Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Stephen Kraftcheck
Stephen Kraftcheck was a defenceman who played 157 games in the 1950s with Boston, New York and Toronto. He was better known for being one of the steadiest backliners in the AHL between 1953 and 1964. The rugged blueliner was a fan favourite in the minors for his constant effort and willingness to play the body.

Born in Tinturn, Ontario, Kraftcheck played his amateur hockey in Hamilton with the Aerovox midgets, Aerovox junior B's, and Lloyds juniors. He played first pro season in the PCHL with the San Francisco Shamrocks in 1948-49 where he was named to the league's first all-star team. He then joined the Cleveland Barons for a year then split the 1950-51 season between Boston and the Indianapolis Capitals of the AHL.

Kraftcheck played the 1951-52 and 1952-53 seasons with the Rangers then five full years with AHL's Cleveland Barons where he was a perennial all-star. As one of the best bodycheckers in the league he timed his hits well and did not draw an excessive number of penalties. Kratfcheck came up for eight games for Toronto in 1958-59 but played most of the season with the Rochester Americans of the AHL and won the Eddie Shore Award as the league's top defenceman in 1959. On December 27, 1961 he recorded two assists to pass Frank Mathers as the AHL's career leader in helpers. Kraftcheck continued to be an AHL stalwart until retiring in 1964 as the league's all time scoring leader among defencemen with 453 points. His 386 career assists was also an AHL standard.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1945-46 Hamilton Lloyds OHA-Jr. 2 0 0 0 2
1945-46 Hamilton Aerovox Minor-ON
1946-47 Hamilton Aerovox ON-Jr.B
1947-48 Hamilton Aerovox ON-Jr.B
1948-49 San Francisco Shamrocks PCHL 70 11 22 33 82
1949-50 Cleveland Barons AHL 70 7 37 44 46 8 0 3 3 12
1950-51 Boston Bruins NHL 22 0 0 0 8 6 0 0 0 7
1950-51 Indianapolis Capitols AHL 47 6 27 33 39 3 0 0 0 2
1951-52 New York Rangers NHL 58 8 9 17 30
1952-53 New York Rangers NHL 69 2 9 11 45
1953-54 Cleveland Barons AHL 70 5 20 25 62 7 2 1 3 10
1954-55 Cleveland Barons AHL 60 9 26 35 38 4 0 2 2 0
1955-56 Cleveland Barons AHL 57 5 29 34 40 8 1 4 5 10
1956-57 Cleveland Barons AHL 63 7 33 40 42 12 2 11 13 8
1957-58 Cleveland Barons AHL 66 15 34 49 53 7 0 3 3 4
1958-59 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 8 1 0 1 0
1958-59 Rochester Americans AHL 60 2 37 39 42 5 0 2 2 4
1959-60 Rochester Americans AHL 68 1 41 42 47 12 1 3 4 12
1960-61 Rochester Americans AHL 71 3 37 40 26
1961-62 Rochester Americans AHL 69 4 41 45 45 2 0 0 0 2
1962-63 Providence Reds AHL 69 2 19 21 22 6 0 2 2 2
1963-64 Providence Reds AHL 69 1 5 6 22
NHL Totals 157 11 18 29 83 6 0 0 0 7


PCHL Southern First All-Star Team (1949)
AHL Second All-Star Team (1956, 1961)
AHL First All-Star Team (1957, 1958, 1959, 1960)
Eddie Shore Award (Outstanding Defenseman - AHL) (1959)
Traded to Boston by Cleveland (AHL) for cash, April 17, 1950. Traded to Detroit (Indianapolis-AHL) by Boston for loan of Max Quackenbush for remainder of 1950-51 season, December 5, 1950. Traded to NY Rangers by Detroit with Ed Reigle for $30,000, May 14, 1951. Traded to Cleveland (AHL) by NY Rangers with cash for Bob Chrystal, June, 1953. Traded to Toronto by Cleveland (AHL) for Ian Anderson, April 30, 1958. Traded to Providence (AHL) by Toronto (Rochester-AHL) for cash, June, 1962.
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