Eric "Sonja" Nesterenko (born October 31, 1933) is a Canadian former professional National Hockey League (NHL) player from 1951 to 1972, playing centre for the Toronto Maple Leafs until 1956 and for the Chicago Black Hawks thereafter. In 1973–74 he played for the Chicago Cougars of the World Hockey Association, after a year of coaching in Switzerland. He had 250 goals and 324 assists during his NHL career, and won a Stanley Cup championship with Chicago in 1961. The rangy right winger was a superb penalty killer, who also was known for using his elbows in the corners.
Nesterenko was born in Flin Flon, Manitoba to immigrants from Ukraine. He attended high school at North Toronto Collegiate Institute. In 1986, he played the father of character Dean Youngblood (played by Rob Lowe) in the movie Youngblood. He has also worked as a disk jockey, a stockbroker, a travel broker, a freelance writer, a university professor and a ski instructor.
Near the end of his NHL career, he was interviewed for Studs Terkel's bestselling book, Working: What People do all Day and How They Feel About What They Do.
- ^ http://www.ntci.on.ca/alumni/FN-sp2002.pdf
- ^ Chicago Blackhawks Legends: Eric Nesterenko
By Dean Hanley
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