I recently found out that Hasek only started hockey at age 13, yet he is considered to be one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history. Does anyone else know of any NHLers past of present that started at an older age?
I recall reading that Pierre Pilote started rather late.
I think stories like that are pretty awe-inspiring, when you look at how good you have to be to make it, and how thin the line is between making it and not, that some players who didn't even skate until their teenage years can get better than the thousands of others who have been playing their whole lives.
He played tier II when he was 17 and was playing Midget AAA as a 16 year old. I think you're a little off. He very well could be a late starter (probably is looking at it) and has made a meteoric rise very quickly, he went undrafted into the OHL, was only at around a PPG playing Midget AAA at 16 and was in the NHL at 20, pretty impressive.
I recently found out that Hasek only started hockey at age 13, yet he is considered to be one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history.
....except that is not true. Hasek started playing at 6, (against 9 year olds no less).
"They held a tryout for 6-year-old boys and my father took me there," Hasek recalls. "I didn't even have real skates. I had those blades that you screwed onto the soles of your shoes, but I was tall, and the 9-year-olds didn't have a goalie, so they put me in with them."
A friend of mine started at 16 or 17 and ended up eventually getting an invitation to a Habs training camp as an undrafted player and actually got a contract offer to play in the Swiss league. We always wonder how good he could have been had he started at a much younger age.
Uwe Krupp didn't play organized hockey until he was ~14; played soccer as a kid.
Pete Peeters started late; was going to be a swimmer.
Willi Plett didn't play organized hockey until he was 12; played lacrosse as a kid.
IIRC, Mike Grier didn't start playing hockey until he was 12 or 13 - after he became too big for youth football (there was a weight limit).
That's not true. When I was a kid, we always played in a big hockey tournament held in Providence, R.I. every President's Day weekend. Grier's team also played in the same tournament every year. The rest of his team sucked, but he'd score 2-4 goals in almost every game, and they'd lose 7-3 or so.
This seems unlikely as he probably started playing goalie because older brother Phil placed him in the net and started firing pucks at him.
Yeah they did play at a young age. The "late bloomer" story with Tony Esposito is that he was a very educated man from college and could have easily had a great career outside of hockey. But he relented and was in the NHL when he was about 25, 26