Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jets All Out Top 25: #1 Andrew Ladd

Andrew Ladd, 25, 6'2, 200 lbs
Last Year's Rating: N/A This Year's Rating: #1 Difference: N/A

The captain of the Jets not only is the most experienced NHLer when it comes to season and playoff games combined, Andrew Ladd has two Stanley Cup rings through seven seasons.

Ladd, the former Calgary Hitmen, won the Stanley Cup in 2006 during his rookie season, collecting five points (two goals, three assists) in 17 games during the 2006 Playoffs.

That experience helped Ladd be a great role player with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2009 and 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including six points in 19 games as the Hawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup.

Now one year removed from a Stanley Cup, Ladd is the captain of the newest NHL team in Winnipeg.

Leading the former Atlanta Thrashers in scoring last season with a career year of 59 points (29 goals, 30 assists) in 81 games, Ladd became the captain early in the 2010-11 season after Ilya Kovalchuk was dealt at the trade deadline March 2010.

His 59 points eclipsed his last career best 49 points in 2008-09. His 29 goals were a career high as well.

Ladd, who scored 120 points (49 goals, 71 assists) in 136 games with the Calgary Hitmen, was selected fourth overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, behind Alex Ovechkin (first overall), Evgeni Malkin (second overall), and Cam Barker (third overall).

Out of the top five picks drafted in 2004 (fellow Jet Blake Wheeler was fifth overall), Ladd has won the most Cup with two and has played in the fourth most games (behind Ovechkin, Anrej Meszaros, and Travis Zajac).

With Ladd's emergence as the captain in Altanta, he continues his role as leader in Winnipeg with the young Jets.

His experience and success at the NHL level will be the biggest attribute he will bring to the Jets as the 2011-12 season begins in Winnipeg.

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