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Jim Sandlak

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Jim Sandlak
Position Right wing
Shot Right
Nickname(s) House
Height
Weight
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
220 lb (100 kg)
Teams Vancouver Canucks
Hartford Whalers
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born December 12 1966 (1966-12-12) (age 49),
Kitchener, ON, CAN
NHL Draft 4th overall, 1985
Vancouver Canucks
Pro Career 1985 – 1998

James Sandlak, Jr. (born December 12, 1966 in Kitchener, Ontario) is a retired professional ice hockey player who spent 11 seasons in the National Hockey League.

Playing careerEdit

Selected by the Vancouver Canucks with the 4th overall pick in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, Sandlak was a highly-touted prospect who at 6'4" and 220 lbs. was projected to be a star power forward in the NHL. He cemented this status with a dominant performance at the 1986 World Junior Championships , at which he was the captain of the Canadian team and was named the tournament's top forward. Convinced that Sandlak was a better prospect than the slow-developing Cam Neely (who played the same position and style), Canuck management decided that the future Hall of Famer Neely was expendable, and dealt him to the Boston Bruins for Barry Pederson in what would later be labelled by many commentators as one of the worst trades ever made.

Sandlak had a solid rookie year in 1986–87, scoring 15 goals and being selected to the NHL All-Rookie Team. After a poor training camp in 1987, he was sent to the AHL, but responded well upon his recall, scoring 16 goals in just 49 games. He scored 20 goals the following season, but continued to struggle with comparisons to the now-superstar Neely and frustrate fans and management alike with his inconsistency. By the 1990–91 season he was little more than a bit player on the Canucks, scoring just 6 goals.

However, Sandlak rebounded in 1991–92 to play the best hockey of his career on a rejuvenated Canuck team. Playing largely with Sergio Momesso and Cliff Ronning (a line dubbed the "Twin Towers" due to Ronning's small stature accentuating the size of his two larger linemates), Sandlak matched his career high of 40 points despite missing almost 20 games due to injury. In the 1992 playoffs, Sandlak finally put his game together and looked like the power forward he was always supposed to be, as he was arguably the best player in Vancouver's opening-round victory against Winnipeg, and contributed 10 points in that playoffs while playing a dominant physical game.

However, just as Sandlak's career appeared headed in the right direction, injuries began to take their toll. His 1992–93 season was plagued by back problems which caused him to miss 25 games as well as most of the playoffs, and limited him to just 10 goals. Following the season, he was dealt to the Hartford Whalers as the future considerations in the Murray Craven trade. His two seasons with the Whalers were an absolute nightmare, however, as wrist, foot, knee, and heel injuries limited him to just 40 games and 8 points over that span. Released by the Whalers in 1995, he returned to Vancouver for the 1995–96 season, but again struggled with injuries (this time a stress fracture to a vertebra in his back) and his level of play had dropped off considerably. Following a failed tryout with Buffalo the following season he retired from the NHL, although he returned after a year off for a season in Germany before leaving the game for good.

Sandlak finished his career with totals of 110 goals and 229 points in 549 career games, along with 821 penalty minutes. According to a 2006 issue of The Hockey News, Sandlak retired to London, Ontario where he owns and operates a landscaping company. He also coaches youth hockey in the London Knights system.

Awards and achievementsEdit

Career statisticsEdit

                                            --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----
Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1982-83  Kitchener Rangers           OHL     1    0    0    0    0  --  --  --  --  --
1983-84  London Knights              OHL    68   23   18   41  143   8   1  11  12  13
1984-85  London Knights              OHL    58   40   24   64  128   8   3   2   5  14
1985-86  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    23    1    3    4   10   3   0   1   1   0
1985-86  London Knights              OHL    16    7   13   20   36   5   2   3   5  24
1986-87  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    78   15   21   36   66  --  --  --  --  --
1987-88  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    49   16   15   31   81  --  --  --  --  --
1987-88  Fredericton Express         AHL    24   10   15   25   47  --  --  --  --  --
1988-89  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    72   20   20   40   99   6   1   1   2   2
1989-90  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    70   15    8   23  104  --  --  --  --  --
1990-91  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    59    7    6   13  125  --  --  --  --  --
1991-92  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    66   16   24   40  176  13   4   6  10  22
1992-93  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    59   10   18   28  122   6   2   2   4   4
1993-94  Hartford Whalers            NHL    27    6    2    8   32  --  --  --  --  --
1994-95  Hartford Whalers            NHL    13    0    0    0    0  --  --  --  --  --
1995-96  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    33    4    2    6    6   5   0   0   0   2
1995-96  Syracuse Crunch             AHL    12    6    1    7   16  --  --  --  --  --
1997-98  Ingolstadt ERC              Ger.1  21    6    9   15   85  --  --  --  --  --
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         NHL Totals                        549  110  119  229  821  33   7  10  17  30

Coaching statisticsEdit

Season  Team         Lge Type
2007-08 Sarnia Sting OHL Assistant Coach 

External linksEdit

Preceded by
J. J. Daigneault
Vancouver Canucks first round draft pick
1985
Succeeded by
Dan Woodley


{{Category:Hartford Whalers players]]

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