August 10, 2015

Scott Levins

Spokane, Washington has always been a good junior hockey town, but not a lot of local kids make it to the NHL. It's not like there is not a lot of athletic talent in this great town. After all they provided Ryne Sandberg to baseball, John Stockton to basketball and Mark Rypien to football.

Scott Levins local boy to make it to the National Hockey League. Hewas a big strapping forward who played 124 NHL games, mostly with the expansion Ottawa Senators. Originally a Winnipeg Jet, he also had brief stops in Florida and Phoenix.

Levins had a striking resemblance to Jaromir Jagr. Unfortunately for Levins it was more his size and facial features and not his hockey ability.

Levins was a late bloomer. The Jets drafted him 75th overall in the 1990 NHL draft. He was an overage junior with the WHL's Tri-Cities Americans that season, his only season of major junior hockey.

He used his size effectively and willingly, though he lacked that mean streak to be truly intimidating. He certainly tried to fit the role he was given, taking on all comers and playing physically. Rugged was perhaps the best way to describe him.

In his first year as a pro the Jets tried converting him to a winger, hoping he'd make better use of his size as a power forward driving the puck to the net from the outside. Though he had had strong balance on his feet his quickness and agility were borderline NHL-calibre. His skating held him back.

The Florida Panthers claimed Levins in the 1993 NHL expansion draft, but, despite scoring the first goal in Panthers' history, traded him to Ottawa for the popular Bob Kudelski by mid-season. He returned to his natural role of center, which he was better suited for. he was always more of a playmaker than a bull-in-a-china-shop winger, anyway.

He would go onto play the better parts of two and a half seasons in Ottawa, though injuries always limited his games played. 

Levins would go on to sign with the Phoenix and Carolina organizations, but only play two more NHL games, both with the Coyotes in 1997-98. He extended his career with a tour of Europe, playing several seasons in Germany and England.

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