Born May 19, 1987 (age 24) in Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Right winger for the Florida Panthers
We haven’t profiled a Cat for a while, so here goes. Like so many of our MotD alumni, Jack went to the National Team Development Program before heading to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (fun fact #1: he attended Huron High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is also the alma mater of NTDP kids Patrick Kane and Kevin Shattenkirk). He had a stellar freshman year with the Badgers, leading all freshmen in scoring and helping the team to the 2006 Frozen Four, the first time that had happened since 1992 (fun fact #2: he’s also won gold and silver in the World U18 Championships, and he won bronze in the World Juniors). But he was injured his sophomore year, and after the Badgers didn’t go to postseason, he signed on with the Norfolk Admirals.
The Chicago Blackhawks had drafted him in 2005, and he was sent to the Rockford IceHogs after he signed a three-year entry-level contract. He split his time between Rockford and the big boys in Chicago, making his NHL debut in December 2007 against the Montreal Canadiens. After three seasons, he made the roster in the 2010-11 season, but he was then traded to the Florida Panthers for Rostislav Olez and Michaek Frolik in February 2011. He’s only played in 46 games this season for various injuries, most recently shoulder surgery that’s ended his season, but I think next season he’ll make an impact for a team that’s packed with talent.