Tootoo with the New Jersey Devils in 2014
February 2, 1983|
Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
|Height||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)|
|Weight||199 lb (90 kg; 14 st 3 lb)|
Detroit Red Wings
New Jersey Devils
98th overall, 2001|
Jordin John Kudluk Tootoo Inuktitut: ᔪᐊᑕᓐ ᑐᑐ; born February 2, 1983) is a Canadian former professional hockey player, who played for the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks. Of Inuit, Ukrainian and English descent, he is the first Inuk player to play in the NHL. Tootoo was widely regarded as one of the NHL's best agitators and was able to annoy, fight, and distract other players to help his team win. At the end of the 2016–17 NHL season, Tootoo had accumulated 65 goals, 96 assists and 1010 PIMs in 723 career NHL games since entering the league in 2003.(
In addition to his on-ice skills, Tootoo is known for his charity and community outreach work, especially in northern communities.
On October 19, 2018, he officially announced his retirement on Twitter, saying "After 220 regular-season games with the Wheat Kings and 723 games in the NHL I have decided to retire from the NHL to focus on giving back to the Indigenous community."
Tootoo was 13 years old when he moved from Rankin Inlet to go play Bantam AAA hockey in Spruce Grove, Alberta. The Brandon Wheat Kings selected him in the 3rd round of the 1998 WHL Bantam Draft. Tootoo played for the Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 1999 to 2003 and was selected 98th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft as the sixth choice of the Nashville Predators. He became the first player of Inuit descent to play in a regular-season NHL game when he suited up against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on Opening Night October 9, 2003. He was also the first person of Inuit descent to be drafted by an NHL team. Tootoo wears the number '22' as a play on words of his name.
Tootoo got his first NHL point with an assist on a Dan Hamhuis goal against the St. Louis Blues on October 16, 2003 and scored his first NHL goal against the Atlanta Thrashers on October 23. Tootoo has also earned two "Gordie Howe hat tricks"—on January 10, 2004, and December 8, 2007—when he notched a goal, an assist, and a fighting major in each game.
He spent the 2005–06 season between the Nashville Predators and the Predators' minor league affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, where he played during the 2004–05 NHL lockout. On July 21, 2006, he was re-signed by the Predators to a two-year contract. On January 31, 2008, he was re-signed to another two-year contract extension.
Tootoo currently holds the franchise record for total penalty minutes (725) with Nashville. Over his 486 games with the Predators, Tootoo recorded 46 goals and 79 assists for a combined total of 125 points during his eight years (2003—2012) with the Predators.
Detroit Red Wings
Tootoo was designated an unrestricted free agent after the 2011–12 season. He signed a three-year, $5.7 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville's Central Division rival on July 1, 2012. He scored his first goal as a Red Wing against his former team, the Predators on February 19, 2013.
New Jersey Devils
Tootoo attended the training camp for the New Jersey Devils on a tryout basis and signed a one-year contract with the team on October 7, 2014. He played with the team for 68 games during the 2014–15 season. He scored 10 goals, had 5 assists, and sat for 72 PIM ranking 55th most penalty points in the NHL. On May 8, 2015, he was re-signed to a second one-year $825,000 contract.
Chicago Blackhawks and retirement
As a free agent on July 5, 2016, Tootoo left the Devils to sign a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. On February 28, 2017, Chicago agreed to extend Tootoo's contract through the 2017–2018 season. In his year with the Chicago Blackhawks, he was nursing an upper body injury and placed on long term injury reserve which resulted in him being waived in November 2017.
On October 19, 2018, Tootoo retired from hockey after playing 723 NHL games. Despite his retirement, Tootoo said he plans to "continue to work to enhance life for Native children who are suffering."
Suspensions and disciplinary issues
Tootoo faced NHL disciplinary action on multiple occasions for his actions. On March 17, 2007, Tootoo punched defenceman Stéphane Robidas of the Dallas Stars in the face during a game. Robidas was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion. Two days later the NHL issued Tootoo a five-game suspension without pay, and accusations of "dirty" play were leveled. These accusations were resurrected after an incident on October 11, 2007, in which Tootoo hit the head of Daniel Winnik of the Phoenix Coyotes with his shoulder.
On December 6, 2011, the NHL suspended Tootoo again, this time for two games, as a result of a charging incident against Buffalo Sabres' goaltender Ryan Miller in a game played on December 3, 2011. The incident occurred after Nashville's own GM, David Poile, publicly supported league action to prevent such hits on goaltenders.
Jordin Tootoo's older brother Terence played for the Roanoke Express of the ECHL in the 2001–02 season. Terence had a successful junior career with the OCN Blizzard, and was named the Express' Rookie of the Year. In August 2002, Terence died by suicide at the age of 22, in the wake of an arrest for drunk driving.
Although born in Manitoba, Tootoo grew up in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, where he was taught to skate and play hockey by his father. Growing up in Rankin Inlet allowed Tootoo to learn the traditional Inuit lifestyle that includes hunting and camping, but also exposed him to mental and physical abuse. As the first Inuk to play in the National Hockey League he has become a role model for youth in Nunavut.
In 2007, Tootoo was in a relationship with former American Idol contentestant and country music singer Kellie Pickler. Tootoo brought Pickler to his hometown of Rankin Inlet. The relationship ended that summer, due to Tootoo's infidelity. It is widely believed that Pickler's single Best Days of Your Life was written about Tootoo.
On December 27, 2010, Tootoo voluntarily entered the NHL/NHLPA's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program to receive treatment for an alcohol problem. Following successful completion of the program, he returned to finish the season and play in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.
In 2012 during the NHL hockey lockout Jordin Tootoo went to his home town of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut to host the first Team Tootoo hockey camp for the local kids. Tootoo's main focus of the camp was making sure the kids were having fun and being able to enjoy themselves as a community. "It’s going to be a really positive atmosphere. You’re going to learn hockey skills, but you’re also going to learn life skills and teamwork," he said.
Team Tootoo Foundation
In 2015 the New Jersey Devils nominated Tootoo for the 2015 NHL Foundation Player Award. This award is designated to a player that exhibits valued characteristics to the NHL; commitment, perseverance and teamwork. The player that is selected is granted 25,000 dollars to a foundation of their choice, which ended up being the kickstart to his foundation. Tootoo's recognition comes from all the work his Team Tootoo Foundation has done in his hometown of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut and nationally. The inspiration that motivated Tootoo to start his foundation in 2011 was the suicide of his older brother Terence back in 2002. The main focus of The Team Tootoo Fund is to raise awareness for suicide prevention and anti-bullying programs for youths at risk. Having dealt with mental illness and suicide himself in the past he has been a positive voice for individuals struggling with these afflictions, often speaking out and sharing his story.
|World Junior Championships|
Regular season and playoffs
|1997-98||Spruce Grove Broncos U15||AMBHL||34||20||10||30||149||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–00||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||45||6||10||16||214||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||60||20||28||48||172||6||2||4||6||18|
|2001–02||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||64||32||39||71||272||16||4||3||7||58|
|2002–03||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||51||35||39||74||216||17||6||3||9||49|
|2012–13||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||42||3||5||8||78||1||0||0||0||2|
|2013–14||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||51||6||12||18||104||4||0||1||1||4|
|2013–14||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||11||0||1||1||5||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014–15||New Jersey Devils||NHL||68||10||5||15||72||—||—||—||—||—|
|2015–16||New Jersey Devils||NHL||66||4||5||9||102||—||—||—||—||—|
- Rookie of the Year, Most Popular Player, and Scholastic Player of the Year honours with the OCN Blizzard in 1998–99.
- Nominated as Manitoba's Sportsman of the Year for 2000.
- WHL Player of the Month for December, 2001.
- WHL Player of the Week for the week of December 23–30, 2001.
- Played in the 2001 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
- Hardest shot in the 2001 Top Prospects Skills Evaluation (96.1 mph).
- WHL Player of the Week for the week of November 11–17, 2002.
- National Aboriginal Achievement Award, now the Indspire Awards, 2002 Youth Award.
- WHL East First All-Star Team, 2003
- Meritorious Service Medal (Canada), 2017
- "Government of Nunavut Hansard" (PDF). Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- Murphy, Kirsten (June 6, 2003). "Number 22 is number one with Nunavummiut". Nunatsiaq News. Archived from the original on November 21, 2006. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
- "Jordin Tootoo Stats and News". NHL.com. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- @Jtootoo22 (October 19, 2018). "After 220 regular-season games with the Wheat Kings and 723 games in the NHL I have decided to retire from the NHL to focus on giving back to the Indigenous community. @NHLBlackhawks @PredsNHL @NJDevils @DetroitRedWings @bdnwheatkings" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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- "Jordin Tootoo Stats". Hockey-Reference.com. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
- "Watch live: Jordin Tootoo speaking before Preds celebrate 'Jordin Tootoo Night'". The Tennessean. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
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- Roose, Bill (June 18, 2014). "Red Wings place Tootoo on waivers". NHL.com. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- "Blackhawks agree to terms with Jordin Tootoo". Chicago Blackhawks. July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- Hine, Chris. "Blackhawks sign Michal Rozsival, Jordin Tootoo to contract extensions". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
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- "'I owe my life to this game': Jordin Tootoo retiring from NHL". cbc.ca. October 19, 2018. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
- McKenzie, Bob (October 12, 2007). "Head-hunter pays the price". TSN. Archived from the original on October 18, 2007. Retrieved October 12, 2007.
- "Jordin Tootoo suspended 2 games". ESPN. December 6, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- Gretz, Adam (February 22, 2013). "Derek Dorsett wants Jordin Tootoo suspended, calls him irrelevant". CBS Sports. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- *Terence Tootoo career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- D'Souza, Patricia (September 6, 2002). "Rankin Inlet hockey player found dead in Manitoba". Nunatsiaq News. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- "kalluk". Asuilaak Living Dictionary. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
- Redekop, Bill (January 31, 2013). "Wild speculation, mounting fear and locked doors follow double homicide In Ethelbert". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived (Internet Archive) from the original on March 6, 2013.
- Lapointe, Joe (November 15, 2003). "HOCKEY; It's a Long Way Down to Nashville". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- "Jordin Tootoo details journey to NHL and battles with alcohol in new biography". Montreal Gazette. October 31, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- "Poster Takes Jordin Tootoo Inspiration Beyond Hockey". Government of Nunavut. October 7, 2003. Archived from the original on October 16, 2003.
- "Profile: Who is Jordin Tootoo?". In Depth: Aboriginal Canadians. CBC News Online. November 17, 2005. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- "Nunavut hockey star introduces American Idol girlfriend to family". CBC North. June 21, 2007.
- "KELLIE PICKLER EXPOSES EX-BOYFRIEND'S ALLEGED INFIDELITY". Theboot.com. October 2, 2007.
- "Now that's a role model". Lethbridge Herald. January 7, 2011. Archived from the original on February 17, 2011.
- "NunatsiaqOnline 2012-12-07: NEWS: Jordin Tootoo heads home to host big Kivalliq hockey camp". www.nunatsiaqonline.ca. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- "Why fighting in hockey has to stay". GoBardown. November 5, 2013. Archived from the original on December 5, 2014.
- Tootoo, Jordin (October 21, 2014). All the Way: My Life On Ice. Viking. ISBN 9780670067626.
- "Jordin Tootoo nominated for NHL Foundation Player Award". CBC News. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- "Jordin Tootoo nominated for NHL Foundation Player Award". CBC News. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- "Jordin Tootoo, Youth". National Aboriginal Achievement Awards. 2002. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.