John Van Boxmeer

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John Van Boxmeer
John Van Boxmeer - Lausanne Hockey Club vs. HC Viège, 01.04.2010.jpg
Born (1952-11-20) November 20, 1952 (age 63)
Petrolia, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for Montreal Canadiens
Colorado Rockies
Buffalo Sabres
Quebec Nordiques
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 14th overall, 1972
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1973–1984

John Martin Van Boxmeer (born November 20, 1952 in Petrolia, Ontario) is a former Canadian professional ice hockey player. He has also served extensively as a hockey coach with various teams from 1984 to the present.


John Van Boxmeer was considered a top prospect, and was drafted 14th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 1972. He was so highly regarded that he began his professional career by travelling to Moscow for the 1972 Summit Series at the request of tournament organizer Alan Eagleson, though he did not play in the famous series.[1] He played 46 games for the Stanley Cup champion Canadiens in 1975-76, but his name for some reason was left off the cup. Ultimately, Van Boxmeer had a tough time cracking a Montreal lineup which was very deep in talent, and rather than spend the majority of his time in the minor leagues, he requested a trade. He was dealt to the Colorado Rockies in 1976 in exchange for Craig Levie.

In Colorado, Van Boxmeer finally received the opportunity to establish himself as a full-time NHL player. When former Canadiens' coach Scotty Bowman moved to the Buffalo Sabres, he acquired Van Boxmeer to bolster the Sabres' blueline, recalling how he had reluctantly traded the defenceman in 1976. Van Boxmeer responded with a +40 season and helped the Sabres climb to first place in their division, and the defenseman's best statistical seasons as a pro would be in Buffalo.

With the emergence of Phil Housley on the Buffalo blueline, Van Boxmeer became expendable, and he was claimed by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1983 NHL waiver draft. He would spend the majority of his time in the AHL, and played his final game with the Rochester Americans in 1984 before retiring.

Since retiring, he has served as the head coach of the Rochester Americans and the Long Beach Ice Dogs, and has also been an assistant coach at the NHL level with the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings. He won the Calder Cup as the head coach of Rochester in the 1986-87 season.[2] He served as head coach of SC Bern of Switzerland's Nationalliga A until March 2009.

Van Boxmeer suffered a heart attack in August 2008, but recovered quickly and returned behind the SC Bern bench.[3] He currently serves as an amateur scout for the Buffalo Sabres.[4]

Van Boxmeer's son, Hank was a defensemen who played for the State University of New York at Oswego Lakers.


  1. ^ "John Van Boxmeer at Legends Of Hockey". 21 Aug 2002. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  2. ^ "John Van Boxmeer's career statistics". 
  3. ^ "Van Boxmeer recovering from heart attack". Associated Press. 4 Aug 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  4. ^ "Sabres Front Office". Retrieved 16 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dave Gardner
Montreal Canadiens first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Bob Gainey