Rick Blight was drafted 10th Overall by the Canucks in the 1975 Amateur draft after dominating the WHA during the early 70s. Unlike several high Canuck draft picks, Blight actually met expectations when he entered the NHL. Blight jumped straight into the NHL at the age of 20 (the draft age was 20 back then) and didn’t disappoint. Despite being knocked on for his skating, Blight scored 25 goals and 56 points, finishing one point short of Dennis Ververgaert‘s rookie season, albeit in four less games.
Blight burst out of the gates with a 4-goal performance to start the 1976-77 season and would finish the year with 28 goals and 68 points, leading the Canucks in both categories. Many fans were very excited for the future of this 21-year old forward. The 1977-78 season was another solid one for Blight as he scored 25 goals and 38 assists for 63 points, this time finishing 2nd on the team, though with -32 compared to +0 of the previous season, perhaps an indicator of both Blight and the team’s poor defensive play.
The 1978-79 was a rough one for Blight. Poor play led to a brief demotion to the CHL’s Blackhawks before Blight was eventually called up again. He finished with 56 games and 15 points. Blight was on the way to a noticeably better season in 1979-80 when injury problems hit, limiting him to 18 points in 33 games. Unfortunately for Blight, the rise of a young Stan Smyl and the return of Bobby Schmautz pushed Blight off the depth chart and he played in just three games during the 1980-81 season, spending the year dominating the CHL. Blight would later two more games with the Los Angeles Kings in 1982-83 before retiring from the NHL in his late 20s.
Despite his disappointing and sudden end, Blight left his mark on Canucks history leaving the team at 6th all-time in points with 221 points in 324 games.
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