(Photo Credit: Bill Brett/The Boston Globe)

By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff

Craig Janney, former Bruins alumni forward, played twelve seasons in the NHL and spent five of those seasons with the Bruins. Janney was known for his excellent puck distribution and ability to score. In his twelve seasons in the NHL, Janney managed to average one point per game!

That is outstanding if you really think about it. Boston drafted Janney 13th overall in the 1986 NHL Draft. Janney would also play for the Blues, Sharks, Jets, Coyotes, Lightning, and Islanders before retiring early due to blood clots. Since today is Craig Janney’s 54th birthday, let’s take a look back at Janney’s illustrious hockey career.

A Star in Boston

Before playing for the Bruins, Janney played two seasons of Collegiate hockey with Boston College. In Janney’s second season, Janney was a Hobey Baker Finalist after he set a Hockey East Association single-season record in points and assists. At the end of his second season with the Eagles, Janney recorded 83 points in 37 games played. After graduating from Boston College, Janney was drafted by the Bruins in the ’86 NHL Draft.

In Janney’s first year with the Black and Gold, he played 15 games, scored seven goals, and assisted on nine. Janney even helped the Bruins make a Stanley Cup run in ’88 when he scored six goals and assisted on ten goals. Unfortunately, Boston lost to Edmonton in the ’88 Finals. However, Janney had a pretty decent year for a rookie and would be a force to impact in his future years with Boston.

In Janney’s next four seasons with Boston, he played 247 games, scored 78 goals, and picked up 189 assists. He would even help Boston reach the playoffs three more times, including a Stanley Cup run in 1990 against the Edmonton Oilers. However, again it was Edmonton defeating Boston in the finals. During the 1991-1992 NHL Season, Boston traded Janney and Stephane Quintal to the St. Louis Blues for Adam Oates. Unfortunately, that was the end of Janney’s career in Boston, and Boston would undoubtedly miss him.

Journey with the Blues

After being dealt by Boston to St. Louis, Janney would finish the ’91-’92 season playing 25 games, scoring six goals, and capturing 30 assists. Craig Janney’s next two seasons with St. Louis proved to be his best seasons statistically. In ’92-’93, Janney scored 106 points (24 goals, 82 assists), and in ’93-’94 scored 84 points (16 goals, 68 assists). Janney would also help the Blues make playoff runs in his three seasons there but could never reach the Stanley Cup Final.

In March of 1994, the St. Louis Blues signed restricted free agent Petr Nedved who was in a contract dispute with the Vancouver Canucks. An arbitrator awarded the Canucks a second-round draft pick along with Craig Janney. Both teams were not satisfied with the decision, and the Canucks traded Janney back for Jeff Brown, Bret Hedican, and Nathan LaFayette. So in a matter of seven days, Janney was traded from St. Louis to Vancouver and then traded back to St. Louis.

End of Janney’s Hockey Career

USA Hockey Legend

Alongside having a spectacular NHL career, Janney also had an astonishing international career representing the USA. Janney represented the United States on six occasions. He helped the U.S. get to the finals of the Canada Cup in 1991 and also earned its first-ever medal (bronze) at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 1986.

He also played for Team USA in the 1988 Olympic Winter Games after spending the season as a U.S. Men’s National Team member leading up to the Games. In addition, Janney competed in two IIHF Men’s World Championships (1987, 1994) and the 1985 IIHF World Junior Championship. Janney would end up scoring 15 goals and 11 assists while playing for the USA.

Craig Janney was a spectacular hockey player; whether it was playing in the NHL or internationally, Janney was a massive contributor to the success of the teams he played for. It’s pretty unfortunate that Janney’s career was cut short at the young age of 31 because he could’ve easily reached 1,000 career points if he just played 4 or 5 more seasons. But anyway, on behalf of the BNG Hockey Organization and myself, we wish you Happy 54th Birthday Craig Janney!