Jack McGill

Jack McGill may have been the greatest hockey superstar who never was.

A junior star out of Edmonton, McGill spent his first pro season apprenticing with the Boston Bruins farm team. He absolutely lit up the EAHL with the Boston Olympics, scoring an amazing 34 goals and 68 points in 36 games.

Later in the season the Bruins became depleted by players enrolling to participate in World War II. On top of that the great Dit Clapper got hurt, and then ace playmaker Bill Cowley, who would later retire as the NHL's all time leading scorer. McGill was the obvious fill in at center ice.

McGill immediately was slotted in on the top line, centering Eddie Wiseman and Roy Conacher. When Cowley returned McGill continued his strong play while centering Gordie Bruce and Dutch Hiller

McGill put up unreal numbers. In 13 games he scored 8 goals, 11 assists and 19 points. That translates into 30 goals, 41 assists and 71 points in a full 48 game season. He was hot in the playoffs, too. He scored 4 goals and 5 points in 5 post season games.

Needless to say McGill impressed many in his short stint in the NHL. But like so many young NHL players at the time, World War II would call upon McGill's services. He joined the Canadian army, and was stationed in Ottawa. He continued to play hockey in his 3 lost seasons.

For whatever reason, Jack McGill could not find his brilliance when he returned the Bruins line up after the war. He would play in 84 games over three seasons from 1945 through 1948, but only scored another 15 goals and 25 assists. He spent a lot of time playing in the AHL, where he found his game. In 338 AHL games he scored 141 goals and 432 points.

Jack McGill set the NHL on fire when he first arrived. World War II robbed him of the next three seasons, but it is still hard to understand how he never found his younger game upon his return from the Canadian army.

Special Thanks to Derek Thurber


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