A British Columbia native, the late Wayne Pecknold made his mark in New Hampshire with the Concord Eastern Olympics. In seven seasons between 1967-74, he put up 57 goals and 181 assists for 238 points, the only defenseman among the team’s all-time top 10 in scoring.
Born in Victoria, B.C., Pecknold was a standout in several sports before settling on hockey. At the age of 13, he led his Victoria bantam club to a provincial championship in lacrosse. He won a juvenile football scoring title with 48 points in five games and was a main cog on his high school’s basketball team.
In hockey, after leading the Juvenile Canucks to the Pacific Coast League title, Pecknold joined the Prince Albert Mintos of the Saskatchewan Junior League. His play with the Mintos earned him an athletic scholarship to Michigan State in 1959, though he was later ruled ineligible because he had signed an ‘A’ form with Prince Albert.
He became an honor student at Michigan State, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in 1963. He’d go on to earn a Master’s and Ph.D in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and remained at MIT as a professor of civil engineering.
He joined the Concord Eastern Olympics in 1967 and played with them through 1973-74, serving as captain over that entire period. Often times he would coach the team during practices and, at times, in games in Pat Eagan’s absence.
“Wayne Pecknold was easily the most talented, the most efficient, the most unselfish, the smartest and the most complete defenseman with whom I had the great good fortune to have been paired with while playing for the Concord Eastern Olympics,” said teammate and Legends of Hockey Hall of Famer Bruce Parker. “Wayne was skilled both offensively and defensively. He possessed a great comprehension of the game and utilized that understanding to play with a special ability to anticipate where teammates, as well as opponents, were about to be and about to do.”
He finished his career playing for the Concord Budmen. He also coached youth hockey in Manchester, where his players included his son, Rand, a Legends Hall of Famer and now the successful coach at Quinnipiac; along with Jeff Serowik and Kyle McDonough.
Pecknold passed away in 2000 at the age of 60 after a lengthy battle with colon cancer.