Skip Krake

A sensational junior star with the Estevan Bruins, North Battleford, Saskatchewan's Skip Krake (he was born at tiny Rabbit Lake) was a solid utility player for three NHL teams between 1963-64 and 1970-71, and with 2 WHA teams until 1976. The diminutive Krake was too small to be an offensive star in the NHL, but made a good career for himself by specializing as a strong defensive center.

Having grown up in the Boston Bruins system, Krake was disappointed to leave Estevan and head to the minor leagues. But he gained valuable experience by playing with Minneapolis and Oklahoma City in the CHL. He also participated in 19 games over 4 seasons with the Bruins.

By 1967-68 Krake finally made the Bruins, thanks largely to NHL expansion. The NHL doubled in size from six to twelve teams. Krake was not selected by an expansion team, but was able to move up and fill a hole on the Bruins roster created by players who did depart. Krake played in 68 games, scoring 5 goals and 12 points in limited ice time..

On May 20, 1968, the Bruins traded Krake to the L.A. for a first round draft choice that was used to claim a high-scoring junior winger named Reggie Leach. Krake split the 1968-69 season between the Kings and Springfield of the AHL, but was a full time NHLer by the 1969-70 season.

Krake's time in the Californian sunshine came to an end when he was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL Expansion Draft of 1970. Krake played admirably in 74 games in their inaugural season, scoring 4 goals and 9 points.

The Sabres were looking to free up roster space for younger players the following year, so Krake searched for work in the professional WHL with Salt Lake in 1971-72. He then moved to Cleveland for 3 seasons, playing with the WHA crusaders before one final season with the WHA Edmonton Oilers.

After scoring 51 points in 53 games as the captain of the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Krake was selected by the Cleveland Crusaders in the WHA General Player Draft. He played three seasons in Cleveland and one with the Edmonton Oilers before retiring in 1976.

After retiring Krake moved to Lloydminister, Saskatchewan where he has been involved in several retail operations, including a sporting goods store and Fountain Tire franchise.


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