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Tom Webster
Tom Webster
Right Wing
Number: 8
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 170
Shoots: Right
Born: Oct 4, 1948
Birthplace: Kirkland Lake, ON, Canada
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Acquired: Traded to Detroit by Buffalo for Roger Crozier on June 10, 1970; Signed as a free agent by Detroit on September 15, 1979.
Drafted: BOS / 1966 NHL Amateur Draft
Round: 4th (19th overall)
At the age of 16, Tom Webster moved from his northern Ontario home in Kirkland Lake and made the trek south to the Honeymoon capital of the world, where he played Junior A with the Niagara Falls Flyers. In no time at all, the Boston Bruins in the 1966 Amateur Draft selected him in the 4th round, 19th overall. In those days, NHL clubs had direct Junior A affiliations, and the Bruins sponsored the Flyers. In his first two years with the Flyers, Webster was a key performer for the club, but in his final year, his offensive productivity increased noticeably. In 1967-68, Webster potted 50 goals and 64 assists for 114 points in just 54 games to lead the Ontario Hockey Association in scoring. He capped off that great season by helping the Flyers to their second Memorial Cup championship in three years.

Despite his obvious offensive prowess, trying to crack a Bruins' lineup rich in scoring talent with the likes of Orr, Esposito, Hodge, and Bucyk proved to be an insurmountable task. He played just eleven games in Boston over two seasons, failing to score a goal while picking up three assists. Boston left Webster unprotected for the 1970 NHL Expansion Draft and he was claimed by Buffalo on June 10, 1970. After the draft, the Sabres traded him to Detroit for Roger Crozier.

It was the 1970-71 campaign that saw Webster's NHL career come to life when he joined the Detroit Red Wings, at that time a team sorely in need of scoring. With the benefit of a 78-game season, Webster proved his worth, scoring 30 goals, assisting on 37 others for a highly productive 67-point season.

But the biggest move of Webster's professional hockey career came in 1972 when he and many other NHLers opted to try their hand at the new World Hockey Association. Webster joined the New England Whalers, where he enjoyed six productive seasons. In his first WHA year, Webster scored 53 goals and 50 assists for 103 points. It would mark the only time in his professional career that he hit the 50-goal and 100-point plateaus. The Whalers went on to win the WHA championship that year, taking the Avco Cup. It was the one and only preofessional championship season for Webster. In 352 WHA games, he amassed 220 goals, 205 assists and 425 points. By comparison, he appeared in 102 NHL contests, collecting 33 goals and 42 assists for 75 points.

Webster retired in 1980, after appearing in one game with the Detroit Red Wings, following the demise of the WHA. Webster has since gone on to a successful coaching career. He has coached in the junior ranks as well as the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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