By Ed Evans
One of the best to play on the Prince Rupert Kings passed away last week.
Dave Pickett came to Prince Rupert to play for the Kings in the 1974-75 season. In his first season his line mates were Craig Ferguson and Richard Wright. Pickett blew open the Pacific Northwest Hockey League in his rookie season with his league-leading 118 points in 32 games. This total included the most goals (61) and most assists (57).
“He was always ready to go hard both on and off the ice. Dave was one of the few hockey players who, with seemingly no effort, could dazzle all players on the ice and be a threat to score,” said former King Gary Coons.
“He was one of those players that could create excitement whenever he was on the ice, especially when he had the puck,” said Jerry Kurka.
Even with his smaller size, Pickett was no pushover and had 94 penalty minutes in his first season. He was the Kings’ MVP that first season. He ranks fourth in Kings all time scoring with 269 points in 100 games played. This total includes 145 goals and 124 assists.
Pickett was arguably the most talented and exciting player to lace up the skates in Prince Rupert. He was fearless and would get the puck from behind his own net and skate through the whole opposition team to score a goal. This even included the defending Canadian Champions at the time, the Prince George Mohawks. Pickett skated through the whole team and scored a few goals the first time as the Kings took the Mohawks to double overtime the first time they played in the Coy Cup.
Ed Evans is a former Kings executive member.