|6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
223 lb (101 kg)
|San Jose Sharks|
Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Islanders
|Born||October 8, 1981,|
Toronto, ON, CAN
|NHL Draft||5th overall, 2000|
New York Islanders
|Pro Career||2001 – present|
Raphael "Raffi" Torres (born October 8, 1981) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey forward who played for a number of teams in the National Hockey League (NHL), before he retired in November 2016. He was drafted by the New York Islanders fifth overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He has additionally played in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo Sabres, and the Vancouver Canucks. Torres is known as a physical, forechecking forward with offensive capabilities.
Torres was drafted out of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), where he played three seasons with the Brampton Battalion. He was a two-time OHL Second Team All-Star during his junior career. Beginning in 2001–02, he turned professional with the Islanders' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate. He spent the better part of two seasons in the AHL before the Islanders traded him to the Oilers in 2003. He played five seasons in Edmonton, becoming a full-time NHL player with the club. He recorded career numbers as an Oiler in 2005–06, while also helping them to the Stanley Cup Finals that year. In the 2008 off-season, he was dealt to the Blue Jackets, where he played the better part of two seasons. After a brief stint with the Sabres in 2009–10, he signed with the Canucks. Internationally, he represented Canada at the 2001 World Junior Championships, winning a bronze medal.
Playing career[edit | edit source]
Brampton Battalion[edit | edit source]
Torres played major junior with the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), beginning in 1998–99. He scored at a point-per-game pace in his rookie season with 35 goals and 62 points, second in team-scoring to Jason Spezza. Improving to a team-leading 43 goals and 91 points in his second junior season, he finished seventh in league scoring and was named to the OHL Second All-Star Team. Qualifying for the playoffs, the Battalion were eliminated in the first round. Torres added seven points in the six-game series.
Going into the 2000 NHL Entry Draft as a top prospect, Torres was selected in the first round, fifth overall, by the New York Islanders. The NHL Central Scouting Bureau described him as a disciplined player with good forechecking and overall offensive skills. The Islanders had obtained the fifth overall pick used to acquire Torres from the Tampa Bay Lightning, in exchange for goaltender Kevin Weekes and defensive prospect Kristian Kudra.
At the time of the draft, Islanders general manager Mike Milbury told reporters Torres' chances of immediately joining the NHL was questionable. Following his first NHL training camp in New York, Torres was returned to Brampton in late-September. Playing his third and final OHL season, he recorded 33 goals and 70 points over 55 games in 2000–01 to be named to the league's Second All-Star Team once more. The Battalion advanced to the second round of the playoffs, where they were eliminated. Torres had 11 points in eight post-season contests.
New York Islanders[edit | edit source]
Turning professional in 2001–02, Torres was assigned to the Islanders' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, following his second NHL training camp. Over the course of his professional rookie campaign, Torres was called up on four different occasions to the NHL. He received his first call-up to New York on November 24, 2001, making his NHL debut that night against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Skating on the fourth line, he helped the Islanders to a 5–3 win. He notched his first point during a separate call-up on January 4, 2002, assisting on a goal by Mark Parrish during a 4–2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was his lone point with the Islanders over 15 NHL games that season.
Later that month, he was re-assigned to Bridgeport for the remainder of the campaign. He finished with 20 goals and 30 points over 55 games with the Sound Tigers. Torres became an integral part of Bridgeport's 2002 playoff run to the Calder Cup Finals, where the club lost in five games to the Chicago Wolves. Over 20 post-season games, Torres ranked third in team-scoring with eight goals and 17 points.
Torres began the 2002–03 season in Bridgeport for the second consecutive year. He received four call-ups to New York over the campaign, recording five assists over 17 games. At the NHL trade deadline, he was traded by the Islanders to the Edmonton Oilers, along with forward Brad Isbister, in exchange for defenceman Janne Niinimaa, as well as second-round and fourth-round selections in the 2003 draft.
Edmonton Oilers[edit | edit source]
Following the trade, the Oilers assigned him to their AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, where he played the final 11 games of the regular season. Between Bridgeport and Hamilton, Torres notched 18 goals and 40 points over 60 games in his second AHL campaign. For the second consecutive year, he appeared in the Calder Cup Finals and lost. He struggled in his second AHL playoff run, managing six goals and an assist over 23 post-season games, as the Bulldogs were defeated in the Finals by the Houston Aeros in seven games. In the off-season, Torres was re-signed by the Oilers to a two-year contract on August 1, 2003.
He began the 2003–04 season in the NHL, earning a roster spot with the Oilers. He scored his first NHL goal on October 9, 2003, against goaltender Evgeni Nabokov during a game against the San Jose Sharks. During the campaign, Torres was chosen to represent the Western Conference at the 2004 NHL YoungStars Game. The following month, he missed two contests due to an ankle injury. He recovered to finish the season with 20 goals and 34 points over 80 games. During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, he played with the Edmonton Road Runners (the Oilers' new minor league affiliate) of the AHL and tied for the team-scoring lead with Tony Salmelainen, recording 46 points in 67 games.
With the NHL set to resume play for the 2005–06 season, Torres re-signed with the Oilers to a two-year deal on August 16, 2005. Returning to the Oilers, he scored a career-high 27 goals and 41 points. The Oilers entered the 2006 playoffs as the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference. During the Western Conference Finals against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Torres missed games two and three due to the flu. Following his return the lineup, he scored the series-clinching goal in game five, a 2-1 win, to advance the Oilers into the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. Against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Oilers faced a 3–1 series deficit before forcing a game seven. They were defeated in the deciding contest to lose the Stanley Cup. Torres notched four goals and 11 points over 22 post-season games.
In 2006–07, Torres recorded 15 goals and 34 points. The Oilers did not, however, qualify for the playoffs. In the off-season, they re-signed him to a three-year, $6.75 million deal. The following season, he missed the last 49 games of the campaign to an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Limited to 32 contests, he recorded 11 points.
Columbus and Buffalo[edit | edit source]
On July 1, 2008, Torres was traded in the off-season to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Gilbert Brulé. He missed 10 games to begin the 2008–09 campaign with a separated right shoulder. A month later, on December 2, 2008, he underwent surgery for an injured knee and missed an additional 19 games. With an injury-shortened season for the second consecutive year, he recorded 12 goals and 20 points over 51 games. In the 2009 playoffs, Torres added two assists as Columbus was swept in four games by the Detroit Red Wings.
The following season, on March 3, 2010, Torres was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for defenceman Nathan Paetsch and a second-round draft pick. He had recorded 19 goals and 31 points over 60 games with Columbus before the trade. In 14 games with Buffalo, he notched five assists. The Sabres entered the 2010 playoffs as the third seed in the Eastern Conference. They were eliminated in the first round by the Boston Bruins. Torres' play struggled against the Bruins and he was benched for the final two games of the series. He recorded two assists over four playoff games.
Vancouver Canucks[edit | edit source]
On July 1, 2010, Torres became an unrestricted free agent. Nearly two months later, he was signed to a one-year, $1 million contract by the Vancouver Canucks on August 24, 2010. He scored his first goal as a Canuck on October 13, in a 4–3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. The following month, he registered his first NHL career hat trick on November 2 during a game against the Edmonton Oilers. It marked the first time in Oilers history that a former player scored a hat trick against the club. The hat trick also helped Torres earn First Star of the Week honours as the best player in the NHL for the week ending November 7, 2010. Beginning in January 2011, he underwent a 23-game goalless streak, snapped on February 19 in a game against the Dallas Stars.
Later in the season, Torres was suspended four games for a hit to the head of Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle during a game on April 6, 2011. Canucks general manager Mike Gillis told media that he "strongly disagree[d] with it", while Torres argued that he did not stick out his elbow or leave his feet to make the hit and that Eberle raised his hand in defence of the oncoming check, indicating that it was not a blindside hit. Eberle was not injured on the play. The suspension ended Torres' regular season as the Canucks had two games remaining. He finished with 14 goals and 29 points in 80 games. Returning for Game 3 of the opening playoff round against the Chicago Blackhawks, Torres received further scrutiny around the league for a hit on defenceman Brent Seabrook. With Seabrook receiving a pass behind the Blackhawks' net, Torres hit him in the head with his shoulder. Although he received a minor penalty on the play, Torres did not receive further suspension from the league. Later in the game, Torres hit Seabrook a second time taking the defenceman out of the next two games. Vancouver went on to win the series in seven games, before defeating the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks, en route to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. In the opening game of the fourth round, Torres scored the game-winner against the Boston Bruins with 19 seconds remaining in regulation.
Phoenix Coyotes[edit | edit source]
International career[edit | edit source]
|Competitor for Canada|
|World Junior Championships|
Torres represented Canada with the country's under-20 team at the 2001 World Junior Championships in Moscow. He scored three goals and five points over seven games as Canada won the bronze medal. They had lost the semi-final to Finland before defeating Sweden 2–1 in the consolation game. Torres scored the game-winning goal against Sweden 37 seconds into overtime.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Torres was born in Toronto, Ontario, to Juan and Anna Torres. His father emigrated from Mexico City with his family in the early 1970s, while his mother is from Lima, Peru, and is of Italian and Greek ancestry. Juan Torres worked several jobs to support his family, including car inspecting and assembly for General Motors, newspaper delivery for the Toronto Sun, construction and general contracting. Anna Torres stayed at home until after Torres and his siblings grew up, at which point she became a personal trainer. The two met in Toronto. At one point, Torres' father became unemployed and the family applied to the Toronto Maple Leafs Foundation to financially support Torres' hockey career.
Torres is married; his wife's name is Gianna.
On Halloween 2011, Raffi Torres' costume prompted severe criticism as he and his wife donned blackface dressed up as rapper Jay-Z and Gianna as Beyonce leaving many to believe Raffi is a racist. However, many others have said that his intention was harmless, as he is described as a big fan of Jay-Z, and was intending the costume as a tribute.  
Career statistics[edit | edit source]
Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]
|2001–02||Bridgeport Sound Tigers||AHL||59||20||10||30||45||20||8||9||17||26|
|2001–02||New York Islanders||NHL||14||0||1||1||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||Bridgeport Sound Tigers||AHL||49||17||15||32||54||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||New York Islanders||NHL||17||0||5||5||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||51||12||8||20||23||4||0||2||2||2|
|2009–10||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||60||19||12||31||32||—||—||—||—||—|
International[edit | edit source]
|Junior int'l totals||7||3||2||5||10|
References[edit | edit source]
- Joe Lapointe. "Islanders Draft a Goalie And Make 3 Big Trades", New York Times, 2000-06-25. Retrieved on 2010-09-24.
- Jason Botchford. "Gritty winger Raffi Torres to join Canucks", The Province, 2010-08-24. Retrieved on 2010-09-25.
- 1998-99 Brampton Battalion. Ontario Hockey League. Retrieved on 2010-09-27.
- 1999–2000 Brampton Battalion. Ontario Hockey League. Retrieved on 2010-09-27.
- 1999–2000 Regular Season - All Skaters. Ontario Hockey League. Retrieved on 2010-09-27.
- Raffi Torres. The Sports Network. Retrieved on 2010-09-24.
- Brampton Battalion. Elite Hockey Prospects. Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
- Peter Botte. "Goalie's hope of sticking turned away", New York Daily News, 2000-09-27. Retrieved on 2010-09-24.
- "Parrish does trick", New York Daily News, 2001-11-25. Retrieved on 2010-09-24.
- Gerald Eskenazi. "Islanders Convert Disadvantage to Game-Breaking Goal", New York Times, 2002-01-04. Retrieved on 2010-09-24.
- Calder Cup Champions: The Teams. American Hockey League. Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
- 2001-02 Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Hockeydb.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-27.
- "Trade deadline roundup", USA Today, 2003-03-11. Retrieved on 2008-10-01.
- One Time Only - NHL Goal. Vancouver Canucks (2010-11-23). Retrieved on 2010-11-25.
- 2004–05 Edmonton Road Runners (AHL). Hockeydb.com. Retrieved on 2008-10-01.
- 2005-06 Regular Season. National Hockey League. Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
- "Unheralded Oilers Reach Cup Finals", New York Times, 2006-05-28. Retrieved on 2008-10-01.
- 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 2006-06-14. Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
- 2006-07 Regular Season. National Hockey League. Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
- Oilers trade Torres to Blue Jackets. ESPN (2008-07-01). Retrieved on 2008-10-01.
- "Red Wings too strong for Jackets", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2009-04-23. Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
- 2010 NHL Trade Deadline list of trades - 2010 Trade Deadline. National Hockey League (2010-03-03). Retrieved on 2010-03-03.
- Stanley Cup bracket 2010. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 2010-04-19. Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
- Ian Walker. "Raffi Torres knows he has plenty to prove with Canucks", Vancouver Sun, 2010-08-09. Retrieved on 2010-09-25.
- Canucks sign free agent Torres to 1-year, $1 Million deal. The Sports Network (2010-08-24). Retrieved on 2010-08-24.
- "Ducks rally past Canucks", Toronto Sun, 2010-10-14. Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
- "Torres's hat trick pushes Canucks past Oilers", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2010-11-02. Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
- "Canuck Raffi torres' hat-trick a first for an ex-Oiler", Vancouver Sun, 2010-11-03. Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
- Canucks' Torres tops list of NHL's Three Stars for the week. The Sports Network (2010-11-08). Retrieved on 2010-11-08.
- "Sedins far too much for Dallas as Canucks sweep season series", The Sports Network, 2011-02-19. Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
- Jason Botchford. "Raffi Torres feel aggrieved after NHL hands out severe four-game suspension", The Province, Postmedia Network, 2011-04-08. Retrieved on 2011-04-18.
- "No suspension for Torres after hit on Seabrook", The Sports Network, 2011-04-18. Retrieved on 2011-04-18.
- "Last goal gives Canucks 1-0 win in Game 1", National Hockey League, 2011-06-02. Retrieved on 2011-06-05.
- NHL Free Agent Tracker. The Sports Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2011.
- 2001 World Junior Championship. Hockey Canada. Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
- "Q&A with Raffi Torres", Sports Illustrated, 2000-06-24. Retrieved on 2010-09-24.
- Tom Reed. "Torres raised on love, hard work", The Columbus Dispatch, 2008-11-11. Retrieved on 2010-09-25.
- "Raffi Torres Dons Blackface", Complex.
- "Raffi Torres Halloween Black Face Out Of Line? Not Necessarily", Complex.
- "COYOTES, AGENT DEFEND TORRES AFTER HALLOWEEN COSTUME PHOTO", Complex.
[edit | edit source]
- Raffi Torres's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
- Raffi Torres at TSN.ca
- Raffi Torres's NHL player profile
|New York Islanders first round pick
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