Following the 1980 season, Rick LaFerriere was one of the hottest goaltending prospects for the 1980 draft.
He was part of a powerhouse Peterborough Petes squad that came just shy of winning the Memorial Cup. For his efforts, LaFerriere was named the best goaltender in the Memorial Cup tournament. He also represented Canada at the World Junior Championships.
LaFerriere was drafted 64th overall by the Colorado Rockies that summer. Only Don Beaupre and Kelly Hrudey were drafted ahead of him. LaFerriere seemed on top of the world.
However LaFerriere struggled the next season with the Petes. Many of the older players left junior to turn pro (Larry Murphy, Bill Gardner) leaving a younger, weaker team in front of him, exposing his weaknesses. By midseason the rebuilding Petes dealt him to Brantford, where he continued to struggle.
LaFerriere turned pro with the Rockies farm team in Fort Worth, Texas. He suffered through a 8-26-2 campaign, and had completely lost his confidence. Two seasons earlier he was the best goalie in junior hockey, now everyone had written him off.
In an effort to rebuild his confidence, the Rockies called up LaFerriere in 1982 to give him a taste of NHL life. He also appeared in 20 minutes, relieving starter Chico Resch at the beginning of the third period in a 6-3 loss to Detroit. LaFerriere allowed only 1 goal but the game was out of reach by that point.
However LaFerriere's struggles continued through 2 more seasons of pro hockey. He retired at the end of 1984 season.
LaFerriere became a real estate agent in Barrie, Ontario.
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