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Dustin Brown
Dustinbrown.png
Born November 4, 1984 (1984-11-04) (age 32)
Ithaca, New York
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 204 lb (93 kg; 14 st 8 lb)
Position Left Wing/Right Wing
Shoots Right
NHL team Los Angeles Kings
National team Flag of the United States.svg United States
NHL Draft 13th overall, 2003
Los Angeles Kings
Playing career 2003–present

Dustin Brown (born Dustin James Brown on November 4, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey right winger and is the captain of the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL).

As the thirteenth overall pick of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, he has spent his entire eight-year NHL career with the Kings.

Dustin led the Kings to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals where he became the first Kings captain and second American captain to win the Stanley Cup with a six-game victory over the New Jersey Devils.

He is noted for his physical playing style, consistently ranking among the league leaders in hits and penalties drawn and his reserved, lead-by-example approach to his captaincy.

Internationally, he has represented the United States at three World Championships, winning a bronze medal in 2004, and two World Junior Championships.

Dustin won a silver medal as an alternate captain of the United States national hockey team at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

He received the 2011 NHL Foundation Player Award for his extensive charity work in the Los Angeles community.

Playing careerEdit

Junior careerEdit

After playing hockey at Ithaca High School for two years, Dustin left his hometown to play junior hockey when he was 16 years old.

He drafted in second round (26th overall) by the Guelph Storm in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection.

Dustin played three seasons for Guelph and scored 194 points in 174 games. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, thirteenth overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Professional careerEdit

2003–04Edit

Dustin signed a three-year entry level contract with the Los Angeles Kings and made the Kings' 2003-04 team out of training camp. His first NHL game was October 9, 2003 against the Detroit Red Wings.

He saw fourth-line ice time in his rookie year and he managed just one goal and five points in 31 games before his season was cut short by a high ankle sprain.

Nonetheless, Dustin's physicality made a favorable impression with the Kings' coaching staff.

Lockout/Role changeEdit

During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Dustin was assigned to the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings' AHL affiliate in order to develop his offensive game.

He performed well in Manchester, averaging nearly a point per game and readying himself for an expanded NHL role.

After the lockout ended, Dustin cemented his place on the team.

As a 21-year-old checking forward, he managed 28 points in 79 games. More impressively, he led the team and ranked thirteenth in the NHL with 175 hits, and he drew the second most penalties in the league despite his limited ice time.

A restricted free agent at the end of the year, Dustin signed a two-year contract before the start of the 2006-07 season.

His third season saw an expansion in his role as he was placed on the top line with star rookie center Anze Kopitar.

The two young forwards became frequent line mates as Dustin's hitting abilities and willingness to shoot complemented Anze's dynamic passing and puck possession skills.

Receiving the third-most ice time among Kings forwards, Dustin responded with career highs of 17 goals and 46 points in 81 games.

Dustin also received the most short-handed ice time among Kings forwards, a sign of his growing defensive reliability.

He finished second in the NHL in hits, the first of six consecutive years that he ranked top three in the NHL in that category.

On October 26, 2007, the Kings and Dustin agreed to a six-year, $19.05 million contract extension that ran through the 2014–2015 NHL season.

The contract was signed a full year before Brown hit restricted free agency, partially because young forwards Dustin Penner of the Anaheim Ducks and Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres had just received lucrative offer sheets in restricted free agency, and the Kings did not want Brown to get one.

Dustin produced his best offensive season that year. Continuing to play top-line minutes with Anze Kopitar, he recorded 33 goals and 60 points.

That season is the only year Dustin has managed to crack the 30-goal or 60-point barriers.

Despite his personal success, the rebuilding Kings missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

2008–presentEdit

The Kings named Dustin the 15th captain in team history on October 8, 2008, just after the start of the 2008-09 season.

His appointment filled the vacancy created when prior captain Rob Blake left the Kings in free agency to sign with the San Jose Sharks on July 3, 2008.

At the age of 23, Dustin became the youngest captain and the only American captain in Kings' history.

Coach Terry Murray pointed to Dustin's work ethic and commitment to the Kings to explain the decision, saying he "shows that he cares tremendously about this team, about winning every night. I just want him to follow through with that and he will because that's his personality. Just keep blazing that trail and players on the team will follow."

The Kings management was impressed by Dustin's emergence as a vocal leader in the locker room especially after the departure of veteran presences Mattias Norstrom and Rob Blake.

On the ice, Dustin's numbers dipped slightly from 2007-08 in part because of an 8.2% shooting percentage, his lowest since his rookie season. His 292 shots led the team, however, and his 24 goals were third.

Dustin was chosen to represent the Western Conference at the 2009 NHL All-Star Game. The Kings missed the playoffs for a franchise-worst sixth straight year.

Again, he posted solid numbers in 2009-10, playing a full 82 games for the first time and registering 24 goals and a career-high 32 assists.

On January 14, 2010, Dustin scored his 100th NHL goal against the Anaheim Ducks.

With Dustin leading a rapidly improving young core that included center Anze Kopitar, defenceman Drew Doughty and goaltender Jonathan Quick, the Kings finally snapped the six-year playoff drought.

He had one goal and four assists in six games as the Kings lost in the first round to the Vancouver Canucks.

Dustin and the Kings entered the 2010-11 season with higher expectations. He again played all 82 games and scored 28 goals.

Anze Kopitar's late season ankle injury forced the Kings to settle for a seventh seed and a matchup with the San Jose Sharks.

The Kings lost in six games for the second straight year, with Brown recording two points in the series, and no points in the last three games.

Dustin began the 2011-12 season on a line with newly acquired center Mike Richards, but was shuffled throughout the lineup for most of the season.

He maintained his consistent production, topping 20 goals and 50 points for the fifth straight year.

Along with the rest of the Kings, however, he struggled to score in the first half of the season.

Head coach Terry Murray was fired midway through the season and as the Kings fell further out of the playoff picture they were rumored to be listening to trade offers for Dustin.

New coach Darryl Sutter called the Brown-Kopitar tandem "stale" and said Dustin was not playing the "straight-line, up-and-down, go-to-the-net, shoot-the-puck, run-over-people" style Dustin needed to be effective.

Dustin's scoring pace picked up amidst the trade rumors, and he scored three goals and an assist in the last game before the trade deadline, a 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Kings held on to Dustin, who responded with 11 points in the 9 games following the trade deadline. He later said that he was playing with "a chip on his shoulder" and "whether those rumors are true or not, they're still out there, it gives you maybe a bit more motivation."

With Dustin producing and the trade-deadline acquisition of Jeff Carter, the Kings were one of the highest-scoring NHL teams down the stretch and made the playoffs as an eighth seed.

After moving up and down the lineup for most of the year, he found stability playing on the first line with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. That line would remain intact throughout the entire 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Dustin recorded four goals and one assist in the first round against the first-seeded Vancouver Canucks, including two shorthanded goals in a 4-2 Game 2 win.

In Game 3, he delivered a devastating open-ice check to Canucks captain Henrik Sedin directly in front of the Canucks bench. The hit left Henrik dazed on the ice for several seconds.

Dustin later scored the game-winning goal in the third period. Many observers, including TSN's Bob McKenzie and SI's Michael Farber, called the hit the decisive moment in the series.

The Kings upset the heavily favored Canucks in five games, and then recorded the first sweep in franchise history over the St. Louis Blues. Dustin registered two goals and four assists in the series. Both of his goals came in the decisive Game 4, a 3-1 Kings victory.

The Kings beat the Phoenix Coyotes in five games in the Western Conference Finals.

Dustin scored the game-winning goal in Game 1 of that series and did not score again until Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the New Jersey Devils, although he did manage five assists in that span.

After getting benched for the final minutes of a Game 5 loss, Dustin produced three points in Game 6, scoring the opener, shooting a puck off Jeff Carter that ended up being the cup winning goal and assisting on another Carter goal.

The Kings defeated the Devils 6-1 to win the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.

Dustin became the second US-born captain to lead a team to a Stanley Cup championship and the Los Angeles Kings the second California-based team to win the Stanley Cup.

With eight goals and 12 assists in 20 games, he tied teammate Anze Kopitar for the lead in overall playoff point total.

On July 28, 2012, Dustin had his "Day with the Cup." Each year after a team has won the Stanley Cup, players, front office and hockey operation staff each get a day with the Stanley Cup.

Dustin hinted on the Jay Leno show that he would bring the Cup back home. He did just that, bringing it to Ithaca High School in late July.

On November 1, 2012, Dustin was signed as a free agent by the ZSC Lions in Zurich during the 2012–13 NHL lockout.

On July 18, 2013, the Kings signed Dustin to an eight year $47 million contract extension.

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000–01 Guelph Storm OHL 53 23 22 45 50 4 0 0 0 10
2001–02 Guelph Storm OHL 63 41 32 73 56 9 8 5 13 14
2002–03 Guelph Storm OHL 58 34 42 76 89 11 7 8 15 6
2003–04 Los Angeles Kings NHL 31 1 4 5 16
2004–05 Manchester Monarchs AHL 79 29 45 74 96 6 5 2 7 10
2005–06 Los Angeles Kings NHL 79 14 14 28 80
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 81 17 29 46 54
2007–08 Los Angeles Kings NHL 78 33 27 60 55
2008–09 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 24 29 53 64
2009–10 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 24 32 56 41 6 1 4 5 6
2010–11 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 28 29 57 67 6 1 1 2 6
2011–12 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 22 32 54 53 20 8 12 20 34
2012–13 ZSC Lions NLA 16 8 5 13 26
2012–13 Los Angeles Kings NHL 46 18 11 29 22 18 3 1 4 8
NHL totals 641 181 207 388 452 50 13 18 31 54

International playEdit

Played for the United States in:

  • 2002 World Junior Championships
  • 2003 World Junior Championships
  • 2004 World Championships
  • 2006 World Championships
  • 2008 World Championships
  • 2009 World Championships

During the World Championship tournament of 2008, Dustin received negative attention for a controversial hit that made contact with the head of Finnish player Jussi Jokinen as the final horn sounded. He was named an alternate captain of Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

International statisticsEdit

Year Team Comp GP G A Pts PIM
2002 United States WJC 7 1 3 4 10
2003 United States WJC 7 2 2 4 10
2004 United States WC 9 1 3 4 4
2006 United States WC 7 5 2 7 10
2008 United States WC 7 5 4 9 22
2009 United States WC 9 3 5 8 8
2010 United States Olympics 6 0 0 0 0
Junior int'l totals 14 3 5 8 20
Senior int'l totals 38 14 14 28 44

Style of PlayEdit

Dustin is known for his physical, north-south style of game. He considers himself a clean hitter. After a controversial hit on Michal Rozsíval in the 2012 Western Conference Finals, Dustin defended himself by saying "I take pride in playing the game clean and hard. There are going to be hits that are unfortunate but still clean."

Dustin had never been issued a fine or suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety until April 24th, 2013, when he received a two-game suspension for an illegal elbow to the head of Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville on April 23rd, 2013. Rob Blake said Dustin "comes at guys straight on, face-to-face. He goes right through guys."

Despite his aggressive style, Dustin has not missed a game due to injury in four seasons. He is one of the most effective NHL players at drawing penalties, having led the league in that category in five of seven post-lockout seasons. His unparalleled success in that area has led several commentators (including ex-NHL referee Kerry Fraser) to say that Dustin has acquired a reputation for embellishing infractions in order to draw penalties.

Beyond his physicality and agitation, Dustin has provided a consistent offensive threat for the Kings, scoring at least 22 goals five consecutive years. He plays an effective two-way game and has matured into an elite defensive and penalty-killing forward.

Personal LifeEdit

Dustin has three sons named Jake, Mason & Cooper and a daughter named Mackenzie with his wife Nicole. He resides in Manhattan Beach, California. He speaks with a slight lisp.

Former teammate Sean Avery would mock his speech impediment, a situation that Ian Laperriere called "the kind of bullying you might see in high school."

Rob Blake (among others) said that Sean Avery's departure in 2007 contributed to Dustin's emergence as an effective player and team leader.

Dustin is heavily involved in charity work in the L.A. area and was awarded the 2011 NHL Foundation Player Award for his efforts.

AwardsEdit

  • Stanley Cup 2012 winner with the Los Angeles Kings as team captain
  • NHL Foundation Player Award (2010–11 NHL season)
  • Played in NHL All-Star Game (2009)
  • OHL All-Rookie Team (2001)
  • CHL Scholastic Player of the Year (2003)

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