1971 NHL Entry Draft Pick
Round Overall
3 34
Vic Venasky
Selected by Los Angeles from Denver (WCHA)
Los Angeles Kings Denver Pioneers
Vic Venasky
 

5-foot-11, 170 pounds

Right-hand shot

Center

Pre-Draft Statistics

Year Team League GP G A TP PIM
1968-69 Port Arthur TBJHL 36 29 34 63 4
1969-70Port Arthur TBJHL 22 27 20 47 0
1970-71 Denver WCHA 36 20 36 56 12

Pre-Draft Notes

Led NCAA with 56 points for as a freshman with Denver (WCHA) in 1970-71. 
Canadian • Born June 3, 1951 in Fort William, Ontario • Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario

Career Vitals

First contract: June 13, 1972
Debut: October 7, 1972
(Los Angeles at Pittsburgh)
Final NHL game: April 12, 1979 (playoffs)
(Los Angeles vs. N.Y. Rangers)
Retired: 1981
Stanley Cup: Never won
Number: 10

Career NHL Statistics

Team: Los Angeles
Years: 1972-1979. Playoffs: 1976-1979

Regular Season
  GP G A TP PIM
7 years 430 61 101 162 66
 
Stanley Cup Playoffs
GP G A TP PIM
4 years 21 1 5 6 12
 
Complete statistics available at NHL.com 

Pre-Draft Highlights

Played for Port Arthur (TBJHL) in 1967 Memorial Cup tournament. ... Joined Port Arthur (TBJHL) on a full-time basis as a 16-year-old in 1967-68, scoring 16 goals and 33 points in 24 games. ... Won TBJHL Clean Player Award with Port Arthur in 1967-68, 1968-69, and 1969-70. ... Led TBJHL with 63 points for Port Arthur in 1968-69. ... Played for Westfort (TBJHL) in 1969 Memorial Cup tournament. scoring seven goals and 12 points in six games. ... Led TBJHL with 47 points for Port Arthur in 1969-70. ... Won TBJHL Player of Year award and Most Gentlemanly Player award with Port Arthur in 1969-70. ... Named MVP of the 1970 TBJHL playoffs with Port Arthur. ... Played for both Westfort (TBJHL) and Weyburn (SJHL) in 1970 Memorial Cup tournament, scoring a total of 10 goals and 26 points in 16 games, including 12 games with Fort William and four with Weyburn in the Memorial Cup championship series vs. Montreal. He had two goals and six points for Weyburn, which was swept by the Junior Canadiens in four games. ... Named Thunder Bay Athlete of Year (across all sports) for 1969-70. ... Led WCHA with 39 points for Denver in 1970-71, becoming the first freshman to lead the conference in scoring. ... Named to NCAA West All-America First Team with Denver (WCHA) in 1970-71. ... Named to WCHA All-Star Second Team with Denver in 1970-71. ... Won Denver (WCHA) Bill Masterton Award as team MVP in 1970-71. ... Won the University of Denver Male Athlete of the Year Award for 1970-71. 

Career Highlights

Also played right wing during his pro career. ... Was leading NCAA and WCHA in scoring with 56 points in 21 games for Denver when knee injury ended his 1971-72 season. ... Assisted on a Butch Goring goal at 4:25 of the second period of his first NHL game. The goal was also Los Angeles' first goal of the 1972-73 season. ... Won Los Angeles Outstanding Rookie Award for 1972-73. ... Led WHL playoffs with seven goals for Portland in 1974, helping team reach the Patrick Cup championship series. ... Played six regular-season games for 1974-75 Springfield team that went on to win AHL Calder Cup, but was not with team during postseason. ...  Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
Venasky Tribute Video

Transaction History

February 5, 1975 -- Loaned by Los Angeles to Fort Worth (CHL, N.Y. Islanders affiliate) for one month conditioning stint. He was recalled to Los Angeles on March 7, 1975.

Life Outside the NHL

Full Name: Victor William Venasky

Other Post-Draft Teams: Denver (WCHA); Springfield (AHL); Portland (WHL); Fort Worth (CHL); Binghamton (AHL); Davos (Switzerland); Thunder Bay (Central Sr.)

Coaching Career: Served as head coach Bay City (WSHL, U.S. Jr. B) in 2001-02. ... Named head coach of the UCLA club-level hockey team prior to 2002-03 season and held position through 2002-03 season. ... Named head coach of Loyola-Marymount club-level hockey team in August 2012 and held position through 2013-14 season.

Education: Attended University of Denver

Career Beyond Hockey: Remained in the Los Angeles area after retirement and was a youth hockey coach for many years. He owned both the Vic Venasky Hockey School and a skate shop, Vic's Pro Shop, in Harbor City, Calif., while also working as a compliance inspector at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach.
Venasky on LinkedIn

Family: Brother-in-law of former NHL player and Los Angeles teammate Mike Murphy, who married Venasky's wife's sister in 1974.

Significant Injuries

Missed remainder of 1971-72 season with torn ligaments in left knee, suffered during Denver's Jan. 29, 1972, game at Minnesota. The injury required surgery. ... Missed part of 1973-74 season with strained groin, suffered during Los Angeles' Nov. 7, 1973, game at Minnesota. He did not return until Los Angeles' Nov. 17, 1974, game vs. Toronto. ... Missed part of 1974-75 season with strained groin, suffered during Los Angeles' Oct. 12, 1974, game at Montreal. He did not return until Los Angeles' Nov. 24, 1974, game at Detroit.

Miscellaneous:

Selected by Dayton Aeros in 1972 WHA Draft -- the first-ever WHA Draft -- in February 1972. Selected by Houston Aeros in 1973 WHA draft of established professional players. Los Angeles turned down trade offer of 1972 first-round pick for his rights in spring of 1972. Shifted from his natural position of center to right wing with Los Angeles in 1977-78 season.
Played for host HC Davos in the 1980 Spengler Cup tournament in Davos, Switzerland. Worked as an extra fcr on-ice scenes in the 1986 Michael Keaton Film Touch and Go. Appeared as Santa in the Hawthorne Police Dept.'s "Santa Claus is Real" video from 2013. Played in charity games for Los Angeles Kings Alumni team after his retirement.
SNAPSHOT '71
Total Selected: 117
Forwards: 63
Defense: 45
Goaltenders: 9
Major Junior: 84
College Players: 19
Canadian: 107
Euro-Canadian: 2
American: 8
European: 0
Reached NHL: 50
Won Stanley Cup: 3
Hall of Fame: 3
All-Star Game: 10
Year-end All-Star: 5
Olympians: 4
Picks Traded: 18


OTHERS DRAFTED IN 1971

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