Drafted sixth overall by the Leafs at the 1963 Draft, Walt McKechnie would embark on his NHL career in 1967-68 but with the Minnesota North Stars. The trade west would be the first of nine involving the native of London, Ontario during a long career in the NHL from 1967 to 1983.
After stops in Minnesota, California, Boston, Detroit, Washington and Cleveland, McKechnie made his Toronto debut in 1978-79. Under the direction of bench boss Roger Neilson, McKechnie trailed only Darryl Sittler and Lanny McDonald in goals that season when he recorded 25 for the playoff-bound Leafs. He paced the team with six game-winning goals and led all team forwards with a plus 21 mark. During the postseason, McKechnie recorded four goals and three assists in six games to rank second in team scoring. After 54 games the following season, the big centreman was dealt to Colorado on March 3, 1980 and he later had two more productive campaigns with the Red Wings before closing out his NHL career after the 1982-83 season.
In 955 career NHL games, McKechnie recorded 214 goals, 392 assists and 606 points. He surpassed 20 goals in a season four times and 50 points six times.
McKechnie played on Canada's entry at the 1977 World Championships.