Who Is: Jesse Blacker
Date of Birth: April 19, 1991
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190lbs | Shoots: Right
Drafted: Toronto's 3rd Choice, 58th Overall, in 2009
Price Tag: AHL $67,500Â | NHL $640,000
Signed Through: 2013
- Won the Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires in 2009
- Lead all Owen Sound defensemen during 09/10 in goals (6), assists (24) and points (30)
- Made his AHL debut on March 20th 2010 vs. Hamilton
- Registered one assist and a plus-two rating in first AHL appearance
Blacker is exceptional at bringing the puck out of his own end, whether skatingÂ it up the ice or making a crisp first pass.Â Jesse’s poise in the defensive zone while handing the puck is impressive givenÂ his lack of experience at the professional level.Â He also carries himself as one of the team’s “Big Bodies” and will not shy away fromÂ laying a hitÂ in order to make a play or set the toneÂ of a game.
While under pressure in his defensive zone, Blacker could often beÂ seen out of position and looking a little lost. At the times that his size and aggressive nature could be used moving bodies from in front of the net, he was caught floating behind the goal line.Â Although this may be chalked up to his inexperience, Jesse will have to improve his positional game before he can help his teamÂ on the penalty kill or a sees substantial increase in his 5-on-5 minutes.
BlackerÂ has all the keys to being a successful top-4 blue-liner, but expect him to play a couple seasons in the AHL before seeing his first ice time in the big leagues. The newly turned nineteen year old must also add 20-25lbs to fill out his somewhat lanky frame in order to compete regularly against the leagues best. Though the Leafs depth at defence has Blacker currently in the bottom third, as long as the Maple Leafs have Burke as general manager,Â Jesse will be in the system. Truculence and testosterone tops this youngster’s resume, with a side of pugnacity and a light sprinkling of belligerence. I would compare the future of Blacker to that of Mike Van Ryn, just without the injuries (hopefully).
First game in the AHL:
â€œIt was a great feeling. Itâ€™s been a dream to play for the Leafs so this is another step closer. That first game I played I went out and tried to play my game, tried to keep things simple. It was a great feeling, I thought I played well.â€
Thoughts on AHL vs. OHL:
â€œItâ€™s not like junior where you can skate down the ice every time or jump in all the time, play a little more high risk. Here you have to play your position properly, take a little less chance, but be more sound defensively.â€
â€œThe coaches here really told me to focus on [making the first pass], going North South, moving the puck up and down the ice, and keeping in position.â€