Name: Ryan Jardine
Born: March 15, 1980
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Position: Left Wing
Weight: 170 lbs
So far this season in the OHL there have been a lot of players that have been tearing up OHL goaltenders. Bryan Kazarian lit up the Soo Greyhounds for 5 assists en route to 9 points in the first week of the season. Rookie defenceman Trevor Daley of the Soo Greyhounds has 9 points in 6 games so far this year.
Third year winger Ryan Jardine of the Soo Greyhounds is another player that has been tearing up the OHL early this season. In his first 6 games this season Jardine has 10 points, including 7 goals. In the first two games of the season Jardine potted 4 goals and, although he has cooled off a bit, he is remaining consistent.
In his rookie season Jardine scored 28 goals which is very good, especially for a rookie. Also in his rookie year he was named to the OHL’s all-rookie team. In his second year he scored 27 goals. This year he is on pace to score 74 goals if he continues his torrid pace. It’s highly unlikely that he will get 74 goals this year but, with the way that he has played so far this season, 50 is definitely not out of the question. If he does get 50 he would be the first Greyhound player to score 50 since Joe Seroski scored 54 in 1996-97. Remember though, Seroski was on a line with former 1st overall NHL draft pick Joe Thornton.
After his 28 goal rookie season Jardine was drafted in the 4th round (89th overall) of the NHL draft by the Florida Panthers. Jardine has looked good during the past two seasons averaging just over 27 goals per season. That stat alone gives the Panthers a good reason to be excited about Jardine and his progress.
The 1998-99 season was a bit of a letdown after his 28 goals rookie season as he scored 27. I think that he was expected to do a little bit more. In his rookie season it took him 65 games to pot 28 goals. Last season it took him 68 games to score 27. The point is though, he stayed consistent throughout both seasons, which is probably what the Panthers want anyway.
Jardine has been playing a lot on a line with Greyhound European import Josef Vasicek and 17-year-old rookie Jeff Richards. These three were meant to be on a line together. Along with the John Osborne-Cory Pecker-Chad Spurr line the Greyhounds top two lines are set and they seem to be two of the best lines in the entire league. Both lines have tremendous speed and the love to use it to go to the outside on opposing defencemen.
Over the summer Jardine has improved quite a bit. He is playing with more consistency and he is looking more comfortable on the ice because of that.
Another thing that could have helped him is new coach Paul Theriault. A lot of players on the Greyhounds roster have looked a lot better since Paul Theriault took over for Dave Cameron during the summer. Theriault seems to get the best out of his players.
Jardine has seemed to be one of the most improved players on the team. A lot of the other players are having better seasons, but Jardine seems to be one of the best players on the ice every time that he steps on the ice for a shift. He is physically fit and should have no problem continuing to produce throughout the season.
Jardine is one of 21 veteran players on the Greyhounds team this year. He is 19-years-old and one of the leaders on this years team. The Greyhounds drafted Jardine in the second round of the 1997 OHL draft which was the same year that the Greyhounds drafted Cory Pecker in the first round.
Next season Jardine will be an overage candidate for the Greyhounds and, if the Florida Panthers return him to junior, he will probably be one of the Greyhounds three overage players. There is one problem though, with Jardine playing as well as he is, he may not be back next season with the Greyhounds. He may end up in the American Hockey League or with the Panthers. There is a fairly good chance though that he will be back with the Greyhounds next season.