Ron Hainsey, 30, Defense, 6'3, 211 lbs
Last Year's Rating: N/A This Year's Rating: #10 Difference: N/A
As a former pick of the storied Montreal Canadiens, 13th overall in 2000, Ron Hainsey was selected by then Montreal GM Rejean Houle to be the future of the Canadiens defense.
Except they never really gave Hainsey that chance.
The Bolton, Conneticut native would finish a college career with the UMass-Lowell Riverhawks, with 47 points in 63 games over two seasons before spending the entire 2001-02 season with the Canadiens' AHL affiliate Quebec Citadelles, collecting 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 63 games.
He would remain in the Canadiens system from 2001-02 until 2005-06, when he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hainsey had only played in 32 games with Montreal and had been playing in the AHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs for the entirety of the 2004-05 and the 2005-06 season, when he got traded.
Hainsey would never set foot in the AHL again, as he finished the 2005-06 season with the Jackets, collecting 17 points in 55 games, along with 43 penalty minutes and a plus 13 rating.
In three seasons with Columbus, Hainsey was stalwart defender on the blueline, contributing with 30 or more points in his second and third seasons there.
During the off-season of 2008, Hainsey signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract to play for the Atlanta Thrashers.
In his first season in Atlanta, he had career highs in points (39) and assists (33). In his last two seasons in Atlanta, his numbers steadily improved, as his plus/minus went from -16 in his first season to a plus three in 2010-11.
In 488 career games, Hainsey has 34 goals, 135 assists for 169 points, and 238 penalty minutes.
As the elder on the back end, Hainsey has the job of helping out a young Zach Bogosian and has helped him in his three years in Atlanta. Though he has never been to the post-season, Hainsey is a leader on the back end for the Jets and they will rely on him for a years to come.