Early life[edit | edit source]
As a boy, Bill attended Edina (Minnesota) High School, where he was an all-star athlete, playing quarterback for an undefeated football team and leading the hockey team to its first state title in 1969.
After graduation from high school in 1970, Nyrop attended the University of Notre Dame. He tried out for the Notre Dame football team in 1971 and won a spot on the roster as the backup quarterback. However, he was injured in practice and never played for the team, instead playing hockey during his four years in college. After his sophomore year in 1971–1972, Nyrop was selected 66th overall by the Montreal Canadiens at the Amateur Draft. He attended his first pro training camp in September 1972, and in 1973 he was voted on to the WCHA first all-star team and the NCAA west first all-American team. The next year he represented the United States at the "B" Pool Ice Hockey World Championship where he was named to the tournament All-Star team as the best defenceman.
Pro career[edit | edit source]
During his first pro season with the American Hockey League's Nova Scotia Voyageurs in 1974–1975, he played with the stability of a seasoned veteran. He made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut the next year on February 22, 1976 with the Montreal Canadiens, suiting up for 19 games and became a regular on the blueline in the playoffs as the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. Later that year he scored two points in five games and was a pillar on the blueline as team captain for the United States team at the inaugural 1976 Canada Cup. Nyrop spent two years on the Montreal defence and helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 1977 and 1978. After the 1977–1978 season, Nyrop stepped away from the game to study law. His rights were traded by the Canadiens to the Minnesota North Stars in September 1980 and he returned to the NHL a year later. He dressed for 42 games on the Stars blueline and two post-season contests when his team was upset by Chicago in the first round. He played briefly for Kölner Haie of the German league in 1982–1983 before retiring for good.
Post career[edit | edit source]
After retirement, he attended Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, earning his law degree in 1986. He set up his law practice then returned to hockey as the coach and owner of the Sunshine Hockey League's West Palm Beach Blaze. After guiding the club to three straight league championships, he sold his interest in the club due to failing health. In September 1995 he was diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer (that spread to his liver and lungs) and died three months later in his father's home in Minneapolis at age 43.
Career statistics[edit | edit source]
|Season||Club||League||REGULAR SEASON||SEASON PLAYOFFS|
|1967-1970||Edina Hornets (Edina High School)||Minnesota High School League|
|1970-1971||University of Notre Dame||WCHA||30||2||4||6||40|
|1971-1972||University of Notre Dame||WCHA||31||3||18||21||44|
|1972-1973||University of Notre Dame||WCHA||38||3||21||24||46|
|1973-1974||University of Notre Dame||WCHA||33||9||29||38||44|
|1974-1975||Nova Scotia Voyageurs||AHL||75||2||22||24||76||6||0||5||5||0|
|1975-1976||Nova Scotia Voyageurs||AHL||52||3||25||28||30|
|1976-1977||United States||Canada Cup||5||1||1||2||0|
|1980-1981||Minnesota North Stars||DN-Cup||3||2||1||3||0|
|1981-1982||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||42||4||8||12||35||+14||2||0||0||0||0|
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