Winner of three Stanley Cups on three different teams, winner of the 1989 Con Smythe Trophy for being the best player during the playoffs, and being one of the dominant players on every team he played for definitely qualifies Joe Nieuwendyk for being named a Superstar in the National Hockey League [NHL].
Joe Nieuwendyk was born in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada on September 10, 1966. His parents were Dutch immigrants. He played hockey as a youth in a land were ice hockey was part of that country's culture. He received an athletic scholarship from Cornell University and played for Cornell during the 1984-1985, the 1985-1986, and part of the 1986-1987 seasons. In 1985 he was drafted by Calgary in the second round and tenth overall. On March 10, 1987, Nieuwendyk made his NHL debut with a goal against the Washington Capitals.
During the 1987-1988 hockey season, Nieuwendyk joined the team full time as a rookie, and at the end of the season received the Calder Trophy for top rookie honors in the League. He had scored 51 goals during the season, the second highest for a rookie in NHL history. That year Calgary won the Smythe Division playoffs, but not the Stanley Cup. In the next year, the 1988-1989 season Joe again scored 51 goals, Calgary made the playoffs and won the Stanley Cup. In each of his first two full years in the NHL he was chosen to the All-Star team.
Nieuwendyk continued to be one of Calgary's top players. In the next five seasons ending in the 1994-1995 season, Joe scored 45, 45, 22, 38 and 38 goals respectively, and made the All-Star team in the 1992-1993 hockey season. On December 19, 1995 Joe was traded to the Dallas Stars where he continued to be one of the top players. In the 1998-1999 hockey season Joe scored 28 goals in 67 games plus 11 goals during the playoffs and Dallas won the Stanley Cup that year. In 1999-2000 he helped Dallas make it to the Stanley Cup final but Dallas lost.
On March19, 2002 Nieuwendyk was traded to the New Jersey Devils. Earlier that year while still playing for Dallas Joe played in his 1000th NHL game. During his first full season with the Devils, in 2002-2003, Joe played in 80 games. On January 17, 2003 Nieuwendyk scored his 500th career goal, and on February 23, 2003 he earned his 1000th career point, both major milestones in professional hockey. During the playoffs that year Joe helped the Devils reach the finals and win the Stanley Cup, Joe's third Stanley cup for three different teams.
For the 2003-2004 hockey season, Nieuwendyk signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. That season he played in 64 games and earned 50 points, third highest on the team.
For the 2005-206 hockey season, Nieuwendyk joined the Florida Panthers. It would be the last full season before he turned 40, an old age for a professional hockey player.
During his entire professional career through the 2003-2004 hockey season, prior to the season-long player strike, Nieuwendyk's total goals scored numbered 533, his total assists numbered 529, and his total points earned amounted to 1062 points. He had played in 1177 regular season games. In addition during the various playoff games he had scored 66 goals, had 50 assists and had earned 116 points. He had played in 158 playoff games up to that time.
Halfway through the 2005-2006 hockey season with the Florida Panthers Nieuwendyk was still going strong with 15 goals, 16 assists and 31 points in 39 games. At that pace he may have a few more playing years left.
Joe Nieuwendyk, although originally a native of Canada, is viewed as a Dutch-American for the many years he has played on American teams and in American games in an international sport. He is and was one of the great ones.
Nieuwendyk is married to his wife Tina. They have three children, Kaycee, 5 years old, Tyra, 4, and Jackson, 3. In the off-season they live in Ithaca, New York.
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FIFTEEN PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE VAN BURENS, KOCH BROTHERS, VOORHEES AND OTHERS, 2015
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DUTCH PEGELS INVOLVED IN WARS
ALLIED EUROPE CAMPAIGN—1944/1945: TACTICAL MISTAKES, 2017
THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS: MEMOIRS, 2017