August 22, 2015

Ron Andruff

Ron Andruff was a blond, slick skating centerman from Vancouver Island.

Andruff was highly thought of prospect in the Montreal organization in the 1970s. The Canadiens drafted him 32nd overall in the 1973 NHL draft after a strong season in the WHL with the Flin Flon Bombers.

As with almost all prospects back then, Montreal apprenticed Andruff in the minor leagues as the big league team emerged as a Stanley Cup dynasty. Andruff would only get into six games over his three seasons with the organization. At the same time he emerged as the AHL goal scoring leader and league MVP while leading the Habs farm team in Nova Scotia to the Calder Cup championship in 1975-76.

With simply no room on arguably the greatest team of all time, Montreal traded the rights of Andruff and Sean Shanahan to Colorado in exchange for an option to switch first-round picks four years later in 1980. Montreal later exercised its option and selected Doug Wickenheiser No. 1 overall in 1980, passing on homegrown superstar to be Denis Savard. Colorado ended up selecting Paul Gagne with the 19th overall pick.

As if the distant draft gaffe wasn't bad enough, neither Andruff or Shanahan panned out in Colorado or anywhere else in the NHL. In his rookie season of 1976-77 Andruff only scored four goals in 66 games and was benched increasingly. Things improved in 1977-78 when he chipped in with 15 tallies, but he was out of the league forever the next season.

After 153 NHL games (19 goals, 55 points) Andruff was off to Germany by 1979. He continued to play until 1982.

Andruff, who sold real estate back home on Vancouver Island during the hockey off-seasons, had a pretty interesting career outside of hockey. A self described serial entrepreneur, Andruff became an international business consultant and later worked in the travel industry. He ended up founding websites and software that aided travel agents world wide, while attempting to bring similar online social presence for sports enthusiasts world wide.

Andruff has also been long involved in multiple charities and was once a delegate for the United Nations Association For World Education.

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