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Former NHLer Ralph Nattrass Has Passed Away

Ralph Nattrass was a robust defenseman from Gainsboro, Saskatchewan. He played for Kansas-City in the USHL before he made his NHL debut late in 1946 for the Chicago Blackhawks. He was called up to Chicago from Kansas in the middle of the 1946-47 season and got 9 pts (4 goals, 5 points) in 35 games.

Ralph stayed with the big club until 1950 mostly thanks to the fact that the Chicago organization was pretty weak at that time. They finished last, three out of the four seasons that Ralph played there and missed the playoffs between 1946-52. He appeared in 223 games,scoring 56 points (18 goals, 38 assists) and picked up 308 PIMs. Ralph led Chicago in PIMs during the 1947-48 season and finished as the runner-up on the team in 1949 and 1950.

When defensemen Al Dewsbury and Hugh Coflin emerged during the 1950-51 season, there was no place for Ralph and he got sent to Cincinatti (AHL) where he picked up 30 points, all assists. He never made it back to the NHL.

Nattrass settled in Edmonton and pursued several business ventures. But his two loves were the Blackhawks and dogs. He was known to take in many dogs in need of rescue.

Ralph Nattrass passed away on April 30th, 2014.


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