Today marks the 29th birthday for perhaps the most popular Nashville Predator of them all, Jordin Tootoo. The scrappers are always fan favorites, but Tootoo's long but steady rise to become an NHL regular, combined with his year-plus of sobriety make for the type of long-term career arch that earns him a permanent spot in the pantheon of Smashville heroes.
He's already set new highs for assists and total points in a season, which makes for perfect timing considering the fact that he's set for unrestricted free agency this summer. After making $1.35 million this year, how high should his sights be set for his next contract?
|2011 - Jordin Tootoo||49||6||15||21||+1||64||1||0||1||103||5.8|
Did ya know...
- Tootoo won a silver medal at the 2003 World Junior Championships with Team Canada, playing on a team with Joffrey Lupul, Derek Roy, Scottie Upshall, Ian White, and Marc-Andre Fleury, among other future NHL players.
- In a Sports Illustrated poll this season, his peers voted Tootoo the 2nd-hardest hitter in the entire league.
- His favorite opponent might just be the Anaheim Ducks. In 22 career regular season games, he has 4 goals and 5 assists against them (his best points-per-game pace against any team), and of course he played a large role in Nashville playoff victory over the Ducks last spring.
What's encouraging to see is that scoring touch he showed in junior hockey coming to the forefront more often at the NHL level. Here he is scoring a nifty goal on former teammate Dan Ellis earlier this season:
What better way to end a 7-game scoreless streak than with a big game on his birthday?