Jon Battaglia has been known only by his father's old nickname "Bates" during his solid NHL career. Battaglia, a left-winger, was drafted by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim following his collegiate career at the Lake Superior State but was traded to the Hartford Whalers before he had a chance to suit up for the Ducks. The Whalers eventually transferred to Carolina and became the Hurricanes and it was with them that Battaglia made his NHL debut.
In 1997-98 Battaglia started his season with the New Haven Beast of the American Hockey League but the Hurricanes called him for a game versus the Dallas Stars on January 3 1998. He went on to play 33 games for Carolina and contributed six points. In 1998-99 Battaglia cracked the Hurricanes roster out of training camp and played in his first full NHL campaign.
Battaglia slowly developed into a solid power forward and was relied on more and more to provide offense for the Hurricanes. In 1999-00 he scored 16 goals but his break-through year came in 2001-02 when he was placed on a line with veteran Rod Brind'amour and rookie Erik Cole. Battaglia delivered his first 20-goal season with their help ending the season with 21 goals and 46 points. However the line enjoyed their greatest success in the post-season reaching the Stanley Cup Finals falling short to the Detroit Red Wings.
Battaglia and the Hurricanes were looking to build on their success from 2002, however, the team and Battaglia were struggling and he subsequently was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche midway through the season. After only a brief stint in Colorado, Battaglia was acquired by the Washington Capitals in the early stages of the 2003-04 season for Steve Konowalchuk. Once the Caps season came to a close, Battaglia joined the United States at the 2004 World Championship and was instrumental in its bronze medal performance.
Following a two-year hiatus from the NHL, Battaglia returned to the NHL in 2006 as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs under former Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice.