BUFFALO NY - DECEMBER 23: Chris Higgins #21 and Dmitry Kulikov #7 of the Florida Panthers celebrate Higgins goal in the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on December 23 2010 in Buffalo New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
In today's Countdown we look at Steve Washburn, Jason Wiemer, Chris Higgins, and Hall-of-Famer Dino Ciccarelli.
128. Steve Washburn
Washburn was a 6'2" center from Ottawa. Florida picked him up in the third round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft with the 78th overall pick. In four OHL seasons with the Ottawa 67's, he picked up 98 goals and 168 assists in 253 games, culminating in a 106 point season in 1994-95. He made his pro debut after the OHL season concluded, scoring three goals and an assist in six IHL games with the Cincinnati Cyclones.
In 1995-96, Washburn spent 78 AHL games with the Carolina Monarchs, scoring 29 goals and 54 assists. He also made his first NHL appearance in Florida's last game of the season, earning an assist. He stayed with the club as they entered the playoffs, making another assist in his first (and would prove to be the last) playoff game.
1996-97 would see Washburn score 23 goals and 40 assists in 60 AHL games with the Monarchs. He appeared in 18 Panthers games, scoring three goals on 21 shots with six assists, finishing the year with a plus-2 rating and four penalty minutes. He had his first career two point NHL game on March 13, earning two assists in a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Washburn would enjoy his most extensive NHL action in 1997-98, appearing in 58 games with the Cats. He had his only two goal performance in a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals on December 7th. In total, he made 11 goals on 61 shots with a minus-6 rating and 32 PIM.
In 1998-99, Washburn appeared in four games with the Panthers before they waived him in February. He later appeared with the Vancouver Canucks (eight games), and the Philadelphia Flyers (four games). He later played three seasons in the German Elite League, spending two seasons with the Iserlohn Roosters (89 games, 19 goals, 32 assists) and one with Klagenfurt AC (48 games, 12 goals, 27 assists). In 2005-06, he joined Graz EC in the Austrian League for three seasons (117 games, 26 goals, 59 assists).
All-Time Statline: Four seasons, 81 games, 14 goals, 15 assists, 29 points, minus-4, 40 PIM, APS: 2.3
127. Jason Wiemer
Wiemer was a 6'1" center from Kimberley, British Columbia. He was picked up by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft with the eighth overall pick. In parts of four OHL seasons with the Portland Winter Hawks, he finished with 73 goals and 100 assists in 158 games.
1995-96 would see Wiemer spend 66 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Over four seasons, he scored 27 goals and 27 assists in 232 contests. The Bolts traded him to the Calgary Flames on March 24, 1998 for Sandy McCarthy, and a third and fifth round pick.
With the Flames, Wiemer played 219 games, scoring 33 goals and 30 assists. The Flames traded him with Valeri Bure to the Panthers for Rob Neidermayer and a second round pick in June of 2001.
As a Panther, Wiemer scored 11 goals on 115 shots, making 20 assists. He earned 178 PIM, which was only good enough for third on the team (behind Peter Worrell and Brad Ference). He averaged 17:09 TOI per game through the season. The Panthers traded him to the New York Islanders for Branislav Mezei on July 3, 2002.
After one season with the Isles (81 games, nine goals, 19 assists), Wiemer would see time with the Minnesota Wild (62 games, seven goals, 11 assists), the Calgary Flames (33 games, one goal, two assists), and the New Jersey Devils (16 games, one goal). He missed the 2006-07 season after reconstructive knee surgery, and has not appeared on the ice since.
All-Time Statline: One season, 70 games, 11 goals, 20 assists, 31 points, minus-4 rating, 178 PIM.
126. Dino Ciccarelli
Ciccarelli was a 5'10" right winger from Sarnia, Ontario. He started his NHL career in 1980-81 with the Minnesota North Stars after four seasons with the OMJHL London Knights. With London, Ciccarelli scored 169 goals and 177 assists in 226 games, including 72 goals in 1977-78 at the age of 17. The Knights retired his jersey, number eight. He appeared in six games with the CHL Oklahoma City Stars in 1979-80, spending 48 games with the team the following season. He totalled 35 goals and 27 assists in the minors.
1980-81 would also see Ciccarelli make his NHL debut with the North Stars. He played with the club for nine seasons, ranking third on the North Stars/Dallas Stars career leaderboard with 332 goals, ranking fourth with 651 points in only 602 games. He appeared in three All-Star games during his tenure in Minnesota. The North Stars traded him to the Washington Capitals with Bob Rouse for Mike Gartner and Larry Murphy.
After four seasons with the Capitals (223 games, 112 goals, 97 assists), Ciccarelli later played for the Detroit Red Wings (254 games, 107 goals, 133 assists), and the Tampa Bay Lightning (111 games, 46 goals, 31 assists, one All-Star game). The Bolts traded him to the Panthers with Jeff Norton for Mark Fitzpatrick and Jody Hull on January 15th, 1998.
Ciccarelli finished out the 1997-98 season with Florida, scoring five goals on 57 shots and 11 assists in 28 games, earning 28 PIM, and a minus-2 rating. He scored two points on three occasions.
In 1998-99, Ciccarelli missed most of the season with a back injury, managing to appear in only 14 Panthers games. He scored five goals in his first four games of the season, ending with six goals on 23 shots, with an assist and 27 PIM. The Panthers placed him on waivers following the season, and he subsequently retired from the game.
Ciccarelli also totalled 73 goals and 45 assists in 141 playoff matches. His 609 career NHL goals place him ninth on the all-time list, and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame with the Class of 2010.
All-Time Statline: Two seasons, 42 games, 11 goals, 12 assists, 23 points, minus-3 rating, 10 PIM, 2.4 APS.
125. Chris Higgins
Higgins was a 6' left winger from Smithtown, New York. He was originally picked by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, with the 14th overall pick. He played collegiate hockey for the Yale University Bulldogs, scoring 34 goals and 38 assists in 55 games.
In 2003-04, Higgins made his professional debut with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs, scoring 21 goals with 27 assists in 67 games. He also made his first NHL appearance, playing in two games with the Habs in October. He remained with the Bulldogs in 2004-05, through 76 games scoring 28 goals with 23 assists. This would represent his last minor league appearance to date.
In 2005-06, Higgins spent the whole season with Montreal, appearing in 80 games. Through five seasons, he finished with 84 goals and 67 assists in 282 games. The Habs traded him to the New York Rangers on June 30, 2009 with Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko for Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt and Michael Busto.
Higgins split the 2009-10 season between the Rangers (55 games, six goals, eight assists) and the Calgary Flames (12 games, two goals, one assist). He would sign on with the Panthers as a free agent during the 2010 offseason. He had one two goal game, in a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on December 23. After scoring 11 goals (see video for the perfect toe drag) on 126 shots with 12 assists while averaging 16:39 TOI per game. He finished with a plus-5 rating and 10 minutes in the sin-bin before the Panthers sent him to the Canucks on February 28 for Evan Oberg and a third round pick in the 2013 Entry Draft.
Higgins has scored 20 goals and 28 assists in 85 Canucks games. He is signed with Vancouver through the end of the 2012-13 season.
All-Time Statline: One season, 48 games, 11 goals, 12 assists, 23 points, plus-5 rating, 10 PIM, 2.5 APS.