Dustin Byfuglien at Winnipeg Jets training camp
March 27, 1985 |
Minneapolis, MN, USA
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight||265 lb (120 kg; 18 st 13 lb)|
|NHL Draft||245th overall, 2003
Dustin Ray Byfuglien (// by-FOO-glee-ən or local // BUF-lin; born March 27, 1985) is an American professional ice hockey player for the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League. His nickname is "Big Buff", made up by his teammates. Drafted as a defenseman, he has played both forward and defense in his career.
Byfuglien played major junior hockey for both the Brandon Wheat Kings and Prince George Cougars of the WHL. Byfuglien was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2003. Originally a defenseman at the start of the 2007–08 season, he was moved to a right wing position to give the team a larger body near the net, an experiment that proved successful.
He spent parts of his first two seasons with the Blackhawks' minor league team at the time, the Norfolk Admirals, and the Blackhawks. He excelled in his third professional season, becoming the first Rockford IceHogs player to earn the American Hockey League's Player of the Week award, when he scored one goal and had five assists in four games. Byfuglien had seven points in eight games with Rockford before earning a recall on November 3, 2007 to the Chicago Blackhawks and never returned to the IceHogs. He had a goal in his first shift with the Blackhawks in the 2007–08 NHL season on November 3 against the St. Louis Blues and recorded his first career hat trick (three goals in one game) against the Phoenix Coyotes on November 30. He finished tied for fifth on the team with 19 goals and 36 points in his third season with the team, all while making a transition to forward throughout the campaign. He played a major role in the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup winning season in 2010 scoring 11 goals with 5 assists in the playoffs including 3 goals in the Finals.
On June 24, 2010, Byfuglien was traded by Chicago, along with Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for a 1st and 2nd round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Marty Reasoner, Joey Crabb and Jeremy Morin. The Thrashers moved Byfuglien back to his natural position of defense, although he had experience as a first-line and second-line winger with the Blackhawks, including the Blackhawks' run to the Stanley Cup in 2010. He became an alternate captain for the Thrashers after a few months into the 2010 season. Byfuglien was selected to his first All-Star Game, along with teammate Tobias Enström. On February 15, 2011, the Thrashers signed Byfuglien to a five-year, $26 million contract extension. He scored 12 goals along with 41 assists during the 2011–12 season that saw the Thrashers move to Winnipeg. Byfuglien appeared in 66 games for the Jets that season.
In the 2011 All-Star Game's Skill Competition his slap shot was clocked at 102.5mph.
Byfuglien was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Cheryl Byfuglien and father Rick Spencer. His mother is of Norwegian descent, and his father is African American. Cheryl moved to Roseau, Minnesota, with Dustin to be closer to her family while Ricky stayed in Minneapolis to continue college; the two never wed. In Roseau, Byfuglien was exposed to the game of hockey where he found an instant love for the sport, which soon turned into a calling. Byfuglien's stepfather, Dale Smedsmo, played four games in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1972, and 110 games in the World Hockey Association. Byfuglien has three half-siblings - Olivia, Calvin, and Naomi - who are the children of Byfuglein's father and step-mother, Rick and Rose Spencer.
Due to academic ineligibility in Roseau, Byfuglien first moved to Warrenville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, to play AAA under-18 hockey for the Chicago Mission then moved to Canada to play major junior hockey.
On August 31, 2011, Byfuglien was arrested on Lake Minnetonka and booked on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. Byfuglien pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to two days of community service on July 23, 2012.
Byfuglien and his long-time girlfriend, Emily Hendry, welcomed their first child, Kira Rae Byfuglien, on December 28, 2011.
Regular season and playoffs
|2001–02||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||3||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||8||1||1||2||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||Prince George Cougars||WHL||48||9||28||37||74||5||1||3||4||12|
|2003–04||Prince George Cougars||WHL||66||16||29||45||137||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||Prince George Cougars||WHL||64||22||36||58||184||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and achievements
|NHL All-Star Game||2011, 2012*|
-* injury prevented attendance
- Ziemer, Brad (2010-05-06). "Dustin Byfuglien: Did you know …". Vancouver Sun (Vancouver). Retrieved 2010-05-09.
- "Hawks deal Byfuglien, Sopel to Thrashers". NHL. 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- Rogers, Jesse (2010-05-07). "Byfuglien has found emotional side". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2010-05-09.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dustin Byfuglien.|
- Dustin Byfuglien's player profile at NHL.com
- Dustin Byfuglien's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Hockey's Future prospect profile
- Dustin Byfuglien Minor Hockey Goal Mix Video
- A long road from Roseau to success
- Before Hawks star hit it big, he got his start in DuPage
- Hundreds greet Dustin Byfuglien, Stanley Cup
- Dustin Byfuglien Is Large And In Trouble