Over the past two seasons, Ian White has become quite accustom to living out of his suitcase.
Since 2009, White has been on four different National Hockey League teams after being traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs as a piece of the Dion Phaneuf deal with the Calgary Flames.
He played 56 games with the Leafs that season, but finished the last 27 games with the Flames. The mix-up didn’t stop White from finishing the season with an overall total of 13 goals and 25 assists; impressive numbers for a defenseman acquired in the sixth round.
In the summer of 2010, White signed a one-year deal worth 2.99 million and began the current season with the Flames. After playing just 16 games with Calgary, he was traded again in November along with Brett Sutter to the Carolina Hurricanes where he played 39 games and recorded 10 assists.
Finally, in February 2011, White was notified once again that he would be on the move, this time, to the San Jose Sharks. The club acquired White in exchange for a second round pick – a move that general manager Doug Wilson may find will pay off.
San Jose was in need of another experienced defenseman with an offensive upside, and White couldn’t have worked out any better.
Since coming to the Sharks, White has contributed offensively with five assists in ten games and did an exceptional job filling in on the first power play unit while the regular quarterback, assistant captain Dan Boyle, was out with a day-to-day injury.
His season’s with the Leafs were very successful points-wise as White identified himself as a defensive rock that could also jump into the rush and put the puck in the net. He had an average of 26 points with the club, with his goal totals reading in at three, five, 10, and the aforementioned 13 in a split between Toronto and Calgary.
In the Toronto’s year’s of rebuilding, White was visibly one of the best offensive defenseman alongside Tomas Kaberle, eventually averaging over 25
minutes a game for the club. On a Western Conference powerhouse team like San Jose, White has the experience and potential to fit right in.
So far, Sharks head coach Todd McClellan has counted on White for some solid minutes even strength, while also playing a big role on the point on the power play unit(s).
His play in past years showed spurts of legitimate offensive-defensive talent, and at just 26-years-old, White could still grow into a much bigger role than the “rental player” he has been known as over the past two seasons. If the Sharks opt to re-sign White over the summer, they may find they’ve found a hidden gem amongst the whirlwind trades involving him.
Ian White is a native of Steinbach, Manitoba, and played all four seasons of his major junior career with the Swift Current Broncos. He began his professional year playing one season with the St. John’s Maple Leafs and one season with the Toronto Marlies before making the NHL club full-time in 2006-07.