| Date of Birth:
June 26, 1976
Place of Birth: Windsor, ON
Residence: Vancouver, BC
Years on National Team:
The first-overall pick of the Florida Panthers in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, Ed Jovanovski has developed into one of hockey's most feared blueliners. Nicknamed Jovo-Cop for his take-no-prisoners style of play, the Windsor, Ontario native comes to Turin looking for a second Olympic gold medal.
As part of the impressive group of defencemen Canada assembled at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002, Jovanovski tied Rob Blake for the team lead in points among defenseman with three in six games. In the NHL, Jovanovski enjoyed his best year as a Canuck in 2001-02, when he amassed 17 goals and 48 points in 82 games. His career year in assists was achieved in 2002-03, when he recorded 40 helpers in only 67 outings.
Watching Jovanovski become one of the NHL's best defenseman has probably been a painful experience for the Panthers considering they gave up on him way too early in his career. In 1999, in a brutally short-sighted trade, Florida sent Jovanovski, Dave Gagner, Kevin Weekes, Mike Brown and a number one draft pick in 2000 (Nathan Smith) to the Vancouver Canucks for Pavel Bure, Bret Hedican, Brad Ference and a third-rounder in 2000 (Robert Fried).
Jovanovski, who started playing hockey quite late for a youngster, at the age of 11, was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 1995-96 - he was the first Florida Panther to be honoured that way. Now in his 10th season, Jovanvski is nearing the 700 games played and 300-point plateaus. Already, his rough and tumble style of play has lead to over 1,000 minutes in penalties in his career.
Over his six years in Vancouver, Jovanovski, whose father Kostadin was a professional soccer player in Yugoslavia, has been named to the all-star team three times. And as long as he is able to stay healthy, which has, at times, been an issue with him over his nine years in the league, he should remain the anchor of the Canucks blueline as the team continues to contend for a Stanley Cup title for the foreseeable future.
January 20: Team Canada D on mend
2006 Hockey Coverage