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1984
ENTRY DRAFT
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1984 NHL DRAFT PICK
Duncan MacPherson
Selected in first round
No. 20 overall by New York Islanders

Born February 3, 1966.  Died August 1989
Position: Defense
Height: 6-1   Weight: 190
BEFORE THE DRAFT
Last Team: Saskatoon (WHL)                            
Birthplace: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada)
Hometown: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
PRE-DRAFT STATISTICS
Year TeamLeague GPG ATP PIM
1982-83 North BattlefordSJHL 596 1117 215
1983-84 SaskatoonWHL 450 1414 74

PRE-DRAFT AWARDS AND HONORS
North Battleford Most Valubalb Defenseman:
1982-83
Miscellaneous: Missed part of 1983-84 season with ankle injury.
NHL CAREER
Never played in NHL.
NON-NHL CAREER
Post-Draft Teams: Saskatoon (WHL); Springfield (AHL)
NON-NHL AWARDS AND HONORS
Miscellaneous:
Missed part of N.Y. Islanders' 1984 training camp with bruised left knee, an injury suffered at the camp in September 1984. ... Missed most of 1986-87 season with knee injury, suffered in while playing for Springfield (AHL) in October 1986. ... Had contract bought out and was released by N.Y. Islanders after 1988-89 season.
The Death of Duncan MacPherson: At the age of 23 in August 1989, MacPherson, who had spent the past two seasons with the N.Y. Islanders' AHL affiliate in Springfield, Mass., left North America to  continue his hockey career in Europe. He had been offered -- but not officially accepted -- a job as a player-coach with the Dundee Tigers in Scotland, and was due to arrive there on Aug. 12, 1989, to determine if he really wanted to live in Scotland. On Aug. 2, he left his home in Saskatoon to spend his first week in Europe visiting friends in West Germany. On Aug. 3, he landed in Nurenburg, where he met with former NHL player George Pesut, an old friend who had grown up in Saskatoon and was playing for the local Nurenburg team. On Aug. 6, Pesut left with his team for a tournament in Prague, Czechslovakia. While he was away, Pesut said MacPherson could use his car to explore the area. On Aug. 7, MacPherson went to Fussen, Germany, to visit former junior and minor-league teammate Roger Kortko, who was playing there. The following day, Aug. 8, MacPherson went to Bolzano, Italy, to visit more friends. He said he would spend two days in Northern Italy and then return the car to Nurenburg on Aug. 10 before heading off to Scotland. However, he never arrived in Italy, and Kortko would be the last of his friends to see him alive. In all likelihood, MacPherson changed his Italy plans and decided to go skiing in Austria. On Aug. 10, MacPherson called Ron Dixon, the president of the Dundee Tigers, to confirm that he would be taking the job and arriving on Aug. 12. He did not tell Dixon where he was calling from, but said he would take a train from Nurenburg to Frankfurt and fly to Scotland from there. However, MacPherson never showed up, never contacted Pesut or Kortko and was clearly missing by the middle of the month. Initially, police thought he might have been a crime or accident victim and police began an exhaustive search. On Aug. 28, MacPherson's parents, brother, and girlfriend, Tara Anderson, came to West Germany to join the search party, but they already feared that MacPherson was dead because he would never have gone so long without contacting anyone. Shortly after the MacPherson group arrived in West Germany, they learned that Pesut's car had been found in a parking lot at the bottom of the Stubaier Glacier in Austria. It had been there for several weeks, and it was clear MacPherson had parked it at that location -- almost surely because he was going skiing or hiking. The family later learned that MacPherson had gone to Stubaier Glacier to take snowboarding lessons and then try out the snowboard on his own. By mid-September, it was clear that MacPherson had been involved in an accident, but for the next 15 years, there was no sign of his body even though the family continued to look for it. Adding drama to the mystery was the fact that MacPherson claimed he had been contacted by the CIA, which was interested in recruiting him as a spy while he was in Europe. However, MacPherson had said he wasn't interested, and the story was never confirmed.  Finally, in mid-July 2003, heat caused major melting in the Stubaier Glacier, and a worker grooming snow found a red glove. He soon discovered MacPherson's body -- completely frozen and preserved -- with no signs of aging. He still had all his identification on him, as well as a rented snowboard. Before the body was found, it was assumed the cause of death was a snowboarding accident. However, the ski operator and local police had insisted such an accident would not have gone undetected on a slope routinely monitored for safety. They also said his body would have to be located somewhere outside the safety zone because he likely became disoriented and got lost before anyone could find him. Since the discovery of the body, MacPherson's family has noted that it was found within the safety zone, roughly 25 meters east of the lift. The family speculates that MacPherson broke through a snowbridge on the controlled ski slope, but nobody was on hand to witness the accident.

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SNAPSHOT '84
Total Selected: 250
Forwards: 142
Defense: 88
Goaltenders: 20
Major Junior: 110
Tier II/Jr. B: 16/9
College Players: 23
High School: 47
Midget: 4
U.S. Junior B: 1
Canadian: 145
Euro-Canadian: 2
USA Citizens: 62
U.S.-Born: 63
European: 41
Reached NHL: 102
Stanley Cup: 20
Hall of Fame: 1
All-Star Game: 18
Year-end All-Star: 7
Olympians: 31
 
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