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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1976-77 Minnesota North Stars Tim Young Jersey

After leading the Ottawa 67's in scoring in 1973-74 with 106 points, and then averaging 2.33 points per game with 56 goals and 107 assists for 163 points in 70 games, good for second overall in QMJHL scoring to current Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, Tim Young was drafted 16th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1975.

Oddly, the Kings would trade their brand new first round pick Young two months later, before he even suited up for training camp, much less a game, for the Minnesota North Stars second round pick in the 1976 draft!

After 13 games with the New Haven Nighthawks of the AHL, Young was called up to make his NHL debut by the North Stars during which he scored his first NHL goal. He competed in 63 games over the rest of the season and had a solid 18 goals and 51 points to lead the lowly North Stars in scoring for the 1975-76 season despite his late start to his NHL season.

Given the opportunity to play an entire season, Young easily led the team in scoring again in 1976-77 , this time by 26 points over his nearest teammate as the North Stars qualified for the playoffs for the first time in four years. His 95 points would prove to be his career high and placed him fifth overall in league scoring, tied with Gilbert Perreault and ahead of players such as Jean Ratelle, Lanny McDonald and Bobby Clarke. His outstanding season was recognized with a spot in the 1977 NHL All-Star Game.

Tim Young North Stars

Young scored 23 goals and 58 points and had nearly identical numbers the following season with 24 goals and 56 points as the struggling North Stars missed the playoffs both seasons, which was not easy to do back then, as 12 of the 17 teams qualified for the postseason during that era.

The highlight of Young's career came during the second of those two seasons when he set a franchise record which still stands to this day with five goals in one game, which came on just five shots and included his first career hat trick on this date in 1979 at Madison Square Garden in a game against the New York Rangers.

The scoring started with Minnesota's Gordie Roberts' goal 2:06 into the game with the first assist going to Young. Young then got his first goal of the game on the power play just 49 seconds later to make it 2-0 after one. Young then completed his hat trick against the Rangers Doug Soetaert with a goal at the mid point of the second period and another at 14:04 to put Minnesota ahead 5-0.

After the Rangers spoiled the shutout 4:38 into the third period, Young struck again on the power play at 8:09 for his forth, now facing Wayne Thomas in goal for New York. After Minnesota's seventh goal Young capped off his remarkable evening and closed out the scoring with his fifth goal of the game with an even strength goal at 14:56 unassisted.

Young was the 21st player in league history to score five goals in a game, but only the second one to do so on just five shots.

The 1978-79 season was the first one following the merger between the North Stars and the Cleveland Barons franchise and the results paid off, along with the addition of some very high draft picks as a result of the team's lowly finish in 1978, and Young and the North Stars made deep runs into the playoffs in both 1980, with a trip to the conference finals followed by their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1981.

North Stars Barons cartoon

With the team now playing much better and stocked with higher quality teammates, Young's numbers began to rise once more and opponents no longer could focus their defensive efforts on Young. In 1979-80 had the only 30 goal season of his career with 31, as well as 74 points. During the season he set a team record with goals in six consecutive games and also added 7 points in 15 playoff games.

In 1980-81 he had 245 goals and 66 points during the regular season and posted a strong 17 points in the 12 playoff games he played in during the North Stars trip to the finals.

Young was named the North Stars captain for 1981-82, but was limited by a broken ankle suffered during the off season to just 49 games in which he contributed 41 points. He rebounded in 1982-83 with a 79 games season and chipped in another 53 points.

Prior to the 1983-84 season Young was traded to the Winnipeg Jets and scored 34 points in 44 games in his only season in Winnipeg, who then traded him to the Philadelphia Flyers. He appeared in 20 games for the Flyers but spent the majority of the season with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, where he averaged a point per game before retiring at the end of the season.

Tim Young Jets

Young's final NHL totals were 195 goals and 341 points for 536 points in 628 games and one memorable five goal, six point night.

Today's featured jersey is a 1976-77 Minnesota North Stars Tim Young jersey as worn during his 95 point season which he led the North Stars in scoring and placed fifth overall in the league.

This style jersey was used by the North Stars from 1975-76 until 1977-78 and was the North Stars first use of drop shadowed numbers. It would be the second of five styles the North Stars would wear.

Minnesota North Stars 76-77 jersey
Minnesota North Stars 76-77 jersey

Unfortunately we could not find video of Young's five goal game, which we recall watching live at the time, so here's a team promotional film that time period with the North Stars wearing today's featured style and taking on the old Kansas City Scouts. Hang in there (or skip) past the national anthem, it's an interesting video that we think will be worth your time.

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