Former NHL Hockey Player with 18 years of experience.
Played 1100+ professional hockey games throughout the ECHL, AHL, DEL and NHL.
Currently employed by the Dallas Stars as an amateur Scout for Western Canada.
My road to the NHL was anything but normal. I was never drafted into the WHL or drafted into the NHL. I was forced to earn it the hard way.
I played Bantam AAA and Midget AAA in Red Deer and eventually moved on to play for the Kootenay Ice of the WHL. I won the WHL Championship in 1999-2000. I finished my WHL career with the Swift Current Broncos as I was traded halfway through my 20 year old season.
I spent 2.5 years in the ECHL as I tried to fight and claw my way up through the hockey ranks. In my first season in the ECHL, I won rookie of the year with the Roanoke Express in 2002-2003. The following season I played with the Wheeling Nailers and Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins. My lucky break came in 2004-2005 when I was called up by the Vancouver Canucks affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. I spent another 3 seasons playing for the Moose before my first NHL call up during the 2007-2008 season. I scored a goal and an assist in my very first NHL game vs JS Giguere and the Anaheim Ducks. I spent the next 4 seasons playing games for the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets NHL and AHL organizations. I was apart of three AHL All-Star games and was the captain of the AHL All-Star Game in 2013-2014.
After a 13 year professional career in North America, I signed my first European contract with Red Bull Munich of the DEL. I played for Red Bull Munich for 5 seasons while winning 3 championships. I was the oldest player in the DEL (38) in my final season and I contributed much of my success to my conditioning. I was named player of the year for Red Bull Munich in my final season in 2019-2020. Unfortunately, my run for my 4th championship was cut short when our league was canceled due to the covid-19 situation. Not exactly the way I hoped to retire.
During my hockey career I was known as a great leader that always brought out the best in the players around me. I always had the mentality of outworking my opponents as I was never the most skilled player on the ice. It took a lot of commitment and sacrifice but I always put a lot of focus on being in great shape and being a leader in the dressing room.
You don't have to be the biggest, fastest and strongest player on the ice. You can't control your height. You can't control your athleticism compared to your competitors. The thing you can control is your effort. You can control your attitude. You can control your work ethic. Never give a coach or GM a reason to cut you.
I always loved going to the gym as a teenager but never learned how to properly train until I was 21 years old. I started training with the Calgary Flames group that summer and quickly realized that I had not been doing what was required to become a successful professional hockey player. I was always a player that had an extreme commitment to the game of hockey and the gym. I always put in the extra work but this new form of training with the Flames was an eye opener for me. I learned the proper training techniques and what the professionals were doing to better prepare them for their season. My career really started to accelerate the following season.
My hope is that I can pass on my knowledge of conditioning and the game of hockey to these kids to help further their sports careers. I can not play professional hockey anymore but I would love to be the reason why your child does.
Copyright © 2020 Jaffray Eli - All Rights Reserved.