Monday, October 21, 2013

Darcy Wekenka Autographed Card

Darcy Wekenka was the 37th-overall pick of the New York Rangers in 1991, a draft year that produced a ton of superstars (Eric Lindros, Scott Niedermayer, Peter Forsberg, Alexei Kovalev, Brian Rolston, Ray Whitney, Zigmund Palffy, Sandis Ozolinsh, Yanic Perreault, Alexei Zhitnik), but also a huge number of high picks that didn't quite pan out, such as Brent Bilodeau, René Corbet, Éric Lavigne and François Groleau.

Werenka falls pretty much in the second category, since he never actually played a single NHL game. Unlike most guys in his draft year, though, he's probably still playing: he was with the Vienna Capitals of the Austrian league from 2003 to 2010, and also spent the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons with them. As a matter of fact, he's so at home in Austria that he applied for Austrian citizenship - and he got it in 2008; he even represented Austria at the World Championships.

Between his stints in Austria, he played two seasons in the Finnish league, and two more in Germany.

Prior to that, he'd been with four IHL teams in two seasons after three seasons with the Rangers' AHL affiliates, the Binghamton Rangers, which is the uniform he's sporting here:
He signed it for me in blue sharpie in 1996-97, in his 5-gam stint with the Québec Rafales before they sent him off to the Houston Aeros. It's from Classic's 1993-94 Pro Hockey Prospects set (card #96). From what I remember, he had some offensive skill, decent size (6'1'', 210lbs) and physicality.

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