Centre Kelly Fairchild played 23 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the mid-90s. He was a fine playmaker in college and the minors but had difficulty adjusting to the close checking in the NHL during the "neutral zone trap era".
Born in Hibbing, Minnesota, Fairchild starred for Grand Rapids High School in 1990-91 then was drafted 152nd overall by the Los Angeles Kings. He opted to attend the University of Wisconsin and led the WCHA with 64 points in 1993-94. That year also played a more aggressive style of hockey and was selected to the conference's first all-star team.
In October, 1994, Fairchild was part of a multi-player deal that saw him end up in the Toronto Maple Leafs' organization. He enjoyed two solid pro seasons with the AHL's St. John's Maple Leafs and recorded an assist in his first and only NHL game in 1995-96. The next season he played 22 games but, ultimately, was not in the club's plans. He toiled in the minors for another year then signed with the Dallas Stars in July 1998. Fairchild played one game in the Lone Star state but otherwise competed for the IHL"s Michigan K-Wings.