4. Gordie Drillon (RW) – Toronto Maple Leafs (1936-1942)
Gordie Drillon played six of his short seven season NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He left the NHL at the age of 29 to serve in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.
Drillon was known for creating what we now know as the “net front presence” style of hockey where he’d stand strong in front of the opponent’s net to redirect shots and tap in rebounds. Using this innovative technique, Gordie Drillion led the NHL in goals and points during the 1937-38 season.
Like Busher Jackson, Drillon played before the Art Ross trophy was awarded and way before the Rocket Richard trophy was around. During Drillion’s final NHL season, he actually played with Maurice Richard on the Montreal Canadiens during Richard’s NHL rookie season.
If Drillon was retroactively given the Art Ross and Rocket Richard trophies to go along with the Lady Byng he won in 1938, he would be the second most decorated players in Toronto Maple Leafs history behind only Dave Keon.
His three NHL All-Star Team selections (1st NHL All-Star Team in 1938 and 1938, 2nd NHL All-Star Team in 1942) are the most by any Toronto Maple Leafs player to not have their number retired and not named Busher Jackson.
From what I can find, Gordie Drillon wore #12 as a Toronto Maple Leaf. The last Leaf to wear that number was Alex Galchenyuk in 2021.
Achievements with the Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs Top 100 #29
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Winner 1938
1st NHL All-Star Team 1938, 1939
2nd NHL All-Star Team 1942
Calder Trophy Runner-Up 1937
Lady Byng Trophy Runner-Up 1937, 1941, 1942
4th in Hart Trophy voting 1938
Stanley Cup Champion 1942
Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee
Led NHL in Goals and Points 1937-38
3rd in NHL Assists 1937-38
3rd in NHL Goals 1942-43
3rd in NHL Points 1940-41
Top 5 in NHL Goals five times
Top 5 in NHL Points three times
Top 10 in NHL Goals six times
Top 10 in NHL Assists twice
Top 10 in NHL Points four times