The Portland Winterhawks mourn the passing of a Hawks’ legend, Ray Podloski, who passed away earlier this week. The organization sends our condolences to the Podloski family and his friends.
Podloski sits among the greatest Winterhawks in the history of the franchise. He ranks third all-time in goals scored with 168, and fourth in points with 369. Podloski had over 130 points in back-to-back seasons in 1985 and 1986. In total, Podloski played in 201 career regular season games with Portland, 28 playoff games, and five Memorial Cup contests.
The Edmonton, Alberta-born Podloski initially joined Portland as a 16-year-old during the Winter Hawks run to the Memorial Cup in 1982-83. Podloski played in one game in the ’83 Memorial Cup, and would celebrate with his Portland teammates after the Hawks’ 8-3 victory over Oshawa in the Cup Final.
The following year, Podloski would have a breakout campaign, registering 98 points in 66 games. During the playoffs, he was Portland’s leading scorer with 22 points in 14 games. The Boston Bruins took note of the forwards great skill and selected him in the second round of the 1984 NHL Draft.
Over the next two seasons with Portland, the big forward put up some of the greatest numbers in Winterhawks’ history. During the 84-85 season, Podloski had a team-leading 138 points, which was also good for fifth in the Western Hockey League that season.
The next season, the skilled forward registered 134 points in just 66 games. Portland hosted the ’86 Memorial Cup, and in four games, Podloski put up two goals and seven points to lead all Hawks’ players.
After his time in the WHL ended, Podloski would go on to play 177 games in the American Hockey League, and eight games with the Boston Bruins during the 1988-89 NHL season. The following season he spent much of the year with the Canadian National Team.
Podloski would spend the remainder of his career in Europe, playing mostly in Austria, where he won multiple championships. He would eventually retire from his playing career in 2005.