Olaf Kolzig will go down as one of the best goaltenders to have donned the Washington Capitals jersey. In fact, that’s not all Olaf will go down for as he was the very first goalie to have scored a goal in a WHL game during a 1989 game versus the Seattle Thunderbirds. This feat has been accomplished by 5 goalies in WHL history.
Getting his start in the NHL was a long one as he was drafted in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, going 19th overall. That particular draft saw overseas hockey players steal the show as four HHOF members were selected. Mats Sundin went first overall, Nik Lidstrom being selected 53rd, Sergei Federov at 74th and Pavel Bure at 113th. Olaf ended up getting his real shot at the NHL during the 97/98 season where Bill Ranford, the starter at the time, suffered an injury. He took advantage of this opportunity and took the Capitals to the finals that year.
Olaf never managed to bring the Capitals back to the finals or even the second round of playoff hockey. He ended up finishing his NHL career with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009 and is one of the Ownership Partners of the Tri-City Americans.
Gettin’ the auto
I got this great Artifacts patched hockey card signed by Olaf Kolzig in about 300 days. I was really hoping that Olaf would send this one back as I sent it to the Tri-City Americans. While it’s never really advised to send in cards of value I’ll frequently make exceptions like the patch card shown. I’m just glad he didn’t sign it on his black jersey, otherwise I’d be in a real pickle to even see what he wrote!
Couple of great links about Olie, especially an interesting one about having his number retired.
A video review of Olaf Kolzig
Pretty neat video of Olaf scoring a goal for his junior team.