Sunday, June 7, 2009

Scott Young

When looking back at Scott Young's statistics, the one thing that surprised me is how often he moved around the NHL. I thought he was a fantastic support player, which is probably what made him so desirable by other teams. They were willing to pay a nice price in hoping Young would breakout with his new team.

I best remember Young with the Hartford Whalers, who drafted him 11th overall in 1986, and with St. Louis, where he played in 5 seasons, the most of his many tenures. He also played with Pittsburgh, Quebec/Colorado, Anaheim and Dallas.

I also remember Young as a very important member of Team USA in the late 1980s and through the 1990s as well as the 2002 Olympics. Born in Clinton, Massachusetts, he always answered the bell when his country needed him, playing in three world juniors, three Olympics, three world championships, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and two stints with the US national team regular season.

I remember being intrigued by Young at the 1986 draft. He was an all star defenseman at Boston University, but also utilized as a swing man who would play forward, most notably at the World Juniors. He played right wing for most of his NHL career, probably because of his average size, but I always have considered the rare players who could excel both at forward and on defense to be the most intelligent and valuable players in hockey.

I remember someone on Hockey Night In Canada once referred to Scott Young as a "hockey machine." It was a pretty good quote. He excelled in so many facets of the game.

Young had a very heavy slap shot, which caught more than a few goalies by surprise. He liked to tee up one timers near the top of the right face off circle, and was often used on the right point on the power play.

He definitely had a shooter's mentality, firing away whenever possible, and darted in front of the net for rebounds and loose pucks. But what he wasn't was a finisher. He had a career year in St. Louis in 2000-01 with 40 goals, otherwise he was a 20 goal, 50 point threat.

Raised as a defenseman, it comes as no surprise that Young was a diligent defensive forward. He read plays well, had good anticipation and an active stick, as well as the speed and quickness to get to pucks first. He was a regular on the PK unit as well as the PP unit. He was not a physical player by any stretch, which limited him a bit in the true checker's role.

He was a reliable performer game in and game out, and in the playoffs. With his speed, shot and ability to read plays he played a long time, 1181 games in total plus 141 more in the playoffs. He scored 342 goals and 756 points in the regular season, plus 44 goals and 87 points in the Stanley Cup post-season.

1 comment:

Frankie said...

Scotty was such a excellent player on both sides of ice..also capable goalscorer..he proved that in St.Louis when he created dangerous duo with Pierre Turgeon..
Always willing to help USA on international scene..
Truly great sportsman and gentleman..

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