Ken McRae's big body matured faster than many of his junior contemporaries, allowing him to dominated his 1985-86 rookie season in the WHL with the Sudbury Wolves. He not only parlayed that into an 18th overall draft selection by the Quebec Nordiques at the summer's NHL draft, but he also earned some lofty praise from his coach Wayne Maxner.
"When I was coaching Windsor, I saw Wayne Gretzky playing junior B hockey for the Seneca Nats. I predicted he'd be the first player in the NHL to score 200 points. Everyone, including a lot of NHL scouts, laughed and said I was crazy.
"Well, I'll predict right now that Ken McRae will go on to become a good National Hockey League player. There's no question in my mind. He's quality."
We'll have to take Mr. Maxner at his word about his Great One prophecies, but history tells us he was not nearly so accurate in the case of Ken McRae.
McRae did play in 137 NHL games in a professional career that spanned a decade. Most of his NHL games came during the 1988-90 and 1989-90 seasons when he played for the lowly Nordiques teams. He scrapped and clawed his way into the line-up, but he never could find much of a niche in the NHL. He was big early as a junior player but in the NHL he was average sized and he could impose no physical advantage. His slow acceleration did him no favors in retaining a NHL job.
Ken McRae scored 14 goals and 35 points while accumulating 364 penalty minutes in his career. He enjoyed notable minor league stops in Halifax, St. John's (AHL) and Phoenix (IHL).