Al Iafrate

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Al Iafrate
Born(1966-03-21) March 21, 1966 (age 46)
Dearborn, MI, USA
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight240 lb (109 kg; 17 st 2 lb)
PositionDefense
ShotLeft
Played forToronto Maple Leafs
Washington Capitals
Boston Bruins
San Jose Sharks
National team United States
NHL Draft4th overall, 1984
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career1984–1998
 
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Al Iafrate
Born(1966-03-21) March 21, 1966 (age 46)
Dearborn, MI, USA
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight240 lb (109 kg; 17 st 2 lb)
PositionDefense
ShotLeft
Played forToronto Maple Leafs
Washington Capitals
Boston Bruins
San Jose Sharks
National team United States
NHL Draft4th overall, 1984
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career1984–1998

Albert Anthony Iafrate (play /ˌ.əˈfrt/ EYE-ə-FRAY-tee; born March 21, 1966) is a retired American professional ice hockey defenseman who played in the National Hockey League between 1984 and 1998. He is perhaps most famous for his rocket slap shot that set the NHL Skills Competition record, which stood for 16 years, at 105.2 miles per hour (169.3 km/h). The record was broken in 2009 by Zdeno Chára of the Boston Bruins with a slap shot at 105.4 mph in Montreal.

Iafrate was given the nickname "the Planet" by Boston Globe sportswriter Kevin Paul Dupont for his peculiar personality.

Playing career

Iafrate was selected 4th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft after a standout career with the Detroit Compuware Spitfires and a short but distinguished stay with the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). During his time with the Bulls, Iafrate was a teammate of fellow Detroit-area natives and future NHL players Kevin Hatcher and Shawn Chambers. Iafrate played for Team USA in the 1984 Winter Olympics at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Hatcher and Iafrate would later team to quarterback the Washington Capitals power play in the early 1990s.

He played 799 career NHL games over twelve NHL seasons, scoring 152 goals and 311 assists for 463 points. He also compiled 1301 penalty minutes. His best season statistically was the 1992–93 season, when he scored 25 goals and 41 assists for 66 points with the Washington Capitals. That year the Capitals set a record for most goals by defensemen on a team in one season.

Iafrate dealt with numerous injuries throughout his career, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, sciatic nerve damage in his back, and a ruptured appendix. Because of injuries, Iafrate missed all of the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons, and played less than 70 NHL games after his 28th birthday, retiring after the 1997-98 season at age 32. Iafrate attempted comebacks during the 1998–99 and 2001–02 seasons, although these comebacks ended during training camp.

Iafrate was previously involved with the research and development department with Warrior Hockey and is currently with BASE Hockey LP as a pro analyst. BASE Hockey is a new venture providing custom hockey sticks, shooting analysis, personalized stick fitting and elite level shooting instruction. Iafrate is also the Lead Consultant for shooting and hockey sticks for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL.

Career statistics

  Regular season Playoffs
SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIMGPGAPtsPIM
1983–84Belleville BullsOHL10246230115
1984–85Toronto Maple LeafsNHL685162151
1985–86Toronto Maple LeafsNHL658253340100334
1986–87Toronto Maple LeafsNHL8092130551313411
1987–88Toronto Maple LeafsNHL772230528063476
1988–89Toronto Maple LeafsNHL6513203372
1989–90Toronto Maple LeafsNHL75214263135
1990–91Toronto Maple LeafsNHL4231518113
1990–91Washington CapitalsNHL3068141241013422
1991–92Washington CapitalsNHL78173451180742614
1992–93Washington CapitalsNHL8125416616966064
1993–94Washington CapitalsNHL67103545143
1993–94Boston BruinsNHL12581320133146
1996–97San Jose SharksNHL38691591
1997–98San Jose SharksNHL2127928610110
NHL totals79915231146313017119163577

External links

Preceded by
Russ Courtnall
Toronto Maple Leafs first round draft pick
1984
Succeeded by
Wendel Clark