Ken Appleby, who backstopped the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League to the 2015 Memorial Cup championship only to again be bypassed at the recent National Hockey League draft, is in good company.
In more ways than one.
For starters, Appleby, a 6-foot-4, 200 pound, 1995 birth-year who hails from North Bay, Ont., will always carry the distinction of being a Memorial Cup championship goalie.
Then there is the bond that Appleby now shares with Kevin Hodson, whose spectacular goaltending sparked the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL to the 1993 Memorial Cup championship.
Like Appleby, Hodson was never drafted by an NHL team despite being a Memorial Cup championship goalie. In fact, Hodson also backstopped the Soo to the Memorial Cup tournament in 1991 and 1992 before the Hounds won it all in 1993.
And while Appleby no doubt is disappointed to have been overlooked at the NHL draft in three successive years, he can look to Hodson as an example of what came after winning a Memorial Cup.
Not only did Hodson overcome the slight of not being drafted into the NHL by making it to the game’s highest level and playing in parts of six seasons, he added to his Memorial Cup status by winning a Stanley Cup championship with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.
And of further note, not only was Hodson an undrafted NHLer but he also made the Greyhounds as an undrafted OHLer.
To be sure, Appleby — who played in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners as a 16-year old and was drafted into the OHL by Oshawa — can look at Hodson as an example of someone who refused to let being undrafted into the NHL stand in his way of making it to the “Show.”
As a footnote, Hodson has also excelled in life after hockey.
After retiring from the game on his own terms at age 32, Hodson returned to Sault Ste. Marie to complete his university degree and raise a family with his wife, Maud.
Now 43-years old, Hodson works as an investment advisor for RBC Dominion Securities and maintains an office in both the Soo and Toronto.
There you go, Ken Appleby.
PHOTO: Ken Appleby, of the 2015 Memorial Cup champion Oshawa Generals. (Photo by Denis DuBois.)