Born and raised in King City and living in Guelph, Ontario, Hartford, Connecticut, and Raleigh, North Carolina for the past ten years, Jeff has once again settled back into King City. Although only at King City Secondary School for two years, Jeff was very involved in school life, especially in sports. When Jeff was in grade nine he made the junior football team, only to be forced to stop play because of an injury. He was also granted permission to play for the school’s senior hockey team instead of playing junior as his talent level was already predicting an NHL career.
Jeff played his minor hockey in King City and for the Richmond Hill Vaughan Kings. In 91 – 92 Jeff played for the Thornhill Thunder Birds in the Metro Jr. B league and was voted the league’s top rookie. The Guelph Storm selected him first overall in the 1992 OHL draft. Jeff went on to have three productive years with the Storm, including OHL Rookie of the Year honours, and multiple all-star appearances. Jeff was a member of the 1995 World Junior Championship team that won a gold medal for Canada in Red Deer, Alberta.
In 1994 the Hartford Whalers selected Jeff fifth overall in the NHL entry draft. A year later, Jeff started his NHL career with the Whalers. After two seasons in Hartford, the team moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. During the 1999-00 season, Jeff finished first on the Hurricanes in goals, first in game winning goals, first in overtime points and second in assists and points. Jeff became an NHL all star over his eight years in Carolina and in 2002 played in the Stanley Cup finals against the Detroit Red Wings. Jeff became one of the highest scoring right wingers in Carolina’s history. In 2005 Jeff was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs and immediately bought a house in his home town of King City.
During Jeff’s NHL career, he always returns home to King City to spend his summers with family and friends. Growing up in King City and learning small town values from a very young age from his parents, Paul and LaVerne, has always made Jeff popular with his family, friends and team mates. Following each long NHL schedule, Jeff enjoys spending his summers staying in shape, fishing, and especially golfing.
Written September 2007
Recognizing outstanding KCSS alumni