RW | 6' 1" | 218 lb | Age: 55 | Boston Bruins
If you were building the perfect power forward for the Boston Bruins, you might come up with Cam Neely.
Though the native of Comox, British Columbia played his first three NHL seasons for the Vancouver Canucks after they selected him with the No. 9 pick in the 1983 NHL Draft, it was with the Bruins where Neely made his name and will be remembered. He fit perfectly into their style, a hard-nosed, physical, goal-scoring master whose hard shot was his calling card and whose NHL career ended after 13 seasons because of injury.
He became known for how he let nothing stand in his way, going through players and checks, helping to redefine the power forward role in the NHL, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005.
Neely had 694 points (395 goals, 299 assists) and scored at least 50 goals three times in the NHL (1989-90, 1990-91, 1993-94). He played 93 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Canucks and Bruins and helped Boston reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1988 and 1990. He was third in playoff scoring in 1990 with 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in 21 games behind Craig Simpson and Mark Messier of the Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers (31 points each in 22 games).
Neely started his career with Portland of the Western Hockey League, where he had 146 points (64 goals, 82 assists) in two seasons. He helped Portland win the Memorial Cup in 1982-83 with a hat trick, including the game-winner, in the championship game.
Neely made his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 1983. He was traded on his 21st birthday, June 6, 1986, along with a first-round pick in the 1987 NHL Draft, for Barry Pederson. The trade sent him on the trajectory to become legendary in the city and with the team for which he was perfectly suited.
With the Bruins, Neely took off by scoring 36 goals in 1986-87, 42 in 1987-88 and 37 in 1988-89 before consecutive 50-goal seasons in 1989-90 (55) and 1990-91 (50). An injury sustained from a hit by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson in the 1991 playoffs limited him to 22 games the next two seasons (nine in 1991-92 and 13 in 1992-93).
Neely returned to score 50 goals in 1993-94, getting No. 50 in his 44th game of the season March 7, 1994, having missed 22 with injuries. He was honored for his comeback by winning the Bill Masterton Trophy given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
Neely retired at age 31 after the 1995-96 season because of knee issues and a degenerative hip, his 55 postseason goals first in Bruins history. He remains with the Bruins organization as president, a role he's held since 2010, and helped build the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
NOTES & TRANSACTIONS
NHL Second All-Star Team (1988, 1990, 1991, 1994)
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996)
Traded to Boston by Vancouver with Vancouver's 1st round pick (Glen Wesley) in 1987 NHL Draft for Barry Pederson, June 6, 1986.