Kris Letang is a Canadian-born professional ice hockey player who plays in the National Hockey League. As a volunteer veteran, Letang plays in the defense of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team with which he has spent the entire time of his long career. He has won 3 Stanley Cup championships and has been nominated for 3 NHL All-Star games since joining the Penguins in 2005.
Kris Letang’s Bio, Age
Kristopher Allen Letang was born on April 24, 1987, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He spent three seasons with the junior ice hockey team Val-d’Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In his junior rookie season (2004-05) he scored 32 points and was appointed to the QMJHL and all-rookie teams of the Canadian Hockey League. In the summer of 2005, he was voted 62nd in the third round of the NHL Entry Draft 2005 by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In the 2005-06 QMJHL season, Letang scored 68 points in 60 games, for which he was honored in the QMJHL First Team All-Star selection. He made his NHL debut with the Penguins in the 2006-07 season, but after only scoring 2 goals in 7 games, he was reassigned to the Val-d’Or Foreurs for further improvement.
He led the Foreurs to the final round of the QMJHL playoffs in the 2007 post-season with 31 points. His performances this season earned him the Emile Bouchard trophy for best defender in the league, the Paul Dumont trophy for “Personality of the Year” and the Kevin Lowe trophy for best QMJHL defender.
Kris Letang started the 2007-08 season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the sister team of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the American Hockey League (AHL). After scoring 7 points in his first 10 appearances of the season, the talented player was called back from Pittsburgh to the NHL.
A rookie in the 2006/07 season, Letang scored 17 points in 63 appearances, the sixth-highest score among rookie defenders, for which he was nominated for the 2008 NHL YoungStars Game. He also had an impressive run during the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs and helped the Penguins reach the final, but they lost 4-2 to the Detroit Red Wings.
In the 2008-09 NHL season, Letang earned more playing time as two of the team’s best defenders were taken out of play due to injury. As a result, his performance increased to 10 goals and 33 points this season, and he was invited to play in the 2009 NHL YoungStars Game. He also contributed to the Penguins’ success in the post-season, where they finally defeated defending champions Detroit Wings in the finals to win the 2009 Stanley Cup. In the playoffs for the Stanley Cup 2009, he scored 4 goals and 13 points in 23 matches.
The 2009-10 NHL season was rather unfavorable for the NHL star, as his performance was reduced to a career-low of 3 goals and 24 assists. After the retirement of top defender Sergei Gonchar in summer 2010, he gained a bigger role in the 2010/11 season. He ended the season with a career-high of 50 points (8 goals and 42 assists) as the team’s second-best and was voted NHL All-Star Game 2011. The following year, the talented player was also nominated for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, replacing Dustin Byfuglien, who was eliminated due to injury.
Kris Letang has been the top defender for the Pittsburgh Penguins ever since, although he has been plagued by injuries for several seasons. The veteran defender achieved the best performance of his long career in the NHL season 2015-16 and ended it with a career-high of 67 points in 71 appearances, for which he was nominated for the NHL All-Star Game 2016.
Letang scored the winning goal in the Penguins’ triumph over the San Jose Sharks in the 2016 Stanley Cup final, securing the second championship title of his career and the fourth in the franchise’s history. At the end of the 2016-17 season, he underwent neck surgery, which resulted in him missing out on the Penguins’ triumph over the San Jose Sharks in the 2016 Stanley Cup final. However, he was allowed to share in the victory, as his name was also included in the trophy.
Family Life, Wife and Son
Kris Letang is currently married to Catherine Laflamme. The couple entered into the bond of marriage on July 18, 2015, in Montreal, Canada. In 2017, Laflamme appeared in the third season of the Canadian television documentary series Hockey Wives. Letang and his wife have 2 children together. They welcomed their first child, a son named Alexander, on November 23, 2012, and their second child, a daughter named Victoria, was born on July 5, 2018.
Height and Other Facts
Kris Letang is 183 cm (6 feet) tall and has a body weight of 91 kg (201 lbs). The veteran defender is known for being efficient at both ends of the ice, showing equally impressive offensive skills.
Letang played for the Canadian men’s national ice hockey team at the youth level. He won silver with Team Canada at the 2005 IIHF U18 World Championship. He also won gold with Canada’s U20 team at the 2006 and 2007 IIHF Junior World Championships.