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Hulbig had risen up Central Scouting’s rankings as the 1991-92 season played out; in January he was ranked as the 22nd-best North American skater and by May he was 10th on the list. Even so, there were warning signs. Hulbig played just 17 games of high school hockey in his draft year – a shoulder injury knocked him out of the lineup – and that represented two problems. The first was that Hulbig didn’t play very much, reducing the number of times scouts could see him. The second was that Hulbig was playing at a terrible level, making judgement difficult. He was slated for college hockey, joining Providence following the draft.
Almost immediately, the Oilers must have known there was a problem. In his first year at Providence, Hulbig scored just three times and finished with 16 points in 26 games. Hulbig did pick up the pace eventually, scoring at the point-per-game level over his final two seasons. He’d earn a few NHL cups of coffee over the ensuing years thanks to strong play in the minors. The problem, though, was that he was essentially finished developing offensively at the age of 23.
On November 9, 2000 he suffered a career-threatening head injury. During his recovery, it was also determined that nagging abdominal injuries required significant surgery. He eventually came back, but never returned to NHL, finishing his career in the minors being only 31 years old.
|1989-90||St. Sebastian's School||USHS-Prep||30||13||12||25||-|||||-|
|1990-91||St. Sebastian's School||USHS-Prep||30||23||19||42||-|||||-|
|1991-92||St. Sebastian's School||USHS-Prep||17||19||24||43||30|||||-|
|1995-96||Providence College “C”||NCAA||31||14||22||36||56|||||-|
|2002-03||Albany River Rats||AHL||35||11||9||20||20||-15|||||-|
|2003-04||Albany River Rats||AHL||64||21||24||45||60||-20|||||-|
|07/22/2016||Episode 1 - Joe Hulbig '96||soundcloud.com|
|10/05/2012||Edmonton Oilers’ top 10 all-time worst draft busts: #8 Joe Hulbig||edmontonjournal.com|
|09/25/2002||Hulbig seeks bloomin' shot||nypost.com|
|11/10/2000||Hulbig still dazed from hit||theglobeandmail.com|
|08/26/2000||Bruins re-sign Hulbig to one-year deal||southcoasttoday.com|
Cult/Star player for St. Sebastian's School
- 1999-07-23 • Signed as a free agent by Boston Bruins
- 2002-10-01 • Signed as a free agent by New Jersey Devils
Missed majority of 2000-01 due to concussion vs. Ottawa Senators, November 9, 2000.
After his eight year hockey career ended Joe switched careers and began working in education philanthropy. He is now a regional director of major gifts at PC.