Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Rostislav Klesla
Rostislav Klesla was born March 21, 1982 in Prague, Czech Republic. The first round, fourth overall selection of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Klesla played one season with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL before joining the OHL's Brampton Battalion in the fall of 1998.

An offensively gifted defenceman, Klesla played two seasons in the OHL with the Battalion and was the recipient of numerous awards and honours including; OHL and CHL All-Rookie Team (2000)and CHL Top Prospect Award (2000) to name a few. Klesla's strong showing at camp in 2000-01 forced the Blue Jackets brass to keep him on the roster in the early part of the season. The young blue liner saw action in eight games with Columbus notching his first two NHL goals, before the team felt it would be best to return him to his junior team in Brampton. Upon his return to junior, Klesla would lead all Battalion defencemen in scoring for the second straight year with 54 points (18-36-54) in 45 games and was instrumental in leading his native Czech Republic to a gold medal at the 2000 World Junior Championships.

In 2001-02, Klesla played his first full NHL season with the Blue Jackets, leading all NHL rookie defencemen in goals and earning NHL All-Rookie Team honours. Following a strong rookie season, Klesla returned to the Columbus lineup in 2002-03 equalling his point total from the previous year with 16 points (2-14-16) in 72 games. Injuries limited the young blueliner in 2003-04.

Klesla emerged as a leader on the young Blue Jackets squad. His strong, gritty play and good nature made him a favourite among fans and teammates alike, who referred to the defenseman as "Rusty."

On February 28, 2011, Klesla was traded from the only NHL club he had ever known. He was shipped to the Phoenix Coyotes along with Dane Byers in exchange for Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1997-98 HC Opava Jr. CzRep-Jr. 38 11 18 29 87 8 2 2 4 0
1998-99 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 54 4 12 16 100 5 2 0 2 2
1999-00 Brampton Battalion OHL 67 16 29 45 174 +3 6 1 1 2 21
2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 8 2 0 2 6 -1
2000-01 Brampton Battalion OHL 45 18 36 54 59 +22 9 2 9 11 26
2000-01 Czech Republic WJC-A 7 3 4 7 4 +8
2001-02 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 75 8 8 16 74 -6
2001-02 Czech Republic WC-A 7 1 2 3 2 0
2002-03 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 72 2 14 16 71 -22
2003-04 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 47 2 11 13 27 -16
2004-05 HC Vsetin CzRep 41 7 17 24 136
2004-05 HPK Hameenlinna Finland 9 1 2 3 12 10 0 2 2 12
2005-06 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 51 6 13 19 75 -4
2006-07 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 75 9 13 22 105 -13
2006-07 Czech Republic WC-A 4 1 0 1 8 -2
2007-08 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 82 6 12 18 60 +7
2008-09 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 34 1 8 9 38 +2 4 0 1 1 0
2009-10 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 26 2 6 8 26 -7
2010-11 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 45 3 7 10 26 +10
2010-11 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 16 1 0 1 12 -6 4 0 0 0 7
2011-12 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 65 3 10 13 54 +13 15 2 6 8 4
2012-13 HC Ocelari Trinec CzRep 18 0 1 1 30
2012-13 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 38 2 6 8 22 0
2013-14 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 25 1 3 4 24 -3
2013-14 Portland Pirates AHL 21 3 6 9 16 +8
2014-15 HC Ocelari Trinec CzRep 41 5 8 13 44 16 0 3 3 16
2015-16 HC Ocelari Trinec CzRep 33 1 6 7 16
NHL Totals 659 48 111 159 620 23 2 7 9 11


OHL All-Rookie Team (2000)
Canadian Major Junior All-Rookie Team (2000)
OHL First All-Star Team (2001)
NHL All-Rookie Team (2002)
Signed as a free agent by Vsetin (CzRep), September 17, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Hameenlinna (Finland), January 29, 2005. Missed majority of 2008-09 due to various injuries. Missed majority of 2009-10 due to groin injury vs. St. Louis, November 30, 2009. Traded to Phoenix by Columbus with Dane Byers for Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto, February 28, 2011. Signed as a free agent by Trinec (CzRep), September 21, 2012. Traded to Washington by Phoenix with Chris Brown and Phoenix/Arizona's 4th round pick (later traded to Carolina - Carolina selected Callum Booth) in 2015 NHL Draft for Martin Erat and John Mitchell, March 4, 2014. Traded to Buffalo by Washington with Michal Neuvirth for Jaroslav Halak and Buffalo's 3rd round pick (later traded to NY Rangers - NY Rangers selected Robin Kovacs) in 2015 NHL Draft, March 5, 2014. Signed as a free agent by Trinec (CzRep), June 25, 2014.
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