The Devils are pleased to confirm the signing of two-time Kelly Cup Champion Sam Jardine.
The 25-year-old defenceman from Lacombe, Alberta comes to Cardiff fresh of a historic season with the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL, where he helped the team capture the province’s first ever professional hockey championship.
Jardine played his university hockey at Ohio State where he spent 3 years and played 97 games. In 2011 he was drafted in the sixth round of the NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Sam’s first pro season (2015-16) gave him his first taste of the AHL as he dressed for six games with the Rockford IceHogs, the top minor league affiliate of the Blackhawks. He also played 50 games for the Indy Fuel in the ECHL.
The following season, the 6’2” defenceman split his time between the Colorado Eagles in the ECHL and San Antonio Rampage in the AHL. He played 27 games for San Antonio and 39 for the Eagles, helping them sweep South Carolina in the finals of the Kelly Cup to win his first pro trophy.
In 2017, Sam signed for ECHL team Orlando Solar Bears who were at that point the affiliate team of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jardine’s deal with the Bears was upgraded to a deal with the Leafs AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies and he played 1 game for the Marlies that season.
The Maple Leafs and Solar Bears ended their affiliate after that season, but Sam stayed with the Marlies who he represented 37 times last season in the AHL while also playing 33 games for the Newfoundland Growlers, the Maple Leafs new affiliate team where he won his second Kelly Cup Championship ring.
In his first three pro years Jardine has played 159 ECHL games and scored 50 points and 71 in the AHL where he recorded 13 points.
Head coach Andrew Lord spoke very highly of the last addition to the roster:
“I’m really excited to have Sam join our organisation. He is a great all-around defenceman with many assets, and he is the perfect player to balance out our d-core.
“He is big, skates well, plays very hard, is strong defensively and has a definite offensive upside. I think this is a huge signing for us with the d-core we already have, and I'm proud of the work we put in this summer to find the player we needed.
“Jardine does everything the right way and is a super committed pro, with great references. Marjamaki actually skates with Sam in the summers, and our old boy Ryan Russell used to be at those same skates with him before retiring.
“A big thanks to Tyson Strachan as well for helping us get this across the line as both him and Sam are Ohio State Alumni and Strachs went to bat for us.
“Jardine is young and hungry to move up in European hockey and we will do everything we can to help him achieve his goals. In the meantime, Sam is very motivated to help us win and he is a true competitor. He is also a proven winner with two ECHL championships including last season with Newfoundland. He also was a part of the Toronto Marlies organisation affiliate Colorado Eagles when they won the Calder Cup two seasons ago.”
Photo Credit: Jeff Parsons (Newfoundland Growlers)