Before Bobby Carpenter, NHL scouts never attended high school games in the United States. After Bobby Carpenter, they all did.
He grew up in Peabody, Massachusetts, a stones throw from the Boston Garden, and his neighbors in town numbered Gerry Cheevers and Bobby Orr. Number Four got to know Carpenter's father, Bob, and agreed to advise the youngster as his career evolved. In school, Carpenter's grades were good enough to get him into any university he wanted, but by his final year he knew that what he really wanted was to play in the NHL.
The night before the draft, Washington made a trade with Colorado to select Carpenter third overall.
Carpenter eventually signed with Washington and became the first player to go right from U.S. high school to the NHL, scoring 32 goals as a rookie and setting a record for American-born players when he scored 53 in his fourth year, 1984-1985. The pervious record had been 41 by Joe Mullen.
He became a staple on America's international teams, though the results were not impressive at the 1981 World Juniors, 1984 and 1987 Canada Cups, or 1987 Worlds. In the summer of 1985 he signed a huge four-year contract with Washington. He was dealt to the Rangers in 1986, but within weeks his welcome had run out and he was sent to Los Angeles in a deal that brought Marcel Dionne to Broadway. It was his third team in one season.
Carpenter played with Boston, Washington again, and New Jersey (where he won his lone Stanley Cup) before retiring.
*Bio courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame