Canadian professional ice hockey defenseman

Organization: National Hockey League (NHL)

Date of Birth: 7 January 1992

Age: 32 years old

Zodiac sign: Capricorn

Profession: Hockey player



Erik Donald Stanley Gudbranson is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenseman and alternate captain for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected third overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Gudbranson has previously played for the Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators, and Calgary Flames.

Professional career

Florida Panthers

Gudbranson made the Florida Panthers team for the 2011–12 season and made his NHL debut against the New York Islanders on October 8, 2011. He earned the first point of his NHL career on December 2, 2011, against the Los Angeles Kings, an assist. He scored his first NHL goal against Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers during a 6–1 loss on December 11, 2011. At the end of the season, Gudbranson had two goals and eight points in 72 games, helping the Panthers reach the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since the 1999–2000 season. In the playoffs, Gudbranson was held pointless in seven games as Florida lost to the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals round.

In the 48-game, lock-out-shortened 2012–13 season, Gudbranson appeared in 32 games with Florida, earning four assists, as the club failed to reach the playoffs.

In the 2013–14 season, Gudbranson appeared in 65 games, scoring three goals and providing six assists. His defensive partner for the majority of the season was captain Ed Jovanovski, though he also spent time partnered with Dylan Olsen.

During the 2014–15 season, Gudbranson played in 76 games, scoring four goals and 13 points, both career highs. However, the Panthers failed to qualify for the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

Gudbranson played in 64 games in the 2015–16 season, scoring two goals and nine points, helping Florida into the playoffs for the first time since 2012. During the playoffs, Gudbranson was held off the score sheet in six games, as Florida lost to the New York Islanders in the first round (who won their first playoff series since 1993).

Vancouver Canucks

On May 25, 2016, Gudbranson was traded along with a 2016 fifth-round pick to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Jared McCann and both a second- and fourth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. At the time of the transaction, Canucks general manager Jim Benning thought his team needed a physical defenceman, while the Panthers felt that McCann was a better fit for its possession-based style of hockey than Gudbranson. Gudbranson and McCann later became teammates with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2019.

Gudbranson joined the Vancouver Canucks for the 2016–17 season. He appeared in his first game with the Canucks on October 15, receiving 18:42 of ice time in a 2–1 shootout win over the Calgary Flames. On October 18, 2016, Gudbranson recorded his first point with the Canucks, an assist on a goal by Bo Horvat, in a 2–1 win over the St. Louis Blues. Gudbranson scored his first goal with Vancouver on December 8 in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring against Ben Bishop in a 5–1 victory.

In an away game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 5, 2016, rookie Troy Stecher took a hit by Leaf enforcer Matt Martin in the third period, prompting a line brawl. Following the game, Gudbranson yelled, "Matt Martin's dead. Everyone can hear that now. F—— dead" on his way to the Canucks' dressing room. He later apologized. On December 19, Gudbranson underwent season-ending wrist surgery; he had one goal and five assists in 30 games up to that point.

On June 15, 2017, Gudbranson signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract extension with the Canucks for the 2017–18 season. On October 19, 2017, Gudbranson was assessed a five-minute major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for a hit on Boston Bruins forward Frank Vatrano. On October 20, 2017, Gudbranson was given a one-game suspension for the hit.

On February 20, 2018, Gudbranson signed a three-year, $12 million contract extension with the Canucks.

Pittsburgh Penguins

After playing in 57 games and recording 8 points for Vancouver in the 2018–19 season, Gudbranson was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 25, 2019, in exchange for Tanner Pearson.

On April 12, Gudbranson recorded his first Stanley Cup playoff point, a goal assisted by Evgeni Malkin, during the Penguins' first-round 3–1 loss to the New York Islanders.

Anaheim Ducks

On October 25, 2019, after playing in seven games with the Penguins to open the 2019–20 season, Gudbranson was traded by Pittsburgh to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Andreas Martinsen and a 2021 seventh-round pick. Gudbranson found a role on the Ducks blueline, matching a career-high four goals in just 44 games with Anaheim before the season was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ottawa Senators

On October 8, 2020, Gudbranson was traded to his hometown Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round draft pick. He was named as an alternate captain ahead of the season, along with Thomas Chabot and Brady Tkachuk. In the pandemic delayed 2020–21 season, adding a veteran presence to the Senators blueline, Gudbranson collected 1 goal and 3 points through 36 regular season games.

Nashville Predators

On April 12, 2021, Gudbranson was traded by the Senators at the trade deadline to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 7th round draft pick in 2023 and minor league defenseman Brandon Fortunato. He finished the season appearing one point in eleven games for the Predators.

Calgary Flames

On September 10, 2021, Gudbranson as a free agent joined his seventh NHL club, in signing a one-year, $1.95 million contract with the Calgary Flames. With Calgary he set career highs in goals, assists, points, blocked shots, games played and plus/minus rating with six goals, eleven assists for 17 points, 92 blocked shots and a +15 plus/minus rating. The Calgary Flames topped the Pacific Division but were eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs.

Columbus Blue Jackets

On July 13, 2022, Gudbranson as a free agent joined his eighth NHL club, in signing a four-year, $16 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. In his first season with Columbus, Gudbranson was one of the few Blue Jacket defensemen who remained healthy, appearing in 70 games, scoring one goal and 13 points.


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