Wait… what? No, not that Taylor Hall. Sit down, and I will tell you a tale of a Canucks pick that looked like a steal until an injury changed everything.
Taylor Hall was a RW with the WHL’s Regina Pats when the Canucks selected him in the 6th round of the 1982 Entry Draft. Hall’s numbers after his rookie season in Regina weren’t exactly earth shattering, putting up 14-15-29 in 48 games, but there was enough there to catch the attention of Canucks scouts. The next two seasons seemed to show they were onto something with the pick, as he notched 37-57-94 in 72 games, and then in 1983-84 an impressive 63-79-142 in 69 games and followed it up with a great playoff run (21-20-41 in 23 games) for the Pats.
He played 4 games for the Canucks that season, and scored his first NHL goal in that time. The following season, he started the year on a line that many hoped would be the future for the Canucks: Peter McNab at C, Hall over at LW and some kid named Cam Neely at RW. They started the year on fire, putting up 16 points in the first 4 games of the season, but after minor knee injuries to McNab and Neely took them out of the lineup, Hall suffered a devastating injury after crashing into the net along with future Canuck Gerald Diduck.
Hall tore all the ligaments in his knee, and would not return that season. While he was able to return the following season, his skating ability was hampered after the injury, and he played just 23 games with the Canucks over that season and the next. He still managed 21 goal seasons for the Canucks AHL affiliate, the Fredericton Express, but wasn’t re-signed. The Boston Bruins signed him, hoping he could re-kindle his chemistry with Neely, but he played only 7 games for the Bruins, going pointless.
Hall rounded out his career bouncing around Europe, the IHL and CHL, and a stint with the Canadian National team. He turned to coaching following the end of his playing days, and had a decent win % in the WPHL with the New Mexico Scorpions and Corpus Christi Ice Rays. His last gig was at the end of the 2008-09 season, where he coached 4 games for the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL.
Hall’s story seems like the prototypical Canucks tale: Promise, derailed by bad luck.