Saturday, October 21, 2017

Liam Liston Jersey Card

When he first started playing for the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings, goalie Liam Liston was viewed as a top prospect - he even suited up in the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. After all, he spent most of his minor-league hockey with GAAs under 2.25 with decent save percentages. Sportsnet even asked him to pen a few blog posts ahead of the 2011 Draft, about player expectations and one piece mentioning his concussion issues.

We'll never know for sure what weighed heavier in Liston's never getting drafted, not just in 2011, but 2012 as well, but it's fair to say that the concussion that ended his 2010-11 postseason may have had an impact. His abysmal statistics the following year as well:
From HockeyDB
Here's what it looked like in comparison to his teammates, first with the Wheat Kings, a team that included future NHLers Mark Stone, Micheal Ferland, and Ryan Pulock:
Now let's have a look at how he fared with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (he did get the team's only shutout):
He's worst or second-worst by any metric, be it save percentage, wins percentage or goals-against average.

And his 20-year-old season with the Vancouver Giants was even worse:
I can relate, in a way, because I too was a star goalie in Bantam and Midget, and I too was brought into Juniors with some level of expectation, but Liston had the courage to play his chance out, whereas I was seen by the Laval Titan as not being a "team player" (they had two sayings: "every Titan has to always be ready to fight, especially the backup goalie", and "we all shave our heads into a Mohawk come playoff time", which would have been a shame, what with my rock star coif), leading to their sending me to the Halifax Mooseheads, who had a certain Jean-Sébastien Giguère in nets already and no available school where I could continue my post-secondary/not-university education, at which time I opted to retire.

Liston had the balls to take it as far as he could, and studied law later to boot. He has a stable life. I'm an independent musician and freelance writer/translator who lives paycheck-to-paycheck. He clearly has the better life and made the best choices, although we do have in common that we both teach youth hockey in our spare time.

Here he is wearing the Giants' white (home) uniform on card #M-42 from In The Game's 2012-13 Between The Pipes set and Game-Used Jersey sub-set:
It features a game-worn swatch from the 2011 CHL/NHL Prospects Game, according to ITG:
It's the Silver Version, too.

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