while watching many Generals games I became intrigued by another future NHLer - Dale Craigwell.

Craigwell played three seasons in Oshawa. The most successful of which was 1990-91, when Craigwell recorded 95 points in 56 games. In addition he was named the OHL's most-gentlemanly player and was also selected to the OHL All-Star squad and represented Canada at the World Junior Championships.

Craigwell was drafted by San Jose in the 10th round (199th overall) of the 1991 Entry Draft. The Toronto native split his first pro season with the Sharks and their top minor league affiliate Kansas City of the IHL. While with the KC Blades, he helped lead the team to the International Hockey League championship--the Turner Cup. At the same time the Blades posted professional hockey's best record with a 56-22-4 mark. Craigwell had 25 points (six goals and 19 assists) during the regular season and added 11 points (four goals and seven assists) in 12 postseason games.

Dale spent much of the next season with KC as well, appearing in only 8 NHL games but scoring 3 goals and 1 assist. But by 1993-94 it looked Craigwell had finally stuck with the Sharks. He played 58 games with the Sharks, scoring only 3 goals and 6 assists in a limited 4th line role. But still, Craigwell had achieved his dream - to play in the NHL.

Both his dream and his leg were shattered in the 1994-95 training camp during an intra-squad scrimmage. Craigwell would miss the entire season.

Craigwell returned to pro hockey the following year, excelling with the San Francisco Spiders of the IHL for one season before returning to the Kansas City Blades.

An intelligent playmaker who wasn't quite big enough or physical enough to thrive in the NHL, Craigwell's greatest asset was his skating. He wasn't the fastest guy on the ice but his mobility was uncanny. He was very shifty, able to make the opposition look foolish.

In total Craigwell appeared in 98 NHL games (all with the Sharks), compiling 29 points based on 11 goals and 18 assists.

1 comment:

Joe Purnwasie said...

Proud of You.I believe you are the only Black player of GUYANESE DESCENT that played in the NHL.