Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Dean Prentice
Dean Prentice was born in the small mining town of Shumacher, Ontario. It was there that he was introduced to the worlds of hockey and digging for gold. Hockey came first as he excelled with the South Porcupine Teepees of a local juvenile league. The Teepees were affiliated with the Guelph Biltmores of the OHA and that's where he ended up as a teenager. But time off during the summer also meant coming home to work the mines with his father. That was all the motivation he needed to raise his game as far above ground as possible.

With the Biltmores, Prentice stepped into an all-star lineup that included future NHLers Andy Bathgate, Ron Stewart, Lou Fontinato and Harry Howell. Together, they won the Memorial Cup in 1952, the only championship that Prentice would ever attain during his lengthy career in hockey.

With such success at the junior level, the needy New York Rangers brought Prentice, Bathgate and Howell, among others, up to the Big Apple. There as a young recruit, Prentice struggled to find his confidence. The only real instruction given to the recruits was provided by goaltender Charlie Rayner who would spend extra time on the ice, offering advice on how to approach various goaltenders around the league.

Prentice eventually settled onto a line with Andy Bathgate and Larry Popein. The trio became the Rangers' most successful unit. Prentice became the two-way standout who excelled at backchecking, killing penalties, working the corners and jumping onto the powerplay. But his quiet, unassuming personality took a back seat to the more colourful Bathgate who was the dipsy-doodler and scorer among the trio. As such, Prentice has been characterized as the most underrated forward of his era.

In his eleventh season with the Rangers, he was traded to the Boston Bruins for Don McKenney in 1963. Prentice was not unhappy to join the Bruins, but he did feel a twinge of regret when, shortly thereafter, McKenney and Bathgate were traded to the Leafs?a lineup he'd wanted to join.

In 1966, Prentice was traded to the Detroit Red Wings where he continued to skate with the league's elite, this time with Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe. He also picked up shifts with his old Ranger teammate Andy Bathgate who had also joined the Wings.

Two seasons later, however, Bathgate had moved on to the Pittsburgh Penguins. And in keeping with the program, Pens coach Red Kelly claimed Prentice in the Intra-League Draft to skate along side Bathgate. Prentice clicked in his new setting, leading the team in scoring. He lasted with the Pens until 1971 at which time he was sold to the Minnesota North Stars where he continued to score even at the age of 40.

By 1974, however, at age 41, Prentice finally closed out his 22-year NHL career.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1950-51 Guelph Biltmores OHA-Jr. 51 20 16 36 26 4 1 1 2 15
1951-52 Guelph Biltmores OHA-Jr. 51 48 27 75 68 23 21 10 31 28
1951-52 Guelph Biltmores M-Cup 12 13 5 18 14
1952-53 Guelph Biltmores OHA-Jr. 5 1 1 2 16
1952-53 New York Rangers NHL 55 6 3 9 20
1953-54 New York Rangers NHL 52 4 13 17 18
1954-55 New York Rangers NHL 70 16 15 31 20
1955-56 New York Rangers NHL 70 24 18 42 44 5 1 0 1 2
1956-57 New York Rangers NHL 68 19 23 42 38 5 0 2 2 4
1957-58 New York Rangers NHL 38 13 9 22 14 6 1 3 4 4
1958-59 New York Rangers NHL 70 17 33 50 11
1959-60 New York Rangers NHL 70 32 34 66 43
1960-61 New York Rangers NHL 56 20 25 45 17
1961-62 New York Rangers NHL 68 22 38 60 20 3 0 2 2 0
1962-63 New York Rangers NHL 49 13 25 38 18
1962-63 Boston Bruins NHL 19 6 9 15 4
1963-64 Boston Bruins NHL 70 23 16 39 37
1964-65 Boston Bruins NHL 31 14 9 23 12
1965-66 Boston Bruins NHL 50 7 22 29 10
1965-66 Detroit Red Wings NHL 19 6 9 15 8 12 5 5 10 4
1966-67 Detroit Red Wings NHL 68 23 22 45 18
1967-68 Detroit Red Wings NHL 69 17 38 55 42 +7
1968-69 Detroit Red Wings NHL 74 14 20 34 18 -8
1969-70 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 75 26 25 51 14 -20 10 2 5 7 8
1970-71 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 69 21 17 38 18 -8
1971-72 Minnesota North Stars NHL 71 20 27 47 14 +4 7 3 0 3 0
1972-73 Minnesota North Stars NHL 73 26 16 42 22 +3 6 1 0 1 16
1973-74 Minnesota North Stars NHL 24 2 3 5 4 -11
1974-75 New Haven Nighthawks AHL
1975-76
1976-77 Traverse City Bays USHL 28 5 22 27 4
NHL Totals 1378 391 469 860 484 54 13 17 30 38


Brother of Eric
NHL Second All-Star Team (1960) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1957, 1961, 1963, 1970)
Traded to Boston by NY Rangers for Don McKenney and Dick Meissner, February 4, 1963.
Terms of transaction stipulated that Meissner would report to the NY Rangers following the 1962-63 season.
Missed remainder of 1964-65 due to back injury vs. Chicago, December 27, 1964. Traded to Detroit by Boston with Leo Boivin for Gary Doak, Ron Murphy, Bill Lesuk and future considerations (Steve Atkinson, June 6, 1966), February 16, 1966. Claimed by Pittsburgh from Detroit in Intra-League Draft, June 11, 1969. Traded to Minnesota by Pittsburgh for cash, October 6, 1971.