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Al Iafrate
Al Iafrate.jpg
Born March 21, 1966 (1966-03-21) (age 53)
Dearborn, Michigan
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 240 lb (109 kg; 17 st 2 lb)
Position Defense
Shoots Left
Played for Toronto Maple Leafs
Washington Capitals
Boston Bruins
San Jose Sharks
National team Flag of the United States.svg United States
NHL Draft 4th overall, 1984
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 1984–1998

Al Iafrate (born Albert Anthony Iafrate on March 21, 1966) is a retired American professional ice hockey defenseman who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) between 1984 and 1998.

He is perhaps most famous for his extremely hard slap shot. He set a record for velocity during the NHL Skills Competition of 1993, a record which stood for 16 years, at 105.2 miles per hour (169.3 km/h).

The record was broken in 2009 by Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins with a slap shot at 105.4 mph in Montreal.

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

Playing CareerEdit

Al was selected fourth 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).

He played for Team USA in the 1984 Winter Olympics at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

Al 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 with the Washington Capitals.

Al dealt with numerous injuries throughout his career, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament in a knee, sciatic nerve damage in his back and a ruptured appendix.

Because of injuries, he missed all of the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons & played less than 70 NHL games after his 28th birthday, retiring after the 1997-98 season at the age of 32.

Al attempted comebacks during the 1998–99 and 2001–02 seasons, although these comebacks ended during training camp.

Post-Playing CareerEdit

After retiring from the NHL, Al became a commercial real estate agent and broker, working for L. Mason Capitani in the Detroit metro area.

He was previously involved with the research and development department with Warrior Hockey and is currently with BASE Hockey LP as a pro analyst.

Al is also the lead consultant for shooting and hockey sticks for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL.

Career StatisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1983–84 Belleville Bulls OHL 10 2 4 6 2 3 0 1 1 5
1984–85 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 68 5 16 21 51
1985–86 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 65 8 25 33 40 10 0 3 3 4
1986–87 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 9 21 30 55 13 1 3 4 11
1987–88 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 77 22 30 52 80 6 3 4 7 6
1988–89 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 65 13 20 33 72
1989–90 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 75 21 42 63 135
1990–91 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 42 3 15 18 113
1990–91 Washington Capitals NHL 30 6 8 14 124 10 1 3 4 22
1991–92 Washington Capitals NHL 78 17 34 51 180 7 4 2 6 14
1992–93 Washington Capitals NHL 81 25 41 66 169 6 6 0 6 4
1993–94 Washington Capitals NHL 67 10 35 45 143
1993–94 Boston Bruins NHL 12 5 8 13 20 13 3 1 4 6
1996–97 San Jose Sharks NHL 38 6 9 15 91
1997–98 San Jose Sharks NHL 21 2 7 9 28 6 1 0 1 10
NHL totals 799 152 311 463 1301 71 19 16 35 77

International statisticsEdit

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
1984 USA OG 6 0 0 0 2
1998 USA WC 4 0 2 2 6
International totals 10 0 2 2 8

Awards & AchievementsEdit

  • Selected to four NHL All-Star Games: 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994
  • Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1992-93.

Personal LifeEdit

Al was born in Dearborn, Michigan, but grew up in Livonia, Michigan.