February 24, 1986 |
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)|
|Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
New York Rangers
|NHL Draft||21st overall, 2004
Wojciech Wolski (pronounced: VOY-tek VOL-skee; born February 24, 1986) is a Polish-Canadian professional ice hockey left winger currently playing for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). In the NHL, he has played for the Colorado Avalanche, Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, and the Washington Capitals. During the 2012 NHL lockout, he played for Ciarko PBS Bank KH Sanok in the PHL, the top-tier hockey league in Poland. While he holds dual citizenship, Wolski is a product of the Canadian training system and is currently ineligible to represent Poland internationally.
Wolski was drafted in the first round, 21st overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. It was originally believed that he would be the 10th-15th pick, but some teams passed on him because he was charged with assault causing bodily harm by Toronto police shortly before the draft. Wolski allegedly beat and hospitalized another young man his age at a birthday party. The case was dismissed when it was learned that Wolski was defending his girlfriend, who had been pushed off a porch.
Prior to being drafted, Wolski attended St. Michael's College School and played for the Buzzers hockey team in 2001–02. Before making the Avalanche roster, he recorded 14 franchise records as a member of the OHL's Brampton Battalion, and earned the award for Ontario Hockey League (OHL)'s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2006. Wolski was the OHL Player of the Month an unprecedented four months in a row (December, January, February, and March). He was also an Alternate captain for Ontario's Under-17 team at the 2003 Canada Winter Games. Wolski suited up for Team Canada in the 2004 Canada/Russia Series and was voted Player of the Game (Team Cherry) for 2004 CHL Top Prospects Game.
Wolski made his Avalanche debut in the 2006 playoffs and marked a sensational debut with three points (one goal, two assists). In his first full professional season, Wolski played in the NHL YoungStars Game on January 23, 2007, a part of the 55th National Hockey League All-Star Game festivities held in Dallas. He recorded two points (two assists) for the Western Conference.
In the 2008-09 season, Wolski demonstrated his scoring talent in shootouts. At season's end, he would score 10 times out of 12 attempts, establishing a single season record in percentage of shootout goals scored. His 14 goals and 28 assists would be good enough to finish third on the Avs with 42 points, behind Milan Hejduk and Ryan Smyth.
On March 3, 2010, Wolski was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes for Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter. In his first game with the Coyotes, he scored the game-winning goal against his former team, the Avalanche, with just 22 seconds left in the 3rd period. Three days later, in his second game with the Coyotes, he scored again in a 4-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks. On June 28, 2010, Wolski resigned a two-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes. Since joining Phoenix, he switched from the number 8 he wore in Colorado (already in use by Scottie Upshall) to number 86, becoming the second NHL player to wear that number (Jonathan Ferland played 7 games for Montreal in 2006 wearing number 86).
In the 2010-11 season, Wolski failed to recapture his scoring pace from after last years trade from Colorado. With a steadily diminished role with the Coyotes he was traded for the second time within a year to the New York Rangers for Michal Rozsival on January 10, 2011. Wolski also failed to click with the Rangers, building a reputation as a player who "would rather not play in tough areas to score", he was a healthy scratch on more than one occasion.
During the 2012 NHL lockout, Wolski joined Ciarko PBS Bank KH Sanok, the top team at the time in the PLH, the top-tier hockey league in Poland. He rejoined the Washington Capitals at the start of the NHL season, but wasn't utilized much by the Capitals during the lockout-shortened season. Wolski produced four goals and five assists in 27 games with the Caps.
Wolski left Poland with his parents and older brother Kordian in 1989. Two years later, by way of West Germany, they finally landed in Toronto, Ontario. He learned how to skate at a local outdoor skating rink in Etobicoke using his brother's skates, which were a few sizes too big. In order to make them fit, he would wear three pairs of socks and stuff the front of the boot with newspapers. The first NHL game he attended as a young boy was the Colorado Avalanche versus the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens. He followed the Avalanche as his favorite team ever since then, and grew to idolize future teammate Joe Sakic before coincidentally being drafted by Colorado himself. During 2006-2007 Wolski dated Canadian actress Ashley Leggat while playing for the Avalanche.
Brampton Battalion franchise records
- Most career points: 328
- Most career goals: 130
- Most career assists: 198
- Most points in a season: 128
- Most assists in a season: 81
- Most career power play assists: 83
- Most career power play points: 141
- Most career short-handed goals: 9
- Most career game-winning goals: 18
- Most points in a game: 7
- Most goals in a game: 4 (shared)
- Most career playoff games: 31
|2001–02||St. Michael's Buzzers||OPJHL||33||16||33||49||40||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||New York Rangers||NHL||37||6||13||19||8||5||1||2||3||0|
|2011–12||New York Rangers||NHL||9||0||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Ciarko PBS Bank KH Sanok||PLH||9||3||7||10||37||—||—||—||—||—|
|2013–14||Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod||KHL||54||19||19||38||60||7||1||2||3||2|
Awards and honours
|First All-Star Team||2003–04|
|Top Draft Prospect Award||2003–04|
|Second All-Star Team||2005–06|
|Red Tilson Trophy||2005–06|
|William Hanley Trophy||2005–06|||
|CHL Canada Post Cup||2005–06|
|NHL YoungStars Game||2006–07|
- Ladysz, Rafal (2009-08-25). "Overlooked and Underrated: Wojtek Wolski". thehockeywriters.com. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
- "Brick road paves way for Wolski". The Rocky Mountain News. 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- "Coyotes get Wolski for Mueller, Porter". NHL. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- "Coyotes' Wolski beats former Avs teammates with late goal". The Sports Network. 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- "Rangers trade Michal Rozsival for Wojtek Wolski". New York: Daily News. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
- "Wojtek Wolski to NY for Michal Rozsival". ESPN. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
- Matheson, Jim (2011-04-02). "Hockey World". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- "Panthers acquire Wolski from Rangers for Vernace, pick". The Sports Network. 25 February 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
- "Caps sign Wojtek Wolski to one-year deal". The Washington Post. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "Most Popular". CNN (Sports Illustrated). 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
- "Wolski named most sportsmanlike player". Ontario Hockey League. 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- Wojtek Wolski's career statistics at EliteProspects.com
- Wojtek Wolski's player profile at NHL.com
- Wojtek Wolski's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Wojtek Wolski Minor Hockey Clip Mix
|Colorado Avalanche first round draft pick