Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Eric Nesterenko
Eric Nesterenko was a versatile right-winger who played 1,343 regular season and playoff games in an NHL career that lasted two decades. He could score, play a physical game, and play effectively on the power play and penalty killing units.

The native of Flin Flon, Manitoba was a top scorer in junior with the Toronto Marlboros of the OHA. The parent Maple Leafs for one game recalled him in 1951-52 then spent half the next season in the NHL. Nesterenko filled a checking role for the most and was considered an agitator who could throw the opposition off its game. He was considered lethal in the corners where he became known as "Elbows" around the league.

Toronto no longer had space for Nesterenko by the late 1950s so he was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks for cash on May 21, 1956. The big winger went on to play 16 years for the Hawks and hit double figures in goals 12 times. During 1960-61 he scored 19 goals playing on a line with Tod Sloan and Ron Murphy. That spring the solid play of this trio contributed to Chicago's first Stanley Cup win in 23 years.

Nesterenko continued to be a hard-working member of the Hawks through to the end of the 1971-72 season. He was picked to suit up for the All-Stars against the Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs in 1965 and helped the Hawks reach the 1965 finals and finish first in the NHL standings for the first time ever in 1966-67. By the early '70s he was more of a role player with limemates Gerry Pinder and Dan Maloney but did take part in the 1971 Stanley Cup finals which Chicago lost in the seventh and deciding game to the Montreal Canadiens. Nesterenko retired in 1972 but returned to play 29 games for the WHA's Chicago Cougars in 1973-74. He stepped aside again for 12 months then returned for one last season with the senior Trail Smoke Eaters.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1949-50 Toronto Marlboros OHA-Jr. 1 0 0 0 0
1950-51 Toronto Marlboros OHA-Jr. 46 28 22 50 90 13 7 9 16 27
1951-52 Toronto Marlboros OHA-Jr. 52 53 42 95 133 6 2 6 8 12
1951-52 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1952-53 Toronto Marlboros OHA-Jr. 34 27 21 48 46
1952-53 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 35 10 6 16 27
1953-54 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 68 14 9 23 70 5 0 1 1 9
1954-55 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 62 15 15 30 99 4 0 1 1 6
1955-56 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 40 4 6 10 65
1955-56 Winnipeg Warriors WHL 20 8 6 14 27 14 3 7 10 22
1955-56 Winnipeg Warriors Ed-Cup 3 1 2 3 2
1956-57 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 24 8 15 23 32
1957-58 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 20 18 38 104
1958-59 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 16 18 34 81 6 2 2 4 8
1959-60 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 61 13 23 36 71 4 0 0 0 2
1960-61 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 68 19 19 38 125 11 2 3 5 6
1961-62 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 68 15 14 29 97 12 0 5 5 22
1962-63 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 67 12 15 27 103 6 2 3 5 8
1963-64 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 7 19 26 93 7 2 1 3 8
1964-65 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 56 14 16 30 63 14 2 2 4 16
1965-66 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 67 15 25 40 58 6 1 0 1 4
1966-67 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 68 14 23 37 38 6 1 2 3 2
1967-68 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 71 11 25 36 37 +3 10 0 1 1 2
1968-69 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 72 15 17 32 29 +5
1969-70 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 67 16 18 34 26 +17 7 1 2 3 4
1970-71 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 76 8 15 23 28 +13 18 0 1 1 19
1971-72 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 38 4 8 12 27 +7 8 0 0 0 11
1972-73 HC Lausanne Swiss
1973-74 Chicago Cougars WHA 29 2 5 7 8
1974-75
1975-76 Trail Smoke Eaters WIHL 40 10 25 35 38
1976-77 Trail Smoke Eaters WIHL
NHL Totals 1219 250 324 574 1273 124 13 24 37 127


Played in NHL All-Star Game (1961, 1965) Signed as a free agent by Toronto, January 8, 1953. Traded to Chicago by Toronto with Harry Lumley for $40,000, May 21, 1956.
Played weekend games only during 1956-57 season while attending University of Toronto. Selected by Dayton-Houston (WHA) in 1972 WHA General Player Draft, February 12, 1972. WHA rights traded to Chicago (WHA) by Houston (WHA) for future considerations, June, 1973.