1971 NHL Entry Draft Pick
Round Overall
12 113
Mike Antonovich
Selected by Minnesota from Minnesota (WCHA)
Minnesota North Stars University of Minnesota
Mike Antonovich

5-foot-6, 155 pounds

Left-hand shot


Pre-Draft Statistics

Year Team League GP G A TP PIM
1968-69 Greenway Minn.HS -- -- -- -- --
1969-70Minnesota WCHA 32 23 20 43 60
1970-71 Minnesota WCHA 32 14 16 30 20

Pre-Draft Notes

Attended Greenway High School in Coleraine, Minn.
American • Born Oct. 18, 1951 in Calumet, Minnesota • Hometown: Calumet, Minnesota

Career Vitals

First contract: March 12, 1976
Debut: March 13, 1976
(Minnesota vs. Chicago)
Final NHL game: February 22, 1984
(New Jersey vs. Winnipeg)
Retired: 1984
Stanley Cup: Never won
Numbers worn: 29 (Minnesota); 12 (Hartford); 23 (New Jersey)

Career NHL Statistics

Teams: Minnesota, Hartford, New Jersey
Years: 1976-1984. Playoffs: None

Regular Season
5 years 87 10 15 25 37
Stanley Cup Playoffs
0 years 0 0 0 0 0
Complete statistics available at NHL.com 

Pre-Draft Highlights

Wore glasses on ice throughout high school career. ... Won Minnesota high school state championship with Greenway in 1967. ... Named to Minnesota high school state tournament All-Star team with Greenway in 1967. ... Won Minnesota high school championship with Greenway in 1968. ... Led Minnesota high school tournament in scoring with nine points for Greenway in 1968. ... Named to Minnesota high school state tournament All-Star team with Greenway in 1968. ... Named to Minnesota All-State Team with Greenway in 1967-68. ... Served as Greenway (Minn. H.S.) captain as a senior in 1968-69. ... Led Minnesota high school tournament in points (8) and goals (7) for Greenway in 1969. ... Completed his high school career in 1969 with 22 total points in three Minnesota state tournaments. ... Named to Minnesota high school state tournament All-Star team with Greenway in 1969. ... . ... Named to Minnesota All-State Team with Greenway in 1968-69. ... Led Minnesota with 43 points as a freshman in 1969-70. ... Scored winning goal for Minnesota late in third period to beat Wisconsin in the WCHA semifinals on March 11, 1971. ... Played on Minnesota (WCHA) team that lost to Boston University in NCAA championship game on March 20, 1971.

Career Highlights

Also played left wing during his pro career. ...  Played on first Minnesota Fighting Saints WHA team in the league's inaugural 1972-73 season, and appeared in the team's first game on Oct. 13, 1972, vs. Winnipeg. ... Represented New England on the WHA All-Star team that faced Quebec in WHA All-Star Game on Jan. 17, 1978, at Quebec City. ... Scored three goals in New England's 9-1 WHA AVCO World Trophy quarterfinal series win over Edmonton on April 21, 1978. ... Played on New England (WHA) team that lost to Winnipeg in 1978 AVCO World Trophy championship series. ... Led WHA playoffs in points (17) and goals (10) with New England in 1978. ... Played on first Hartford Whalers NHL team (franchise that became the Carolina Hurricanes) during its inaugural 1979-80 season after the 1979 NHL-WHA merger and appeared in the team's first game on Oct. 11, 1979, at Minnesota. ... Named to CHL All-Star Second Team with Nashville in 1981-82. ... Was member of the first New Jersey Devils team in 1982-83 after franchise had relocated from Colorado. ... Scored his first NHL goal at age 31 on a power play in New Jersey's Nov. 29, 1982, game vs. Chicago. The goal came against Hall of Fame netminder Tony Esposito in the 22nd game of Antonovich's NHL career. ... Won AHL Calder Cup with Maine in 1984. ... Ranked as sixth greatest player in Minnesota high school hockey history by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 2011.

International Tournaments

1976:World Championships at Katowice, Poland (fourth place)
1977:World Championships at Vienna, Austria (sixth place) (did not play)
1982:World Championships at Helsinki and Tampere, Finland (eighth place)

Transaction History

May 1, 1972 -- Signed WHA contract with Minnesota. March 10, 1976 -- Signed NHL contract with Minnesota after his WHA team folded due to financial problems. September 1976 -- Traded by Calgary (WHA) with Jack Carlson and Butch Deadmarsh to Minnesota for Jim Harrison. Sept. 2, 1976 -- Signed WHA contract with Minnesota (second incarnation of Fighting Saints) after being released by Minnesota (NHL). Jan. 14, 1977 -- WHA playing rights sold by Minnesota with rights to Jean-Louis Levasseur, Bill Butters, Dave Keon, Jack Carlson, Steve Carlson, and John McKenzie to Edmonton as Minnesota team prepared to cease operations. Feb. 6, 1977 -- Traded by Edmonton (WHA) with Bill Butters to New England for Brett Callighen and Ron Busniuk. Oct. 17, 1979 -- Signed with Hartford as an unrestricted free agent. June 1980 -- Signed with Lugano (Switzerland). November 1980 -- Signed with Tulsa (CHL) as a free agent after deciding not to play in Switzerland. September 1981 -- Signed with Minnesota as unrestricted free agent. Aug. 12, 1982 -- Signed with New Jersey as unrestricted free agent.

Non-Playing Career

Named Minnesota Iron Rangers (AmHA) head coach prior to 1992-93 season and remained in that position through 1992-93 season. ... Named St. Cloud Cathedral (Minn. H.S.) head coach prior to 1993-94 season and remained in that positon through 1994-95 season. ... Named Minnesota (IHL) assistant coach prior to 1995-96 season and remained in that position through 1995-96 season. ... Named Phoenix (IHL) assistant coach on Aug. 27, 1996, and held position until Dec. 6, 1996.
Named St. Louis amateur scout, based out of Minnesota, in September 1997 and currently holds this position.

Life Outside the NHL

Full Name: Michael Joseph Antonovich
Nicknames: "Antone", "Anton", "The Ant", "Ant"

Other Post-Draft Teams: Minnesota (WCHA); Minnesota, Edmonton, New England (WHA); Springfield (AHL); Lugano (Switzerland); Tulsa (CHL); Nashville (CHL); Wichita (CHL); Maine (AHL); Minnesota (AmHA); Quad City (ColHL)

Education: Attended University of Minnesota.

Career Beyond Hockey: Returned to Coleraine, Minn., after his retirement and eventually became involved in local politics in addition to his work as a coach and scout. He was elected Mayor of Coleraine, Minn., (pop. 1,014) in November 2008, and he currently holds this position while remaining an avid local hunter and fisherman.
Antonovich on LinkedIn

Family: Father of former minor-league player Jeff Antonovich, who became a high school coach in Minnesota after retiring in 2006.

Significant Injuries

Missed part of 1971-72 season with knee injury, suffered during Minnesota's Dec. 7, 1971, exhibition game vs. U.S. national team that was preparing for 1972 Olympics. While he was out with the injury, he suffered third-degree burns on his left leg in an accident at his apartment while he and his wife were making popcorn on Dec. 25, 1971. The accident happened because some oil that the couple were using for their cooking caught on fire and spilled on his leg. Antonovich was hospitalized for two days, and hee did not return to action until Minnesota's Jan. 7, 1972, game at Wisconsin. ... Missed remainder of 1971-72 season with damaged ligaments in right knee, a re-aggravation of his earlier injury, suffered in a fight with Mike Lundby during Minnesota's Jan. 15, 1972, game vs. North Dakota -- what proved to be Antonovich's final college game. The injury required season-ending surgery. ... Missed part of 1973-74 season with broken right wrist, an injury suffered during Minnesota's Nov. 7, 1973, WHA game vs .New York. He did not return until Minnesota's Dec. 11, 1973, game at Chicago. ... Missed part of 1979-80 season with sciatic nerve problem in lower back, suffered in October 1979. ... Missed part of 1979-80 season with broken jaw, an injury suffered when he was hit by a puck during Hartford's Dec. 11, 1979, game at Vancouver. The injury required surgery, and he did not return until he was assigned to Springfield in February 1980 . ... Missed parts of 1982-83 season with hairline fracture and damaged ligaments in right wrist, an injury suffered during New Jersey's Dec. 6, 1982, game vs. Winnipeg. He did not return until New Jersey's Jan. 15, 1983, game at Hartford. Missed part of 1982-83 season with right knee injury, suffered during New Jersey's Feb. 15, 1983, game vs. Minnesota. He did not return until New Jersey's March 10, 1983, game vs. Hartford.



Selected by Minnesota Fighting Saints in 1972 WHA Draft, the first WHA Draft, February 1972. Left college after his junior year to turn professional with WHA's Minnesota Fighting Saints. Rejoined former college coach Glen Sonmor when he signed with Minnesota (WHA) in 1972. Played on line with Dave Keon and John McKenzie for Minnesota (WHA) in 1975-76.
Was member of Minnesota Fighting Saints (WHA) team that folded on Feb. 27, 1976. Re-entered WHA to play for revived Minnesota Fighting Saints team in September 1976. Was member of Minnesota Fighting Saints (WHA) team that folded on Jan. 17, 1977. Was the shortest player in NHL during seasons with New Jersey in 1982-83 and 1983-84.
Briefly came out of retirement to play two games for Minnesota (AmHA)  in 1992-93. Coached St. Cloud Cathedral to berth in 1994 Minnesota high schoool hockey tournament. Unretired at age 44 to play two games with his son, Jeff, for Quad City (ColHL) in 1995-96. Named one of top 50 players in Minnesota (WCHA) history in 2001 "Legends on Ice" tribute.
Total Selected: 117
Forwards: 63
Defense: 45
Goaltenders: 9
Major Junior: 84
College Players: 19
Canadian: 107
Euro-Canadian: 2
American: 8
European: 0
Reached NHL: 50
Won Stanley Cup: 5
Hall of Fame: 3
All-Star Game: 10
Year-end All-Star: 5
Olympians: 4
Picks Traded: 18


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