There are no
athletes who stand taller in the eyes of Vermonters then their own homegrown
superstar, John LeClair. Born in the
small northern town of Saint Albans, Vermont, LeClair did not travel the route that
many talented Vermont hockey players do, transplanting to out-of-state
preparatory schools in order to prepare them for a run at the NHL.
For LeClair, he
stayed close to home, playing at his local BFA-Saint Albans high school team
and then accepting a scholarship to play at the University of Vermont. After just one season with the Catamounts,
LeClair was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the 1987
entry draft, showing the value NHL teams placed on the 6-foot-three-inch
forward’s ability to produce solid offensive numbers.
labeled as a potential NHL star early in his career, LeClair stayed humble,
continuing to produce for the Catamounts despite battling several
injuries. His Catamount career was
capped by a brilliant 20 goal, 25 assist, in 33 games played Senior season.
LeClair’s college career was a formidable 17 year run in the NHL, accumulating
four first team All-Star selections and two team USA Olympic appearances.
all of his worldwide accolades, John LeClair has never lost sight of his
Vermont roots. After LeClair hung up his skates for the last time at the end of
his 2006-07 season with the Pittsburg Penguins, he continued to come back to
Vermont to give back to the State that raised him. The John LeClair Foundation, which works to
provide grants to non-profit organizations that service children in Vermont,
serves as the prime example of the type of role model LeClair is to the Vermont
community at large.
Although many outside
the State will point to LeClair’s five season stretch where he scored 40 plus
goals with the Philadelphia Flyers as the bright spot of his career, those who
know LeClair best, will point to his annual fundraising golf tournament in
Saint Albans or his numerous visits to child facilities across the State to
bring some cheer to those less fortunate as LeClair’s crowning
There are a lot of
superstar athletes out there that can wow a crowd or inspire a city with their
play on the ice. However, when it comes
to superstar athletes, who are also superstar people, there are far less. Vermont is just lucky enough to have one of
the best in John LeClair.
Labels: Evan Chadwick