Wendel Clark was chosen first overall in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and what a fan favorite he would become.
Clark immediately made an impact in the NHL, scoring 34 goals and adding 25 assists in his rookie season to earn a spot on the NHL All-Rookie Team.
Clark was more known for his physical play than goal scoring, and his 227 PIM in his rookie season was the 1985-86 Maple Leaf team-high.
He was also third in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy, but it was just the beginning of a fantastic career. After returning from a serious back injury, he was named captain of the Maple Leafs in 1991.
Before leaving the Maple Leafs for the Quebec Nordiques in 1994, Clark was a part of the Leafs team that set records in wins (44) and points (99) and made the playoffs for the first time in three years.
Wendel Clark also played with the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings, and Chicago Blackhawks before he retired in 2000.
He played in 793 games, scored 330 goals and 564 points, and had an impressive 1,690 PIMs. Clark was a really tough guy and wasn’t afraid to throw the gloves.
Clark played when the NHL was tougher, with enforcers everywhere. And with how many teams he played in, he sure played a lot of goons. Talking on ”Joe Tilley’s Great Canadian Sports Show,” Clark was asked who was the toughest guy he ever fought.
”There is no toughest, because you go to Rick Tocchet, Dave Brown in Philly, Bob Probert and Joey Kocur in Detroit, you know… Every team back then had two-three guys,” Clark said.
”But I always say the meanest guy ever was Behn Wilson in Chicago. He scared more people because that’s how he played.
”He scared the dickens out of the league, and that’s how he lasted. It wasn’t because of talent. It was because of how tough he was.”
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