April 23, 1950
Riverton, MB, CAN
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
California Golden Seals
Detroit Red Wings
3rd overall, 1970
An aboriginal Canadian who grew up in Riverton, Manitoba, Leach was raised by his paternal grandparents. One of the greatest scorers in the history of the Western Canada Junior Hockey League, Leach found the back of the net 188 times in three seasons with the Flin Flon Bombers.
After graduating from junior, Leach was the third player claimed in the 1970 Amateur Draft when the Boston Bruins called his name. The Beantowners were in the midst of winning the Stanley Cup twice in three years and were too deep in talent to give the youngster a fair shot at the pros.
Leach would find his way to the Philadelphia Flyers, took a giant step toward to repeating as Stanley Cup Champions after the triumph from the previous season. In 1974-75, Leach teamed with Clarke and Bill Barber would go on to score 45 goals and earn the respect of the tough fans in the City of Brotherly Love. While helping the Flyers repeat as Cup winners, Leach scored eight goals in 17 post-season games.
It was in the Flyersâ€™ failed attempt at a third triumph in the playoffs that Leachâ€™s star shone the brightest. During the 1975-76 season, he scored 61 regular-season goals but saved his best for the post-season. Leachâ€™s 19-goal effort in 16 games earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy even though the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup finals swept his team. Of further significance was the fact that the Riverton Rifle scored 80 combined goals (regular-season and playoffs) to break Phil Espositoâ€™s standard set in 1970-71.
Leach finished with 381 goals in 934 regular-season games while earning a reputation as one of the top snipers of his day.