Although he was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round (No. 21) of the 2005 NHL Draft, Tuukka Rask was traded to the Boston Bruins for goaltender Andrew Raycroft on June 24, 2006.
A native of Savonlinna, Finland, Rask arrived in North America in 2007 and spent most of the following two seasons with Providence of the American Hockey League.
Despite playing in only five NHL games during that stretch, the Bruins were impressed with his performance and decided to let goaltender Manny Fernandez leave in free agency.
Although Tim Thomas had won the Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender in 2009, Rask split time with the veteran in 2009-10, going 22-12-5 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage to help Boston make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
But the following season, Thomas reclaimed his spot as the No. 1 and helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011, their first championship since 1972. Following that run, Thomas won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs and was also awarded the Vezina Trophy for the second time in three seasons.
Rask would spend one more season as the backup, but when Thomas decided to sit out the 2012-13, Rask became the No. 1. That season, he went 19-10-5 with a 2.00 GAA and .929 save percentage. His play gave the Bruins enough confidence he was their goalie of the future, and as a result they traded Thomas to the New York Islanders on Feb. 7, 2013.
In the 2013 playoffs, Rask upped his game by going 14-8 with a 1.88 GAA and .940 save percentage, but Boston fell short in the Cup Final, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
That offseason, the Bruins signed Rask to an eight-year, $56 million contract, and he repaid their faith by winning the Vezina Trophy in 2013-14 after going 36-15-6 with a 2.04 GAA,.930 save percentage and seven shutouts.
Rask would continue to be a workhorse for the Bruins in each of the following four season, winning at least 31 games. In 2018-19, his save percentage dipped to .912, his lowest as a starter with Boston, but he rebounded in the playoffs, posting a 2.02 GAA and .934 save percentage. However, Rask and the Bruins again fell just short of the Cup, losing to the St. Louis Blues in the Final in seven games.
In 2019-20, Rask was again one of the best goaltenders in the League. Before the season was paused on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, he was 26-8-6, and among goalies to make at least 25 starts, he led the League in GAA (2.12), was second in save percentage (.929) and tied for second in shutouts (five).
Rask signed a one-year, $1 million contract Jan. 11, 2022 to return to the Bruins, six months after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. He made his season debut Jan. 13 and played four games before announcing his retirement Feb. 9 after 15 seasons. He left the game as Boston's leader in wins (308) and second in shutouts (52) behind Tiny Thompson (74).
NOTES & TRANSACTIONS
- NHL First All-Star Team (2014)
- NHL Second All-Star Team (2020)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (2017)
- Traded to Boston by Toronto for Andrew Raycroft, June 24, 2006.
- Signed as a free agent by Plzen (Czech Rep.), September 25, 2012.