By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter! @andrewlindrothh
Jason York was born on May 20th, 1970, in Nepean, Ontario, Canada. Jason began his journey through juniors in 1986, playing in the CJHL as a defenceman from 1986-1987, and then played the next several years in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 1987-1991. The 6’1, 208-pound defender entered the 1990 NHL Entry Draft and was selected in the 7th round (129th overall) by the Detroit Red Wings. During his final year in the OHL, the offensive-minded-defenseman contributed an astounding 93 points in 66 games.
After graduating from the OHL, Jason reported to Detroit’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Red Wings, and played with the team throughout two seasons. During that time, he not only played well in his own zone as a defenseman but still found ways to contribute offensively, notching 19 goals and 79 points in 126 appearances. During his second year with the team, Jason was awarded his first few career games in the NHL, suiting up for his first game on December 3rd, 1992, against the Minnesota North Stars.
Jason continued to make his appearances between the Adirondack Red Wings and Detroit, serving as a strong depth option for their blue-line from 1993-1995. He had his strongest year offensively with Adirondack during the 1993-1994 season, collecting ten goals and 66 points in 74 contests and contributing two goals and six points over 17 games with the Detroit Red Wings. Halfway through the 1994-1995 season, though, Detroit and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim agreed to a trade that sent Jason York and Mike Sillinger to Anaheim in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 1996, Mark Ferner and Stu Grimson. Jason went on to finish the season with Anaheim, suiting up for 15 games and notching eight points.
After almost five years grinding in the AHL, Jason proved his worth and solidified his spot in the Anaheim line-up and was a regular for the team during the 1995-1996 season, playing in 79 games while racking up 24 points with 88 PIM. During the 1996 off-season, Anaheim decided to cash in on Jason’s trade value and struck a deal with the Ottawa Senators, shipping out Jason York and Shaun Van Allen in exchange for Ted Drury and Marc Moro.
Jason signed a long-term contract with Ottawa, helping cement his position as a top-four pairing defenseman for the next five seasons from 1996 until 2001. During his time with the Senators, Jason appeared in 380 regular-season games, recording 25 goals and 124 points with a +21 rating and 309 PIM. He was also crucial to the Senator’s success in making the playoffs all five seasons, suiting up for 28 post-season matchups and producing two goals and four points. Following his contract expiring in 2001, Jason and Ottawa agreed to part ways as he was set to hit the free-agent market. However, it wouldn’t take long till Jason’s phone rang with offers, and on July 3rd, 2001, he accepted a deal to return to Anaheim.
Jason’s return to Anaheim was short-lived, playing the entire 2001-2002 season, but was eventually traded before his second season back with the team. This time, Anaheim traded Jason to the Nashville Predators for unknown compensation on October 23rd, 2002. The defenseman suited up for Nashville for the next two seasons, playing in 141 games and recording six goals and 34 points, until the 2004 off-season when the NHL lockout occurred, forcing Jason to find a place elsewhere to play and stay in shape, but did not find a team.
He eventually traveled overseas and signed a contract with Lugano (Swiss) for the 2005-2006 season, appearing in 34 contests and racking up 21 points with a whopping 122 PIM. Following his overseas venture, Jason returned to North America as a free agent and later signed with the Boston Bruins for the 2006-2007 campaign. The 6’1, 208-pound defender had trouble with lingering injuries, limiting him to 49 games that season, but still managed to put up eight points. After his one-year deal expired with the Bruins, the 36-year-old decided to hang up the skates and officially retire from the hockey world.
Throughout his 13-year tenure in the NHL, Jason played for five teams and appeared in 757 career games while recording 42 goals and 229 points. He has served as a broadcaster for the Montreal Canadiens for a number of years and now serves as an Analyst for Sportsnet. From all of us at Black N’ Gold, happy birthday Jason York!