A Timbits hockey alumnus, James Livingston was a 2006 first round OHL Priority Draft selection of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He has played for the Soo the last two seasons, getting more and more ice time, and increasing his offensive production, almost on a monthly basis. Livingston's best month thus far in his junior career was February 2008, when he scored 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 12 games. Never one to avoid a fight or sticking up for a teammate, Livingston had the highest number of PIM on the team this past season.
2007-08: In his second season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL), the forward showed serious improvement over last season. In 68 games, he notched 21 goals and 23 assists for a total of 44 points. He also racked up an impressive 135 PIM, well over his total from his rookie campaign. An additional 14 postseason contests gave the winger a pair of goals and three more helpers.
2008-09: In his third season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds(OHL), Livingston scored 37 points in 66 games. He broke the 20 goal mark for the second time in his junior career, scoring 20 goals. His -26 plus/minus rating was a career worst.
2009-10: Livingston split the 2009-2010 season between the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds(OHL) and the Plymouth Whalers(OHL). In 60 games Livingston scored 17 goals and pitched in 18 assists, good for 35 points. He improved his plus/minus substantially, finishing at +15.
2010-11: Livingston attended Edmonton's camp after not being tendered a contract offer by St. Louis (who drafted him in 2008). The Oilers did not sign him and he returned to the OHL to play for Plymouth as a 20-year-old. Livingston was a solid two-way forward for the Whalers and the club's fourth-leading scorer with 22 goals and 28 assists in 62 games; finishing +4 with 52 PMs. Plymouth reached the second round of the playoffs and in 11 games Livingston scored 4 goals with 1 assist and was -2 with 8 PMs. The Sharks signed Livingston to an entry-level contract in March 2011.
2011-12: Livingston had a good rookie season in the AHL with Worcester where the defensive forward actually saw some time on the team's power play. He scored six goals (one on the power play) along with 14 assists and a solid minus one rating in 68 games.
2012-13; Livingston skated in 67 games for San Jose's AHL affiliate in Worcester in his second pro season. Playing primarily a second and third line two-way role for the Sharks, he had the team's top plus/minus (+13) and scored 7 goals with 14 assists while accumulating 78 penalty minutes. Worcester missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Atlantic Division.
James Livingston is a good defensive forward at the professional level. He is usually well positioned and plays his defensive assignments with a fair degree of defensive reliability. Livingston has a very underrated offensive game. While his skills in most areas are average at best, his anticipation and decision making skills make up for it. He will never tear up the score sheet but he can contribute. He has the potential to one day play in the NHL, but it is more realistic he will develop into a fringe defensive player.
Livingston will likely return to the AHL for his third year with Worcester and will be relied upon in a checking role.