Pat Verbeek was selected by the New Jersey Devils 43rd overall in the 1982 Entry Draft. If there is a player who represented the nickname of the team drafting him, Verbeek is it.
Verbeek came from a solid farming background and this helped to instill a firm work ethic. In his rookie season, he found out that, even though he was playing professional hockey, he still had to behave. On one occasion, he broke team curfew and had his mother ground him by taking away the keys to his brand new Trans Am. The Devils' fans loved his play and named him the Fan Club Rookie of the Year.
He led the Devils into their first playoff berth in 1987-88 with a club-record 46 goals. The team reached the Wales Conference finals before losing to the Boston Bruins. Verbeek recorded four goals and eight assists along the way.
After the 1988-89 season, the Devils traded him to the Hartford Whalers. He made an immediate impact on the club. In his first season, he led the team in goal scoring and in his second term was named team MVP. 1991 also marked his All-Star Game debut. The following season, Verbeek was named the Whalers captain.
On March 23, 1995, he was traded to the New York Rangers for their quest of a second straight Stanley Cup. Injuries in the 1995-96 campaign prevented him from establishing personal bests. In 1996, he signed on with the Dallas Stars. With Dallas, he passed the 1,000-game mark and, more importantly, helped the team win the Stanley Cup.
Prior to the 1999-2000 season, he signed with the Detroit Red Wings. In Detroit, he passed the 1,000-point mark and moved into the top 25 in career goal scoring before returnig to Dallas for his final NHL season in 2001-02.
On the international stage, Verbeek represented Cananda at the 1983 World Junior Championship, is a member of Canada's 1989 World Championship team and was a member of its World Cup team in 1996.