Lacking flash and dash
Being able to dish the puck to teammates isn’t a bad game to have. Still, it wasn’t good enough to fulfill Oates‘ dream of playing major junior hockey, so he spent time in Junior B with the Port Credit Titans and in Junior A with the Markham Waxers.
Oates was more than a point-a-game player at what’s considered Tier 2 junior hockey, but he kept getting passed over.
“It’s hard for me to believe that he wasn’t at least a little bit talented as he was growing up,” Hull said. “There’s guys who slip through the cracks all the time.”
At first glance, it wasn’t easy to see why the 5-foot-11 Oates didn’t attract attention.
Most scouts were in awe of players with what Addesa called “flash and dash.”
Oates kept plugging away in Markham, but something had to change.
‘RPI was my break’
“[They saw] him within three days, and both of them said the same over to the phone to me: ‘Coach, you’ve got to come and see this guy as soon as you can. This guy is brilliant,’” Addesa recalled.
While trying to make the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey League in 1980, Oates played two exhibition games alongside teammates who were being paid. Ten days later, the NCAA passed a retroactive rule that athletes who played alongside professionals were ineligible through contamination.View Entire Story
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