Bill McDougall, who played in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League for the St. John’s Capitals and Port aux Basques Mariners, is one of seven alumni of the Humboldt Broncos who went on to play in the NHL.
McDougall, Curt Giles, Sheldon Brookbank, Terry Ruskowski, Neil Hawryliw, Grant Jennings and Len Esau are the seven.
The 52-year-old McDougall was raised in Missaussauga, Ont., but was born in Cape Breton, where he now lives. He says he is planning to go to Humboldt to join other former members of Broncos to show support for the team and town devastated by team bus crash that claimed 16 lives a week ago today.
McDougall played just a single season with the Broncos (1986-87), but it was a memorable one. He averaged more than three points a game, scoring a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League record 64 goals and 187 points in 60 contests, and leading Humboldt to a league title and runner-up finish in the Centennial Cup national junior A championship final.
Esau, the first-ever captain of the American Hockey League’s St. John’s Maple Leafs, was also a member of that Humboldt team.
The year after playing for the Broncos, McDougall came east to join the Capitals, scoring 136 points in 42 games and helping St. John’s to a Herder Trophy provincial senior championship.
The next season, he was in Port aux Basques with the Mariners, scoring 61 points in 26 contests.
McDougall then took his scoring prowess to the professional ranks, playing in the East Coast league, and AHL (he was the playoffs’ leading scorer as a member of the 1992 Calder Cup champion Cape Breton Oilers), while getting into 26 NHL games with Detroit, Edmonton and Tampa along the way. He finished up his pro career in Europe, then played two years in the Ontario senior ranks.