Whitney in September of 2010
February 19, 1983 |
Scituate, MA, USA
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||209 lb (95 kg; 14 st 13 lb)|
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||5th overall, 2002
After playing with his high school team from Thayer Academy and the USA National Development Program, Whitney joined the college ranks with Boston University in 2001. Upon completing his freshman year, he was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins fifth overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Following parts of three seasons with the Penguins minor league affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Whitney played his NHL rookie season in 2005–06. Whitney remained in Pittsburgh for three-and-a-half seasons, helping the club to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals. He was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 2010 after a brief stint with the Anaheim Ducks.
Whitney enrolled at Thayer Academy, a college-prep school in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1998, and logged significant playing time with their hockey team. Head coach Jack Foley often paired Whitney, a freshman, with senior Brooks Orpik, his future rival in college (being on separate ends of the Boston College-Boston University Rivalry), and later his teammate on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Whitney's size and skill drew the attention of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. After initially resisting the programs invitations, he left Thayer for the program, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for his senior year of high school.
After graduating from high school, Whitney accepted a full scholarship to play for Boston University under Jack Parker. In his freshman year, he recorded 21 points in 35 games and was named to the 2002 Hockey East All-Rookie Team. He was then selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins, as the fifth overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Upon completing his third year with Boston, he opted to forego his senior year of college eligibility to turn professional. He was subsequently assigned by Pittsburgh to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, for the 2004 Calder Cup Playoffs. He played in 20 games, recording 10 points, however, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was defeated by the Milwaukee Admirals in the finals.
Following his professional debut in the AHL playoffs, Whitney joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 2004–05 season. Under head coach Michel Therrien, Whitney played in 80 games in 2004–05, recording 41 points and 101 penalty minutes.
Whitney made his NHL debut with Pittsburgh in the 2005–06 NHL season, playing in 68 games. He was called up on October 31, 2005, to replace injured defenseman Dick Tarnstrom and remained on the team until the season ended. His first NHL goal came on December 1, 2005, against Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Whitney finished the season with 6 goals and 32 assists.
In his second NHL season, Whitney emerged as a top offensive defenseman in the league with 59 points in 2006–07. Under the guidance of new general manager, Ray Shero, the Penguins improved from a last-place finish in the Eastern Conference the year before, to a playoff berth, with Whitney part of the youth movement in Pittsburgh that included forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and goaltender Marc-André Fleury.
During the 2007 off-season, Whitney signed a six-year, $24 million contract with a no-trade clause, avoiding his pending restricted free agency. His offensive production dropped in the subsequent 2007–08 season, posting 40 points in 76 games. However, the Penguins finished second in the Eastern Conference and Whitney contributed six points in the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as Pittsburgh made it to the Finals against the Detroit Red Wings. Pittsburgh was defeated in game six of the series on June 4, 2008.
In the 2008 off-season, it was revealed that Whitney had been suffering from a chronic foot injury throughout the season. It was later discovered that Whitney was born with abnormally high arches (hollow foot) in both of his feet. After an attempt using orthopedic inserts in his skates failed, Whitney underwent osteotomy, a surgical procedure to realign the bones in his left foot, on August 15, 2008. It was expected that Whitney would miss five months of the 2008–09 season. After playing one game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, as part of a conditioning stint, Whitney made his return to Pittsburgh, in a 2–0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, on December 23, 2008.
On February 26, 2009, Whitney was traded to the Anaheim Ducks, in exchange for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi. He scored one goal and five assists during the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as the Ducks made it to game seven of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, losing to the Detroit Red Wings.
On March 3, 2010, Whitney was traded along with a 2010 6th round draft pick (Brandon Davidson) to the Edmonton Oilers, in exchange for defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky. The deal marked the second time that Whitney had been traded within a year, even though he has a no-trade clause in his contract.
Whitney made his Oilers debut at Rexall Place on March 5, against the Minnesota Wild. His first goal for his new team would come later in the month, as the Oilers defeated the Detroit Red Wings on March 19. Whitney flourished in his new surroundings, as he finished the 2009–10 season in Edmonton with 11 points from 19 games, one of those goals coming against former team, Anaheim. He also tied with injured winger, Ales Hemsky, as the Oilers team leader for plus/minus totals, with +7.
Whitney underwent a second osteotomy in May 2010, this time to realign the bones in his right foot.
On December 28, 2010, in a game against the Buffalo Sabres, Whitney suffered from a right ankle injury. It was later announced that Whitney would miss the remainder of the 2010–11 season, needing surgery.
On September 29, 2013, Whitney signed a 1-year contract with the Panthers. On November 8th 2013, he was placed on waivers.
|Competitor for United States|
A year later, he would play in the 2001 IIHF U18 Championships. Whitney picked up a single assist, in six games, as the United States finished in sixth place.
The next year, he moved onto the United States' U20 team at the 2002 World Juniors. It was here Whitney picked up his first international goal. He posted 3 points (one goals and two assists) in seven games, as the United States finished in fifth place.
He would also play the following year in the 2003 World Juniors. Whitney posted better numbers than the year previous, picking up 5 points (one goal and four assists) in seven games, as the United States finished in fourth place.
With injuries to fellow defensemen Paul Martin and Mike Komisarek, Whitney was selected as a replacement to represent the United States in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, held in Vancouver, British Columbia. This marked Whitney's first time as an Olympic competitor. He and his team were runners-up and won the Silver Medal. It was Whitney's former teammate, Sidney Crosby, who scored the game-winning goal, which saw Canada defeat the United States 3–2, in overtime. Whitney played in all six games, not collecting any points.
During this time, Whitney also wrote a blog throughout the games, sharing his thoughts, feelings and experiences.
Awards and honors
|All-Hockey East Rookie Team||2001–02|||
|2000–01||U.S. National Development Team||U18||40||7||23||30||64||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||U.S. National Development Team||USHL||20||2||8||10||22||—||—||—||—||—|
- Olympic Spirit | News | USA Hockey
- Podell, Ira (December 2, 2005). "Rangers run winning streak to six". USA Today. Retrieved August 18, 2008.
- Pittsburgh Penguins – Team
- "NHL Salary Calculator". CapGeek.com. May 20, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins – Recap – June 4, 2008
- Lightning shutout Penguins 2–0 in Ryan Whitney's return
- Roarke, Shawn P. (February 26, 2009). "Penguins deal Whitney to Ducks for Kunitz, prospect". NHL.com. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- Ducks at Red Wings – May 14, 2009
- Oilers acquire Ryan Whitney
- Edmonton Oilers Statistics – NHL Hockey
- Whitney steps towards better future
- Sabres vs. Oilers December 28, 2010
- Oilers Whitney needs surgery on injured ankle
- Ryan Whitney’s days as an Edmonton Oiler over
- 2010 Vancouver Games: Ryan Whitney of Anaheim Ducks, Tim Gleason of Carolina Hurricanes named as replacements
- Men's Gold Medal Game : Schedule and Results : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics
- Ryan Whitney's blog – 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver
- Eliteprospects.com – Sean Whitney
- HockeyEastOnline.com – Hockey East All-Stars
- NHL YoungStars Game Historical Summaries – 2007
- Ryan Whitney's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- USA Hockey National Team Development Program
|Pittsburgh Penguins first round draft pick