Born September 9, 1986 (age 25) in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Defenseman and alternate captain for the Phoenix Coyotes
Oh look! A Boston boy! A Boston boy who came up attending Cushing Academy in western Massachusetts (along with Chris, son of Ray, Bourque, with whom Yandle was good friends)! After graduating from Cushing, Yandle was supposed to go to the University of New Hampshire where his brother went, but instead he decided to go into the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats. His team won the QMJHL championships in 2005-06, a year when Yandle won trophies for the best d-man and best defensive player of the year. Drafted 105th overall by Phoenix in 2005, he appeared in his first NHL game in October 2006 against Detroit. He did spend most of that year with Phoenix’s then-AHL affiliate the San Antonio Rampage.
In 2007-08, he spent more of the season with Phoenix, though he did also play in the AHL All-Star Game. In fact, he’s kind of pretty good when it comes to playoff situations–in the 2010 playoffs, in his first playoff game ever, he scored a goal against Detroit to tie the game. He added an assist in that game and was named one of the three stars. Speaking of stars, he got to play in the 2011 All-Star Game after fellow blueliner Tobias Enstrom had to sit out with an injury. Yandle’s doing well in Phoenix to the point that he signed a five-year contract extension with them this past July.
Last season, he appeared in all 82 games, scoring 11 goals, getting 48 assists and having 68 penalty minutes. He also appeared in Phoenix’s four playoff games, getting five assists and avoiding the bin altogether. That assist and points total for the regular season were career bests for him and the assist total placed him second among all defensemen. Already this season he’s played in 23 games, scored 2 goals, gotten 13 assists and had 16 penalty minutes. He’s going to be a big reliable presence in the years to come for the Coyotes. Good for him!