Part Of Blackhawks Program
Because the Chicago Blackhawks sponsored the youth hockey program in Sault Ste. Marie, of which Esposito was a part, he was chosen by them as a player. Esposito took hockey seriously enough to drop out of high school to play junior hockey. In 1961, he turned professional when he began playing for the Blackhawks' minor league affiliate.
During the 1963-64 season, Esposito was called up to the Blackhawks, but he only had three goals in 27 games. Though never a great skater, Esposito was good because of his strength. He continued to play for the Chicago Blackhawks for three seasons. Over those years, he scored only seventy-one goals. Esposito played on a line with Bobby Hull. Many of Esposito's goals were considered easy because of who he played with—Hull was a gifted goal scorer—though he helped Hull's scoring proficiency as well.