Keith Michael Yandle (born September 9, 1986) is an American former professional ice hockey defenseman. Yandle was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the fourth round, 105th overall, at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He played 1,109 games for the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, and Philadelphia Flyers.

Keith Yandle
Yandle with the Phoenix Coyotes in December 2013
Born (1986-09-09) September 9, 1986 (age 37)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Defense
Shot Left
Played for Arizona Coyotes
New York Rangers
Florida Panthers
Philadelphia Flyers
National team  United States
NHL Draft 105th overall, 2005
Phoenix Coyotes
Playing career 2006–2022

After playing his junior career in the QMJHL for the Moncton Wildcats, where he was named CHL defenceman of the year, Yandle made his NHL debut in 2006 and quickly established himself as a premier offensive defenseman, leading the Coyotes in points in both the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons.[1] He holds the second-longest NHL ironman streak of consecutive games played, with 989, and held the all-time record from January 2022 to October 2022; during the 2020–21 season, he became the third player ever to record 900 consecutive games played. Yandle passed Doug Jarvis's streak as the then-longest in NHL history on January 25, 2022 after playing his 965th consecutive game.[2]

Early life edit

Yandle was born on September 9, 1986, in Boston, Massachusetts.[3] Both of his parents worked long hours for FedEx in order to provide for their three children: while his father Bud drove trucks for the company, his mother Patti, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for most of her adult life, served as a dispatcher.[4] Although his father also worked as a local youth hockey coach in Milton, Massachusetts, Yandle was not a full-time ice hockey player in his childhood. He was instead a multi-sport athlete, playing hockey, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, and American football, depending on what was in season.[5] During hockey season, Yandle was often overlooked on All-Star teams and by scouts, who were focused on the flashier Boston-area defenseman, Dan McGoff of nearby Charlestown. While McGoff never reached the National Hockey League (NHL), Yandle was inspired by him and used their rivalry to improve his own skills.[6]

In 2000, Yandle played in the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from the South Shore region of Massachusetts.[7] From there, he began playing high school hockey for Milton High School, taking the Wildcats to an 18–2 win–loss record.[5] After one year there, he chose to enroll at Cushing Academy, a college-preparatory school in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, and to focus solely on hockey.[8] During his junior season in 2003–04, Yandle scored 14 goals and 48 assists for Cushing; as a senior the following year, he added an additional 14 goals and 40 assists in 34 games, and was named an All-New England First Team selection.[9]

Playing career edit

Amateur edit

Yandle originally intended to play college ice hockey for the University of New Hampshire, where his older brother Brian was already playing, but he struggled academically throughout high school and was denied admittance.[10] After his plans to attend New Hampshire fell through, Yandle instead offered a verbal commitment to attend the University of Maine instead.[9] Ultimately, however, he chose to forego college entirely in order to sign with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), believing that a year of junior ice hockey was the fastest option to turn professional.[11] Playing alongside future NHL standouts Brad Marchand and Jason Demers, Yandle scored 25 goals and 59 points, the highest of any Moncton defenseman in history. As a team, the Wildcats had a 52–15–0–3 record, leading to a franchise-high 107 points. After winning the President's Cup as QMJHL champions, they advanced to the Memorial Cup, where they fell in the finals to the Quebec Ramparts.[12] At the end of the year, Yandle won both the Emile Bouchard Trophy for the top defenseman in the QMJHL and the Telus Cup for the best defensive player in the league, and he was a QMJHL First All-Star Team selection.[13] The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) also named Yandle their Defenseman of the Year,[14] and he was part of that year's CHL First All-Star Team.[15]

Professional edit

Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes (2006–2015) edit

Yandle at Coyotes practice in September 2010

Drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the fourth round, 105th overall, in 2005, Yandle made his NHL debut on October 11, 2006, against the Detroit Red Wings, logging 20 minutes of ice time in the game.[16] In the 2007–08 season, he participated in the American Hockey League All-Star Game as a member of the PlanetUSA team.[citation needed]

In his first Stanley Cup playoff game, on April 14, 2010, Yandle scored the first goal for Phoenix against Detroit to tie the game at 1–1. He would later add an assist and be named one of the game's three stars.[17] Yandle was named to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game as a replacement for the Atlanta Thrashers' Tobias Enström.[18]

Shortly after free agency began on July 1, 2011, Yandle signed a five-year contract extension with the Coyotes worth $26.25 million.[19] He played an integral role in the Coyotes' push in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs that saw them face the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Final, contributing nine points during their run.[20] On November 12, 2014, he played his 400th consecutive game with the team. He ranks second all-time on the franchise's longest consecutive games played list, behind only Dale Hawerchuk (475).[21]

New York Rangers (2015–2016) edit

On March 1, 2015, Yandle was part of a massive trade between the Coyotes and the New York Rangers: New York acquired Yandle, Chris Summers, and a fourth-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, while Arizona received John Moore, prospect Anthony Duclair, and two draft picks.[22] Rangers general manager Glen Sather had apparently been trying to acquire Yandle for years, but could not afford him under the strict NHL salary cap; as part of the 2015 trade, the Coyotes agreed to retain half of Yandle's salary, allowing the Rangers to fit him into their roster.[23] Yandle had a difficult start with the new team, recording only one point in his first ten games, but soon entered a hot streak beginning with a three-assist game against the Anaheim Ducks on March 22. By April 5, the Rangers registered their 50th win of the season, and Yandle had eight points in as many games.[24] He finished the season with 11 points in 21 games, and managed to contribute another 11 points in 19 playoff games before the Rangers were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals.[25][26] After the Rangers' playoff run came to an end, Yandle revealed that he had suffered a sprained acromioclavicular joint after taking a hit from Blake Comeau of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first round of playoffs, but that it had begun to heal and he gradually felt less pain over the course of the postseason.[27]

Shortly before the start of the 2015–16 season, Yandle said that his shoulder had fully recovered without surgery and that he was ready to take an active role on the Rangers' power play unit.[28] He opened the season on the second defensive pair alongside Dan Girardi, who had also suffered a major injury during the playoffs.[29] By December, however, he had found a strong rhythm with Dylan McIlrath, a far more defensively-minded skater who could balance Yandle's offensive-oriented style of play.[30] Most of the conversation around Yandle during the 2015–16 season surrounded whether or not he would be traded again: an unrestricted free agent following the year, Yandle led the team with 21 assists halfway through the season but would also be expensive to retain.[31] When Ryan McDonagh was taken out of the lineup that February with an injury, Yandle received the bulk of his playing time, and in that span, the Rangers were 7–1–1.[32] Yandle also became a force on the power play after McDonagh's injury: the Rangers had a 2 percent success rate on the power play from December 28 to February 10, which was bumped to 18.8 percent from February 10 to March 24.[33] In his first full season with the Rangers, Yandle scored 47 points, including a team-leading 42 assists and 22 power play points.[34] The Rangers reached the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs but lost to the Penguins in only five games, and Pittsburgh's scoring rush in Game 5 began on a failed turnover attempt from Yandle.[35]

Florida Panthers (2016–2021) edit

On June 20, 2016, ten days before Yandle was set to become an unrestricted free agent if he did not sign a contract with the Rangers, his contract negotiation rights were traded to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round selection in the 2016 draft. If the Panthers were able to sign Yandle by July 1, the Rangers would also receive a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.[36] Three days later, the Panthers, who were in need of a strong force on their power play, signed Yandle to a seven-year, $44.45 million contract.[37] He began the 2016–17 in a scoring drought, not recording a goal until November 21, in a 3–2 shootout win over his former team, the Rangers.[38] Although Yandle was expected to be out "indefinitely" after being injured during a game against the Boston Bruins on December 5,[39] he unexpectedly took the ice the next day for a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, his 578th consecutive NHL contest.[40]

On January 14, 2018, Anaheim Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano was suspended after playing 830 consecutive games, effectively making Yandle the leader in the iron man race for most consecutive games played with 676 games played at the time.[41]

On March 7, 2021, Yandle played in his 1,000th NHL game in a 4–2 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes.[42]

Following the 2020–21 season, having played in his fifth season with the Panthers, Yandle was bought out from the remaining two years of his contract on July 15, 2021.[43]

Philadelphia Flyers (2021–2022) edit

On July 27, the eve of the opening of free agency, Yandle agreed to terms on a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.[44]

As he entered the 2021–22 season, there was considerable attention paid to his ongoing iron man streak. Having played in 922 consecutive games up to that point, Yandle was second in NHL history and only 42 behind leader Doug Jarvis.[45] On January 24, 2022, Yandle tied Jarvis's record, playing in his 964th consecutive game with the Flyers facing the Dallas Stars.[46] He broke Jarvis' record on January 25, 2022, when he played his first shift against the New York Islanders.[2]

On April 2, 2022, Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo announced that Yandle would be a healthy scratch in a game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs and his iron man streak at an NHL-record 989 consecutive games was over, in order to give opportunities to prospect Ronnie Attard. At the time of Yeo's decision, Yandle was by some statistical measures the worst defenseman in the NHL; the decision to scratch Yandle was met with some criticism from Flyers teammates and fans. In late October 2022, however, Phil Kessel passed Yandle for the longest NHL iron man reign at the time.[47]

On September 20, 2022, Yandle announced his retirement from professional hockey.[48][49]

Career statistics edit

Regular season and playoffs edit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2002–03 Cushing Academy HS-Prep 30 4 26 30 61
2003–04 Cushing Academy HS-Prep 37 14 48 62 78
2004–05 Cushing Academy HS-Prep 34 14 40 54 52
2005–06 Moncton Wildcats QMJHL 66 25 59 84 109 21 6 14 20 36
2006–07 San Antonio Rampage AHL 69 6 27 33 97
2006–07 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 7 0 2 2 8
2007–08 San Antonio Rampage AHL 30 1 14 15 80 5 0 0 0 8
2007–08 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 43 5 7 12 14
2008–09 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 69 4 26 30 37
2009–10 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 82 12 29 41 45 7 2 3 5 4
2010–11 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 82 11 48 59 68 4 0 5 5 0
2011–12 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 82 11 32 43 51 16 1 8 9 10
2012–13 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 48 10 20 30 54
2013–14 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 82 8 45 53 63
2014–15 Arizona Coyotes NHL 63 4 37 41 32
2014–15 New York Rangers NHL 21 2 9 11 8 19 2 9 11 10
2015–16 New York Rangers NHL 82 5 42 47 40 5 1 0 1 2
2016–17 Florida Panthers NHL 82 5 36 41 39
2017–18 Florida Panthers NHL 82 8 48 56 35
2018–19 Florida Panthers NHL 82 9 53 62 50
2019–20 Florida Panthers NHL 69 5 40 45 20 4 0 3 3 0
2020–21 Florida Panthers NHL 56 3 24 27 38 3 0 2 2 0
2021–22 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 77 1 18 19 14
NHL totals 1,109 103 516 619 616 58 6 30 36 26

International edit

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2010 United States WC 13th 6 1 3 4 0
Senior totals 6 1 3 4 0

Awards and honors edit

Awards Year Ref.
President's Cup champion 2006 [12]
First All-Star Team 2006 [13]
Emile Bouchard Trophy 2006 [13]
Telus Cup – Defensive 2006 [13]
Defenseman of the Year 2006 [14]
First All-Star Team 2006 [15]
All-Star Game 2008
NHL All-Star 2011, 2012, 2019

References edit

  1. ^ "Coyotes season overview". Arizona Coyotes. June 3, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Kimelman, Adam. "Yandle plays in 965th consecutive game to break Jarvis' NHL record". NHL. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  3. ^ "Keith Yandle Stats and News". National Hockey League. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  4. ^ Campbell, Ken (November 19, 2021). "Keith Yandle: Keep on Trucking". The Hockey News. Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Shuman, Cary (April 5, 2019). "Never Misses A Shift: Charlestown's Keith Yandle is NHL's Ironman". Charlestown Patriot-Bridge. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  6. ^ Richards, George (March 25, 2019). "Panthers' Keith Yandle grew up wanting to be like Dan McGoff, the best D-man in Boston". The Athletic. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  7. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 6, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  8. ^ Perez, Anthony (February 4, 2010). "Yandle Having Breakout Season". National Hockey League. Arizona Coyotes. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "UM gets top-scoring defenseman". Bangor Daily News. June 18, 2005. p. D5. Retrieved November 24, 2021 – via  
  10. ^ "Next Stop for Keith Yandle". U.S. Hockey Report. June 13, 2005. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  11. ^ Shinzawa, Fluto (January 29, 2011). "Yandle took the fast lane". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  12. ^ a b Fialkov, Harvey (October 31, 2016). "From juniors to NHL, Panthers' Yandle, Demers and Bruins' Marchand share bond". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d "Keith Yandle with the Phoenix Coyotes". Moncton Wildcats. Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. October 12, 2006. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Yandle named CHL Defenseman of the Year". National Hockey League. Arizona Coyotes. May 30, 2006. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Awards – CHL First All-Star Team". Elite Prospects. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  16. ^ "Schneider leads barrage of nine goals for Red Wings". CBS Sports. October 11, 2006. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  17. ^ "Coyotes take opener vs Red Wings in first playoff game since 2002". CBS Sports. April 14, 2010. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  18. ^ "Yandle will get to strut stuff on All-Star stage". National Hockey League. January 25, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  19. ^ "All-Star defenseman Keith Yandle signs 5-year, $26.25 million deal to remain with Phoenix Coyotes". The Arizona Republic. July 5, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  20. ^ "Keith Yandle Statistics". National Hockey League. December 18, 2014.
  21. ^ "'Yotes Notes: Hanzal Among League Leaders in Face-off Success". National Hockey League. November 10, 2014.
  22. ^ "Rangers acquire defenseman Yandle from Coyotes". National Hockey League. March 1, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  23. ^ Carpiniello, Rick (March 2, 2015). "Keith Yandle trade: Rangers hope they've hit a home run". The Journal News. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  24. ^ Zipay, Steve (April 5, 2015). "After slow start, Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle hitting his best stride". Newsday. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  25. ^ St. James, Helene (August 2, 2015). "Rangers should maintain a high-scoring pace this season". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  26. ^ Rohan, Tim (May 29, 2015). "Rangers Are Shut Out in Game 7 as Lightning Reach Finals". The New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  27. ^ Cerny, Jim (June 1, 2015). "Rangers Breakup Day Notebook, Injury Updates". National Hockey League. New York Rangers. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  28. ^ Hartnett, Sean (September 11, 2015). "Hartnett: Yandle Is Motivated To Be Rangers' Power Play Game Changer". CBS New York. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  29. ^ Zipay, Steve (October 23, 2015). "Dan Girardi trying to work his way back to player he was last season". Newsday. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  30. ^ Brooks, Larry (December 9, 2015). "Rangers might have discovered a new dynamic defensive duo". New York Post. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  31. ^ Zipay, Steve (January 19, 2016). "Vigneault takes blame for Rangers' lackluster special teams". Newsday. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  32. ^ Brooks, Larry (February 22, 2016). "How Keith Yandle went from trade piece to vital Rangers cog". New York Post. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  33. ^ Zipay, Steve (March 24, 2016). "Rangers are happy that defenseman Keith Yandle is paying dividends". Newsday. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  34. ^ Fialkov, Harvey (June 24, 2016). "Keith Yandle says he joined Panthers to win a Stanley Cup". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  35. ^ Cyrgalis, Brett (June 20, 2016). "Why Rangers were in a rush to deal Keith Yandle". New York Post. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  36. ^ Poupart, Alain (June 20, 2016). "Panthers acquire Yandle's rights from Rangers". National Hockey League. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  37. ^ Rosen, Dan (June 24, 2016). "Yandle signs seven-year contract with Panthers". National Hockey League. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  38. ^ Richards, George (November 21, 2016). "Florida Panthers get Nick Bjugstad back following best road trip of the season". Miami Herald. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  39. ^ Bottomley, Andrew (December 5, 2016). "Panthers' Keith Yandle out indefinitely with lower-body injury". Sportsnet. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  40. ^ O'Brien, James (December 6, 2016). "So much for being out for a while: Keith Yandle is in for Panthers". Pro Hockey Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  41. ^ DeFranks, Matthew (January 18, 2018). "Keith Yandle owns longest active games-played streak after Andrew Cogliano's suspension: 'You feel bad for him'". Sun Sentenial. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  42. ^ "Hurricanes double up Panthers to win fifth straight". Reuters. March 7, 2021. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  43. ^ "Florida Panthers exercise buyout with Keith Yandle". Florida Panthers. July 15, 2021. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  44. ^ "Keith Yandle joining Flyers on one-year deal". July 27, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  45. ^ Fish, Wayne (September 27, 2021). "Flyers' Yandle taking near-record ironman streak one game at a time". Bucks County Courier Times. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  46. ^ "Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle, 35, ties NHL record for consecutive games at 964". January 24, 2022. Retrieved January 22, 2022.
  47. ^ "Flyers' Keith Yandle to sit Saturday, ending NHL-record consecutive games streak at 989". The Athletic. April 2, 2022. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  48. ^ Adam Kimelman. "Yandle retires from NHL, holds consecutive games played record at 989". Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  49. ^ "Puck Empire 👑 on Instagram: "Keith Yandle has retired from professional hockey at the age of 36. Yandle played 1,109 games with Arizona, New York, Florida, and Philadelphia, scoring 103 goals and 619 points. He holds the all-time record for most consecutive games played, at 989."". Instagram. Retrieved September 20, 2022.

External links edit