As a youngster growing up in Toronto, Steve Vickers found left wing to be too crowded for his liking. So he switched to the right side in spite of his left-handed shot. When he got in close to the net, he relied on a backhand shot that eventually became quite formidable in strength and accuracy.
By the time he reached the junior ranks with the Toronto Marlboros in 1969-70, he had become a strong, physical forward who could knock opponents about like ten pins on an alley. He also maintained an impressive scoring touch around the net, which led to his selection as an OHA all-star.
He was selected 10th overall by the New York Rangers in the 1971 Amateur Draft. Upon turning pro in 1971-72, he put a full year with the Omaha Knights of the CHL. The following year, he caught on full time with the Rangers and made a big impression on all allies and foes alike. He skated on a line with Walt Tkaczuk and Bill Fairbairn and established himself as a confident, effective rookie who could fight well and park himself like an immovable object in the opposition's goal crease. Such a vantage point allowed him to pile up 53 points in 63 games. His overall impact brought him a Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie in 1972.
From that point on, Vickers performed as a solid NHL forward who wore only Ranger Blue throughout his ten-year NHL career. During that time, he twice exceeded the 80-point plateau for single-season output. He sailed along through the seasons with consistency until 1981-82 when his numbers and effectiveness began to slip. He was demoted to the Springfield Indians for the balance of the campaign at which time he packed it in for good.