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Calgary Flames

Musings of Interest: Jason Jaffray



Acquired primarily to fill out the farm, there’s and outside chance that the 28 year old Jaffray will see a few games in the big league this year if things fall right (or wrong, as it were). A veteran and leader for the Manitoba Moose, Jaffray has some NHL experience under his belt having seen some limited action in with the Canucks over the last two seasons.

Despite putting up some respectable numbers during his Junior career, it took JJ seven years after going pro to make his NHL debut. A native of Rimbey Alberta, Jaffray spent most of his time in the WHL with the Kootenay Ice. He shared the ice with both Jarrett Stoll and Mike Comrie, both of whom outscored Jaffray and were eventually drafted. His final two seasons in the Dub, he was a better than point-per-game player (156 points in 143 games).

Passed over by the NHL, Jaffray was forced to begin his pro career in the ECHL where he managed 34 goals and 85 points in 64 games. Being obviously well ahead of the curve at that level (Jaffray led the team in scoring as a 21 year old rookie) didn't help him out immediately; he would spend another 77 games playing for the ECHL Wheeling Nailers (best name ever?), before getting a legit shot with the AHL Cleveland Barons in 04/05. After playing 30 games for Cleveland, Jaffray was traded to the Manitoba Moose where he would finally and mercifully find a home for the next 5 seasons.

Jaffray grew from a role player into a team leader over his time there. in 06/07, he established career highs with 35 goals and 81 points (both were team leading). That big year not only led to an AHL all-star nomination, but his first NHL contract. He would go on to appear in 19 games for the Canucks the following season, tallying 6 points.

Jaffray has been a 20+ goal scorer in each of his last 3 years in the minor leagues. He also owns the Manitoba franchise record for goals in a game (4) and was instrumental in their recent run to Calder cup finals, managing 9 goals and 19 points in 22 games. At the very least, he represents a strong addition to the Flames farm squad which should be one the strongest the franchise has put on the ice since Darryl took the reigns. He was also a popular role player judging by some of the comments I’ve heard and read from Canucks fans and could be a capable option should the Flames go through another unpleasant wave of injuries next year (or if the Brian McGrattan experiment goes horribly wrong).

by Kent Wilson