Most managers and directors of the World Hockey Association have acclaimed with much publicity the signings of Pat Price, Ron Chipperfield, Dennis Sobchuk and all those junior players that signed multi-year contracts with WHA teams.
Right near us, the Nordiques have made a good bid when they invested in a lot of money to obtain an underage player by the name of Real “Buddy” Cloutier. “Buddy” did not get all of the publicity that occurred with the signings of Sobchuk, Price and others, but without an inch of a doubt, he is an exceptional talent that will be a great centre of attraction in Quebec and all the WHA's Cities. In all levels of hockey, he has always shown an unlimited potential, and he was always at the source of great success for teams for which he played.
The hockey fans in Quebec remember him from his Pee-Wee days at the fabulous International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament in Quebec. During his midget career, he established and broke all the records. Cloutier began his junior career at the age of 15 and his ascension with the Remparts was one to see as he made revive Guy Lafleur's glorious years, along with another WHA member, Jacques Locas. With a great season of 93 goals and 123 assists, he broke Guy Lafleur's record with the Remparts of 209 points, with a top mark of 216 points in his last junior season.
Cloutier is anxious to get his name among those WHA Stars. For the Nordiques, it marks a first great win, after losing such brilliant names as Lafleur, Richard and Savard that opted for the NHL after their junior careers in Quebec. This gives the Nordiques an opportunity to build around him a strong and very impressive team, as mentioned earlier, he always brough success to the teams that he played for. For those that were sceptical, let us mention that Cloutier was voted on the All-Star Squad in the Last Memorial Cup series in Calgary, along with Dennis Sobchuk. In learning that Cloutier was only 17, Scotty Monroe, coach of the Calgary Centennials, could not believe his eyes. To his knowledge, Cloutier has as much value in the hockey market as Dennis Sobchuk, Pat Price and others. Having not deceived himself with the National Hockey League, he chose to remain in his own native land to pursue his professional hockey career, playing for the Quebec Nordiques in the WHA.
The Buffalo Sabres were to claim him as their first round choice at the National Hockey League draft, but they changed their mind when they learned of his multi-year contract with the Nordiques. Let us remember that Punch Imlach, Buffalo Sabres' G.M., has a great eye to claim top picks and Cloutier could have been one of them along with Perreault, Martin and others. What he could have been for the Sabres, he will be for the Nordiques and the WHA.
Good stickhandler, he knows how to prepare good plays for his team-mates and he has the natural instinct of a great scorer, which gives him the extra punch for being a potential super-star, as he is acclaimed to be the Nordiques' lifetime insurance for years to come.
If the fans can be patient with an 18-yr. old kid, they will find back the idol that he personally wishes to be, to make the fans forget the loss of earlier promising players that opted for the NHL in the Nordiques' difficult years.
“Buddy” a guy playing in his own native land for the Nordiques and the WHA. Watch him closely and you'll see that he is a real potential SUPERSTAR.