Getting to Know Minnesota Wild’s Cal Clutterbuck

Tim Fuller – USA TODAY Sports

Cal Clutterbuck already has a lengthy hockey career since first skating at the age of two.  He first participated in organized hockey playing in the minors (OMHA‘s South Central AAA League) for his hometown team, the Welland Tigers (2001-02).  He then moved on to play a season in the OHA for the Welland Cougars Junior B club (2002-03).

Clutterbuck played the longest in juniors (the OHL) for both the Toronto [currently Mississauga] St. Michael’s Majors (2003-04, 2004-05) and the Oshawa Generals (2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07) until being drafted into the NHL.

He was also part of Team Canada for both the 2004 Under-18 Junior World Cup and the 2005 Under-18 World Championship (helped win the silver medal).

He’s played for the Minnesota Wild organization since they picked him up in the third round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft (72nd overall). He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Wild on May 31, 2007 (and a three-year contract extension back in February 2010).  Cal spent the majority of one season and a few games of the following with the Wild’s AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros (2007-08, 2008-09), before becoming a permanent part of their NHL roster.  He played in his first NHL game on October 28, 2007 against the Colorado Avalanche and scored his first NHL goal on November 24, 2008 against José Théodore of the Washington Capitals.

Cal immediately became a fan-favorite in Minnesota (and I can honestly understand why).  His favorite part of hockey is hitting which, I’m guessing, isn’t a surprise to most Wild fans especially after he broke the NHL record for number of hits previously held by Los Angeles KingsDustin Brown (311) during his rookie season in 2008-09 with 356 hits (and has led the NHL record in hits for each of the past three seasons).

He was born to Tim and Jocelyne Clutterbuck on November 18, 1987.  He has a younger sister, Megan.  His mom is a huge Montreal Canadiens fan and his earliest hockey memory is pushing a chair on the ice with her when he was two years old and she was pregnant with his little sister.

Cal’s parents are also big baseball fans, so they named him after Cal Ripken, Jr. who also happens to be Clutterbuck’s favorite athlete.  His middle name is Shane (Calvin Shane Clutterbuck), which Don Cherry has proclaimed is “the prototypical hockey player name.” His nickname is “Clutts” or “Clutter,” but in keeping with Don Cherry’s love / hate for Cal, he has also been called “Buttercup.”

Stephanie Lewark is an NHL and Pittsburgh Penguins Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her Facebook page, or add her to your Google+ circle.

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