John Tucker enjoyed a 12-year career in the National Hockey League with the Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, and Tampa Bay Lightning. A right-handed centre, he is a Memorial Cup champion.
Tucker was born on September 29, 1964 in Windsor. He is a product of Windsor Minor Hockey.
The Kitchener Rangers drafted Tucker into the Ontario Hockey League in 1981. He spent three seasons with the Rangers, winning the Memorial Cup in ’82. His most productive individual season was ’82-83, which he finished as the league’s number-two scorer. Tucker scored a staggering 60 goals – a Kitchener single-season record at that point – and 80 assists in 70 games.
The Buffalo Sabres selected Tucker with the 31st overall choice in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He spent several successful seasons in Buffalo between ’83 and ’89. The ’85-86 season, in which he scored 31 goals and 34 assists in 75 games, was his most statistically successful.
The Washington Capitals acquired Tucker in January 1990, and he played out the rest of the ’89-90 season with that club. He rejoined Buffalo in the offseason, but he was traded again before long – this time to the New York Islanders.
Following the 1990-91 NHL campaign, Tucker opted to play his hockey overseas. He joined HC Asiago of the Italian League, where he managed 88 points in only 36 games to take the Trofeo Gazzetino trophy for league MVP.
Tucker soon moved back to North America in search of a more appropriate level of hockey. He signed with the expansion Tampa Bay Lightning ahead of the club’s inaugural 1992-93 season. Tucker played regularly for the Lightning over the course of the next four NHL seasons.
Over his twelve-year NHL career, Tucker scored 177 goals and added 259 assists for 436 points in 656 games. He added a further 28 points in 31 playoff games.
Tucker finished his professional career by returning to overseas hockey. He signed with HC Milano in the Italian league, where he spent the 1996-97 season, before moving to Japan’s Kokudo Keikaku for a two-year spell.
He remains involved in youth hockey.