Big Alex McKendry was considered one of the top junior prospects coming out of Canadian junior hockey in the mid 1970's. After three successful years with the OHL's Sudbury Wolves, the 6'4" 200 pound forward was selected in the first round of the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft by the New York Islanders, 14th overall who had been impressed by his all-around complete game, including a willingness to use his large frame to his advantage.
McKendry had an impressive rookie camp for the Islanders in September, 1976 but was deemed to need some more work on his game and was commissioned to the team's farm club in Forth Worth for the better part of two years. He was given an opportunity to play for the Islanders for just ten games over the next three years, but was unable to clearly establish a name for himself while seeing limited ice time. McKendry played a tough, aggressive game, but the Isles already had that avenue well covered with star winger Clark Gillies, who was able to combine scoring and enforcing like few others in the NHL.
In October, 1980 McKendry was dealt to the Calgary Flames and it was there that he got his longest playing time, dressing for 36 games. However, McKendry was not able to retain a regular spot in the Flames lineup and he spent the last two years of his career in the CHL with Oklahoma City Stars and the Colorado Flames.