Scott Lachance

If you get a defenseman who played over 800 NHL games with the 4th overall draft pick, you should be happy right?

Well, sort of. After watching Eric Lindros, Pat Falloon and Scott Niedermayer go 1-2-3, the New York Islanders selected Scott Lachance 4th overall. In doing so they passed over Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund, and Brian Rolston.

Lachance went on to play 819 career games, the bulk of that with the Islanders. So while we can not say he was a draft bust, we can say he never really emerged as an elite defender. Expectations were high after strong showings in back to back world junior tournaments and at the 1992 Olympics. But in the NHL the Charlottesville, Virginia native was a depth defender, albeit it an underrated one.

Lachance's finesse game relied on his smarts. He made safe clearing passes and, as he matured as a NHLer, strong first passes even when under pressure. He hardly ever attempted much more than a shot from the point. He lacked the skating quickness to ever standout in the NHL, though he had strong balance on his skates which helped in battles with forwards.

Physically Lachance's game was very understated. He did not appear to be big, but he was solidly built and effective in his takeouts. He was effective but never devastating, although he seemed prone to lapses where an attacker would blow right by him. Still, he was a regular penalty killer and a good shot blocker.

Lachance also played with Montreal, Vancouver and Columbus. In 819 career games he scored 31 goals and 112 assists for 143 points.

Lachance, who married the daughter of famed Boston Univeristy hockey coach Jack Parker, later became a NHL scout.

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