Andrew Ladd has had a successful NHL career. The Maple Ridge, British Columbia native was drafted 4th overall in 2004 by the Carolina Hurricanes. In his rookie season of 2005-06, he won the Stanley Cup with the Canes. In 2008, the Canes traded Ladd to the Chicago Blackhawks for Tuomo Ruutu. He had 50 points (26 goals and 24 assists) in 137 games in Carolina. He won his second Cup (this time with the Hawks) in 2010. But at the end of that year, Ladd was dealt to the then Atlanta Thrashers (they are now the Winnipeg Jets) in exchange for Ivan Vishnevskiy and a 2011 second round draft pick. He was named captain of the team, and was the captain when the team moved to Winnipeg the following year. He had 305 points (139 goals and 166 assists) in 429 games with the franchise. Ladd, 31, made his return to Chicago when he was dealt back to the Hawks along with Jay Harrison and Matt Fraser for Marko Dano and a 1st round pick in 2016. That year, his contract was up. He scored 111 points (45 goals and 66 assists) in 203 games with the Hawks, both the first and second time with the club. On July 1st, 2016, Ladd signed a 7 year, $38.5 million deal with the New York Islanders. In his first season with them, (2016-17), Ladd has 29 points (21 goals and 8 assists) in 74 games.
At his teammate Anders Lee\’s Kan Jam event, I was able to catch up with Ladd. Here\’s the questions I asked him.
Me: \”How has the team changed from December to now?\”
Ladd: \”We had a lot of new guys at the start of the year. Sometimes that takes a little while to gel, and for the new guys to feel comfortable. We obviously he had a slower start than we were all wanted to, but we\’ve found a way to get ourselves back in the playoff race. It\’s fun to be able to play meaningful games right now.\”
M: \”When you signed here, you were expecting to play with John Tavares. You\’ve settled in the top 9 instead. Is it difficult to change linemates in the middle of the season?\”
L: \”Sometimes it\’s nice to get to play with guys, and get comfortable with them. But, the coach gives us the game plan every game. We\’re all on the same page from that standpoint. It\’s not too hard. We have a lot of great players on our team, besides Johnny (Tavares). It\’s great to play with them all.
M: \”What do you think of this event Anders Lee is running?\”
L: \”It\’s pretty awesome. I think you got to give Anders a lot of credit for organizing this, and make this all happen. It\’s something everyone gets excited about, raising money for a great cause, and trying to help people out. It\’s fun to be here and be a part of it.