February 19, 2016

Garry Swain

Garry Swain was the fourth overall draft pick in the 1968 NHL Amateur Draft. He had just finished his junior career with a Memorial Cup win with the Niagara Falls. He was a pint sized, playmaking dynamo of a center that had caught Pittsburgh's eye.

Swain would only play nine games in the National Hockey League. It is hard to really label him a draft bust, however, as the draft was still in it's infancy and many of the top players his age were already NHL property courtesy of C-Form system that was being phased out. Only 24 players were drafted that year, and only six went on to NHL careers of much note.

Swain's nine games included a tilt with versus Philadelphia on March 29th, 1969. He scored his only NHL goal that night. He added an assist on another night, giving him two points for his career.

Swain would be relegated to the minor leagues, though he would find a home in Hartford with the WHA's New England Whalers from 1974 through 1977. He scored a career total of 22 goals and 55 points in the rebel league.

Swain, who worked as a golf pro in Niagara Falls during the off-seasons, would remain in Hartford following his playing days. He became involved in real estate development and management consulting. He became so successful that he was hired as an adjunct professor at Harvard, Yale and Colombia Universities.

Yet hockey remained an important part of his life. He worked some radio broadcasts for the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack and became the commissioner of the area's junior circuit, the Northern Pacific Hockey League.

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