Jr. Kings grad Jackson named USHL Rookie of the Year

Former Los Angeles Jr. Kings Robby Jackson has been named the 2013-14 United States Hockey League (USHL) Rookie of the Year as determined by a vote of league’s coaches and general managers.

Jackson, a forward from Alameda, appeared in all 60 games for the Chicago Steel this season and totaled 42 points (28 goals) to finish second on the team in scoring.  He also was second on the team with a plus-16 rating.  His 28 goals tied for the sixth-most in the league and set a USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) record for most goals by a 16-year-old, surpassing the 27 scored by Taylor Cammarata of the Waterloo Black Hawks during the 2011-12 season in which he was named USHL Rookie of the Year. 

Jackson closed out the regular season by netting 13 goals over the last 15 games for Chicago, which included scoring the record-setting goal in the team’s season finale on April 5.  Of his 28 total goals, six were game-winners, tying for second overall in the league. 

The USHL career for Jackson began in a big way as he netted a goal in his debut with the Steel on opening night, scoring the lone goal for his team in the 5-1 loss to the Green Bay Gamblers on Sept. 20, which was less than a month after his 16th birthday. 

He recorded his first USHL career hat trick on Feb. 22 when he scored a goal in each period of the 7-3 victory over the Muskegon Lumberjacks.  He also dished out two assists in the contest to tie a USHL season high with five points and finished the night with a plus-5 rating which also equaled a league season high. 

During one stretch in the month of March, the forward put together a six-game goal streak, scoring seven goals over that stretch.  That streak tied for the third-longest in the USHL this season.

“It’s rare to have such a young player make the type of impact that Robby Jackson has made this year, but this recognition from the USHL’s coaches and general managers is a testament to his talent and the work that he put in this season,” said Skip Prince, USHL president and commissioner. 

“Congrats to Robby on a special season, and to the Chicago Steel for its role in developing one of the bright young stars of the league.  We look forward to seeing him on the ice again next season and watching him take the next steps in his hockey career.”

Jackson was selected by the Chicago Steel in the third round of Phase 1 during the 2013 USHL Draft. He helped lead the Steel to a 29-27-4 record (62 points) and just four points shy of a playoff berth.  It was the first winning record for the Steel since the 2008-09 season.

He’s the youngest player ever to earn the USHL Rookie of the Year award; he won’t turn 17 until late August. Jackson has not yet committed to a NCAA hockey program.  He is set to return to the Steel for the 2014-15 USHL season and will be eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.