If Jason King ever had the smallest amount of quit in him, if the dye of self-doubt had somehow coloured his confidence, chances are he wouldn’t have come close to fashioning a decade-long career as a professional hockey player.
But that’s not the nature of someone who lists Don’t Stop Believin’ as his favorite karaoke song.
A dozen years or so years ago, it would have been easy for King to have given up on his dream, and chances are not too many would be surprised by such a decision. At the time, he was a star midget hockey player in his native Corner Brook, but had been passed over by every team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft. The young forward chose to see it as hurdle, not a wall, attended the training camp of the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads on a tryout in 1999 and made the team.
He would experience a draft bypass once again, when in he went unselected in 2000, his first year of eligibility or the NHL Entry Draft, but after turning in a 48-goal season for Halifax in 2000-01, King was picked by the Vancouver Canucks the following June. But even then, nothing was assured as far as a pro career was concerned. King was taken by 212th overall by the Canucks in 2001 and it is interesting to note that if he had been subject to the draft 10 years later, he would have gone unselected: there were exactly 211 players selected in the 2011 NHL draft.
Now, after a career that’s taken him from British Columbia to Germany and overcoming a serious concussion while in the Canucks’ organization, King has sort of come full circle, playing with the American Hockey League’s St. John’s IceCaps, providing goals, leadership and that no-quit attitude that’s always been part of his makeup.
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THE KING FILE
Born: Sept. 14, 1981 in Corner Brook
Drafted: 212th overall by Vancouver in 2001 NHL Entry Draft
Notes: King scored a league-leading 63 goals in 61 games for the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads in 2001-02, which represented 24 per cent of the team’s total that season ... During his rookie NHL year with the Vancouver Canucks, played with Henrik and Daniel Sedin on what was dubbed the “Mattress Line” — two twins and a King ... Scored his first NHL goal Oct. 9, 2003 for Vancouver in a game against the Calgary Flames and goaltender Roman Turek ... Was a fine baseball player, suiting up for Corner Brook on Junior Barons all-star teams in provincial competition. He also coached minor baseball in his home town for three summers ... A product of Herdman Collegiate (school) and Western Kings (midget hockey) in Corner Brook ...
Q @ A
Favourite pre-game meal: Spaghetti and meatballs
Must-see TV show: Entourage
Favourite hockey player growing up and why: Joe Sakic. Just a complete hockey player
If you weren’t a hockey player, what would you be: Real estate agent
Favourite off-season pursuit: Golf
Favourite part of being a hockey player: Hanging out in the locker room
Oldest piece of hockey equipment owned: Shoulder pads from 1999
Superstition: Left skate goes on first
Favourite ice cream flavour: Vanilla
What people don’t know about the life of a pro: There are a lot of pranks pulled on each other
Song or band played the most on your iPod: Kings of Leon
Favourite karaoke song: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey
First real job: Summer baseball coach