When great defensive prospects for the year 1995 came to mind, two names were on the lips of most NHL scouts: Bryan Berard and Wade Redden. The two were selected at the top of the Draft, Berard going to the Senators and Redden to the Islanders. But before the season got underway in 1996, the clubs traded their prospects thus landing Redden in the nation's capital.
Redden got his start in hockey on the prairies of Saskatchewan where he grew up as a fast-skating farm boy. Hockey was no stranger to his family, having heard, no doubt, of his father's trip to the Memorial Cup finals while toiling for the Regina Pats in 1969.
The younger Redden got his chance with the Brandon Wheat Kings in 1996. But like his father's end, the Wheat Kings fell short in the finals even though Redden was voted a tournament all-star. But the young rearguard was not left wanting for glory, having won two gold medals at the World Junior Championships in 1995 and 1996.
The Loydminster, Saskatchewan native emerged as one of the top all-around defenceman in the NHL, posting a career high 47 points during the 2000-01 season and continues to be a leader on the ice leader with the Sens.
Following the NHL lockout of 2004-05 the Senators re-signed the defenceman. Over the next three seasons, Redden would anchor the club's blueline and contribute offensively. In 2006-07, Redden and the Senators came within three wins of capturing the Stanley Cup. At the end of the 2007-08 season, Redden's contract came to an end and although he stated that he would take a "hometown discount", the Senators opted not to re-sign the defenceman.
On July 1, 2008 Redden signed a six-year, $39 million contract with the New York Rangers.
Redden struggled to find his game in New York and became a "whipping boy" for the team's struggles in the media. After two seasons with the Rangers he was assigned to the American Hockey League for the 2010-11 season, becoming the highest paid player in AHL history.
Following the NHL's lockout in 2012, the Rangers chose to buyout the remainder of Redden's contract, making the defender an unrestricted free agent. He then signed on with the St. Louis Blues.
In 23 games for the Blues during 2012-13 Redden scored a pair of goals and added three assists. He was traded at the NHL trade deadline to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a draft pick.
Aside from his World Junior experience, Redden, is a three-time member of Canada's World Championship team (1999, 2001 and 2005) a member of Canada's World Cup winning team in the Summer of 2004, and was a member of Canada's Olympic Team in 2006.