James Sheppard

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For other people named James Sheppard, see James Sheppard (disambiguation).
James Sheppard
James Sheppard 2009.JPG
Born (1988-04-25) April 25, 1988 (age 28)
Lower Sackville, NS, CAN
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
NLA team
Former teams
Free Agent
Minnesota Wild
San Jose Sharks
New York Rangers
Kloten Flyers
NHL Draft 9th overall, 2006
Minnesota Wild
Playing career 2007–present
Medal record
Ice hockey
Representing  Canada
Spengler Cup
Gold medal – first place 2015 Davos

James Sheppard (born April 25, 1988) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player who is currently a free agent. He most recently played with the Kloten Flyers of the National League A.

Playing career[edit]

Junior career[edit]

After growing up playing hockey in Hockey Nova Scotia's minor hockey system, Sheppard played for the Dartmouth Subways of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League.[1] (NSMMHL) in 2003–2004. He grew up in his elementary and junior high years attending Cavalier Drive School in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. In his rookie season with the Subways, Sheppard scored 92 points in 61 games. That following summer, Sheppard was drafted 1st overall in the QMJHL draft by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.[2] As the season progressed, Sheppard represented Team Atlantic at the World Under-17 Championship. Sheppard wore the honour of team captain and scored 10 points in 6 games, leading his team to a bronze medal. Sheppard eventually finished the 2004–2005 QMJHL season 4th in team scoring with 45 points. In January 2006, Sheppard was one of ten QMJHL participants to represent Team Orr in the CHL Top Prospects game, where he recorded one assist. Sheppard went on to finish the 2005–2006 QMJHL season 2nd in team scoring with 84 points. Sheppard wore the honour of team captain for the 2006–2007 season but was left off the roster of Team Canada for the 2006 IIHF World Under-20 Hockey Championship. Sheppard was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the first round (9th overall) in the 2006 NHL draft.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Sheppard signed an entry-level contract with the Wild in September 2007[1] and began his professional career by making the jump straight from juniors to the NHL. Sheppard made his NHL debut on October 10, 2007 against the Edmonton Oilers, and in his first season with the Wild Sheppard often played major minutes due to injuries to teammates.[4] This helped him set a Wild record for games played by a rookie - he appeared in 78 games.[3] Though he produced only 19 points (5 goals and 14 assists) during his 78 games, he did play in all 6 games vs. the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Sheppard’s second season would be slightly better than his rookie campaign, scoring five goals and nineteen assists, for a total of twenty-four points. Even with the slight improvement, he would find himself in then-coach Jacques Lemaire’s dog house.[4] Despite scoring only six points in sixty-four games in the 2009-2010 regular season, the Wild resigned Sheppard to a 1 year contract for the 2010-11 season.[4]

On August 6, 2011, Sheppard was traded to the San Jose Sharks for a 3rd round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Sheppard spent much of the 2011–12 season rehabbing from a leg injury.[5] He returned to the NHL on January 22, 2013 for the first time in nearly three years, held pointless against the Edmonton Oilers. In 2013, Sheppard was to become a restricted free agent, but on June 26, he resigned with the Sharks to a one-year deal.[5]

On March 1, 2015, Sheppard was traded in the 2014–15 season by the Sharks to the New York Rangers in exchange for a fourth-round selection in 2016.[6]

As an unsigned free agent, Sheppard attended the Columbus Blue Jackets training camp for the 2015–16 season on a professional try-out contract but was released by the team on September 25, 2015 .[7]

On October 9, 2015, Sheppard signed with the Kloten Flyers of the National League A in Switzerland.[8] At the end of the 2015-16 season, the Flyers decided not to offer him any contract extension, making him a free agent.

ATV accident[edit]

Sheppard was involved in an ATV accident which fractured his patella on September 7, 2010.[9] Sheppard and "several other NHL players" were on a guided tour in Vail, Colorado when Sheppard was forced to swerve off the ATV course due to an oncoming truck and eventually hit a tree.[10] Sheppard had knee surgery the following day, but was suspended by the team due to a no ATV riding clause listed in his contract. Because of Sheppard's non-hockey related injury, it was announced on October 6, 2010 that Sheppard will be designated as an "injured non-roster player" for the 2010-2011 season.

Ten weeks after the accident, Sheppard appeared to the media to discuss the incident, saying that he was not fooling around on the ATV and that it was on a guided tour. Sheppard was able to return to skating in mid-December, but was back off the ice again in late February due to soreness in his kneecap.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Sheppard lived with former Wild player, and future Wild Assistant Coach Darby Hendrickson during his rookie season of 2007–2008. At the time Darby was working for FSN North.[12]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003–04 Dartmouth Subways NSMMHL 61 38 54 92 46
2004–05 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles QMJHL 65 14 31 45 40 5 1 3 4 2
2005–06 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles QMJHL 66 30 54 84 78 9 2 5 7 12
2006–07 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles QMJHL 56 33 63 96 62 16 8 12 20 14
2007–08 Minnesota Wild NHL 78 4 15 19 29 6 0 1 1 4
2008–09 Minnesota Wild NHL 82 5 19 24 41
2009–10 Minnesota Wild NHL 64 2 4 6 38
2011–12 Worcester Sharks AHL 4 0 0 0 2
2012–13 Worcester Sharks AHL 34 8 15 23 52
2012–13 San Jose Sharks NHL 32 1 3 4 12 11 0 0 0 4
2013–14 San Jose Sharks NHL 67 4 16 20 35 7 2 4 6 6
2014–15 Worcester Sharks AHL 2 0 1 1 0
2014–15 San Jose Sharks NHL 57 5 11 16 28
2014–15 New York Rangers NHL 14 2 0 2 9 13 1 1 2 8
NHL totals 394 23 68 91 192 37 3 6 9 22


  1. ^ a b Hockey Draft.ca. "Player's Profile James Sheppard". Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ Hockey's Future.com. "Player's Profile James Sheppard". Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b NHL.com. "Player's Profile James Sheppard". Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c John Shipley. "Sheppard anxious to return to ice after benching". St Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Dubow, Josh (June 26, 2013). "Sharks re-sign forwards Andrew Desjardins and James Sheppard". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Rangers acquire Sheppard from Sharks". The Sports Network. 2015-03-01. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  7. ^ James Mirtle (2015-09-25). "Blue Jackets release James Sheppard from tryout.". Twitter. Retrieved 2015-09-25. 
  8. ^ http://swisshockeynews.ch/index.php/switzerland/nla-new/4565-the-kloten-flyers-sign-ex-nhl-forward-james-sheppard-until-the-end-of-the-season
  9. ^ Associated Press (September 7, 2010). "Wild center James Sheppard breaks left kneecap". usatoday.com. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  10. ^ Ken Campbell (September 8, 2010). "Injured forward James Sheppard could be suspended by Minnesota Wild". thehockeynews.com. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  11. ^ forecaster.thehockeynews.com: James Sheppard Player News
  12. ^ Borzi, Pat (December 20, 2007). "A Tradition Lives: A Home Away From Home". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Benoit Pouliot
Minnesota Wild first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Colton Gillies