In 1981, Boston Bruins assistant GM Tom Johnson was understandably excited as he watched his young prospect Barry Pederson perform at the Memorial Cup tournament. As a Victoria Cougar, Pederson, a crafty centremen whose season was shortened by an injury, finished third in the WHL scoring race.
Pederson joined the Bruins for full-time work in 1981 and proceeded to light the scoreboard on fire. Teamed with Rick Middleton, he notched 366 points in 268 regular season and playoff games. He finished a close second to Dale Hawerchuk for the Calder Trophy during his rookie season and his 44 goals as a freshman still stands as a Bruin record.
But in 1984-85, Pederson's momentum crashed to a halt. A serious tumor was discovered growing in his right forearm. He missed 58 games while healing from surgery that saw a 4"x 6" piece of muscle transferred from his shoulder to his forearm. Some questioned whether he'd ever play hockey again. But Pederson's determination and aggressive therapy allowed for his return to the Bruins lineup where he tallied 76 points.
In 1986, however, Pederson's price tag grew too large for Bruins GM Harry Sinden who shipped the centreman to Vancouver in exchange for Cam Neely. Pederson performed well for a couple of seasons until his effectiveness in the league began to wane.
He was traded to the Penguins in 1989-90 where his numbers fell off dramatically. He put in brief stints with the Whalers, Bruins and Maine Mariners of the AHL before retiring in 1992.