September 28, 2014

Jerry Byers

In 1972 the entire top line of the OHL Kitchener Rangers was drafted in the first round of the NHL Amateur draft. One you may have heard of. The other two you likely have not, unless you are a long time Kitchener Rangers fan.

The Philadelphia Flyers took Bill Barber 7th overall. He went on to a Hall of Fame career and helped Philadelphia win two Stanley Cups.

Left winger Al Blanchard was drafted 10th overall by the New York Rangers. He scored 50 goals in his last season in Kitchener. But he never got a sniff in the NHL, having never played a game.

Right winger Jerry Byers did get a taste of NHL action. Drafted 12th overall by Minnesota, his NHL career counted 43 games split between the North Stars, Atlanta Flames and New York Rangers. He scored 3 goals and 7 points. He did have a lengthy hockey career however. He bounced around the minor leagues but also packed his bags and played in Austria, Switzerland and Japan.

Byers returned to Nova Scotia after hanging up the blades. He took to his other passion - golf. He started out as a golf pro and later ran his own golf course and golf shop.

Jerry Byers passed away on Christmas day, 2006. He was only 54 years old.

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