Drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Erik "The Crusher" Christensen built his reputation through shootout success. Shortly after being chosen 69th overall, he tallied a total of 54 goals with the Kamloops Blazers. That feat would allow Christensen to receive Bob Clarke Trophy honors for becoming the leading scorer of the Western Hockey League. Crushing the competition wouldn't stop there.
During the 2004-2005 NHL Lockout, Pittsburgh's farm system was stacked with talent. After impressing management early on, Christensen would be called up from the AHL on October 31, 2005. Being a promising rookie along the ranks of Sidney Crosby, Colby Armstrong and Ryan Whitney unfortunately derailed his campaign. Erik Christensen was traded along with Armstrong to the Atlanta Thrashers in 2008.
Following a short outing with the Anaheim Ducks, "The Crusher" was claimed off waivers by the New York Rangers on December 2, 2009. At the end of the 2009-2010 hockey season, Erik Christensen recorded a dominant 53% shootout success rate despite injury. During a game against the New Jersey Devils in late December, Christensen would tear his right knee ligament.
According to Coach John Tortorella, inconsistencies in number 26's technique is what caused Christensen to be traded in February 2012. The center was traded along with a 2013 conditional seventh round draft pick. In exchange for Erik Christensen the Rangers received center Casey Wellman from the Minnesota Wild. Feel free to enjoy this classic Blueshirt moment from former number 26 and 40!