Brandy Semchuk

Brandy Semchuk enjoyed a lengthy career in the minor leagues because he could skate effortlessly. Too bad that's about all he could do. Semchuk never showed much offensive promise until he reached the lowly WPHL and WCHL some seven years after turning professional. Semchuk was a blazing skater used primarily in defensive and penalty killing situations through out most of his career.

Semchuk was drafted high, 28th overall by Los Angeles in 1990. This was due largely to his breakaway speed and the fact that he trained for two seasons with the Canadian National team as opposed to junior hockey. With the Nats he trained under Dave King, one of the top defensive teachers in all of hockey. However he left the program with lower back and groin injuries that nagged him for years.

The Kings gambled on him by taking him so early. He was an interesting prospect at the time - a young player who was very solid defensively and with great speed are two things often lacking in players that age. But Semchuk lacked an offensive element. As a result, he only played in 1 NHL game, against the Calgary Flames. While he scored no points, he did get on the stats sheet by taking a minor penalty.

After his minor league season was over in 1993, he was one of the Kings' minor league players asked to skate and practice with the Kings during their magical run to the 1993 Stanley Cup finals. Semchuk recalls having dinner with Wayne Gretzky as amongst his career highlights.

Semchuk opted to play out the final year of his contract in 1993-94, and that proved to be a mistake. Back in the minor leagues, Semchuk suffered a serious eye injury that ended his season. No team, not even the Kings, were interested in Semchuk after the scary injury. He continued on, catching on with minor league contracts in a variety of minor league cities until he finally hung up the blades in 1999. His eye never fully recovered full vision.

Last I heard Semchuk was living in Fresno, California, coaching hockey a youth hockey team named the Jr. Falcons. His daughter Emma was a promising player on the Jr. Falcons. He also was helping to coach a new junior hockey team, the Fresno Monsters.


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