1970 NHL Amateur Draft Pick
Round Overall
1 6
Chuck Lefley
Selected by Montreal from Canadian National Team
Montreal Canadiens Team Canada
Chuck Lefley

6-foot-2, 185 pounds

Left-hand shot


Pre-Draft Statistics

Year Team League GP G A TP PIM
1969-70Brandon WCHL 7 6 6 12 0
  Canada IIHF -- -- -- -- --

Pre-Draft Notes

MJHL Rookie of Year with Winnipeg in 1965-66. ... Had one assist for Canadian national team that finished fourth at 1969 World Championships in Stockholm.
Canadian • Born January 20, 1950 in Winnipeg, Manitoba • Hometown: Grosse Isle, Manitoba

Career Vitals

First contract: August 29, 1970
Debut: November 15, 1970
(Montreal at Buffalo)
Final NHL game: October 29, 1980
(St. Louis at Minnesota)
Retired: 1980
Stanley Cup: 1971, 1973
Numbers worn: 6, 8, 21, 24 (Montreal);
25 (St. Louis)

Career NHL Statistics

Teams: Montreal, St. Louis
Years: 1970-1980. Playoffs: 1971-1977

Regular Season
9 years 407 128 164 292 137
Stanley Cup Playoffs
6 years 29 5 8 13 10
Complete statistics available at NHL.com 

Pre-Draft Highlights

Joined Canadian national team program as a 17-year-old in 1967 after spending two seasons with his hometown Winnipeg Rangers (MJHL). ... Played for Winnipeg in 1966 Memorial Cup tournament. ... Was with the national team during the 1967-68 season but was not on 1968 Olympic squad. ... Was also an outstanding baseball player during his junior career.

Career Highlights

Played left wing for most of his NHL career. ... Was able to have his name engraved on Stanley Cup in 1971 because he had played in one playoff game for Montreal -- Game 6 of first-round series vs. Boston on April 15, 1971. ... Won AHL Calder Cup with Nova Scotia in 1972. ... Led St. Louis in points (85) and goals (43) in 1975-76. ... Set St. Louis single-season records (since broken) for points (85), goals (43), shorthanded goals (8), and assists by a left wing (42) in 1975-76. ... Won St. Louis Goaltenders Club Star of the Game Award for 1975-76. ... Won St. Louis Goaltenders Club Most Improved Player Award for 1975-76. ... Inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 1986. ... Inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Transaction History

Nov. 28, 1974 -- Traded by Montreal to St. Louis in exchange for Don Awrey. Nov. 23, 1980 -- Released by St. Louis.

The Brief Retirement

On Oct. 9, 1977, three days before the start of the 1977-78 season, Lefley announced he had decided to retire from hockey at age of 27 and commit himself to farming in Manitoba. He said he was retiring for "personal reasons" because he was no longer happy being a pro player. He left the St. Louis, where he had been a 40-goal scorer two seasons earlier, and initially went home to Canada. By November, however, he had gone to Helsinki, Finland, and signed a three-year contract with Jokerit. He would spend the next two years in Europe, revitalizing his career. Although he came back to the Blues, the team not happy with his decision to unretire and play in Europe. The Blues still owned his NHL rights, and Emile Francis, St. Louis' president and general manager, did not think Lefley should be allowed to play in Europe without compensation from his European team. At the time, the NHL was required it to pay the International Ice Hockey Federation $50,000 for every European player it signed, but there was nothing to stop the IIHF clubs from signing North Americans. Nothing came of Francis' complaints, but the Blues were able to reclaim Lefley when he decided to return to the NHL on June 29, 1979, saying he felt like he had rediscovered his love for the game and wanted to play for the Blues again.

Significant Injuries

Missed part of 1970-71 season with rib injury, suffered while playing in AHL. ... Missed start of 1979-80 season with separated right shoulder, suffered when checked by Harvey Bennett during St. Louis' intrasquad scrimmage on Sept. 23, 1979, at training camp in Port Huron, Mich. He returned to make his 1979-80 debut in St. Louis' Dec. 1 game vs. N.Y. Rangers. He re-aggravated the injury during St. Louis' Jan. 22 game vs. Philadelphia and played very little after that before having off-season surgery to repair damaged ligaments.

Life Outside the NHL

Full Name: Charles Thomas Lefley
Nickname: "The Breakaway Kid"

Other Post-Draft Teams: Montreal/Nova Scotia (AHL); Helsinki Jokerit (Finland); Dusseldorf (West Germany)

Coaching Career: Worked as a minor hockey coach in Warren, Manitoba, for many years after his retirement.

Career Beyond Hockey: Returned to his hometown of  Grosse Isle, Manitoba after his retirement and devoted himself full-time to Lefley Farm, his family's cattle and grain, farm while also working as a minor hockey coach. ... Remained active in sports of golf, curling, and senior baseball at an amateur level. He played on Grosse Isle Blue Jays senior team that won Interlake Championships in 1989, 1990, and 1993.
Lefley on LinkedIn

Family: Younger brother of former NHL player Bryan Lefley.


Selected by Ottawa Nationals in 1972 WHA Draft -- the first-ever WHA Draft -- in February 1972. Selected by Winnipeg Jets in 1973 WHA draft of established professional players. Represented by Boston agent Bob Woolf in signing first NHL contract with Montreal in 1970. Inducted into Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame with 1988-1993 Grosse Isle Blue Jays in 2012.
Total Selected: 115
Forwards: 67
Defense: 36
Goaltenders: 12
Major Junior: 87
College Players: 18
Canadian: 109
Euro-Canadian: 0
American: 6
European: 0
Reached NHL: 62
Won Stanley Cup: 12
Hall of Fame: 3
All-Star Game: 11
Year-end All-Star: 4
Olympians: 2
Picks Traded: 13


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