LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) standout and alumnus Adam Oates ’85 is one of the top 100 players to ever play in the National Hockey League, according to a panel comprised of distinguished members of the hockey community – including executives, media members and NHL alumni. Oates was among those revealed at NHL100 on Jan. 27 in Los Angeles as the league celebrates its 100th year as part of its All-Star Weekend.
A five-time NHL All-Star Game participant and an NHL Second Team All-Star in 1991, Oates enjoyed a 19-year career, scoring 341 goals with 1,079 assists for 1,420 points in 1,337 contests. He exceeded 100 points in a season four times, including a career-high 142 points with the Boston Bruins in 1993. When he retired, he was ranked fifth all time in NHL history in assists (currently 7th) and 13th in points (currently 17th). He was enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.
Oates went on to serve as the head coach of the Washington Capitals, joining Kevin Constantine ’80 as the only two former Rensselaer players to lead NHL teams.
In three years as a student-athlete in Troy (1982-85), Oates had 66 goals and 150 assists for 216 points in 98 games, helping the Engineers to an overall record of 85-19-1 and the 1985 NCAA Championship. RPI, which was 35-2-1 in 1985, also won the ECAC Championship in 1984 and 1985. He led the team in assists all three years (33, 57, 60) and was first in points as a sophomore (83) and junior (91).
Oates set numerous school records, including assists (60 in 1985-85) and points (91 in 1984-85) in a season and assists in a career. Ranked among NCAA’s all-time leaders in assists per game in a career (1.53), he is second in school history in single season assists (57 in 1983-84) and single season points (83 in 1983-84). Oates is third in career points and third in assists per game in a career.
The accolades earned by the Weston, Ont., native included National All-America First Team in 1983-84 and 1984-85, Hobey Baker Award finalist in 1984-85, All-League First Team in 1984-85, All-League Second Team in 1983-84, Most Outstanding Player of the league tournament in 1983-84 and NCAA All-Tournament First Team in 1984-85.
Named to the ECAC Hockey All-Decade Team of the 1980s and one of the league’s Top 50 Players All-Time, Oates led ECAC Hockey in overall scoring in 1983-84 (83 points in 38 games) and 1984-85 (91 in 38) and in scoring in league games (49 in 20 games) in 1983-84.
Oates was inducted into Rensselaer’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 and was the first person inducted into the RPI Hockey Ring of Honor (2005).