Rostislav Klesla (born March 21, 1982 in Novy Jicin, Czech Republic) is a professional ice hockey defenceman and an alternate captain for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL. During the off season, Klesla spends his time in the Czech Republic.
Klesla was selected 4th overall by Columbus in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, making him the first ever pick in an Entry Draft by the Blue Jackets. He also played with the Brampton Battalion of the OHL. He used to be No. 44 on the Blue Jackets, but is currently wearing No. 97.
On April 18, 2006, he signed a four-year contract extension with the Blue Jackets.
He is usually referred to by fans (and the Blue Jackets' TV broadcast team) as "Rusty".
Klesla ends every interview with Jim Day of FSN Ohio with variations of "Thank you, Jim Day."
On September 26, 2006, Klesla was suspended for two 2006 regular season matches (the first one was on October 6 vs. Vancouver and the second was on October 7 at Chicago) for a hit on Chicago's Tuomo Ruutu in a preseason match on September 22. The hit resulted in a grade II sprain in Ruutu's knee which put him out of action for 10 games. .
During the 2006–07 season, when new coach Ken Hitchcock assumed his...