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Best to Wear # 7 – Paul Martin

Paul MartinNUMBER: 7
HEIGHT: 6′ 1″
WEIGHT: 200
POSITION: Defenseman
SHOOTS: Left
BORN: March 5, 1981
BIRTHPLACE: Minneapolis, MN

Paul Martin was drafted out of the University of Minnesota, second round 62nd overall, where he helped the Golden Gophers win the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Division I Championships.

Upon being drafted by the Devils in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, he made his debut for the team during the 2003-04 season collecting a career high six goals, and tallying 24 points in his rookie season.

Martin is well known around the league for his offensive skills as a defenseman.

Martin spent six seasons in a Devils uniform before becoming an unrestricted free agent and inking a five year, $25-million contract with Atlantic Division rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In International play, Martin has represented his home country, the United States, numerous times: 2001 World Junior Championships, 2004 World Cup of Hockey, 2005 & 2008 Ice Hockey World Championships. He was chosen to represent the USA in the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games, but did not see ice team in either event.

Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils
GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
400 26 137 163 55 114 11 0 5 484 5.3%

Join us again next Tuesday for Best to Wear #8.

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Player Profile: Ilya Kovalchuk

Ilya KovalchukNUMBER: 17
HEIGHT: 6′ 3″
WEIGHT: 230
POSITION: Left Wing
SHOOTS: Right
BORN: April 18, 1983
BIRTHPLACE: Tver, Russia

Before Ilya Kovalchuk was the Atlanta Thrashers’ number one pick in 2001, he played two seasons in Russia for HC Spartak Moscow. When his NHL career began he was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as league rookie-of-the-year. He has since then made three NHL All-Star appearances and won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer in 2004.

Kovalchuk was traded to the New Jersey Devils in February of 2010 after eight seasons with the Thrashers. After multiple contract offers and some controversial deals, Kovalchuk signed a 15 year, $100 million contract with the Devils.

After a slow first half of the season, Kovalchuk started to get back on his game and lit up. He had multiple streaks throughout the season and plenty of game winning goals (9 to be exact, 50 in his entire career). It was against the Leafs that he scored a game winning goal to give coach Jacques Lemaire his 600th win. In April of 2011, Kovalchuk played his 700th career game (again, against the Maple Leafs!) and got his 700th point on the same night.

He finished his first full season with the Devils with 31 goals and 29 assists for 60 points.

Kovalchuk has played in several IIHF World Championships, the World Cup and the Winter Olympics collecting a few gold, silver and bronze medals since 2001. Playing for Team Russia in this year’s IIHF World Championship sent him home with another silver medal.

We love having him on our team and look forward to watching him keep playing in red. I like to call him Goalvalchuk, what’s your nickname of choice?

2010-2011 Season Stats
GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
81 31 29 60 -26 28 9 0 9 245 12.7

Player Profile: Martin Brodeur (Happy Birthday!)

In case you didn’t know, May 6th is Martin Brodeur’s birthday. Here is the first of our Player Profile series featuring the birthday boy, Marty!

Marty In Net

NUMBER: 30
HEIGHT: 6′ 2″
WEIGHT: 215
POSITION: GOALTENDER
CATCHES: LEFT
BORN: MAY 6, 1972
BIRTHPLACE: MONTREAL, QC, CANADA

Canadian born Brodeur was picked up by the Devils in the NHL’s 1990 draft and started his first full season in 1993. During that season, Marty showed us what he was capable of and had a 2.40 Goals Against Average, 3 shutouts and won the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year.

Since then, he’s won all three Stanley Cups with the Devils, received the Vézina Trophy as the best goalie in the NHL – four times, received the William M. Jennings Trophy for goalkeeper with least number of goals given up – five times, and participated in 10 NHL All Star Games.

Marty has participated in the Olympics and won Gold in 2002 and 2010. His father, also a goalkeeper, won Bronze in the 1956 Olympics – like father, like son! He’s also played in the World Championship, winning Silver twice and has won Silver and Gold in two World Cup Championships.

Marty beat Patrick Roy’s record with his 552nd win in March of 2009. He currently holds this and several other NHL all time records, including most regular season shut outs (116) and most 30 win seasons (13).

He clearly has amazing talent, makes pretty incredible saves and has impressive puck handling skills. His ability to play the puck made him the main man responsible for the trapezoid behind the net – what has became known as the Martin Brodeur rule – put in place after the NHL lock out. He even has a game winning goal!

With his stats and list of records, it’s no wonder he has a rink in Saint Leonard, QC named after him and continues to be a fan favorite!

2010-2011 Season Stats
GPI W L OT GA SA SV SV%

GAA SO PIM MIN
56 23 26 3 127 1,313 1,186 .903 2.45 6 2 3,116

(I was there for this game, but this video never gets old!)

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