With the NHL draft coming in just a few weeks, I'm reminded of the story of Jason Dawe, who was chosen 35th overall in 1991 by the Buffalo Sabres, after a 43-goal and 70-point season with the Peterborough Petes as a 17-year-old.
He reached the 100-point plateau the following season (108) and was even better in 1992-93, becoming the Petes' all-time leading scorer and the first player in franchise history to score 50 goals in less than 50 games (48), en route to 58 goals, 68 assists and 126 total points in just 59 games as a 20-year-old. Keep in mind, Petes alumni include Steve Yzerman, Dawe teammates Chris Longo and Chris Pronger, Bog Gainey, Larry Murphy, Mike Ricci, Jordan Staal, André Lacroix, Cameron Mann, Terry Carkner, Keith Acton, Bob Errey, Jody Hull, Tom Fergus, Jamie Langenbrunner, Steve Larmer, Claude Larose, and Dave Reid.
Dawe's career highlights, however, came more on the international stage - gold at the 1993 World Juniors and silver at the 1996 World Championships playing for Team Canada - because his NHL career was spent moving around between four teams (Sabres, New York Islanders, Montréal Canadiens and New York Rangers) in eight seasons over nine years, while dressing for just 366 regular-season games (86 goals, 90 assists, 176 points and 162 penalty minutes).
He played in 22 playoff games, half of them coming in 1996-97, for 4 goals, 3 assists and 7 points. Oh, and 18 penalty minutes. Somehow, as play got tougher and more physical, and as the referees stopped calling penalties, he would get punished more often.
Here he is wearing the Petes' classic blue (away) uniform, on the signed insert version (on-card, blue sharpie) of card #31 from Classic's 1991-92 Draft Picks set: