4th Overall in 2004
To Carolina Hurricanes
Andrew Ladd has been bounced around from team to team. First he started with the Carolina Hurricanes. He helped win the cup with them. Then he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. He won the cup there, too. Then he was shipped off to the Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers, as everyone knows, were relocated to Winnipeg. They were going to be the Winnipeg Jets, the team that relocated Phoenix. He is looking to be able to lead this team to the Stanley Cup Finals and hoist the cup in the Jets jersey. This is Beyond the ‘C’: The Story of Andrew Ladd.
In his last year in the WHL, playing for the Calgary Hitmen, Ladd had 19 goals, 26 assists, and 45 points in 65 games. He was drafted behind Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Cam Barker. I’d say he was picked pretty well. Only contributing 11 points in his first season with the Hurricanes, he played 29 games and hoisted the cup. He scored 5 points in 17 post-season games to help the Canes win their first Stanley Cup. Then came Chicago. Chicago had someone Carolina desperately wanted. They had Tuomo Ruutu. Carolina traded away Andrew Ladd, where he spent 3 seasons before holding the cup in his hands again. During this post-season, he contributed 6 points in 19 games.
Chicago had given up Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel for Atlanta’s Ivan Vishnevskiy and their second-round choice in the 2011 NHL-Entry Draft. Ladd was named team captain while Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom were set as alternate captains on November 18th, 2010.
Joe Veroni is the editor for Hockey at the Forks. Here is his statement on Andrew Ladd.
“Andrew Ladd might not be the most skilled captain in the NHL, but what he lacks in raw scoring ability he makes up for in leadership and work ethic. Ladd’s the kind of guy who brings his lunch pail to the rink every day and works as hard as any player in the league. That’s why he was named the Jets’ captain, and that’s why Jets’ fans love him.
At only 26 years of age, the Maple Ridge, BC native is already a two-time Stanley Cup champion, winning as a rookie with the Caroline Hurricanes in ’05-’06 and again with the Chicago Blackhawks in ’09-’10. Ladd brings a culture of winning to a young team that has plenty to learn about work ethic. The Jets are far from being Cup contenders, but when they make the playoffs, Ladd will have everyone ready to make a serious impact.
Ladd’s most valuable attribute is his versatility. When surrounded by firepower he can slide seamlessly into a top-6 role, or he can lead a third-line as he did in Chicago’s Cup run. He averages nearly 20-minutes per night and plays the penalty kill as hard as the power play.
Drafted fourth overall in 2004, Ladd now has four years left on the 5-year $22M contract he signed to stay with the Jets’ organization. It’s an economical cap hit and signing on long-term is something that Jets’ fans love to see – especially a hardnosed forward who’s just as likely to land a big hit as he is to score a goal. Whether it’s hockey season or the dog days of summer, it’s impossible to walk around the Peg without seeing someone wearing Ladd’s number 16. His commitment to the city of Winnipeg, along with his commitment to winning, makes Andrew Ladd a perfect captain.”
Andrew Ladd is one of the few captains I don’t really follow. I just started following him when the Jets became a team again. I jumped on the band-wagon. So I see him doing a terrific job. People of Winnipeg look up to him and respect his number, as Joe said. I’m just glad that they have so much support.
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