2004-05: In his final season of junior, David Clarkson saved his best for last, putting up 54 points, including a team high 33 goals in 51 games. He was also voted the Rangers most popular player for the season. Clarkson’s strong all around season got him noticed and earned him a pro contract from the New Jersey Devils during the summer.
2005-06: Clarkson had a strong first year as a pro in Albany and was a fan favorite through out the year. Despite missing much of the last quarter of the season due to a hand injury, Clarkson managed to rack up a team-leading 233 PIM’s (fifth among AHL rookies) in 56 games and showed an offensive touch as well with 13 goals. Had he not gone down with the injury in February, he very well could have ended up leading the team in scoring.
2006-07: Despite the fact he missed a couple of weeks in late March when he was summoned to New Jersey as an injury replacement, the second-year pro was Lowell’s second best marksman with 20 goals in 67 games. His 38 points was good enough to place him third among Lowell forwards and his 150 PIM’s lead the team. When called up to the big club, Clarkson brought his energetic and rambunctious style to New Jersey and did not look out of place scoring three goals and an assist in seven games.
Clarkson plays an agitating and physical style and is able to contribute in a variety of ways as evidenced by his statistics over the course of his junior career and his brief time at the pro level. He only knows one speed, and that is full throttle. He is a great team player, always playing every shift as though it's his last and has other intangible qualities that add to his value.
He has above average hockey sense and is a good skater with nice hands around the net. You can often find Clarkson parked right in front of the net, reeking havoc on opposing goaltenders and defensemen. He is no slouch defensively either as he is steady in his own end and a reliable guy to have out on the penalty kill.
Clarkson was dealt by the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Nathan Horton.