|6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
220 lb (100 kg)
|Tampa Bay Lightning
|Born||October 13 1985
Považská Bystrica, CS
|NHL Draft||23rd Overall, 2004
|Pro Career||2005 – present|
Andrej Meszároš began playing for HC Dukla Trenčín in the Slovak Extraliga as a seventeen-year-old in 2002–03. After two seasons with Trenčín, he was drafted 23rd overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators. The following season, he went overseas to play junior hockey in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Vancouver Giants. Meszároš recorded 41 points in 59 games with Vancouver – fifth in WHL rookie scoring – and was named to the Western Conference's Second All-Star Team. He was also named the Giants' Rookie of the Year and Top Defenceman.
In 2005–06, he made the jump to the NHL with the Senators. Meszároš registered his first NHL point, an assist, on October 10, 2005, in a 6–5 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Two months later, he scored his first NHL goal on December 9 – a game-tying goal in the third period of a shootout loss against the Vancouver Canucks. He finished his rookie season with 10 goals and 39 points, and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team with Calgary's Dion Phaneuf. Playing on a defensive pairing with Zdeno Chára, Meszároš' plus/minus of plus-39 was tied for third in the league overall and first among rookies.
The following year, Meszároš registered 7 goals and 35 points and added 7 points in the playoffs as the Senators made their first franchise appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Anaheim Ducks. The Senators were, however, defeated by Anaheim in five games. Meszároš finished second on the team in playoff plus/minus, behind Wade Redden, at plus-5. His sophomore season also included an appearance in the 2007 YoungStars Game with teammate Patrick Eaves, in which he scored two goals in a 9-8 victory over the Western Conference.
Although Meszároš produced at a similar pace in 2007–08, the Senators finished a disappointing seventh in the Eastern Conference and were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. Meszároš became a restricted free agent in the off-season and, unable to come to terms, the Senators dealt him to the Tampa Bay Lightning on August 29, 2008, in exchange for Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picard and San Jose's first-round draft pick (previously acquired) in 2009. The following day, he was signed to a 6 year, $24 million contract.
Meszároš debuted internationally for Slovakia in the 2003 World U18 Championships as team captain. After a strong round robin, finishing second in their group behind the United States, Slovakia upset the Czech Republic and Russia before being defeated by Canada 3-0 in the gold medal game, earning silver. Meszároš finished with 4 points in 7 games, third in tournament scoring among defencemen.
In 2004, Meszároš competed in World Junior Championships in Finland. After losing their quarter-final match against the Czech Republic, Slovakia was then defeated 3-2 by Russia in the fifth place game. Meszároš scored a goal and an assist in 6 games. Later that year, he made his senior international debut with Slovakia in the 2004 World Championships. Meszároš recorded 1 assist in 7 games as Slovakia was defeated 1-0 by the United States in the bronze medal game. At eighteen years old, he was the youngest player to compete for Slovakia in both 2004 tournaments.
Meszároš made his second World Junior appearance in 2005, returning as team captain. Despite 3 goals and 1 assist from Meszároš, Slovakia failed to qualify for the medal rounds.
During his rookie NHL season in 2005–06, Meszároš was chosen to Slovakia's 2006 Olympic hockey team in Turin and registered 2 assists in 6 games. At 20 years old, he was the second youngest player in the tournament behind Russia’s Evgeni Malkin. After Ottawa was eliminated in the second round of the NHL playoffs, Meszároš joined Slovakia for one game in the 2006 World Championships. Slovakia finished eighth.
|2002–03||HC Dukla Trenčín||SVK||23||0||1||1||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||HC Dukla Trenčín||SVK||44||3||3||6||8||14||3||1||4||2|
|2008–09||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||52||2||14||16||36||—||—||—||—||—|