Each day, I have been highlighting a player from Team USA and Team Canada leading up to the Vancouver Olympics that has a chance to stand out during the games. Today's player from Team Canada is a standout shutdown defensemen for the Chicago Blackhawks, who usually is second in ice time per game on the team, and plays a very effective shutdown role against other teams top lines: Brent Seabrook.
Brent's junior career started and ended with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He was drafted by the Hurricanes in the first round of the 2000 bantam draft. He played 4 years with Lethbridge and had his best year in 2004-05 when he had 54 points, was a +25, and accumulated 107 penalty minutes. After his final season of junior hockey, he played 9 games for the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL.
His first season out of juniors (2005-06) he made the Blackhawks roster out of training camp and played in 69 of the Hawks games. Each season in the NHL his plus/minus has improved steadily, while logging top minutes against other teams best lines. Always one to stand up for his teammates, he is willing to drop the gloves with just about anybody, despite his important role with the Hawks. During the 2008-09 playoffs, he was able to put up 12 points in 17 games. Over the course of those playoffs, he effectively shut down the Iginla (Calgary) and Sedin (Vancouver) lines, while also doing a good job shutting down the Zetterberg (Detroit) line in the Western Conference Finals.
He has played in 3 international tournaments. The first was the World Junior Championships in 2004 where he helped Canada win a silver medal. The following year at the World Junior Championships, he helped Canada win a gold medal. He also played for Team Canada at the World Championships in 2006.
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