Like many NHL players, Ryane Clowe started his career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He started off with the Rimouski Oceanic in 2000-01. Right away, after a 25 point (15 G, 10 A) season, the San Jose Sharks drafted Clowe in 2001. He would then spend two more years with Oceanic and played another season for the Montreal Rocket before joining San Jose’s AHL team, the Cleveland Barons in 2003.
He first had a taste of the NHL in 2005-06, splitting time between the AHL and NHL. Clowe would continue to hang around in the NHL producing quality totals each season. In 2007-08, he went on injured reserve for most of the season due to torn knee ligaments. He came back in late March of 2008 and was a prominent force in San Jose’s playoff run. He totaled 9 points (5 G, 4 A) in 13 games.
He then was signed for one more year to prove that his playoff performance wasn’t a fluke. In 2008-09, he posted an impressive 52 point (22 G, 30 A) season in 71 games. In reward, San Jose gave him a 4-year, $14.5 million contract that would lock up one of the Sharks’ pieces for the future.
He then rewarded the Sharks by posting a 57 point season and played in all 82 games of the season. That year in the playoffs, he posted 10 points in 15 games. He continued to develop even more the next year with a 62 point season in 75 games. He even improved in his playoff performance with 15 points in 17 games.
Clowe did regress slightly (although improving on a 62 point season is tough) and posted a 45 point season playing in 76 games. After 28 games last season, Clowe had only mustered up 11 points and the Sharks traded him to the Rangers for a 2nd and 3rd round pick in 2013 and a conditional 2014 2nd round pick. That pick turned into a 5th-rounder because Clowe did not re-sign and it also turned out it would have turned into a 5th even if he did because New York failed to win 2 playoff rounds.
After playing very briefly with the Rangers, the Devils snagged him out of free agency. He signed a 5-year, $24.25 million contract that includes a no-move clause.
Looking back on Clowe’s career, except for this past year and the year he was injured for most of the season, Clowe has always put up impressive numbers that include a good amount of goals and a great amount of assists. Clowe is a great addition for a team that needs offensive production.
Clowe will most likely be placed on the 2nd line at Left Wing behind Patrik Elias. He will probably play with Michael Ryder on the second line. Whether or not Zubrus plays on the second line instead of Henrique remains to be seen but I’m leaning towards Zubrus playing on the 2nd line at center.
We should see very good play from the Devils’ top 2-3 lines this year. They have a lot of pieces in place that can produce the offensive they sorely needed last year and adding Ryane Clowe is another step in the right direction.