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Trent Whitfield is the perfect example of a journey-man in the NHL. Although he might not be a “Future Star” of the Bruins, as he is already 32 years old, he may contribute more than people think. Whitfield was originally selected by the B’s in the NHL Entry Draft in 1996 in the fourth round and 100th overall. The center never played for the Bruins after he was selected in 1996, rather he played for many years in the AHL and became a well known player in the league. He played under the minor league affiliates of the Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, and St. Louis Blues.
Originally born in Estevan, Saskatchewan Canada, Whitfield played in his first career NHL game in the 2000-01 season with the Capitals. He didn’t have a very successful season as he played 61 games and registered only two goals and fours assists. The following season he split time between Washington and the New York Rangers and had a season total of one assist while playing in 24 games for the Capitals and one game for the Rangers.
Before the 2005-06 season Whitfield signed with the Blues and played 30 games for the team before being sent down to their AHL affiliate the Peoria Rivermen. He spent the next three seasons with the Rivermen as their captain and became a well-established player in the AHL. His most successful year was the 2006-07 season in which he scored 33 goals and had 45 assists in 79 games for the Rivermen.
Earlier this year the Bruins signed the center to a two-year deal after selecting him in the draft 13 years earlier. Although Whitfield has not been successful at the NHL level, he still stands to make an impact on the injury-plagued Bruins. Earlier this year, he replaced Byron Bitz, who was out with a groin injury.
On the year, Whitfield has played in seven games and has not yet registered a point and has five penalty minutes. Coach Julien likes Whitfield on the team because of his experience, game preparation, and work ethic and I am sure his depleted lines could use someone like Whitfield to fill in the holes.