October 08, 2012
Big Willi Style: Willi Plett
One of the rare players in NHL history to hail from South America, big Willi Plett was born in Paraguay, though raised in Ontario. He and his parents moved to Ontario when he was only 1½ years old. His parents were born in Russia but moved out from there when they were in their 20's during the World War II. Then they lived in Germany, Poland and South America before finally settling down in Canada. Willi's dad, John, worked in Canada as a bricklayer to support his family.
Willi didn't start playing competitive hockey until he was 13 years old. Up until that time he played high school football and lacrosse, two vigorous contact sports that aided Willi on the ice. Willi was never much of a skater but was a hard worker and a team player. He used his muscles in and around the goal cage and was hard to move away from the slot. Willi had a very short junior career and only played a handful of games for Niagara Falls and St. Catherines. He was regularly criticized for not using his size to his advantage. Despite that, someone from the Atlanta Flames scouts saw him and liked what they saw. The Flames drafted him with their 4th choice, 80th overall in 1975.
Read the full Willi Plett biography.