May 07, 2015

Dave Watson

The Colorado Rockies thought they had an intriguing prospect with the 58th draft pick of the 1978 NHL Amateur draft. They selected Dave Watson, a 6'2" 190lb winger out of Sault Ste. Marie.

The draft, then like now, is a bit of a crap shoot at that stage of the proceedings, but it is worth noting Colorado passed on future NHLers like Dave Silk, Lou Franceschetti, Tom Laidlaw and Keith Acton.

The Rockies liked his size and playmaking ability. They felt he was a bit of a late bloomer who could be developed into a NHL player.

Unfortunately Watson's career almost ended before it even began.

In Watson's first NHL training camp in 1978 Watson blew out his knee. The resulting injury required surgery, costing him the entire season.

Watson worked hard to rehab the knee and get back on the Rockies' radar. In 1979-80 he worked hard with the Fort Worth Texans of the Central Hockey League, and was rewarded with a five game call-up to the Rockies. In 1980-81 he continued to progress, despite a bruised sternum injury, and returned to Colorado for an extended thirteen game look, picking up one assist.

Watson, a cousin of Dick and Mickey Redmond, would return to the Fort Worth in his third season, and seemed to regress. At that point he was all but off of the NHL radar. He moved to Winstom-Salem, North Carolina and for four seasons was a top scoring threat for the Carolina Thunderbirds of the long forgotten Atlantic Coast Hockey League.

Watson would remain in Winstom-Salem after hanging up the blades 1985. He would get into advertising and marketing, becoming a president of one of the city's top firms.

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