2010-11: Jake Jackson played 26 games for Tartan High School in Oakdale, Minnesota as a sophomore. He scored 16 goals with 10 assists and was +3 with 18 penalty minutes. Tartan finished fifth in the Classic Suburban league and fell to Stillwater in the Section 4AA quarterfinals.
2011-12: Jackson skated for Metro Northeast in the Upper Midwest Elite league in the fall before returning to Tartan High for his junior season. He scored 3 goals with 1 assist in 11 Elite league games. Jackson was Tartan’s leading scorer, finishing with 25 goals and 19 assists in 27 games and was +1 with 30 penalty minutes. Tartan defeated St. Paul Como Park in its first Section 4AA playoff game before falling to traditional power Hill-Murray.
2012-13: Jackson appeared in two USHL games with Waterloo before returning to Minnesota to play in the Upper Midwest Elite League and skate for Tartan High School. He scored one goal and was an even plus/minus in his brief stint with Waterloo. Jackson scored 10 goals with 4 assists and 10 penalty minutes in 21 Elite league games for Team Northeast. He led Tartan in scoring as a senior, scoring 32 goals with 27 assists in 26 games and was +31 with 10 penalty minutes. One of the top public schools in Minnesota, Tartan was 20-3-1 with one public school loss (Duluth East). The Titans lost to Roseville 6-5 in their first Section 4AA playoff game. Jackson scored three goals against Roseville and was selected to play for Team Minnesota in the CCM NIT. He committed to playing at Michigan Tech in 2014-15 in October. Not among the 210 North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, he was selected by San Jose in the seventh round (201st overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: Jackson skated in 42 games for Des Moines in his first USHL season. He scored 2 goals with 6 assists and was -9 with 20 penalty minutes. The Buccaneers finished sixth in the Western Conference, missing the USHL playoffs.
2014-15: Jackson went from the USHL to the BCHL, putting off college hockey for a year and skating for the Nanaimo Clippers. He and Cole Maier were tied for second on the Clippers with 54 points, trailing only leading scorer Brendan Taylor. Jackson scored 24 goals with 30 assists and 34 penalty minutes in 52 regular season games. The Clippers finished first in the Island Division and reached the BCHL finals against Penticton. Jackson scored 8 goals with 6 assists and 10 penalty minutes in 22 playoff games.
Jackson is an athletic forward who has slowly developed his overall game to match his physical tools. He is a strong skater and can shift to top speeds very quickly. He has higher than average hockey intelligence and plays a sound positional game. He carries the puck well at high speeds but he is a very predictable player to defend when he is not on a breakaway due to rudimentary puck handling skills. Drafted right out of high school as a long-range project, his stickhandling and passing/shooting skills have improved as he has matured physically and he should continue to develop during his college career.
Jackson attended development camp with the Sharks in the summer and will begin his college hockey career as a freshman at Michigan Tech in 2015-16. San Jose selected Jackson as a late-round flier pick in the last round of the 2013 draft and it has taken him some time to show signs of progress. After struggling in his first junior season with Des Moines he emerged as a scorer for Nainaimo last year and will look to continue improving with the Huskies. Still a longshot in terms of his NHL potential, Jackson's progress suggests some potential as a lower line forward with some scoring ability.