June 27, 2011

Hall Calls for Former Men’s Hockey Star Nieuwendyk

Print More

A few days after three future Cornellians were selected in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, a player who was twice named an All-American as a member of the Red received the league’s highest honor — induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. On Tuesday afternoon the NHL announced that Joe Nieuwendyk, who spent the 1985-87 seasons on East Hill before departing for the professional ranks after his junior year, would be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame after a 20-year career that included three Stanley Cup championships. Cornell’s 12th-leading scorer is joined in the class of 2011 by goaltender Ed Belfour — a longtime teammate of Nieuwendyk’s from his days with the Dallas Stars — forward Doug Gilmour and defenseman Mark Howe. “You always look back to what it took to go all the way and ultimately win the Cup, a lot of the pain and sweat you went through to get there, and I was fortunate to go through it with both of those guys,” Nieuwendyk said of Belfour and Gilmour, his teammates on Stanley Cup champions Dallas and Calgary, respectively. “These two guys were ultimate competitors.”At Cornell, Nieuwendyk’s accolades included rookie of the year honors in 1985 and earning the player of the year award in his junior campaign. The former Red forward twice earned All-American and first-team all-league honors, and finished his career on East Hill with 151 points on 73 goals scored, sixth on Cornell’s all-time list. “Every player does their best year after year and strives to play at a very high level,” Nieuwendyk said in a statement. “I truly love the game and love to compete, and I’m pleased to be honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame.”In the NHL, Nieuwendyk compiled 1,126 points — on 564 goals and 562 assists — in 1,257 games over a career that spanned parts of three decades. Nieuwendyk burst onto the scene in 1987 with a 51-goal season to earn the Calder Memorial Trophy, an honor awarded to the league’s top rookie. The current general manager of the Stars, Nieuwendyk is perhaps most recognized for his success in the postseason, where he won the Stanley Cup in 1989 with the Calgary Flames, in 1999 with Dallas and in 2003 with the New Jersey Devils. Nieuwendyk was at his best during Dallas’ playoff run in 1999, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the player deemed to be most valuable to his team during the postseason. A four-time NHL all-star, Nieuwendyk was twice selected to play for the Canadian Olympic team, and was a member of the squad that won the gold medal in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Twenty-six years after Nieuwendyk was selected with the 27th overall pick by Calgary, the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins used their fourth-round pick on forward Brian Ferlin, one of 10 incoming freshmen set to join the Red for the upcoming season. Ferlin was the first ECAC player selected in the draft, and the first Cornell player chosen since rising sophomore Kirill Gotovets was taken in the seventh round in 2009 by the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the next round the Los Angeles Kings selected forward Joel Lowry with the 140th overall pick in the seven-round draft, while the Detroit Red Wings used their fifth-round choice — the 145th overall selection — on forward Philipe Houdon. Ferlin notched 73 points on 25 goals and 48 assists last season for the Indiana Ice of the USHL, while Lowry posted 133 points in 117 games over two seasons for the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL. In 22 games for Choate last season, Hudon tallied 20 points on 10 goals and 10 assists. All three forwards will be on the Lynah Rink ice for the unofficial opening of the 2011-12 season, when the men’s hockey team suits up for the annual Red-White scrimmage on Oct. 15.

Original Author: Evan Rich