Profile: Jake Watson

Profile: Jake Watson


Jacob (Jake) Watson is a professional hockey player currently playing for the Washington Stars of the IHA. Watson is considered one of the best American defensemen currently playing, and has been named to the US national team several times.

Watson was born November 28, in Minneapolis, MN, although the family soon moved to Minnetonka. Watson learned to skate when he was 4 years old, and remembers spending long winters playing on the ice rink his father built in the backyard. Talking about his love of the game, he confessed that he would often stay out until long after dark, playing pond hockey with the neighborhood kids. He was often the last on the ice and would sometimes head home, only to lace up his skates for some more practice when he got home.
Watson was drafted to play in the WCJHL in Manitoba, Canada, when he was fifteen. He joined the Red River Oarmen and helped them to reach two WCJHL league championships and one Balder Cup, the championship for the Canada-wide CJHL, which encompasses both the WCJHL, the ECJHL, the QJLH, and OJHA.
Watson was selected to play for the US at the World Junior Championships twice, and once at the World Championships before he was drafted to the IHA by the Detroit Warriors using their first round pick. Watson was assigned to their farm team, the Iowa Thunder, where he continued to produce and develop as a player. He won the NCHL’s rookie of the year award, and appeared in three playoff games for the Thunder, before suffering a broken ankle.
 
Quick Facts
Birthdate: November 28 (Age: 20)
Height: 6’4 (193 cm)
Weight: 213 lbs (97 kg)
Position: Defense
Shoots: Left
Hometown: Minnetonka, MN
Draft: 16th overall (1st round; Detroit Warriors)
Teams: Washington Stars (IHA); Hershey Patriots (NACHL); Detroit Warriors (IHA); Iowa Thunder (NACHL)
Watson spent much of his second year bouncing between the IHA and the NACHL. He was cited and suspended for failure to report to the Thunder twice, once early in the year, after he was cut from the Warriors’ roster, and once in late December. In early January, there were rumblings that he would be traded, as his agent had pressed the Warriors to offer Watson a one-time, six-million dollar contract. The Warriors, with significant cap pressure, weren’t able to agree to terms with Watson, leading to another stand-off.
Watson was dealt just prior to the trade deadline, to the Hershey Patriots of the NACHL, the affiliate of the Washington Stars. Watson spent the remainder of the season with the Hershey team. He again went to Worlds for the US team, where his play again sparked contract and trade rumors. In July, he signed a three-year deal with the Washington Stars.
Watson has failed to report to practice on multiple occasions, and has been suspended for failure to report to a game in two occasions. His teammates have described him as arrogant and self-important, although others suggest he is passionate about the game and a talented player.

International Play

Watson has represented the United States on several occasions, both as a member of the world Junior and World Championships teams, and as a member of the Olympic team. He is widely considered one of the best American defensemen active in the league today. Questions about his work ethic and conduct have largely been silenced by the amount of skill and talent he brings to a team. Nonetheless, Watson has only own one medal when playing for his country, a bronze at his last World Juniors.

Personal Life

Watson has one sibling, a younger sister. His paternal grandfather is Chuck Watson, who played as a goalie for the New York Americans in the 1950s and early 1960s. Watson cites his grandfather as one of his biggest inspirations.
In 2015, Watson was charged with assault. Watson denied the charges, which were later dropped.

Scoring

IHA

Season
Age
TM
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
EV
PP
SH
GW
EV
PP
SH
1
18
DET
5
0
1
1
-3
8
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
19
DET
3
0
0
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
19
WSH
7
0
2
2
0
14
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
3
20
WSH
57
12
24
36
-2
44
8
4
0
1
10
13
1
Career
72
12
27
39
-1
68
8
4
0
1
12
14
1
 

International Play

LG
Age
TM
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
WJ
16
USA
7
0
3
3
-1
4
WJ
17
USA
6
1
3
4
0
6
WC
18
USA
7
0
1
1
2
14
WC
19
USA
6
1
2
3
1
12
O
19
USA
5
0
0
0
0
10
WC
20
USA
6
1
4
5
1
8
Career
37
3
13
16
8

Other League

LG
Age
TM
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
NACHL
18
IOW
54
3
12
15
1
44
NACHL
19
IOW
22
2
8
10
0
24
NACHL
19
HER
21
3
8
11
1
12
Career
97
8
28
36
80

Awards and Honors

  • IHA Player of the Week (x3) 
  • IHA Player of the Month (x1) 
  • World Juniors Bronze (x1)

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