Others were drafted by National Hockey League teams and some enjoyed success in the minor leagues.
But no one has a resume like Archibald’s. The Chilliwack Minor Hockey product started playing when he was two years old, and started making his mark 12 years later.
Joining the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winter Hawks for seven games during the 1983-84 season, he became the youngest player (14 years old) to record a point in major junior hockey.
“You’re going back 30 years, when the game was a lot different than it is now, and truthfully it was scary,” Archibald said. “There were some pretty legendary fights some nights, and I’d be sitting on the bench hoping I didn’t have to do that.”
He was five-foot-10 and 145 pounds when he entered the WHL. Over the next three seasons, Archibald got bigger and better.
Seven goals and 18 points in 1984-85.
Twenty-nine goals and 64 points in 1985-86.
Fifty goals and 107 points in 1986-87.
Archibald was drafted sixth overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1987 NHL entry draft.
“I was highly rated and there was a point during the year where I knew I was going to be drafted pretty high,” he said. “But when it happened, it was still surreal. It was hard to believe that I was that close to being in the NHL.”
Archibald stepped into the big leagues that fall and played 78 games his first year.
He scored 13 goals. Two of them came in his first game.
“I remember looking down at the ice as I stepped out, because I still couldn’t believe it was actually happening,” he said. “I still have the puck at home from that first goal. It was against Philadelphia, and I want to say it was Mark LaForest in net. My apologies to him if it wasn’t.”
Archibald’s career leveled out over the next three seasons.
By 1989-90, he thought his NHL time might be at an end. He’d been traded to the New York Rangers by then, and they wanted to assign him to the minors.
Hockey guru Dave King recruited Archibald to the Canadian national team and he spent two memorable years wearing the maple leaf.
Archibald won silver at the 1991 IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships, and got silver again at the 1991 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.
“Dave King was great for me,” Archibald said. “My confidence was low when I left the NHL. When I played for Canada, the pressure was removed and the game became fun again.”
By 1992-93, his confidence restored, Archibald was ready for another crack at the NHL.
He got it with the expansion Ottawa Senators.
In his first year in the nation’s capital, the Sens went 10-70-4.
“I was really happy going to Ottawa, even though they didn’t have a great team,” he said. “It was a place where I felt I could play a lot, and I had two really good coaches in Rick Bowness and Alain Vigneault. It was great playing hockey in a Canadian city.”
Health issues eventually forced Archibald out of the game.
After four years in Ottawa he played his final NHL games on Long Island, logging seven games for the 1996-97 Islanders.
He finished up in 1999-00 with Linkopings HC of the Swedish Elite League.
Thirteen years later, he headlines the inaugural class of the Chilliwack Sports Hall of Fame.
“For a small town, Chilliwack has had a lot of good athletes come through,” he said. “Some publicly noted. Some, sadly, not. I’d say it’s probably about time for something like this, and I’m honoured to be part of it.”