In the 40 years of the Crusaders existence, Garry Valk is one of the most successful players to ever wear Sherwood Park colours. All time, Valk currently sits seventh in points and sixth in goals.
Back in the 1984-85 season, Valk made his Crusaders debut and went on to play 53 games whilst scoring 20 goals along with 22 assists. Every season the Edmonton native was with the Crusaders his point total improved. His second season saw him score four more points (46 total), however, he only managed to skate in 40 games that season. His third and final year with the Crusaders, Valk lit up the lamp in what was a tremendous season. Despite racking up 204 penalty minutes, the Crusader forward came close to doubling his point total from the year before with 86 points (42 goals, 44 assists). That same season, the Crusaders finished first in the AJHL with 43 wins taking home the title of regular season winners.
Once his time with the Crusaders was over, Valk moved onto the collegiate level to play for one of the best NCAA programs: the University of North Dakota. However, even with the excitement of attending North Dakota in fall, Valk was given even better news on June 13th when he received a phone call from the Vancouver Canucks tell him that he was drafted 108th overall in 1987 NHL draft.
The former Crusader did go on to play in North Dakota which saw him endure three successful seasons there before moving onto the pro level.
The 1990-91 season was the beginning of a 13-year professional career for Garry Valk.
His first year as a pro came with the team who drafted him, the Vancouver Canucks. Valk stuck around in Vancouver for three seasons before moving down the West Coast to join the newest NHL team in, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Valk became part of the first ever team in Anaheim and gave the Duck fans an excellent first impression. In his first year, Valk saw his name on the box score on 46 different occasions. The following year he struggled to stay on the ice playing in only 36 games whilst scoring only nine points.
The Ducks eventually moved on from Valk in 1997 when they traded him to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Jean-Jacques Daigneault.
The Edmonton native only spent two years in Pittsburgh before signing a free agent contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. During his time with the Maple Leafs, Valk will be best remembered for his overtime winner against the Penguins in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The former Crusader wrapped up his career in 2003 with the Chicago Blackhawks before he pursued a career in broadcasting.
Garry Valk is one of our most successful alumni: we are extremely proud to say that. We hope to see him around the rink sooner rather than later.
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