Happy 36th Birthday to Former Bruins Defenseman Mark Stuart!
Mark Stuart was born on April 27th, 1984 in Rochester, Minnesota. He began his amateur career in the 99-00 campaign with the Rochester Mustangs of the United States Hockey League (USHL) playing four games. Stuart spent the next two seasons in the United States National Team Development Program, playing for the U17 and U18 team as well as the Juniors team. He played a total of 125 games in the program, posting 12 goals and 27 assists for 39 points.
Prior to attending Colorado College in the fall of 2002, Stuart captained the United States U18 team to a gold medal at the 2002 IIHF World U18 Championships in which he totaled a goal and two assists for three points in eight games. In the NCAA, Stuart posted three goals and 17 assists for 20 points in 38 games for the Tigers, earning him All-WCHA Rookie Team honors. After his successful rookie season, Stuart was selected 21st overall by the Bruins in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Stuart played two more seasons at Colorado College, playing a total of 82 games and posting six goals and 24 assists for 30 points. In his junior season, Stuart guided the Tigers to the Frozen Four where they lost to eventual champion and in-state rival, the University of Denver. During that season Stuart was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and was also named AHCA West First-Team All-American.
It’s also worth noting that Stuart played at the World Junior Championships for the United States in 2003 and 2004, winning gold in 2004. Stuart began his professional career in the 05-06 season for the Providence Bruins, playing 60 games and posting four goals and three assists for seven points. He also made his NHL debut that season for the Bruins on March 11th, 2006. Stuart played 17 games for the big club that season, posting a goal and an assist. Stuart also split the next season between Boston and Providence, posting an assist in 15 games for Boston and totaling four goals and 16 assists for 20 points in 49 games for Providence.
Stuart spent parts of the next four seasons for the Bruins before being traded to the Atlanta Thrashers on February 18th, 2011 along with Blake Wheeler in exchange for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik. Stuart finished his career in Boston having posted 13 goals and 27 assists in 283 career games. He also posted two assists in 22 postseason games. Just days after being traded, Atlanta signed Stuart to a three-year deal worth $5.1 million. Stuart was part of the final game in Thrashers history on April 10th, 2011 before the franchise moved to Winnipeg to become the Jets.
Stuart played in the Jets first game the following season, assisting on the first goal. Stuart played in 80 games that season posting three goals and 11 assists for 14 points. During the lockout in 2012, Stuart played for the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. Stuart spent the last five years of his NHL career in Winnipeg, appearing in 287 games, posting nine goals and 29 assists for 38 points. Stuart was bought out by the Jets following the 16-17 campaign and was invited to the Chicago Blackhawks camp the next season on a professional tryout but didn’t make the roster.
Stuart spent his last professional season in Germany playing in the DEL for Adler Mannheim, posting a goal and six assists for seven points in 51 games. Stuart has two older brothers, Colin and Mike who had brief NHL careers. Stuart finished his NHL career appearing in 673 games with 26 goals and 67 assists for 93 points. Happy Birthday Mr. Stuart!