David Clarkson Bio
Clarkson developed a reputation for being one of the game's great agitators, a player who is just as likely to drop his gloves and fight an opponent as he is to score. The reputation is one that dates to Clarkson's four-year junior career that started with Belleville of the Ontario Hockey League and ended with Kitchener, where he won the Memorial Cup in 2003. Despite his success in the OHL - Clarkson scored 33 goals and had 21 assists during his final season in Kitchener in 2004-05 - the native of Etobicoke, Ontario, went undrafted and signed with the New Jersey Devils as a free agent in August 2005. Clarkson spent most of his first two pro seasons playing in the American Hockey League. He was called up to the Devils at the end of the 2006-07 season and made his NHL debut on March 15, 2007, against the Carolina Hurricanes. He scored his first NHL goal and NHL assist one game later, also against the Hurricanes. Beginning in 2008-09, Clarkson scored 10 goals or more in six of seven seasons, including a 30-goal, 46-point season with the Devils in 2011-12. He added three goals and 12 points during 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Two years later, Clarkson opted not to re-sign with the Devils, and on July 5, 2013, he signed a seven-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team he grew up rooting for as the son of a longtime Maple Leafs season-ticket holder. Clarkson spent less than two full seasons with the Maple Leafs, who traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 26, 2015.