2007-08: Joe Gleason capped a sensational career at Edina High School, where he led the Hornets in scoring among defensemen with 42 points (nine goals, 33 assists) in 31 games. His 33 assists ranked second on the team, while his 43 points was tied for seventh in the state in defenseman scoring. Gleason averaged 1.35 points per game this season and also served as one of Edina’s tri-captains. Gleason’s crowning individual achievement this season was being named one of the finalists for the prestigious Mr. Hockey Award. He was also named to the Class AA All-Tournament team and to the Pioneer Press All-State First team. In addition, Gleason was also named to both the AP and Star-Tribune All-Metro Second Teams.
2008-09: Gleason spent the season with Des Moines in the USHL. The blueliner scored 5 goals, 16 assists for 21 points in 59 games for the Buccaneers.
2009-10: Gleason registered 9 assists in 39 games for the University of North Dakota. The blueliner played a regular shift on the power play in addition to even strength ice time as a freshman.
2010-11: With a talented and crowded blue line at North Dakota, Gleason appeared in only 22 games as a sophomore. He scored 1 goal and 3 assists in that time, often lining up as a fourth line forward rather than his natural position on defense.
2011-12: Gleason seized a full-time role on the blue line for North Dakota as a junior. In 41 games for the Fighting Sioux he had 15 assists and was minus-six with 14 penalty minutes. North Dakota finished fourth in the WCHA in the regular season and captured the Broadmoor Trophy playoff championship after back-to-back wins over Minnesota and Denver. Minnesota returned the favor in the NCAA West regional final, defeating North Dakota, 5-2 to end the Fighting Sioux season.
2012-13: Joe Gleason had the best offensive season of his career in his senior year, scoring three of his five goals on the power play for North Dakota. Teamed with fellow Chicago prospect Nick Mattson late in the year after skating with Dillon Simpson (Edmonton), he skated in 41 of 42 games and also had 13 assists; finishing +3 with 18 penalty minutes. North Dakota finished third in the WCHA and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after an overtime loss to Colorado College in the WCHA Final Five semifinals. The Fighting Sioux lost to eventual national champion Yale, 4-1, in the NCAA West Regional Final.
Gleason is an offensive defenseman with good speed. Despite his diminutive stature, Gleason’s tenacity, determination and fiercely competitive nature served him very well in high school in demonstrating that he could effectively go up against bigger opposing players. Gleason has quick feet and transitions exceedingly well. He possesses a very good burst of speed and acceleration. He keeps his feet moving.
His great poise and patience with the puck, along with the ability to move really well with it makes him a good quarterback on the power play. Gleason distributes the puck quite well and can make some really nice outlet passes too. His speed and great puck skills also allow him to effectively jump up into plays or lead rushes. While he can transition back to defense quickly, his lack of size may make that part of his game a bigger challenge at the collegiate level and beyond. Gleason also possesses a terrific wrist shot. He can get pucks on net and will shoot as often as the opportunities present themselves.
Getting stronger will be key to Gleason’s future success.
Gleason capped off his collegiate career with his best offensive season for North Dakota. Although he is not likely in the Blackhawks plans going forward, Gleason has the puck-moving ability and work ethic to help a minor league club.