Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Nelson Pyatt
Nelson Pyatt was born in the Thunder Bay, Ontario, the grain shipping capital of Canada. Naturally, when it came to summer employment, he toiled like a slave at one of the city's numerous grain elevators. As a result, hockey, as a career option, looked mighty attractive.

Pyatt started out on skates at age six, gliding his way through Tom Thumb, peewee, bantams, and midgets. He made the Junior A Tier II with the Thunder Bay Marrs in 1970. From there, he found a fork in his road with the University of Boston or Duluth-Minnesota on one side and the Oshawa Generals of the OHA on the other. The scale was eventually tipped in favour of Oshawa since his father was a friend of the team's coach, former NHLer Gus Bodnar, and, furthermore, Pyatt did not consider himself to be the scholarly type.

In Oshawa, the slender, left-handed centreman scored only 30 goals during his two years with the team, but he could skate very well. So, the Detroit Red Wings picked him up in the 1973 Amateur Draft.

With the Wings, Pyatt went nowhere. He scored zero points in his 14 games with the club. He was treated as little more than a spare part in the Motor City, so he agreed to be shipped to the Wings' affiliate in Britain for one season. With the London Lions, Pyatt had a great time travelling and meeting people, but the excursion did little to promote his development as a hockey player.

He then returned State side and was traded to the Washington Capitals in 1975. In his first full season with the Caps, Pyatt hammered home 26 goals. As contract renewal time came during the off-season, he expected the club's management to dig a little deeper into the coffers. They didn't, so he declared himself a free agent.

Strangely, in the months that followed, only the struggling Colorado Rockies expressed an interest in Pyatt's services. So to Denver he went with his scoring trend in tow. But scoring goals didn't seem to be the issue with Pyatt. It was his defensive lapses that might explain why other NHL clubs were not eager to sign the centreman.

Unfortunately for Pyatt, after two productive seasons, his scoring touch followed his defensive game into a long hibernation. By 1978-79, he began to bounce between Denver and the minors. He lasted through the 1979-80 season, retiring from hockey with the Fort Worth Texans of the CHL.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1970-71 Thunder Bay Marrs TBJHL
1970-71 Thunder Bay Marrs Cen-Cup 5 3 4 7 7
1971-72 Oshawa Generals OHA-Jr. 54 17 29 46 27 12 3 3 6 10
1972-73 Oshawa Generals OHA-Jr. 26 13 19 32 7
1973-74 Detroit Red Wings NHL 5 0 0 0 0 -2
1973-74 London Lions Britain 61 35 28 63 4
1974-75 Detroit Red Wings NHL 9 0 0 0 2 -2
1974-75 Virginia Wings AHL 14 3 4 7 12
1974-75 Washington Capitals NHL 16 6 4 10 21 -14
1975-76 Washington Capitals NHL 77 26 23 49 14 -56
1976-77 Colorado Rockies NHL 77 23 22 45 20 -17
1977-78 Colorado Rockies NHL 71 9 12 21 8 -23
1978-79 Colorado Rockies NHL 28 2 2 4 2 -17
1978-79 Philadelphia Firebirds AHL 7 3 1 4 0
1979-80 Colorado Rockies NHL 13 5 0 5 2 -5
1979-80 Fort Worth Texans CHL 45 20 17 37 11 15 5 1 6 2
1980-81 ERB Selb W.Ger-2
1981-82 ERB Selb W.Ger-2 46 80 30 110 32
1982-83 Vienna EV Austria 24 28 24 52 25
NHL Totals 296 71 63 134 69


Traded to Washington by Detroit for Washington's 3rd round choice (Al Cameron) in 1975 Amateur Draft, February 28, 1975. Signed as a free agent by Colorado, September 1, 1976.