R. J. Umberger

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R. J. Umberger
R J Umberger.jpg
Born (1982-05-03) May 3, 1982 (age 33)
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 214 lb (97 kg; 15 st 4 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Philadelphia Flyers
Columbus Blue Jackets
National team  United States
NHL Draft 16th overall, 2001
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 2004–present

Richard Allen "R. J." Umberger, Jr. (born May 3, 1982) is an American professional ice hockey center currently playing for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Drafted in the first round, 16th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, Umberger has also played in the NHL for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team he played for in between his two separate tenures with the Flyers.

Playing career[edit]

Minor/College[edit]

Umberger, who is both a left winger and center, played his high school hockey in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (WPIHL) for the Plum Mustangs in 1997 and 1998. In his sophomore year and final season, he accumulated 116 points in just 26 games.[1] He capped off that season by scoring the game-winning goal in double overtime against Central Catholic (Pittsburgh) to win the WPIHL AAA League Championship in front of a packed house at the BladeRunners Ice Complex in Harmarville. His efforts were recognized in 2006 when the Mustangs raised his number to the rafters of its home rink, the Center Ice Arena in Delmont.[2] He was inducted into the Plum High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.[3]

Umberger is recognized annually with the R. J. Umberger Award for the PA Hockey Scholastic Showcase, a scholastic tournament played in December each year. The Tournament has a Wall of Champions at Harmarille BladeRunners. During his short prep career, Umberger was named to the All Tournament Team both years.

Umberger began his career with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program after a successful developmental career with the Pittsburgh Hornets. He then started his college career with Ohio State University. He was drafted in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft in the first round, 16th overall, by the Vancouver Canucks. Umberger left Ohio State before his senior year, intending to turn professional with the Canucks. He was unable to reach a deal, however, and sat out the entire 2003–04 season. He was then traded to the New York Rangers on March 9, 2004, along with Martin Grenier, in exchange for Martin Ručinský, but was later signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Flyers on June 16, 2004, just three months later.[4] He was called up to the Flyers roster in the 2005–06 season.

Professional[edit]

Umberger became the second Western Pennsylvanian-born hockey player to play in the NHL after Ryan Malone. He scored his first career NHL goal on November 22, 2005, for the Flyers against the Lightning. On July 6, 2006, the Flyers announced that they had signed him to a two-year contract.

On June 20, 2008, Umberger was traded from the Flyers with their fourth round pick (Drew Olson) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft to the Columbus Blue Jackets for the Blue Jackets' first round pick, via the Colorado Avalanche (Luca Sbisa) drafted 19th overall and a third round pick (Marc-André Bourdon) in the Draft.

On April 16, 2009, Umberger scored the Blue Jackets' first ever playoff goal in a 4–1 loss at the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs. He also scored in Games 3 and 4 as Detroit eventually swept the series, four games to none.

On Wednesday, September 21, 2011, Umberger signed a five-year contract extension with the Blue Jackets. His contract is set to expire in the 2016–17 season.

On June 23, 2014, Umberger along with a 2015 fourth-round draft pick, were traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Scott Hartnell.[5]

International[edit]

Umberger has represented USA Hockey on multiple occasions. His first international effort came with the U.S. under-18 team at the 2000 IIHF World U18 Championships in Switzerland, where the Americans placed eighth. He played in the same tournament the following year, 2001, where the U.S. improved to fifth-place.

That same year, 2001, Umberger also played with the U.S. junior team in the 2001 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Russia, as well as the 2002 edition in the Czech Republic; the U.S. placed fifth in both tournaments.

Umberger made his senior U.S. debut in the 2006 IIHF World Championship in Latvia.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000–01 Ohio State Buckeyes CCHA 32 14 23 37 18
2001–02 Ohio State Buckeyes CCHA 37 18 21 39 31
2002–03 Ohio State Buckeyes CCHA 43 26 27 53 16
2003–04 Did not play
2004–05 Philadelphia Phantoms AHL 80 21 44 65 36 21 3 7 10 12
2005–06 Philadelphia Phantoms AHL 8 3 7 10 8
2005–06 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 73 20 18 38 18 5 1 0 1 2
2006–07 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 81 16 12 28 41
2007–08 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 74 13 37 50 19 17 10 5 15 10
2008–09 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 82 26 20 46 53 4 3 0 3 0
2009–10 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 82 23 32 55 40
2010–11 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 82 25 32 57 38
2011–12 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 77 20 20 40 27
2012–13 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 48 8 10 18 16
2013–14 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 74 18 16 34 26 4 0 1 1 2
2014–15 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 67 9 6 15 19
NHL totals 740 178 203 381 297 30 14 6 20 14

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2000 United States WJC18 8th 6 1 0 1 2
2001 United States WJC18 6th 6 1 0 1 0
2001 United States WJC 5th 7 2 2 4 2
2002 United States WJC 5th 7 1 4 5 0
2006 United States WC 7th 1 0 0 0 0
Junior totals 26 5 6 11 4
Senior totals 1 0 0 0 0

Awards and achievements[edit]

Award Year
All-CCHA Rookie Team 2000–01
CCHA Rookie of the Year 2000–01
All-CCHA First Team 2002–03
AHCA West Second-Team All-American 2002–03
Calder Cup Philadelphia Phantoms 2004–05

References[edit]

  1. ^ Legends of Hockey - NHL Player Search - Player - R.J. Umberger
  2. ^ "Flyers star forward recalls memorable moments in Plum Mustangs uniform : YourPennHills.com". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  3. ^ Plum Borough School District
  4. ^ TSN.ca R.J. Umberger Player Page
  5. ^ Ruby, Tyler. "Philadelphia Flyers Trade Scott Hartnell to Columbus Blue Jackets for R.J. Umberger." June 23, 2014. Sports Media 101. [1]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Chris Gobert
CCHA Rookie of the Year
2000–01
Succeeded by
Pat Dwyer
Preceded by
Nathan Smith
Vancouver Canucks first round draft pick
2001
Succeeded by
Ryan Kesler