Friday, September 09, 2011

Dan McFall

Danny McFall can thank long time NHLer Jim Lorentz for helping him appear in the NHL too.

McFall, who played 9 games for the Winnipeg Jets over parts of two seasons, was being coached by Lorentz when McFall was discovered by NHL scouts. Lorentz had recently retired but didn't want to leave the Buffalo area, so he turned to coaching the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, of the NYJHL. Now not too many players are ever drafted out of the NYJHL, but under Lorentz's guidance, McFall played impressively enough not only to get scholarship offers to play Division 1 college hockey, but also to be drafted out of high school by the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets selected Dan 148th overall in 1981.

The Jets probably never expected McFall to pan out as far as the NHL was concerned. The fact that he played 9 games was probably more than anyone expected. They drafted him knowing that most 8th round picks never make it. They also knew that he had committed to going to Michigan State for the next 4 years.

McFall had a good collegiate career with the Spartans. In 1984 he was named to the NCAA West's second All American team. By 1985 he was named to the first All American team. In 168 games over 4 years, McFall scored 36 goals and 76 assists. He excelled more as a defensive d-man, though he was too small to excel in that role at the professional level.

Immediately following the completion of the collegiate season in 1985, McFall joined the Jets late in the season where he played in his first two NHL games. 1985-86 saw the Jets send McFall to the minor leagues as they felt he needed time to adjust from the collegiate game to the rougher professional ranks. He did appear in 7 games for the Jets, recording his only NHL point, an assist.
 McFall didn't have a great season in the minors either. He had 2 goals and 12 points in 50 games. He seemed very overwhelmed by the difference of the pro game.

McFall played in just 11 games in the IHL in 1986-87 before called it quits. But McFall did alright for himself. He was just a kid playing hockey in Buffalo who got discovered with a bit of luck. He went on to get a good education at a good school and got paid for 2 years for playing hockey. He even made it to the big show for 9 games.


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