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Kris Russell
Kris russell.jpg
Born May 2, 1987 (1987-05-02) (age 32)
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Dallas Stars
Columbus Blue Jackets
St. Louis Blues
TPS
Calgary Flames
National team Flag of Canada.svg Canada
NHL Draft 67th overall, 2005
Columbus Blue Jackets
Playing career 2007–present

Kris Russell (born on May 2, 1987) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who is currently playing for the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He was a third round selection (67th overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and played four seasons with the team before moving on to the St. Louis Blues and then Calgary Flames.

Playing CareerEdit

Junior Playing CareerEdit

The Medicine Hat Tigers selected Kris with their eighth round selection (138th overall) at the 2002 Western Hockey League (WHL) Bantam Draft.

He played four seasons with the Tigers and the first time he played Ryan (who was a member of the Kootenay Ice) in a game, the brothers fought each other.

Kris described the event as "fun" while noting that neither was trying to hurt their brother. He was a member of league championship teams in his first season (2003–04) and his last (2006–07).

Kris was highly decorated in his junior career. He was named to a WHL All-Star Team three times and was twice named recipient of the Brad Hornung Trophy as the league's most sportsmanlike player.

Also, he twice led the league in goal scoring and won the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as top defenceman in both 2005–06 and 2006–07.

In his final WHL season, Kris was also named the winner of the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the league's most outstanding player and was named the Canadian Hockey League's Defenceman of the Year.

Professional Playing CareerEdit

The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Kris with their third round pick (67th overall) at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Shorter and lighter than his peers throughout minor hockey, he was often told he was too small to play in the NHL.

Listed at five feet, ten inches tall, Kris defied expectations and earned a spot with the Blue Jackets in his first professional season, 2007–08. He made his NHL debut and scored his first point with an assist in a 4–0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on October 5, 2007.

Kris's first two NHL goals came on January 22, 2008, against goaltender Mike Smith and was named the first star in a 4–2 win over the Dallas Stars. He added eight assists to finish with 10 points in 67 games for Columbus.

He spent the majority of the 2008–09 season with the Blue Jackets but also played 14 games with their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

Kris had 21 points in 66 games with Columbus and added a goal and an assist in his first four NHL playoff games.

He led Blue Jackets' defencemen with seven goals in 2009–10 and set a career high with 23 points in 73 games in 2010–11. He was briefly a teammate of his brother as the Blue Jackets acquired Ryan prior to the 2011–12 season.

Kris played only 12 games for Columbus that season, however, as he was sent to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Nikita Nikitin in a November 11, 2011 trade.

The deal reunited Kris with Ken Hitchcock, who had previously coached him in Columbus before becoming the head coach of the Blues.

In 55 games combined between Columbus and St. Louis, Kris scored 12 points and he made his second playoff appearance by playing nine post-season games with St. Louis.

When the 2012–13 NHL season was delayed by a labour dispute, Kris signed with TPS in the Finnish SM-liiga. He suffered a slight tear to his Medial collateral ligament early in the season and missed some time before rejoining TPS.

Kris recorded 14 points in 15 games before returning to St. Louis when the NHL season finally began. With the Blues, Russell recorded seven points in 33 games, but he dropped down the Blues' depth chart and did not appear in any post-season games for the team.

A restricted free agent following the season, Blues management expressed doubt that Kris would be one of the club's top seven defencemen. He was placed on waivers and went unclaimed.

On July 5, 2013, the Calgary Flames acquired him in exchange for a fifth round selection at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and signed him to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

In the final year of his contract in the 2015–16 season and with the Flames out of playoff contention, Kris was traded to the Dallas Stars on February 29, 2016, in exchange for Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock and a conditional second round pick in the 2016 draft.

Career StatisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003–04 Medicine Hat Tigers WHL 55 4 15 19 30 20 3 2 5 4
2004–05 Medicine Hat Tigers WHL 72 26 35 61 37 10 2 1 3 4
2005–06 Medicine Hat Tigers WHL 55 14 33 47 18 13 4 8 12 11
2006–07 Medicine Hat Tigers WHL 59 32 37 69 56 23 4 15 19 24
2007–08 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 67 2 8 10 14
2008–09 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 66 2 19 21 28 4 1 1 2 2
2009–10 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 70 7 15 22 32
2010–11 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 73 5 18 23 37
2011–12 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 12 2 1 3 13
2011–12 St. Louis Blues NHL 43 4 5 9 12 9 0 3 3 5
2012–13 TPS SM-l 15 2 12 14 8
2012–13 St. Louis Blues NHL 33 1 6 7 9
2013–14 Calgary Flames NHL 68 7 22 29 15
2014–15 Calgary Flames NHL 79 4 30 34 17 11 2 5 7 7
2015–16 Calgary Flames NHL 51 4 11 15 8
2015–16 Dallas Stars NHL 11 0 4 4 2 12 0 4 4 4
NHL totals 573 38 139 177 187 36 3 13 16 18

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2004 Canada-Pacific U17 Template:Sica 6 1 4 5 0
2006 Canada WJC Template:Goca 6 1 3 4 4
2007 Canada WJC Template:Goca 6 4 2 6 0
2010 Canada WC 7th 7 1 3 4 2
2012 Canada WC 5th 4 0 3 3 2
Junior totals 18 6 9 15 4
Senior totals 11 1 6 7 4

International PlayEdit

Medal record
Competitor for Canada Canada
Men's ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold 2006 Canada
Gold 2007 Sweden

Internationally, Kris twice represented Canada as a member of the national junior team. He first played at the 2006 World Junior Championship where he recorded one goal and three assists for the gold medal-winning Canadians.

Returning for the 2007 tournament, he tied Jonathan Toews for the team lead with four goals as Canada again won the gold medal.

AccoladesEdit

Junior
Award Year
WHL East Second All-Star Team 2004–05
Brad Hornung Trophy
WHL most sportsmanlike player
2004–05
2005–06
WHL East First All-Star Team 2005–06
2006–07
Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy
WHL defenceman of the year
2005–06
2006–07
CHL Sportsman of the Year 2005–06
Four Broncos Memorial Trophy
WHL player of the year
2006–07
CHL Defenceman of the Year 2006–07

Personal LifeEdit

Kris's parents are Terri and Doug. He has an identical twin brother, Ryan and they grew up in the nearby village of Caroline.

Doug was a professional bull fighter on Alberta's rodeo circuit (someone who protects bull riders while they escape the ring following their rides by distracting the bulls) and made four appearances at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, but left the sport when his sons were born.

Kris was coached by his father for much of his minor hockey career and was moved to defence by Doug when he was ten years old.

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