On Tuesday December 1st, the Fort Wayne Komets announced the signing of American left-winger Jackson Leef. The two sides agreed to terms on a standard player contract for the upcoming season. Leef looks to make his debut in a familiar place where his father was a star.
A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Leef joins the Komets hockey club after spending three seasons with the Brampton Beast. There, he tallied 35 goals along with 47 assists which made for 82 points. While adding on 74 penalty minutes, he amassed these totals in 166 games.
Leef made his professional debut with the Peoria Rivermen in the SPHL. The forward only skated in six games before making the move to join the Knoxville Ice Bears. It was the same season that he helped them to a playoff run.
Prior to making the jump pro, Leef spent four seasons playing with the Westfield State Owls in the NCAA. There, he tallied 102 points, scoring 45 goals along with 57 assists. He did so in 94 games. In 2017, he was also named as player of the year.
Before he committed to college, Jackson also played junior hockey, spending most of his time in the NAHL. Playing with the Texas Tornado, Leef tallied 134 points, scoring 48 goals along with 86 assists. While skating in 140 games, Leef would help guide the Tornado to the Robertson Cup back in 2012.
Jackson’s father, Ron, is known by many as a Komets legend. Ron spent time with the Komets in the 1980’s in the IHL. He also happens to be a member of the Fort Wayne Komets Hall of Fame. Through the tenure he spent with the hockey club, Rob amassed 503 points, scoring 212 goals and 291 assists. He did so through a six-year span, playing 402 games with 328 penalty minutes.
If Jackson cracks the roster with Fort Wayne, he and Ron would become the third father/son duo to jointly don the orange Fort Wayne Komets sweater. Former captain Kaleigh Schrock said he is praying that hockey will start up this season. As more teams opted out on Sunday, Komets fans remain optimistic they can watch their team play and follow Jackson’s progression.
In a statement from Ben Boudreau, head coach of the Fort Wayne Komets, he said of the team’s latest signing, “Jackson is a utility player every team needs. He is a two-way player with a great sense for the game that’s necessary to play in all situations. He has had a history of scoring big goals and making defensive plays which makes him a coveted asset to any team in the league. His professionalism and dedication off the ice will be an excellent addition inside the locker room.”