Mario Lemieux was an unstoppable force during his time with Laval. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)
As a nod to the announcement of Canada’s 2010 World Junior Championship squad Wednesday, we took a look at a chapter from THN’s Ultimate Book of Hockey Lists and offered a slightly updated version. You’ll have to refer to the book to see which great player we dropped and if the order has changed.
Choosing the top major junior players of all-time is a harrowing task. We’ve gone with ones widely known to hockey fans, but there are many others with statistics that read like typos who were considered.
In the Western League, the all-time leading scorer with 591 points is Brian Sakic – Joe’s younger brother – and Rob Brown once tallied 76 goals and 212 points in 63 games. In the Ontario League, Bryan Fogarty posted 47 goals and 155 points in 1988-89 season – as a defenseman. And during 1973-74 season in the high-scoring Quebec League, Pierre Larouche potted at least one goal in 27 straight games and finished with 251 points.
But here’s out Top 10 off all-time:
10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL
Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.
9. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL
97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.
8. Bobby Smith, Ottawa, OHA
158 goals, 385 points in 187 games; chosen major junior player of the year in 1978 over Wayne Gretzky.
7. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL
215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.
6. Mike Bossy, Laval, QMJHL
309 goals, 532 points in 263 games; most goals in major junior history.
5. Bobby Orr, Oshawa, OHA
Started career at 15; 70 goals, 259 points in 159 games as a defenseman.
4. Bobby Clarke, Flin Flon, WCHL
122 goals, 305 points in 117 games; two scoring titles and the trophy was later renamed in his honor.
3. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL
120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.
2. Guy Lafleur, Quebec, QMJHL
233 goals, 379 points in 118 games; 130 goals, 209 points and a Memorial Cup in 1970-71.
1. Mario Lemieux, Laval, QMJHL
247 goals, 562 points in 200 games; 61-game point streak, 133 goals and 282 points in 1983-84 all set major junior records earning him major junior player of the year honors.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.
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