James Sheppard
James Sheppard 2009.JPG
Position Centre
Shoots Left
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
210 lb (95 kg)
NHL Team
F. Teams
San Jose Sharks
Minnesota Wild
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born (1988-04-25)April 25, 1988,
Lower Sackville, NS, CAN
NHL Draft 9th overall, 2006
Minnesota Wild
Pro Career 2007 – present

James Sheppard (born April 25, 1988) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player, currently playing for the San Jose Sharks in the NHL.

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Junior career[edit | edit source]

After growing up playing hockey in Hockey Nova Scotia's minor hockey system, Sheppard played for the Dartmouth Subways of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League.[1] (NSMMHL) in 2003–2004. He grew up in his elementary and junior high years attending Cavalier Drive School in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. In his rookie season with the Subways, Sheppard scored 92 points in 61 games. That following summer, Sheppard was drafted 1st overall in the QMJHL draft by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.[2] As the season progressed, Sheppard represented Team Atlantic at the World Under-17 Championship. Sheppard wore the honour of team captain and scored 10 points in 6 games, leading his team to a bronze medal. Sheppard eventually finished the 2004–2005 QMJHL season 4th in team scoring with 45 points. In January 2006, Sheppard was one of ten QMJHL participants to represent Team Orr in the CHL Top Prospects game, where he recorded one assist. Sheppard went on to finish the 2005–2006 QMJHL season 2nd in team scoring with 84 points. Sheppard wore the honour of team captain for the 2006–2007 season but was left off the roster of Team Canada for the 2006 IIHF World Under-20 Hockey Championship. Sheppard was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the first round (9th overall) in the 2006 NHL draft.[3]

NHL career[edit | edit source]

Sheppard signed an entry-level contract with the Wild in September of 2007[1] and began his professional career by making the jump straight from juniors to the NHL. Sheppard would make his NHL debut on 10/10/07 against the Edmonton Oilers, and in his first season with the Wild Sheppard often played major minutes due to injuries to teammates. [4] This helped him set a Wild record for games played by a rookie - he appeared in 78 games.[3] Though he produced only 19 points (5 goals and 14 assists) during his 78 games, he did play in all 6 games vs. the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Sheppard’s second season would be slightly better than his rookie campaign, scoring five goals and nineteen assists (for a total of twenty-four points). Even with the slight improvement, he would find him self in then-coach Jacques Lemaire’s dog house[4]. Hopes were high for Sheppard to start the 2009-10 season as the Wild brought in Todd Richards and a new more offensive style, but he has yet to fulfill those expectations. Despite a very underwhelming 2009-2010 regular season where Sheppard scored only six points in sixty-four games, the Wild resigned James Sheppard to a 1 year contract for the 2010-11 season[4].

On August 6, 2011, was traded to the San Jose Sharks for a 3rd round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

ATV Accident[edit | edit source]

Sheppard was involved in a ATV accident which fractured his patella on September 7, 2010[5]. Sheppard and "several other NHL players" were on a guided tour in Vail, Colorado when Sheppard was forced to swerve off the ATV course due to an oncoming truck and eventually hit a tree[6]. Sheppard has knee surgery the following day, but was suspended by the team due to a no ATV riding clause listed in his contract. Because of Sheppard's non-hockey related injury, it was announced on October 6, 2010 that Sheppard will be designated as an "injured non-roster player" for the 2010-2011 season.

Ten weeks after the accident, Sheppard appeared to the media to discuss the incident, saying that he was not fooling around on the ATV and that it was on a guided tour. Sheppard was able to return to skating in mid-December, but was back off the ice again in late February due to soreness in his kneecap[7].

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003–04 Dartmouth Subways NSMMHL 61 38 54 92 46
2004–05 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles QMJHL 65 14 31 45 40 5 1 3 4 2
2005–06 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles QMJHL 66 30 54 84 78 9 2 5 7 12
2006–07 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles QMJHL 56 33 63 96 62 16 8 12 20 14
2007–08 Minnesota Wild NHL 78 4 15 19 29 6 0 1 1 4
2008–09 Minnesota Wild NHL 82 5 19 24 41
2009–10 Minnesota Wild NHL 64 2 4 6 38
2010–11 Minnesota Wild NHL Did not play - injured
NHL totals 224 11 38 49 108 6 0 1 1 4

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hockey Draft.ca. Player's Profile James Sheppard. Retrieved on March 18 2010.
  2. Hockey's Future.com. Player's Profile James Sheppard. Retrieved on March 18 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 NHL.com. Player's Profile James Sheppard. Retrieved on March 18 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 John Shipley (Retrieved March, 19 2010). Sheppard anxious to return to ice after benching. St Paul Pioneer Press.
  5. Associated Press (September 7, 2010). Wild center James Sheppard breaks left kneecap. usatoday.com. Retrieved on June 17, 2011.
  6. Ken Campbell (September 8, 2010). Injured forward James Sheppard could be suspended by Minnesota Wild. thehockeynews.com. Retrieved on June 17, 2011.
  7. forecaster.thehockeynews.com: James Sheppard Player News

External links[edit | edit source]

Preceded by
Benoit Pouliot
Minnesota Wild first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Colton Gillies

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