If you’re a fan of the National Hockey League (NHL), then there’s no doubt that you’re a fan of Brett Hull. As a nine-time All-Star, Hull entered the Hall of Fame back in 2008 and cemented his reputation as a playing legend of the sport. With a career spanning more than 20 years, Hull recorded an impressive 1,391 points. He also racked up a monumental 741 goals throughout this time, ranking as the third-highest goal-scorer of all time.
Top teams where Hull weaved his magic included the likes of the Calgary Flames. Dallas Stars, and Detroit Red Wings. As you read on, we’re going to be taking a look at Hull’s early playing days and exploring the journey that he took to become a true legend.
How Hull was under pressure from the start
Even before Brett Hull ever took to the ice, there was already a degree of pressure for him to perform. With his father, Bobby Hull, already being an NHL hero, there was huge expectation that Brett would follow in his footsteps, and deliver something a little special.
For many people, having such an iconic father figure would’ve proven too much, but Brett always seemed to just deal with this as if it was nothing. Speaking to Betway Sports, Brett Hull had this to say: “At that point, I’d done it my whole life. I was used to it. I was used to being Bobby Hull’s son”.
Reflecting on the start of his playing career, this is what he had to say: “I had already figured out that I was never gonna be Bobby Hull. I just had to be Brett Hull and just go out and play my game and do the best I could”.
Brett came to terms with his father’s success and, as the history books now show, went on to forge his own extremely successful playing career.
Brett Hull and the early years
Hull got off to a glorious start with his ice hockey playing career. It all started when he was playing for the Penticton Knights in the Junior Hockey league. While his first year went well, his second is what set him up for the career that we’re now familiar with. This season saw him bag 105 goals in 56 games, leading to him being offered a scholarship at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
It all went from great to better as Hull began to rise through the ranks. From 1984 to 1986, he spent two seasons with the Bulldogs and saw himself scoring an impressive 84 points, with 52 in his first season, and 32 in his second. This led to him becoming a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. At this point, Hull was already setting records, as no player has netted more goals in one season since.
Hull can do no wrong and the awards come thick and fast
Hull had quickly established a name for himself and, in 1984, he was drafted by the Calgary Flames. With his two years of college coming to an end, he then found himself dividing his time between playing for the Flames and, the minor league team, Moncton NB. With the latter, Hull found himself finishing as the third top scorer in the league and took the title of International Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year.
For reasons that many will never understand, 1988 saw the Flames trading Hull, and he found himself playing for the St. Louis Blues. One season, and 41 goals later, Hull found himself picking up another award. This time it was the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. This yearly award was given to the player who exhibited a high standard of playing ability, along with sportsmanship and gentlemanly behaviour.
The 89-90 season and Hull was on fire
The 1989 – 1990 season was hugely significant when you look at Hull’s playing career as a whole. This was the first of three consecutive seasons where he managed to break the 70-goal barrier. The best season was 90-91 when he achieved an amazing 86. This was a career-high for Hull and it led to yet more awards. This time it was the Lester B. Pearson Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy.
An impressive 11 seasons with St. Louis soon came and went with Hull signing with the Dallas Stars during the summer of 1998. His first season here was certainly a memorable one. It saw him scoring the winner in the third overtime in game six of the Stanley Cup finals. This meant that Dallas to its very first Cup title and, understandably, Hull was instantly a hit with the fans.
And the goals kept coming
It was very early into the 1999 – 2000 season, and Hull grabbed his 600th goal. This was hugely significant and it meant that Hull and his father, Bobby, had both reached this remarkable milestone. Even today, there has been no other father-and-son combo that has achieved the same.
During 2002 and 2003, Brett Hull’s goals seemed unstoppable. It was during this season that he smashed through the 700 barrier, and proved himself as one of the greatest NHL goal scorers of all time.
Hull on the international stage
Hull had great success with the US team too. In 2022, he led the team to Olympic silver. He also became the top scorer as the US went on to win the very first World Cup of Hockey in 1996. He’d previously made his debut for the US back in 1986 at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.
Retirement and the Hall of Fame
The summer of 2004 saw Hull sign as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes. He’d play just five games before announcing his retirement. A stunning career came to an end but Hull was still at the top of his game.
It was 2008 when Hull was recognised with his induction into the Hall of Fame. As an NHL legend, his name is now in the history books forever.