Thursday, October 31, 2013

Patrick Côté Autographed Card

Patrick Côté was a tough customer, and a good gamble for the Dallas Stars when they drafted him 37th overall in 1995. He had improved from 2 goals and 6 points (with 230 penalty minutes) in 48 games for the Beauport Harfangs in 1993-94 to a whopping 20 goals 20 assists (40 points) and 314 penalty minutes in 56 games in 1994-95, where he was also among the LHJMQ's best playoff performers with 16 points and 115 penalty minutes (!!!) in 17 post-season games.

The way the Stars saw it, he was already tough enough for the NHL, and he had a 1000% improvement in his goal scoring in just one year, so if he could improve just a little bit more each year in the AHL for the following 3 or 4 years, he'd be a legitimate full-time NHL power forward by his mid-twenties.

A  second-round pick may have been a tad high - he was chosen ahead of talented forward Christian Dubé (39th), regular point producer Jochen Hecht (49th), spectacular point-per-game AHLer and Euro-leaguer Pavel Rosa (50th), ''All-Star'' (as the Atlanta Thrashers' representative, if that counts) Petr Buzek (63rd), Sami Kapanen (87th), Marc Savard (91st), Miikka Kiprusoff (116th), Stéphane Robidas (164th), and Filip Kuba (192nd) - but he definitely deserved to be chosen. I would have picked him in the fourth or fifth round.

He played 105 NHL games split over 6 seasons with 3 teams (the Stars, the Nashville Predators and the Edmonton Oilers) and put up 377 penalty minutes to go with his lone goal and two assists; all three of his points came in 1998-99 with the Preds.

I probably saw him play as a member of the LNAH's Laval Chiefs (2001-06), but it was during his time with the Sorel-Tracy Mission (2007-08) that I managed to get this card signed by him, when I took my dad to see a game as a Christmas present:
It's from Classic's 1995-96 Hockey Draft 95 set (card #33), and shows him wearing the Harfang's white (home) uniform, which he signed in thick blue sharpie.

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