Paralyzed teen hockey player drafted by Chicago Steel

Published On May 9, 2013 | By Jill Saftel

By now, everyone in the hockey community has taken notice of Jack Jablonski, the paralyzed high school hockey player from Minnesota. Apparently, the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League (USHL), the country’s top junior league, noticed him, too.

Jablonski was paralyzed during a Minnesota high school game in 2011. Jablonski has a severed spinal cord, making his chances of recovery slim to none, but that didn’t stop the Steel from grabbing him with the 411th overall pick.

While Jablonski can’t offer his talents on the ice, he’s been an incredible inspiration across the sports community and has an incredible attitude. As a quadriplegic, all four of Jablonski’s limbs are affected by the paralysis, but with hard work and his great attitude, he regained some control of his arms and reported sensation in his feet, which is practically unheard of for someone with his injury. The 17-year-old has stayed involved as an assistant coach to his high school team, and he’ll be a valuable asset to any organization.

If you’ve never heard of him, here’s an example of his lightheartedness. On the night before the draft, Jablonski sent out this tweet:


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And hey, it seems like his reminder worked.

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Awesome move by the Steel. You can stay updated on Jablonski’s recovery via his CaringBridge site, which is updated with his progress:

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About The Author

Jill studies journalism at Northeastern University, covers Hockey East for College Hockey News and is the sports editor for The Huntington News. You can follow her on Twitter at @jillsaftel, just don't ask her to choose between hockey and baseball, it's impossible.