NHL Draft to cap amazing run for Eden Prairie's Jackson Blake | KSTP.com

NHL Draft to cap amazing run for Eden Prairie's Jackson Blake

Chris Long
Updated: July 22, 2021 01:49 PM
Created: July 22, 2021 01:45 PM

Eden Prairie rising senior Jackson Blake is having a heck of a year. After his double OT goal in the championship game won his Eagles a state title, he went on to score the USHL championship-clinching goal for the Chicago Steel. Now, it's expected he'll be picked in the NHL Draft this weekend.

Click the video box on this page to watch KSTP Sports' chat with recent Eden Prairie grad Jackson Blake about the upsoming NHL Draft and the amazing run of experiences he's had so far in 2021

Blake's double-overtime goal against Lakeville South shook Eden Prairie's string of three runner-up finishes at State in five years.

A month later, after joining the Chicago Steel in the USHL to round out the season, Blake scored the eventual game-winning goal in a title-clinching Game 4 win over Fargo.

So, in a span of a half-dozen weeks Blake celebrated a state title at the Xcel Energy Center *and* hoisted the USHL's Clark Cup.

Now, just a few months removed from the dual championships, Blake should be hearing his name called in the NHL Entry Draft this weekend.

Blake is ranked 52nd among North American skaters in the final NHL Central Scouting Bureau rankings.

The NHL Draft begins with the first round Friday night. at 7:00 p.m. CT on ESPN2.  Rounds 2-7 are Saturday starting at 10 a.m. on NHL Network.

With age limiting eligibility, it's somewhat rare for high school players to be drafted between their junior and senior years.

St Thomas Academy's Jackson Hallum (Vegas) and one of Blake's Eden Prairie teammates from last season - Mason Langenbrunner (Boston) - are recent examples of rising seniors who were drafted.

Blake relied on Lagenbrunner to provide counsel as he prepares for his own big moment in this year's draft.

Jackson also has a solid resource at home. His father Jason played 871 games over 13 NHL seasons with the Kings, Islanders, Maple Leafe and Ducks.

Jackson plans to forgo his senior year at Eden Prairie in order to play the entire 2021-22 season with Chicago in the USHL.

From there, he'll follow in his dad's footsteps by heading to play college hockey at the University of North Dakota.

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