Matt Cooke was born in Belleville, Ontario, and began his career playing for the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL. He produced an incredible 95 points in 65 games for the Spitfires in 1996-1997, but then settled into his role as an energy player. Cooke was drafted in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, 144th overall, by the Vancouver Canucks. He headed to the Canucks for 30 games in the 1998-1999 season, finishing with only 2 assists. Cooke was sent down to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL for 37 games that same season and worked on his complete game. He played 51 games for the Canucks the next season, splitting more time between the big club and the Crunch. Cooke was called up for good by the Canucks in the2000-2001 NHL season and has played there steadily ever since. His best season with the Canucks was the 2002-2003 season, in which he scored 42 points in 82 games. Cooke is a popular player in Vancouver because of his energy and his ability to change the tempo of a game with a big hit or by dropping the gloves. He will never produce much offensively, but is capable with a nose for the net and a fearless attitude for trouble. Cooke can be a pest, but has slowed down his edgy side and is working on being a better-rounded player. He may have some more offensive upside in the vault, but Cooke will have to work on his shooting and passing game to become more of a secondary scorer. Cooke is good for about 30 points a season.