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Terry Ruskowski

Born:Dec 31, 1954Draft: 1974 Blackhawks, 70th Overall
Hometown:Prince Albert, SaskatchewanPosition:Center
Known For:2x WHA Avco World TrophyShoots:Left
National Team:CanadaCurrent Status:Retired

Terry Ruskowski (born December 31, 1954) is a retired Canadian ice hockey player, having played his final year in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars during the 1988-89 season. Drafted 70th overall in the 1974 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, Ruskowski made his debut in the NHL during the 1979-80 season after spending five years in the World Hockey Association (WHA). He was named captain of the Blackhawks, a role he held for three seasons. In his rookie year, Ruskowski amassed 70 points (15 goals, 55 assists) in 74 games, and he piled on 252 penalty minutes. After registering just two assists in five games during the 1982-83 season, he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Larry Goodenough and a 1984 third-round pick.

Ruskowski was named the Kings captain the following season, a position he’d hold for two seasons, leading his team into the Stanley Cup playoffs once. He played two seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, serving as an alternate captain in the 1985-86 season and becoming the team’s captain the following year. His final two seasons were played with the North Stars, however his final season lasted just three games. Along with the WHA’s Houston Aeros, Ruskowski became the first player in major sports to captain four teams.

While his NHL career lasted 11 years, his leadership quality earned him the captaincy in six of those seasons, and once as alternate captain. Following his retirement, Ruskowski transitioned into a coaching role, and he flourished in this position over a 24-year span. In 2010, he was elected to the WHA Hall of Fame in its inaugural year, along with Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jacques Plante, and the Howe family.

Terry Ruskowski Statistics

Trade Tracker

DateTraded FromTraded ToTraded For
Oct. 23, 1982Chicago Blackhawks Logo Third-Round Pick 1984
Larry Goodenough

Deeper Dive

Staff History

  • Saskatoon Blades, WHL (Head Coach) 1989-1991
  • Columbus Chill, ECHL (Head Coach) 1992-1994
  • Houston Aeros, IHL (Head Coach) 1994-1996
  • Knoxville Speed, UHL (Head Coach) 1999-2001
  • Laredo Bucks, CHL (Head Coach) 2002-2011
  • Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, CHL (Head Coach) 2011-2012
  • Quad City Mallards, CHL/ECHL (General Manager/Head Coach) 2013-2017


  • 2x WHA Avco World Trophy (1975, 1979)
  • 2x CHL (USA) Champion (2004, 2006)
  • CHL (USA) Coach of the Year (Commissioner’s Trophy) (2006)