Don't mean to split up MRandall's picks. Completed a profile of Syl Apps, Jr.Syl Apps, Jr.
6'0" / 185 lbs.
As a Penguin (Jan. 1971 - Nov. 1977): 495 GP - 151 goals, 349 assists, 500 points - playoffs: 19 GP - 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points
Penguins history: 14th in games, t-13th in goals, 5th in assists, 9th in points
6 full seasons + 1 partial season (+1 9-game season) = 7 seasons (basically)
All-Star Team: 4th
1x NHL All-Star (1975 - MVP)
---Scoring finishes vs. the League:
Goals: t-26th, t-34th
Assists: 4th, t-6th, t-8th,
t-15th, 19th, t-27th
Points: 7th, 10th,
15th, t-20th, t-32nd
Pretty outstanding given the quality of those Penguins teams. Finished top-20 in assists 5 out of 6 times...top-20 in points 4 out of 6 seasons!From 1971-72 to 1975-76: Apps had the fourth most assists in the entire NHL
(Orr, Clarke, Esposito) - ahead of Dionne, Ratelle, Perreault, Gilbert, Mahovlich...
---Scoring finishes vs. Teammates:
1970-71: Finished with 25 points in 31 games (0.81 pts/gm - extrapolates to ~63 point season). Led the team in pts/gm easily, would have scored 15 points more than anyone on the team if he independently collected on his point pace.
1971-72: G: 5th; A: 1st
(by 46.7%); P: 1st
1972-73: G: 3rd; A: 1st
(by 36.6%); P: 1st
1973-74: G: 3rd; A: 1st
(by 56.4%); P: 1st
1974-75: G: N/A; A: 2nd; P: 2nd
1975-76: G: 3rd; A: 1st
; P: 3rd
1976-77: G: 5th; A: 1st
(by 26.5%); P: 3rd
Obviously the playmaker of the team, old O6 hockey generally requires the center to carry the puck from his own zone into the offensive zone and then move it to his wingers. Seems likely that this was the case with Apps given how much of a hand he had n the offense. Despite not being a goal-scorer amid many known goal-scorers, he held his own. But his stature as a playmaker in our history has to be considered quite high.
Always received first line ice time when he was here, played a lot of ES time but was used on the #1 power play it seems, also saw some PK time. In 1973, 1974 and 1976 he led all team forwards in ATOI.
Legends of Hockey wrote:One scouting report on Apps during his first professional season summed up his play like this: Apps, Jr. is a splendid skater, a good puck handler and playmaker, just like his father."
That is the highest compliment anyone could ever give Syl Jr.
...Syl immediately stepped in [and] became a star in the Steel City.
"That was the best trade I ever made," proclaimed the architect of the deal - XXX XXXXX, then the coach and GM of the Penguins.
"Young Syl's dad was a great guy and a great player. He went so fast I looked like a post on the ice by comparison. His son shows similar qualities. He's strong and he hits and he has a good fake. This is something that has to be born in a hockey player. It comes from breeding. Young Syl has the breeding and I've always said that bloodlines are a wonderful thing."
XXXXX added: Syl doesn't skate as fast as his dad. Busting out of his own end, he could really hunch his shoulders and go. But I think maybe he handles the puck a bit better. Physically, he's just as strong."
But Syl Jr. erupted into one of the game's best playmakers in his 3rd full season in the league. Playing most often with Greg Polis and Jean Pronovost, he scored 29 goals and 56 assists for 85 points.
Syl was named as the game's Most Valuable Player after scoring 2 goals in a 7-1 Wales Conference romp in Montreal.
Unfortunately for him, playoff success never followed him to the west coast either. That was probably the one thing separating Syl from elite status like many other top centers of the 1970s. Only once did the team he played for make it past the 1st round, and half the time they didn't make the playoffs at all.
Beaver County Times - Apr. 10, 1976 wrote:After [the injury to Apps] Lowell MacDonald took over as the center in the Apps line while XXXXX XXXXX was moved into one wing spot. But without the skating ability of Apps, that line wasn't very effective the rest of the night. "Syl's absence had to affect the team," Pronovost explained...
New York Times - Apr. 29, 1973 wrote:He has dealt away several prospects who bloomed with others teams, such as Syl Apps with the Pittsburgh Penguins...
The Calgary Herald - Feb. 5, 1973 wrote:"But what surprises me is that they got three of the goals off Syl's line. They are all plus players and haven't been scored on recently" (coach insinuating that Apps' centers a very capable two-way line)