The Toronto native was an all-time greats with the Winnipeg Jets who also enjoyed success with the Buffalo Sabers, in addition to having stints with the St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman described Hawerchuk as “one of the most decorated players in the history of our sport.”
With that in mind, here’s a look at some of Hawerchuk’s most notable accomplishments throughout his incredible career.
A remarkable time in junior
Hawerchuk’s two-year stint with the Cornwall Royals in the QMJHL was nothing short of spectacular. As a 16-year-old rookie in the 1979-80 season, he scored 37 goals and 103 points in 72 games en route to winning the RDS Cup as the league’s rookie of the year. He raised the bar after the season, scoring 20 times and adding 25 assists in just 18 games as he helped lead his team to a championship.
He won the Guy Lafleur Trophy as the QMJHL Playoff MVP before the Royals won the Memorial Cup, where Hawerchuk was named First Team Star and won the George Parsons Trophy for his sportsmanship .
The qualified center took his game to new heights the following year. He won the Jean Béliveau trophy as the QMJHL scoring champion after scoring 81 goals and 183 points in 72 games. The Royals repeated as QMJHL champions and Hawerchuk won the Michel Brière Memorial Trophy as the QMJHL Player of the Year. His team also won a second straight Memorial Cup and he won the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the Memorial Cup MVP.
He was also named the CHL Player of the Year, and it all made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1981 NHL Draft.
Hawerchuk also made an impact at the junior level later in life, as he coached with the OHL Barrie Colts, where he helped develop a new generation of players.
Elite NHL talent
It was immediately obvious that Hawerchuk was on the verge of becoming a big show star. At the age of 18 with the Jets, he led all NHL rookies with 45 goals and 103 points and won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1982 as top rookie, beating future Hall of Fame members Grant Fuhr, Ron Francis and Joe Mullen. . Hawerchuk was so impressive in his debut NHL season that he finished fifth in the Hart Trophy, voting behind legends Wayne Gretzky, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Peter Stastny.
Hawerchuk scored over 100 points in six of his first seven seasons in the NHL and built a reputation as a reliable iron man, missing a single game during that time.
Although the Calder was the only NHL Grand Prix won by Hawerchuk, he finished second in the Hart Trophy for the 1984-85 season. That year, he scored 53 goals and 130 points, a career-high, but Gretzky ran away with the Hart thanks to a 208-point campaign.
Hawerchuk was traded to the Buffalo Sabers prior to the 1990-91 season and continued to produce at a high level until injuries interrupted his lock-out shortened 1994-95 season.
In fact, from the time he made his debut in 1981 until the end of the 1993-94 season, the 1,032 games played by Hawerchuk were the most important in the league and his 1,298 points were in the league. second behind Gretzky. He’s had 10 seasons with 90 points or more, which is tied for the fourth season at 90 points in history.
Hawerchuk was the first player in NHL history to play in his 1,000th game before his 31st birthday.
Hawerchuk, who appeared in five all-star games, ended his NHL career with 518 goals (38th all-time), 891 assists (21st all-time) for 1409 points (20th all-time) in 1,188 games and added 99 points in 97 career playoff games.
He is one of the top 13 overall picks to record more than 1,000 points – placing third behind Mario Lemieux (1723) and Joe Thornton (1509) – and one of eight No.1 picks to exceed 500 goals in career.
Hawerchuk set many franchise records in Winnipeg, saw his No.10 jersey retired by the Jets / Coyotes in 2007 and was inducted into the franchise’s Ring of Honor. Although he only played five seasons in Buffalo, he was inducted into the Sabers Hall of Fame in 2011.
A frequent member of Team Canada
Hawerchuk not only excelled at the juniors and pros, but he also had an accomplished international career. He led Canada with nine points in five games at the 1981 world junior championships, although that team did not win a medal. Hawerchuk won bronze medals at the world hockey championships in 1982 and 1986, then a silver medal in 1989, when he was one of the team captains.
Most notably, Hawerchuk was a member of the winning Canada Cup teams in 1987 and 1991, scoring 11 points in those tournaments.
Hawerchuk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001 alongside contemporaries Jari Kurri, Mike Gartner and Viacheslav Fetisov.