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  • Writer's pictureDerek Ochej

The 1991 Entry Draft - Part Three

This is the third and final post featuring picks from the 1991 Entry Draft (you can read Part One and Part Two).

Card # 73- Jamie Pushor

Drafted 32nd overall by the Detroit Red Wings, Pushor starred as a defenceman for his hometown Lethbridge Broncos. He would play two additional seasons for Lethbridge after being drafted by the Wings and then three seasons in the AHL before making his NHL debut in 1995-96, playing in 5 games.

1996-97 would be Pushor’s first full season, recording 11 points in 75 games. He would also play in five playoff games, good enough to get his name on the Stanley Cup that season.

After his start in Detroit, Pushor would then bounce around teams at a staggering pace, beginning with a trade to Anaheim in March 1998. After one season with the Mighty Ducks, he would be claimed by Atlanta in the 1999 expansion draft and traded a month later to Dallas. He would play the 1999-2000 season for the Stars before being claimed by Columbus in the 2000 expansion draft.

Pushor would play two seasons with the Blue Jackets, recording a career high three goals and 13 points in 2000-01. He would be traded to Pittsburgh in March 2002, playing with the Pens for one-and-a-half seasons before another slew of transactions:

  • signed back with Columbus in December 2003;

  • traded to the New York Rangers in January 2004;

  • played in the AHL from 2004-06;

  • traded by Phoenix to Detroit in March 2006;

  • signed again with Columbus in July 2006, playing 4 games before retiring.

Over a ten year career Pushor played 521 games, recording 60 points. In 2011 he joined the Tampa Bay Lightning as a scout, and is currently the assistant general manager and director of player personnel, where he just won his second Stanley Cup.

YouTube clip: Pushor had a view dust ups with the Leafs Tie Domi back when the Red Wings and Leafs were divisional rivals - most of them did not end well for Pushor.

Card # 74 – Andrew Verner

Drafted 34th overall by the Edmonton Oilers, Verner played 46 games as the starting goalie for the Peterborough Petes of the OHL in his draft season of 1990-91. Verner was also the first goalie selected in the 1991 draft.

In 1992-93 he would graduate to the pros with the Cape Breton Oilers, winning the Calder Cup in his rookie season. During his time in the AHL he would also be a part of Team Canada at the 1995 and 1996 World Championships, winning bronze and silver medals respectively.

For the 1995-96 season Verner would head to Europe, playing one season in Austria and then one in Finland. He would bounce around Europe, playing from 1997-99 in Sweden, 1999-2003 in Germany, 2003-2008 in Austria and 2008-2010 in the UK. He would experience his greatest success in Austria, winning a league title with Klagenfurter HC in 2003-04, and the following season leading the league in GAA and save percentage.

Verner retired from pro hockey in 2009-10 and has been on the coaching staff of his old junior team, the Peterborough Petes, since 2012 (he is currently an associate coach). Let's also appreciate the birdcage helmet he is rocking in his one and only pro card, along with the high school basketball style pinny over the generic jersey.

YouTube clip: stopping a penalty shot during his time in Europe.

Card # 75 – Jason Dawe

Selected 35th overall by Buffalo, the right winger scored 43 goals and 70 points with the Peterborough Petes in his draft season. Dawe would make his NHL debut in 1993-94, playing 32 games for Buffalo, recording six goals and 13 points. Overall he would play parts of five seasons for the Sabres, recording a career-high 25 goals and 50 points in 1995-96.

In March 1998 he would be traded to the New York Islanders for Jason Holland and Paul Kruse. Dawe would play the rest of 1998, plus parts of 1998-99 on the island before being claimed off waivers by the Montreal Canadiens.

Dawe would sign as a free agent with the expansion Nashville Predators in October 1999, but only suit up for their IHL affiliate before being traded to the other New York team, the Rangers, in February 2000. He would play 4 games on Broadway, then miss the entire 2000-01 season due to injury.

Dawe would return to pro hockey in 2002, playing until 2005 in the AHL and ECHL, along with a one year hiatus in Finland. In his NHL career he appeared in 366 games, scoring 86 goals and 176 points.

After retirement, Dawe would go on to be an assistant coach with the Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL in 2009-2010. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is currently the president of Jason Dawe Hockey Prospects, which appears to be a spring hockey team based out of Charlotte, North Carolina.

YouTube clip: scoring a goal against Ottawa in Game 6 of the 1997 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Card # 76 – Jamie Matthews

Drafted 44th overall by Chicago, the centre with Sudbury of the OHL scored 14 goals and 52 points in his draft season. He would never sign with the Hawks, instead re-entering the draft in 1993, this time going in the 11th round to the San Jose Sharks.

Matthews would spend five years in Sudbury, scoring 97 points in his overage year of 1993-94. That would prove to be his last season as a player at a major level; Matthews would never play pro hockey. At this current time, he still holds the franchise record for assists and points with the Sudbury Wolves.

The last time Matthews was heard of in the hockey world, he was an assistant coach with the Amherst Ramblers of the Maritime Junior Hockey League from 2012-2014. In reading a Sudbury Star article, it appears that Matthews was not super fast or tough, but possessed great hands, vision and patience; maybe it was the hockey style of the 1990s that held him back.

Card # 77 – Sandy McCarthy

Selected 52nd overall by the Calgary Flames, McCarthy was a right winger out of Laval who scored 21 goals and racked up 297 penalty minutes in his draft season. He would play his rookie pro season with Salt Lake City of the IHL, before making his NHL debut in 1993-94 with the Flames. As a rookie he would play 79 games, scoring five goals, ten points and racking up 173 penalty minutes.

McCarthy would play for the Flames until March 1998, when he would traded to Tampa Bay along with two draft picks (one which would be used to select Brad Richards) for forward Jason Wiemer. In his first season in Tampa he would record a career high 241 penalty minutes.

Over the next two-and-a-half years he would be traded three additional times: first to Philadelphia in a three player swap; next to Carolina, straight up for Kent Manderville; and finally to the New York Rangers for fellow tough guy Darren Langdon.

The early 2000s with the Rangers would be the best time of McCarthy’s career, scoring a career high 11 goals in 2000-01, followed up by a career high 23 points the following season.

In 2003 he would sign as a free agent with Boston, playing 37 games for the Bruins before being claimed by the Rangers off waivers. He would retire from pro hockey after the 2003-04 season.

In total, McCarthy played 736 games, scoring 148 points and earning 1,534 penalty minutes. He has coached in the Maritime Junior League since 2015, and is currently the head coach and assistant GM for the Campbellton Tigers.

YouTube clip: fighting a player he was traded for, Darren Langdon. This isn’t the best fight, but I wonder how often two players who were traded for each other have scrapped?

The next series of posts will feature the beautifully-artistic checklist cards for each team, sorted by division.

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