|Born||September 27, 1983 |
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)|
|St. Louis Blues|
|NHL Draft||3rd overall, 2002|
Jay Bouwmeester (born Jay Daniel Bouwmeester on September 27, 1983) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman playing for the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was a first round selection (3rd overall) by the Florida Panthers at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 2003 and played seven seasons in the Panthers organization before being traded to the Calgary Flames in 2009 (with whom he played four seasons).
Jay held one of the longest iron man streaks in NHL history as he appeared in 737 consecutive regular season games between 2004 and 2014. He played in the 2007 and 2009 NHL All-Star Games.
Junior Playing Career
Jay played bantam and midget hockey with the Edmonton South Side Athletic Club, winning the Alberta midget championship in 1997–98. He was selected by the Medicine Hat Tigers first overall at the Western Hockey League's (WHL) 1998 Bantam Draft and appeared in eight games with the Tigers in the 1998–99 WHL season.
He joined the Tigers full-time in 1999–2000, scoring 34 points in 64 games as a 16-year-old. His offensive totals improved in his two following WHL seasons: 53 in 2000–01 and 61 in 2001–02.
Jay was named to the WHL's East All-Star team and was considered a candidate to be selected first overall at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, but instead, he was taken third overall by the Florida Panthers behind Rick Nash and Kari Lehtonen.
Jay made his NHL debut with the Panthers at the start of the 2002–03 season and appeared in all 82 games for Florida, a franchise rookie record. He scored his first NHL goal on November 11, 2002 against the Chicago Blackhawks and finished the season with four goals and sixteen points. He was named to the 2003 NHL All-Rookie Team on defence.
Jay improved to 20 points in 61 games in 2003–04 though he missed 18 games with a foot injury. The 2004-05 NHL lockout forced Jay to play in the American Hockey League (AHL) that season. He joined the Panthers' AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, but experienced difficulties adapting to playing in the minor leagues.
Despite struggling to generate offence, Jay participated in the AHL All-Star game, and was loaned to the Chicago Wolves when it became evident the Rampage would not qualify for the playoffs. He and the Wolves reached the Calder Cup Finals even though they lost to the Philadelphia Phantoms.
Jay experienced a break-out season after the NHL resumed play in 2005–06, scoring 5 goals, 41 assists and 46 points in 82 games, all career highs and was invited to join Team Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics in the place of injured defenceman Scott Niedermayer.
He made news that off-season in his hometown of Edmonton when he was arrested for driving under the influence, a charge he pleaded guilty to the following summer.
In the 2006-07 season, Jay appeared in all 82 games for the Panthers nd set a new career high with 12 goals. He appeared in his first NHL All-Star Game, representing the Panthers in the game held at Dallas.
Jay improved again to 15 goals in 2007–08 while again playing in every game for the Panthers and led the NHL in average ice time at 27 minutes, 28 seconds per game. He signed a new one-year, $4.875 million contract as a restricted free agent following the season, turning down the Panthers' long-term offers in the hopes of becoming an unrestricted free agent at the expiry of his new contract
Jay had another 15-goal season in 2008–09. He played in all 82 games and succeeded Andrew Brunette as the league's ironman when the latter player was forced out of the Colorado Avalanche line-up with injury.
Jay appeared in his second All-Star Game and scored a goal. As the season approached its end, the Panthers were fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but were unable to convince him to sign a contract extension.
Despite numerous offers from other teams for his services, Florida general manager Jacques Martin chose not to trade Jay. He and the Panthers struggled to end the season, and failed to qualify for the post-season
After being unable to come to terms with Jay, the Panthers traded his negotiating rights to the Calgary Flames in exchange for the negotiating rights to defenceman Jordan Leopold and a third round draft pick (Josh Birkholz) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
The deal gave the Flames four days with which they had exclusive rights to negotiate with Jay before he became an unrestricted free agent and gained the ability to negotiate with any team. Hours before that deadline expired, he and the Flames agreed to a five-year, $33 million contract.
The Flames struggled to score for much of the 2009–10 NHL season and Jay was no exception. He finished the year with just three goals & rarely served as an offensive catalyst for Calgary & did not miss a game for the Flames. While his consecutive games played streak sat at 424 following the season, he also held the active record for most games played without reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs at 553.
Jay continued to score at a rate below his time in Florida, recording 24 points in 2010–11 and 29 in 2011–12. He led the team in ice time both years, averaging nearly 26 minutes per game.
On March 15, 2011, Jay broke the NHL record for consecutive games played by a defenceman when he appeared in his 486th consecutive game, surpassing Karlis Skrastiņs.
St. Louis Blues
Calgary failed to reach the playoffs in both seasons and while Jay's offensive production increased in the lock-out-shortened 2012–13 season, he had 6 goals and 15 points in 33 games for Calgary and again led the team in ice time & also reached 750 career games without appearing in the playoffs.
With the Flames entering a rebuilding phase, Jay agreed to waive his no-trade clause and accepted a trade on April 1, 2013. He was dealt to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for prospects Mark Cundari, Reto Berra and a first round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Jay described leaving Calgary as "bittersweet", calling the city a great place to play, but expressed hope that he would finally reach the post-season with the Blues. He achieved this goal after the Blues clinched a playoff spot in their third-to-last game of the season, and the 762nd of Jay's career. In doing so, he avoided breaking Olli Jokinen's NHL record of 799 career games before making his playoff debut.
Prior to the 2013-14 season, the Blues and Jay agreed to terms on a five-year, $27 million contract extension. He recorded 37 points for the Blues during the season, his highest total since 2008–09 with the Panthers.
Jay's iron man streak ended early in the 2014–15 season as he missed the Blues' November 23, 2014 game against the Winnipeg Jets. He suffered from a "lower body injury" after skating into a rut in the ice in the previous game against the Ottawa Senators. The streak ended at 737 consecutive games, the fifth longest in NHL history.
Regular season and playoffs
|1998–99||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL||8||2||1||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–00||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL||64||13||21||34||26||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL||61||14||39||53||44||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL||61||11||50||61||42||—||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||2||0||1||1||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||64||4||13||17||50||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||St. Louis Blues||NHL||14||1||6||7||6||6||0||1||1||0|
|2013–14||St. Louis Blues||NHL||82||4||33||37||20||6||0||1||1||2|
|2014–15||St. Louis Blues||NHL||72||2||11||13||24||6||0||0||0||2|
|2015–16||St. Louis Blues||NHL||72||3||16||19||18||20||0||4||4||24|
|Competitor for Canada|
|Men's ice hockey|
|Gold||2004 Czech Republic|
|Canada Cup / World Cup|
|Gold||2004 Toronto (final)|
|World Junior Championships|
|Silver||2002 Czech Republic|
Jay played in three World Junior Championships with the Canadian junior team. He became the youngest player to ever represent Canada at the tournament when he won a bronze medal at the 2000 tournament at the age of 16 years, 3 months. He recorded two assists in 2001 as Canada won another bronze medal.
In 2002, he and the Canadian team won the silver medal, losing the championship game to Russia, 5-4.
Jay's first appearance with the senior team came at the 2003 World Championships. He finished second in scoring amongst defencemen with seven points and was named the tournament's best defenceman and an all-star as he helped Canada win the gold medal.
Jay won a second gold medal at the 2004 World Championship, contributing three points in nine games and scored the championship winning goal in a 5–3 victory over Sweden. He was a late addition to Canada's entry at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, invited to replace the injured Chris Pronger. He appeared in four games as Canada won the tournament.
Again, Jay joined the team as an injury replacement at the 2006 Winter Olympics after Scott Niedermayer was forced out of the tournament. He appeared in six games, scoring no points, as Canada lost in the quarter-finals. Jay appeared again with the national team at the 2008 World Championship.
Jay played in all nine games, settling for the silver medal after Russia defeated Team Canada in the final. He participated in Canada's summer camp in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics, but his struggles in the weeks leading up the team being announced resulted in his being left off the final roster, however, he was selected as a reserve by Team Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics should an injury occur during the tournament.
Jay played in all six of Canada's games at the 2014 Winter Olympics, contributing one assist and winning the gold medal.
Jay is best known for his skating ability. His coach in Medicine Hat, Rick Carriere, said his ability to move the puck up the ice and score meant that Jay could have played in the NHL at the age of 15.
He is a capable offensive player from his defensive position and frequently joined offensive rushes while with Florida, but failed to do so as often in his first season in Calgary, resulting in much lower offensive output.
The primary criticism of Jay's game is that he lacks a physical presence on the ice. The Hockey News commentator Ken Campbell argued that it has prevented him from becoming one of the game's elite defencemen. He is frequently among the league leaders in ice time per game and one of the most durable.