January 08, 2016

Shawn Evans

Shawn Evans was a wonderful puck distributing defenseman. Just look at his assist totals.

In three seasons with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, Evans (not be confused with the great lacrosse player from Peterborough of the same name) scored 44 goals and 212 assists in 191 games. He added another 9 goals and 34 assists in 28 OHL playoff games.

Not surprisingly, that drew a lot of attention from NHL scouts. The New Jersey Devils selected 24th overall in 1983. And why not? Astronomical scoring totals. Good size. He even had good pedigree, as he was a cousin of NHL defenseman Dennis Kearns.

But Shawn Evans never stuck in the NHL. He put up record breaking seasons in the minor leagues, setting season assist totals by a defenseman (since bettered). Yet he only played nine games in the NHL - seven with St. Louis in the 1985-86 season and two with the New York Islanders in 1989-90.

In the last NHL game he ever played he scored his only NHL goal, beating Quebec's Ron Tugnutt.

The Devils traded him to St. Louis for well established center Mark Johnson.  The Blues traded him to Wayne Gretzky's Oilers for Todd Ewen, who went on to be a long time NHL player. The Islanders, the Bruins and Whalers all signed him as a free agent.

NHL teams were always interested, but he could never stick. He ended up playing in 17 different cities, from Milwaukee to Milan. He won a AHL Calder Cup championship in 1990.

Evans has gone on to a successful junior hockey coaching career in Truro, Nova Scotia.

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