Dany Heatley was born January 21, 1981 in Freibourg, Germany. The 1st round choice, 2nd overall selection of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Heatley is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
The former Canadian Junior A Player of the Year, Heatley born in Germany but raised in Calgary, Alberta spent two seasons at Wisconsin before making his NHL debut with the Thrashers in 2001-02.
In his two years with the Badgers Heatley was a First Team NCAA All-American in 2000-01, a finalist for the 2001 Hobey Baker Award, named to the 2001 WCHA and Big-Ten All-Academic Teams for 2001, named to the 2001 NCAA West All-Regional Team, helped Wisconsin capture the WCHA regular season championship in 1999-2000, selected as WCHA's Rookie of the Year in 1999-2000, named to the WCHA First Team All-Star Squad, the WCHA All-Rookie Team and the Division I All-America Second Team West.
In 2000-01, Heatley finished tenth in the NCAA scoring with 57 points and finished his two-year career with 113 points (52-61-113) in 77 games played.
In his first full season with Atlanta, Heatley teamed up with Ilya Kovalchuk to become one of the most dangerous tandems in the NHL. Heatley finished the season with 26 goals and 41 assists for 67 points, leading all rookie scorers on his way to the Calder Trophy as the league's top first year player.
Heatley showed no signs of a sophomore jinx in 2002-03 proving that he was not a star on the rise, but a star who had already arrived. Heatley scored more goals, recorded more assists and more total points than his rookie year, cementing him as a top 10 scorer in the NHL. His shining moment however, was the 2003 NHL All-Star game where amongst superstars like Mario Lemieux and Mike Modano, Heatley stole the show scoring four goals and an assist, and adding another goal in a shootout to capture All-Star MVP honours.
Coming off a career year in 2002-03, Heatley was involved in a serious car accident prior to the 2003-04 season which took the life of his Thrasher teammate Dan Snyder who was a passenger in the car at the time. After months of rehabilitation an injured knee suffered in the accident, Heatley returned to the ice in the latter stages of the season.
Following a three-year career with the Thrashers, Heatley was dealt to the Ottawa Senators in the summer of 2005 in a trade that brought Marian Hossa and Greg De Vries to Atlanta. Over the next two seasons with the Senators, Heatley would tally 100 goals and become the first NHL'er to score at least 50 goals in consecutive seasons since Pavel Bure did it in 1999-00. In his 2006-07 season, he recorded 105 points and set a new Senators franchise record. Later that season, he helped lead his club to an Eastern Conference Championship and a shot at the Stanley Cup. However, despite the Senators best efforts, the club finished three wins shy in the finals. The following season Heatley was handsomely awarded a 6-year contract extension with the Ottawa Senators worth $45 million.
On the international stage, Heatley led Team Canada to the Bronze Medal at the 2000 and 2001 World Junior Championships. A two-time gold medalist with Canada's World Championship team (2003-2004) and a two-time silver medalist (2005-2008) Heatley was named the tournament's Top Forward at the 2004 tournament and later that Summer helped Canada capture the World Cup title. Heatley made his first Winter Olympic appearance with Team Canada in 2006.
In June of 2009, Heatley asked for a trade from the Senators, citing a diminished role and reduced ice time for his request. Ottawa GM Bryan Murray began to work on granting the former 50-goal man his wish, reportedly reaching a deal with the Edmonton Oilers that would have seen forwards Dustin Penner and Andrew Cogliano become Senators. This deal was voided however when Heatley refused to waive his no trade clause to join the Oilers.
Finally, in September, Heatley's tenure in the nation's capital would come to an end when a deal was reached with the San Jose Sharks that sent the winger and a fifth-round draft pick to the Sharks in exchange for Jonathan Cheechoo, Milan Michalek and a second-round pick.
Heatley was part of the Canadian team that captured gold on home soil at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver along with his Sharks linemates Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.
On July 3, 2011, Heatley's time in San Jose would come to an end. After just two seasons with the Sharks, where he scored 39 and 26 goals respectively, he was traded to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Martin Havlat.