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This future high scoring NHL'er did not even learn to skate until the age of 8 and initially started out between the pipes. Making his way up to the forward line and through the minor ranks of Port Arthur, he claimed the junior league scoring title with the Thunder Bay DeGagne Buccaneers in 1978-79. After a brief time with the Brandon Wheat Kings, he joined the OHL playing with the Kitchener Rangers and the Kingston Canadians, before advancing to the professional ranks.

Acquired by the Edmonton Oilers in the 4th round of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, Walt earned his stripes in the CHL with the Wichita Wind before being called up to the Oilers briefly during the 1981-82 season. Traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, he served on their forward line from 1982-86. Scoring 28 goals in his rookie year, he broke the team's previous record which had been set by Howie Meeker 35 years earlier. Although plagued by injuries on and off during his time with the club, in his final season with the Leafs he earned 34 points in 33 games contributing to their run at the playoffs.

Picked up by the New York Rangers in a trade for Mike Allison in 1986, his two seasons with that club saw him as the team's leading scorer and the recipient of numerous honours as a favourite among fans and the media. Moving to the Quebec Nordiques for the 1988-89 season, he earned NHL All-Star Honours, scoring two goals for the Wales Conference in that year's match-up. Suffering what would eventually prove to be a career ending injury to his right knee during the 1989-90 season, he spent much of the following three seasons with the New Jersey Devils franchise on the road to recovery.

After some time spent in the professional leagues in Germany and in the AHL, Walt officially retired from the game as a player in 1995. His 11 season NHL career included an impressive 422 points in 468 games.

Transferring his skills to the building side of the game, Walt went on to coach roller hockey and served behind the bench for the Anchorage Aces Hockey Team in the West Coast Hockey League from 1995 to 2001.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 28, 2002

Walt Poddubny

Thunder Bay
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