“Minnesota selects, as the first pick in the 1988 entry draft, from Prince Albert, Mike Modano.”
Thirty years ago today, Ice Hockey legend Mike Modano was the first pick of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft for the Minnesota Stars, now known as the Dallas Stars. This was also to be Lou Nanne’s last pick as the North Stars General Manager before he moved up to front office, and boy what a pick me made.
Starting when he was just sixteen, Modano was considered a top prospect for the NHL Entry Draft after two amazing seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders. To be chosen first was not a certainty, but it soon became a huge honor for the 18-year-old budding player.
An excellent career followed for Modano, starting with a spot on the NHL All-Rookie Team, making him a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy, an award given to the most skilled player during their first year in the NHL. Although he lost out and became a hugely criticized player, he went on to become the highest paid member of the team in ’92 after signing a four-year extension to continue playing with the North Stars.
Before the 1993-94 season began, the North Stars moved to Dallas, becoming the team we now know as the Dallas Stars and this also allowed for a fresh start. Modano reached a personal best that year of 50 goals, and a score of 93 points once again. During the 1996-97 season, Modano was praised for leading the Stars to the Central Cup Division Title and into the Stanley Cup playoffs in ’98. 1999 was the year that the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup and despite his broken wrist, Modano was on the ice with his team throughout the six games of the final.
Mike Modano has had a truly exceptional career, and has been hailed as the All- time goal- scoring and points leader among American Born NHL stars. In November 2014, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and in 2017 was named as one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players. #9 is now up there with the Dallas Stars retired jerseys alongside Neal Broten #7, Bill Goldsworthy #8, Bill Masterton #19 and Jere Lehtinen #26.
So, in the spirit of Draft Season for the NHL, I wish all hopefuls good luck for the upcoming 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas.
Photos courtesy of nom and youtube.com