Wisniewski with the Blue Jackets in 2013
February 21, 1984 |
Canton, MI, USA
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)|
New York Islanders
Columbus Blue Jackets
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||156th overall, 2002
James Joseph Wisniewski (born February 21, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman who is currently an unrestricted free agent of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has previously played in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes.
Wisniewski started his junior hockey career with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2000. He improved every year significantly, and was drafted in the fifth round, 156th overall, by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2002. At the start of the 2003–04 season, he was named captain of the Whalers. That year, he scored 17 goals, 11 on the power-play. He finished 24th in overall scoring with 70 points, third amongst defensemen and just six points short of the OHL lead, set by Kingston Frontenacs defenseman Bryan Rodney. For his efforts, Wisniewski was awarded the OHL's 2004 Max Kaminsky Trophy as the most outstanding defenseman. He also took home the OHL's parent league, the Canadian Hockey League (CHL)'s, Defenceman of the Year award. This recognition gained Wisniewski a contract with Chicago, and a jump to the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Norfolk Admirals, the Blackhawks' top minor league affiliate.
Wisniewski was called up early to the Blackhawks in the 2006–07 season and stuck with the team. However, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during the first period in a game against the Los Angeles Kings on March 5, 2007, and was placed on injured reserve, missing the rest of the season.
In the 2009–10 season, Wisniewski entrenched himself in the Ducks' defense corps and scored a career-high 30 points in 69 games. On March 17, 2010, in a game against former team, the Blackhawks, Wisniewski delivered a retaliation hit to Brent Seabrook, his former teammate and good friend, driving his head against the glass. Wisniewski received an eight-game suspension for the hit; the last player to receive a suspension of that length was former Duck Chris Pronger.
Islanders and Canadiens
On December 28, 2010, Wisniewski was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for second-round pick in the 2011 Draft and conditional fifth round pick in 2012. He scored seven goals to go with 23 assists in 43 games with the Canadiens, as well as two assists in six playoff games.
Columbus Blue Jackets
On June 29, 2011, Wisniewski's rights were traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2012; the pick would become a fifth-rounder if Columbus signed him. He subsequently signed a six-year, $33 million contract with the Blue Jackets on July 1, 2011.
On September 26, 2011, Wisniewski was suspended for the remainder of the pre-season and eight regular season games by the NHL for a hit to the head of Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck on September 23 after the end of regulation. In an injury-shortened 2011–12 season, Wisniewski appeared in 48 games with Columbus, scoring six goals along with 21 assists as the Blue Jackets finished well out of the playoff hunt.
Wisniewski would again suffer another season plagued by injuries in the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season, producing 14 points in 30 games with the Blue Jackets. However, in 2013–14, he scored seven goals and a career-high 51 point in 75 games, tied with the St. Louis Blues' Alex Pietrangelo for ninth in points among NHL defensemen, helping the Blue Jackets clinch their first playoff berth since 2009.
Second stint with the Ducks
On March 2, 2015, Wisniewski was traded by the Blue Jackets to the Anaheim Ducks, along with a 2015 third-round pick, in exchange for Rene Bourque, William Karlsson and a 2015 second-round pick, marking the beginning of his second term with the Ducks.
On June 27, 2015, the second day of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Wisniewski was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes In exchange for Anton Khudobin. In the 2015–16 season, in his first game with the Hurricanes on opening night, Wisniewski suffered a tear to his left ACL after playing in just 47 seconds, which effectively ended his season. Wisniewski's brief shift with the Hurricanes would be his last, for in the the off-season and nearing a return to full health, he was bought out from the final year of his contract on June 30, 2016.
Wisniewski attended Canton High School in Canton, Michigan.
Wisniewski started a clothing line called WizWear. According to Wisniewski, "I always like to dress nice and have my own style. We support the USO of Illinois, the families of fallen soldiers. I wanted to do something a little bit different to set up for a charity than a golf tournament or bowling event. It's something I can have a little bit of fun with also." Both of his grandfathers fought in World War II.
He is an accomplished amateur golfer and has won a club championship at Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Regular season and playoffs
|2010–11||New York Islanders||NHL||32||3||18||21||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||48||6||21||27||37||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||30||5||9||14||15||—||—||—||—||—|
|2013–14||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||75||7||44||51||61||6||0||2||2||10|
|2014–15||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||56||8||21||29||34||—||—||—||—||—|
Wisniewski at the 2008 IIHF World Championship
|Representing United States|
|World Junior Championships|
|World U18 Championships|
Awards and achievements
- 2000–01 OHL First All-Rookie Team
- 2003–04 OHL First All-Star Team
- 2003–04 OHL Max Kaminsky Trophy
- 2003–04 CHL First All-Star Team
- 2003–04 CHL Defenceman of the Year
- "Wisniewski is CHL defenceman of the year". CHL.com. 2004-05-06. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
- "'Hawks get veteran center Pahlsson". nhl.com. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "NHL suspends Wisniewski 8 games". ESPN. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "Islanders acquire Wisniewski from Anaheim". New York Islanders. 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Isles' Wisniewski suspended two games for an obscene gesture". The Sports Network. 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
- "Habs acquire James Wisniewski from the Islanders". Montreal Canadiens. 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- "Habs trade Wisniewski's rights to Blue Jackets for draft pick". The Sports Network. 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- "Defenseman Wisniewski inks six-year deal with Blue Jackets". The Sports Network. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "Wisniewski suspended on wild hit". Yahoo! Sports. 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "James Wisniewski player splits". National Hockey League. 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "Ducks acquire James Wisniewski, three others in deadline deals". Los Angeles Times. 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2015-03-02.
- "Hurricanes acquire Wisniewski from Ducks". NHL. 2015-06-27. Retrieved 2015-06-27.
- "Hurricanes' James Wisniewski played just 47 seconds before tearing ACL". CBS Sports. 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
- "Hurricanes buyout James Wisniewski". Carolina Hurricanes. 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- Kuc, Chris (2008-12-25). "Blackhawks' James Wisniewski starts fashion line for charity". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- Pat Hickey (2011-01-18). "Defenceman Wisniewski brings badly needed dose of power-play magic after loss of markov and gorges". The Gazette. Retrieved 2011-02-05.