Zack Kassian, full name Zack Adam Kassian, born on January 24, 1991, is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey winger. In his junior career, he achieved a significant milestone by winning the Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires in 2010.
His journey in the National Hockey League (NHL) commenced when he was selected 13th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He began his NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres organization before a trade took him to the Vancouver Canucks in 2012. Kassian contributed his skills to the Canucks for parts of four seasons before his transfer to the Montreal Canadiens in 2015.
However, his time with the Canadiens was short-lived due to suspension related to substance abuse issues, leading to his subsequent trade to the Edmonton Oilers a few months later.
The Edmonton Oilers became Kassian’s home for seven seasons, where he continued to make his mark in the league. After his tenure with the Oilers, he transitioned to the Arizona Coyotes, spending one season with them before retiring during the 2023–24 NHL season.
On the international stage, Kassian represented Canada’s under-20 team at the 2011 World Junior Championships, earning a silver medal for his efforts.
Standing tall at 6 feet 3 inches (191 cm) and weighing in at 211 pounds (96 kg), Kassian was recognized for his power-forward style of play, characterized by aggression and physicality.
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Zack Kassian’s Early Life
Zack Kassian was born in Windsor, Ontario, to his parents, Mike and Shirley Kassian. It’s worth noting that despite common misconceptions, Kassian does not have Armenian heritage.
He was raised alongside his elder brother and two older sisters, Mike Jr., who assumed a paternal role following their father’s unfortunate and untimely death due to a heart attack when Zack was a mere eight years old.
Zack attended Queen of Peace Elementary School in Leamington, Ontario, and his journey in the world of hockey began at the age of eight when he joined the Kingsville Kings.
Interestingly, despite being a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kassian had a deep admiration for Boston Bruins defenseman and listed them as his favorite players.
Zack Kassian’s junior hockey journey began after a season with the Windsor Jr. Spitfires AAA midget team. In the 2007–08 season, he made his major junior debut with the Peterborough Petes.
His first OHL game on September 20, 2007, was marked by an impressive performance with two assists against the Sudbury Wolves.
Just a month later, on October 11, he notched his first OHL goal against the Erie Otters. Kassian’s rookie season saw him score nine goals and earn 21 points over 58 games.
The following season, he displayed notable improvement, netting 24 goals and accumulating 63 points over 61 games. He also became known for his physicality, leading his team with 136 penalty minutes and engaging in 13 fighting majors.
Kassian’s exceptional performance earned him a place in three All-Star exhibitions. Early in the season, he represented Team OHL in games against a select team of Russian juniors as part of the annual Subway Super Series.
Subsequently, he suited up for the Eastern Conference in the OHL All-Star Classic, contributing with a goal and an assist. Finally, he participated in the 2009 CHL Top Prospects Game for Team Cherry, a match where he delivered a hit that injured John Tavares.
As the 2009 NHL Entry Draft approached, Kassian ranked 10th among eligible prospects in North America, with goaltenders excluded, according to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau (CSB).
Chris Edwards, a representative of the CSB, showered Kassian with praise, hailing him as “one of the most tenacious players in the OHL and arguably the entire draft.” Edwards emphasized Kassian’s remarkable combination of playmaking skills and adept puck-handling abilities.
Recognized as a power forward, Kassian drew comparisons to players like Milan Lucic, as well as retired NHL All-Stars Cam Neely and Keith Tkachuk.
His exceptional skills and performance on the ice earned him a coveted spot as the 13th overall pick in the first draft round selected by the Buffalo Sabres.
Kassian subsequently attended his first NHL training camp in September 2009 but was returned to Peterborough to continue his junior career. Back with the Petes, Kassian was chosen to fill the role of team captain, taking over for Zach Harnden, who had moved to the Kingston Frontenacs.
However, his time with Peterborough was marked by a suspension due to breaking curfew, and after 33 games into the 2009–10 OHL season, he was traded to the Windsor Spitfires.
Shortly after joining the Windsor Spitfires, Kassian faced a 20-game suspension from the league for a hit to the head of Barrie Colts forward Matt Kennedy during a game in January 2010.
Despite the ban, he managed to play 38 games between Peterborough and Windsor, amassing 12 goals and 31 points. Returning from the suspension in time for the 2010 playoffs, Kassian made a significant impact with seven goals and 16 points over 19 games, contributing to Windsor’s victory in the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions.
This victory secured Windsor’s qualification for the 2010 Memorial Cup, Canada’s national major junior championship, which they also won. In the final, where they defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings 9–1, Kassian played a crucial role with a goal and an assist.
However, following the Memorial Cup win, Kassian found himself in legal trouble after an altercation at a bar in Downtown Windsor on May 30, 2010.
He was charged with assault but later reached an agreement in October 2010. The charge was dropped in exchange for 25 hours of community service, a $500 donation to charity, and payment for the victim’s dental work.
Notably, a conviction could have jeopardized Kassian’s ability to cross the border into the United States, which could have affected his hockey career.
Returning to the Buffalo Sabres’ training camp in September 2010, Kassian returned to junior for a second consecutive year. Despite this, he remained on the team’s pre-season roster as one of the final cuts in October.
A month after returning to Windsor, he solidified his commitment to the Sabres by signing a three-year entry-level contract on November 2, 2010.
Playing his first season with Windsor, Kassian recorded a junior career-high 26 goals and 77 points over 56 games. His points total ranked second in team scoring, trailing only team captain Ryan Ellis, who recorded 100 points.
Additionally, he contributed 16 points (6 goals and ten assists) over 16 OHL playoff games, tying for fifth in team scoring.
During Game 4 of the Conference Finals against the Owen Sound Attack, Kassian received a match penalty for a hit on opposing defenseman Jesse Blacker, which was ruled as “intent to injure.”
Following the game, he was handed an additional three-game suspension, sidelining him for the remainder of the series.
However, he only had to serve half of the total break since the Owen Sound Attack eliminated the Spitfires four games to one, ending Kassian’s season prematurely.
Following the conclusion of his junior career, Kassian’s next stop was the Buffalo Sabres organization. On April 29, 2011, he was assigned to the Sabres’ AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates, to participate in the Calder Cup playoffs.
Kassian made his AHL debut in Game 3 of the Atlantic Division Finals against the Binghamton Senators the next day. Over his first three professional-level games, Kassian demonstrated his potential, registering nine shots on goal but failing to tally any points as Portland was eventually eliminated in six games.
Despite being eligible for a fifth season in junior hockey as a potential overager, Kassian decided to embark on his professional journey with the Sabres for the 2011–12 season.
He started the season in the AHL with the Sabres’ new minor league affiliate, the Rochester Americans. However, his stint in the AHL was relatively short-lived as, on November 24, 2011, he received the call-up to the NHL.
Kassian made his NHL debut the following night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he notched his first NHL point by assisting on a Jordan Leopold goal. His impressive start continued, as he scored his first NHL goal in the subsequent game against Washington Capitals’ goaltender Tomáš Vokoun.
Kassian remained with the Sabres for about a month and a half during his initial NHL stint before being reassigned to Rochester. He received two more call-ups in January and February of 2012.
During his third call-up, right before the NHL trade deadline on February 27, 2012, Kassian was part of a significant trade. He was traded, alongside defenseman Marc-André Gragnani, to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for fellow rookie forward Cody Hodgson and defenseman Alexander Sulzer.
This trade was seen as an effort by Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis to balance the team by sacrificing Hodgson’s skill and finesse in favor of Kassian’s size and physicality.
The sentiment expressed by analysts from TSN and The Vancouver Sun mirrored this approach, as they highlighted the need for elements like Kassian’s to succeed in playoff scenarios while acknowledging Hodgson’s skill set was more aligned with Vancouver’s style of play.
Kassian, in a telephone interview with Andrew Greven of TSN shortly after the trade, expressed his surprise at the move but was excited about joining a Stanley Cup-contending team.
The Vancouver media’s reaction, however, was essentially one of surprise and some criticism, as many questioned the wisdom of trading a well-performing rookie for one unproven at the NHL level.
Some even likened the trade to a lopsided 1996 exchange between the Canucks and the Pittsburgh Penguins, involving Markus Näslund and Alek Stojanov, two first-round prospects with contrasting playing styles.
Kassian made his debut for the Vancouver Canucks the night after the trade, contributing with a shot on goal and playing for 12 minutes and 27 seconds in a 2–1 shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
During his third appearance with the Canucks, Kassian made a significant impact by netting his inaugural goal and notching his first assist in a game against the Buffalo Sabres on March 3.
In the following game, against the Dallas Stars, Kassian was called upon to take a penalty shot only 24 seconds into the game, marking the second-fastest penalty shot call in NHL history (after Maurice Richard’s 12-second penalty shot).
Unfortunately, he missed the shot against goaltender Richard Bachman while attempting a backhand deke. On July 3, 2014, Kassian inked a two-year contract extension with the Canucks valued at $3.5 million.
Trade to Montreal
On July 1, 2015, Kassian, along with a 5th-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Brandon Prust. However, Kassian’s time with the Canadiens was marred by an unfortunate incident.
On October 4, he found himself in a car accident on a day when there was no team practice, which unfortunately led to a broken nose and a fracture in his left foot.
Kassian, though not the driver, was under the influence, which led to his suspension without pay and entry into the NHL’s substance abuse program.
On December 15, following the successful completion of the substance abuse program, the NHL announced Kassian’s return from suspension. However, just hours after this announcement, the Canadiens placed him on waivers, effectively sidelining him.
On December 28, 2015, Kassian was traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goaltender Ben Scrivens. Kassian made a notable impact by scoring his first goal as an Oiler in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 19, 2016.
On June 26, 2017, Kassian signed a three-year contract worth $5.85 million. On January 29, 2020, he inked a four-year contract extension valued at $12.8 million, with an annual salary of $3.2 million.
Kassian, however, faced disciplinary action from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety during his time with the Oilers. On February 14, 2020, he was suspended for seven games for kicking Erik Černák of the Tampa Bay Lightning, resulting in a forfeiture of $166,463.43 in salary.
This suspension marked the fourth of Kassian’s NHL career, following another two-game suspension for an altercation with Calgary Flames player Matthew Tkachuk.
The transfer took place on July 7, 2022, as Kassian was moved to the Arizona Coyotes. In the exchange, the Edmonton Oilers parted ways with their 29th pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
Additionally, they included a second-round pick in the 2024 draft and a third-round pick in the 2025 draft. The Coyotes reciprocated by sending their 32nd overall pick in the 2022 Draft to the Oilers.
In the 2022–23 season, Kassian primarily played a fourth-line checking role and posted a career-low of two points over 51 regular season games.
On June 20, 2023, Kassian was placed on unconditional waivers by the Coyotes and subsequently bought out from the remaining year of his contract, making him a free agent the following day.
Zack Kassian’s Retirement
On September 1, 2023, Kassian accepted an invitation to attend the Anaheim Ducks’ 2023 training camp on a professional tryout contract (PTO).
However, on October 8, the Ducks released Kassian from his professional tryout contract. On October 26, Kassian announced his retirement after a 12-season career in the NHL.
Zack Kassian’s International Play
Kassian’s international debut with Hockey Canada was at the 2008 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, where he competed for Team Ontario.
He played a pivotal role, recording two goals and six points over six games, leading Ontario to a gold medal. The following year, he advanced to the under-18 level with Canada at the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championships.
He contributed with two goals and five points over six games, aiding Canada to a fourth-place finish. Two years later, Kassian represented Canada in the under-20 category at the 2011 World Junior Championships.
The tournament occurred in Buffalo, New York, setting the stage for Kassian’s international debut with the national team. Kassian played a pivotal role during the championship, showcasing his skills on the global stage.
The 2011 World Junior Championships featured intense competition among the world’s best young hockey talents. Kassian’s involvement in the match was a clear testament to his exceptional talent and the promise he held as an emerging star in the hockey realm.
The competition was a significant milestone in Kassian’s early career, highlighting his abilities and contributions to the Canadian national team.
The tournament was a platform for young talents like Kassian to shine and gain experience at the international level. During the match, he received a two-game suspension for a hit against Czech defenseman Petr Senkerik, making contact with Senkerik’s chin using his shoulder.
Kassian returned for the medal round and played a key role as Canada reached the gold medal game, ultimately losing 5–3 to Russia. He finished the tournament with two goals and an assist over five rounds.
What do Googlers want to know about Zack Kassian?
Did Zack Kassian get traded?
However, Kassian’s stint with the Canadiens was short-lived, as he never had the opportunity to hit the ice due to suspension for substance abuse issues. Shortly after, he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers several months later.
After seven seasons in Edmonton, Kassian was traded to the Arizona Coyotes, spending one season there before retiring during the 2023–24 NHL season.
How many teams has Zack Kassian played for?
Zack Kassian announced his retirement Thursday following a 12-year career in the National Hockey League. The 32-year-old forward played 661 regular-season games for the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes, amassing 203 points (92 goals, 111 assists) and 913 penalty minutes.
Did Zack Kassian retire?
Zack Kassian announced his retirement from the NHL after 12 seasons on Thursday. The 32-year-old forward had two assists and 50 penalty minutes in 51 games for the Arizona Coyotes last season.
Why was Zack Kassian traded?
The Edmonton Oilers have traded rugged forward Zack Kassian to the Arizona Coyotes in a deal that will give Edmonton some salary cap savings. In addition to Kassian, the Oilers also included:
- Their 29th overall pick in the upcoming NHL Draft.
- A second-round selection for the 2024 draft.
- A third-round pick for the 2025 draft in the trade to the Coyotes.
Why was Gretzky traded?
Following his victory in the 1988 Stanley Cup, Gretzky received startling news from his father that the Oilers were actively exploring the possibility of trading him.
The motivation behind this move was rooted in Pocklington’s financial troubles, as his business interests were not performing as expected, leaving him in a precarious financial situation.
In response to this predicament, Pocklington initiated discussions about trading Gretzky, with the primary aim of securing a staggering $15 million in return.
Why is Kassian not playing?
He last played for Arizona in 2022-23, where he had two goals, zero assists, 50 PIMs, and a -18 plus/minus in 51 games played.
Zack Kassian is out Wednesday vs. Edmonton due to an upper-body injury. Kassian missed the Coyotes’ previous game due to an upper-body injury and will not play Wednesday vs.
How many goals does Zack Kassian have this year?
The experienced winger has only managed to score two goals in 51 games during this season. Unfortunately, Kassian, dealing with an upper-body injury, will be unavailable to play on Tuesday against the Jets.
What is Zack Kassian’s salary?
1.118 million USD (2016)
Where did Kassian from the Oilers go?
Former Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian has signed a professional tryout (PTO) contract with the Anaheim Ducks.
Kassian was traded by the Oilers last summer to the Arizona Coyotes. In 51 games with the Coyotes, he posted two goals, zero assists, and a minus-18 rating in 51 games.
Is Kassian still on the Oilers?
After being bought out this offseason by the Arizona Coyotes, former Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian has inked a professional tryout with the Anaheim Ducks, the club announced Thursday.
How did Kassian fracture his jaw?
Kassian is set to undergo a recovery period lasting approximately one to two months due to a fractured jaw sustained from a puck striking his face.
Meanwhile, defenseman Duncan Keith finds himself in concussion protocol and is projected to be sidelined for 2-4 weeks following a significant fall into the board.
How long is Zack Kassian’s contract?
Zack Kassian signed a four-year, $12,800,000 contract with the Edmonton Oilers on January 29, 2020.
How old is Zack Kassian?
32 years (January 24, 1991)
Who is Zack Kassian playing for now?
Arizona Coyotes Trade For Zack Kassian
During an eventful first round of the 2022 NHL Draft, the Arizona Coyotes acquired forward Zack Kassian in a trade. The Coyotes initially had pick 32 and sold it to the Edmonton Oilers for their 29 pick.
When did Kassian get traded?
The trade unfolded on the opening night of the 2022 NHL draft, with the Oilers bundling Kassian alongside their 29th overall draft pick.
In addition, they included future second and third-round picks in the deal. In exchange, the Coyotes acquired the 32nd overall pick, as reported by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.
Are Matt and Zack Kassian related?
He received an invitation to join the AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates, for their training camp. During the 2014-15 season, he participated in two games with the team.
Following this brief stint, he decided to conclude his professional hockey career and pursue further education in business school. It’s important to note that he is unrelated to the other professional forward named Zack Kassian.
How do you pronounce Kassian?
- Phonetic spelling of Kassian. KAASiy-ahN. Kass-ian
- Meanings for Kassian. It is a male-given name. And also a surname – Zack Kassian.
- Examples of in a sentence. Calgary Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk delivers a significant hit on Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian, sparking a brawl.
- Translations of Kassian. Russian: Касьян
- Zack Kassian – Wikipedia
- Edmonton Oilers Trade Zack Kassian to Arizona Coyotes
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- Zack Kassian is Out with a Fractured Jaw, Duncan Keith is in Concussion Protocol – Edmonton Oilers
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