July 13, 1985 |
Parma, OH, USA
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||198 lb (90 kg; 14 st 2 lb)|
Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Rangers
|NHL Draft||46th overall, 2003
Columbus Blue Jackets
Fritsche began his junior hockey career with his hometown Cleveland Barons of the North American Hockey League. He then played for the Sarnia Sting and the London Knights, and won a gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Hockey Championship, playing for the United States. He won a Memorial Cup playing for the Knights in 2005. He also played youth hockey for the Parma Flyers and is one of three players to go into the NHL from there. The other two players are Brian Holzinger and Michael Rupp.
Ranked in the top ten in nearly every pre-draft report, but shoulder concerns scared teams away, the Columbus Blue Jackets got a steal when Fritsche was drafted in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, 46th overall, by the Columbus Blue Jackets. After playing for parts of four seasons with the Blue Jackets, Fritsche was traded along with Nikolai Zherdev to the New York Rangers on July 2, 2008 for defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Bäckman.
On January 29, 2009, Fritsche was traded by the Rangers to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Erik Reitz. After finishing the season with the Wild, Fritsche was not tendered a qualifying offer and became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2009.
On September 3, 2009, Fritsche was invited to the Atlanta Thrashers training camp for the 2009–10 season, but was not offered a contract. On October 5, 2009, he returned to the Blue Jackets organization by signing a contract with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch.
In January 2013, he signed a three-year contract with the HC Lugano that extended him with the team through 2016. However on November 29, 2013, Fritsche was traded to ZSC Lions, who were coached by Marc Crawford. Zurich won the 2013–14 NLA championship and Fritsche played a pivotal role in scoring four point in four games during the finals.
His younger brother, Tom, was a prospect in the Colorado Avalanche system. He was drafted 47th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. His career was cut short due to concussion. His cousin, John, plays for Fribourg-Gottéron. His uncle, John Fritsche Sr., was a longtime player in Switzerland for HC Ambri-Piotta, HC Lugano and EV Zug, played for the United States at the 1990 World Hockey Championship, and coached the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets.
Regular season and playoffs
|2000–01||Cleveland Jr. Barons||NAHL||49||23||29||52||47||1||1||1||2||0|
|2003–04||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||19||1||0||1||12||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||59||6||7||13||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||59||12||15||27||35||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||69||10||12||22||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||New York Rangers||NHL||16||1||3||4||2||—||—||—||—||—|
- "Columbus sends Zherdev to the Rangers". TSN.ca. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "Wild acquire Fritsche from Rangers". NHL. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- "Wild makes qualifying offers to six RFA's". NHL. 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2009-08-29.
- "Legacy, Popovic and Fritsche at Atlanta". (in French) RDS.ca. 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
- Kramer, Lindsay (2009-10-05). "Fritsche coming back to Syracuse Crunch". Syracuse Post-Standard. Retrieved 2009-11-01.