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February 20, 2016

Chris Govedaris

The 1988 NHL draft was a full of top end talent.

Check out this list: Mike Modano. Trevor Linden. Curtis Leschyshyn. Martin Gelinas. Jeremy Roenick. Rod Brind'Amour. Teemu Selanne. All of these players were drafted in the top ten and went on to play more than 1000 games each in the NHL.

Govedaris was a strong prospect in his own right that year. He was a big, scrappy power forward with the Toronto Marlies. He finished his draft year with 42 goals, 80 points and 118 penalty minutes in 62 OHL games. He entered the season touted as a possible top five pick. And he even made headlines for being outspoken about what he felt was an unfair ranking (14th) in the annual Draft Preview by The Hockey News.

The Hartford Whalers selected Govedaris 11th overall. They were happy to do so, as he was lauded for his size, speed, skill and moxie. Some scouts questioned his defensive play and mental toughness, but that is not uncommon among even first round picks. That can always be worked on in the prospect's development.

Ultimately Govedaris did not have nearly as much top level success as the aforementioned players drafted ahead of him. He went on to play in 33 games with the Whalers over three seasons.

Govedaris made more controversial headlines in 1993 when, upset at his lack of playing time, he tried forcing the Whalers hand.

"It's a big decision in my life," Govedaris said. "I've thought it through, talked to people. I saw my future going backward rather than forward with the Whalers. I don't think I've been treated poorly. I just want to go somewhere else and start over again."

The Whalers tried to accommodate Govedaris with a trade but ended up just not renewing his contract in the summer of 1993. Govedaris would sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, appearing in just 12 games in the 1993-94 season.

That proved to be his final NHL appearance. All told he had 45 games played with four goals and ten points. He was a solid AHL and IHL scorer before heading to Europe in 1996 for six more seasons.

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