Off The Post: Jason Spezza Scores His First Goal as a Maple Leaf

Off The Post: Jason Spezza Scores His First Goal as a Maple Leaf –  Jason Spezza scored his first NHL goal against the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Arena and he scored his first as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs as well in a recent 4-3 overtime victory. After the game, he spoke about the win with Russ Cohen.

Off The Post: Jason Spezza Scores His First Goal as a Maple Leaf

Jason Spezza: Center, Toronto Maple Leafs

Jason Spezza was born in Mississauga, Ontario in 1983. As a young child, he dabbled in modeling and acting. He appeared in a Minute Maid commercial and modeled clothing for Woolco and Kmart. At age 15 he began his major junior career in the Ontario Hockey League with the Brampton Battalion. In his first season, he scored 71 points in 67 games. He became the youngest player to ever participate in the OHL All-Star game at 15 years-old. He was selected in the OHL Priority Draft by the expansion Mississauga IceDogs in the team’s second season. That year, he scored 61 points in 52 games.

At the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Spezza was selected with the second overall pick by the Ottawa Senators. He played for the Senators’ AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins during the 2001-02 season. He made his NHL debut with the Senators the next year. In the 2002-03 season, he played in 33 games with the Senators and scored 21 points. He scored his first NHL goal on October 29th, 2002 in a 2-1 loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia. Spezza bounced between the NHL and AHL as a rookie, however he was on the team’s playoff roster in 2003 and helped the team make a run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Collectors can find Jason Spezza’s Young Guns Rookie Card in 2002-03 Upper Deck Hockey. Spezza played during a time when multiple manufacturers held NHL licenses including Topps, Pacific and Fleer.

In his first full NHL season, Spezza scored 55 points (22 goals, 33 assists) in 78 games. Due to the NHL lockout, he returned to the AHL for the 2004-05 season. He scored 117 points with Binghamton and earned the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the league’s leading scorer. He also was awarded the Les Cunningham Award as league MVP.

Spezza would play for the Senators until 2014 when he was traded to the Dallas Stars. He signed a four year contract with Dallas on November 21st, 2014. In his first season with the Stars, he recorded 17 goals and 45 assists in 82 games. In five seasons with Dallas he played in 379 games and scored 228 points (81 goals, 147 assists). Spezza played in his 1,000th career game on October 30th, 2018.

As a free agent on July 1st, 2019, Spezza signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. So far this season he’s played in nine games and has scored four points (one goal, three assists). Collectors should look for cards featuring Spezza in a Maple Leafs jersey in upcoming 2019-20 hockey sets from Upper Deck.

Follow him on Twitter @jspezza90.

Off The Post: Jason Spezza Scores His First Goal as a Maple Leaf – Jason Spezza Career Stats

NHL Standard career statistics
Scoring Goals Assists Shots Ice Time
Season Age Tm Lg GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH S S% TSA TOI ATOI FOW FOL FO% BLK HIT TK GV Awards
2002-03 19 OTT NHL 33 7 14 21 -3 8 4 3 0 0 5 9 0 65 10.8 418 12:40
2003-04 20 OTT NHL 78 22 33 55 22 71 17 5 0 3 25 8 0 142 15.5 1142 14:38
2005-06 22 OTT NHL 68 19 71 90 23 33 12 7 0 5 37 34 0 156 12.2 1292 19:00 AS-7,Byng-8
2006-07 23 OTT NHL 67 34 53 87 19 45 20 13 1 5 32 20 1 162 21.0 1292 19:17 AS-8
2007-08 24 OTT NHL 76 34 58 92 26 66 23 11 0 6 36 22 0 210 16.2 368 1571 20:40 727 713 50.5 18 18 44 96 AS-8,Byng-72
2008-09 25 OTT NHL 82 32 41 73 -14 79 18 13 1 3 23 18 0 246 13.0 413 1615 19:41 787 690 53.3 22 26 73 81
2009-10 26 OTT NHL 60 23 34 57 0 20 12 11 0 5 21 13 0 165 13.9 308 1144 19:04 503 491 50.6 11 23 39 57
2010-11 27 OTT NHL 62 21 36 57 -7 28 14 7 0 2 25 10 1 188 11.2 345 1252 20:12 681 529 56.3 24 14 52 62
2011-12 28 OTT NHL 80 34 50 84 11 36 24 10 0 2 36 14 0 232 14.7 453 1594 19:55 909 791 53.5 23 28 64 84 AS-4,Byng-35,Hart-6
2012-13 29 OTT NHL 5 2 3 5 3 2 1 1 0 0 2 1 0 12 16.7 23 96 19:11 68 51 57.1 2 0 5 3
2013-14 30 OTT NHL 75 23 43 66 -26 46 14 9 0 5 30 13 0 223 10.3 392 1366 18:13 775 661 54.0 26 17 47 68
2014-15 31 DAL NHL 82 17 45 62 -7 28 13 4 0 1 23 22 0 204 8.3 412 1412 17:13 682 580 54.0 26 16 51 75
2015-16 32 DAL NHL 75 33 30 63 4 22 24 9 0 7 15 15 0 202 16.3 391 1239 16:31 538 443 54.8 20 9 45 62 Byng-30
2016-17 33 DAL NHL 68 15 35 50 -18 29 12 2 1 4 18 17 0 149 10.1 285 1100 16:10 354 324 52.2 31 13 32 49
2017-18 34 DAL NHL 78 8 18 26 -12 12 4 4 0 3 11 7 0 138 5.8 275 1014 13:00 417 330 55.8 26 16 12 36 Byng-49
2018-19 35 DAL NHL 76 8 19 27 -13 29 6 2 0 1 9 10 0 121 6.6 215 1009 13:16 470 337 58.2 30 16 26 53
2019-20 36 TOR NHL 9 1 3 4 0 8 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 16 6.3 21 100 11:06 29 33 46.8 3 2 1 5
11 yrs OTT NHL 686 251 436 687 54 434 159 90 2 36 272 162 2 1801 13.9 2827 12781 18:38 4450 3926 53.1 126 126 324 451
5 yrs DAL NHL 379 81 147 228 -46 120 59 21 1 16 76 71 0 814 10.0 1578 5774 15:14 2461 2014 55.0 133 70 166 275
1 yr TOR NHL 9 1 3 4 0 8 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 16 6.3 21 100 11:06 29 33 46.8 3 2 1 5
Career 17 yrs NHL 1074 333 586 919 8 562 219 111 3 52 351 233 2 2631 12.7 4426 18655 17:22 6940 5973 53.7 262 198 491 731
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/5/2019.

Here is a look at some of Jason Spezza’s cards as he talks about Saturday’s win over the Flyers with Russ Cohen. You can listen to the Off the Post podcast HERE.

Off The Post: Jason Spezza Scores His First Goal as a Maple Leaf – Image Gallery

Off The Post: Jason Spezza Scores His First Goal as a Maple Leaf – More Resources

Russ Cohen is the author of several top-selling sports related books.

Baseball’s Best Rookies
Numbers Don’t Lie: Mets: The Biggest Numbers in Mets History
100 Ranger Greats: Superstars, Unsung Heroes and Colorful Characters
100 Things Rangers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die
“Strike Three!” – A Player’s Journey through the Infamous Baseball Strike of 1994
The Winter Classic: The NHL’s Savior
The Philadelphia Flyers: Images of Sports
Pioneers of Baseball

Russ Cohen