After a great start to the season with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL, Ontario Hockey League grad Ric Jackman has packed up his belongings and headed eight time zones to the east. After sixteen games with the Grizzlies, where he contributed fourteen points from the blueline, Jackman will be playing for HC Slovan Bratislava in the Slovakian Extraliga. The team is the current home of former NHLer, Miroslav Satan.
Jackman played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 1995-96 to 1997-98, all with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He was team’s leading goal scorer in his final season with 33, despite playing in just 60 games and playing defence. In his second season, he was an important part of Team Canada’s gold medal winning squad at the 1997 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
Ric was a first round pick of the Dallas Stars in the 1996 NHL draft, going fifth overall. Jackman put in 231 career games in the NHL with the Stars, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks. He won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007.
Interestingly, he was traded Pittsburgh to Florida during the 2005-06 season for another former Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound, Petr Taticek. Taticek was also a first round pick in the NHL, going ninth to Florida in 2003, and is currently playing in Switzerland (read previous post on Petr Taticek here at OHL Alumni Central).
During the 2004-05 NHL lockout season, Jackman played for Björklöven of Sweden’s tier 2 Allsvenskan. Somewhat uncharacteristically, Ric led the league in penalty minutes with 209 in 46 games. Throughout his NHL career he averaged just 0.71 PIM per game. However, he was also third in scoring on the team as well.
For the past three seasons, Jackman has been playing Europe. 2007-08 was split between EC Salzburg of Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga and Leksand of the Allsvenskan. He played for Team Canada at the Spengler Cup that season and helped the team win gold over Slovakia’s HC Salavat Yulaev Ufa. He remained with Leksand for the 2008-09 season and played for Biel of Switzerland’s National League A last season.