Born: March 5, 1981
Barret Jackman won’t be remembered for being a flashy goal scorer.
But St. Louis Blues fans will remember Jackman for being the guy who did all the little things during his 13 seasons with the Blues.
Block a shot with his body? No problem, Jackman did that more than 1,000 times during his 14-year NHL career. He stopped 153 shots alone during the 2011-12 season. He never shied away from putting his body in front of the puck to take away a potential goal.
Start a fight? He wasn’t afraid to do that, either. And he finished plenty, as well. Jackman racked up over 1,100 penalty minutes in his career.
Playing with a toughness and an edge not seen as much in today’s NHL, Jackman was a mainstay for the Blues’ for over 13 seasons. For his leadership, toughness and accomplishments on the ice, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame proudly inducted Jackman as a member of its Class of 2023.
Born in Trail, British Columbia, Canada, Jackman rose quickly through the ranks of junior hockey, eventually becoming the 17th overall selection by St. Louis in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
It wouldn’t be long before he was making an impact in the NHL.
During his rookie season in St. Louis in 2002-03, Jackman recorded three goals, 16 assists, 190 penalty minutes, and a plus-23 rating, helping lead the Blues to the playoffs. Playing on a line which included greats Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger, Jackman became the first – and still only – St. Louis Blue to be voted winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy, given annually to the NHL’s top rookie.
Jackman’s growth and development at the NHL level stalled a bit over the next two seasons. He was limited to just 15 games in 2003-04 due to a shoulder injury, and in 2004-05 Jackman played with the Missouri River Otters of the United Hockey during the NHL lockout.
He returned to form when the NHL returned to the ice in 2005-06, playing in 63 games and recording a career-high 24 assists.
Jackman showed his durability over the next three seasons, playing in no fewer than 70 games each year. In 2008-09, he appeared in all 82 regular-season games for the Blues and had 17 assists to go with four goals.
Over time, Jackman developed into one of the more reliable defensemen in the NHL, averaging 20-plus minutes per game for his career.
In the summer of 2012, Jackman signed a three-year contract extension with the Blues, his last multi-year deal with the club.
Jackman closed out his career in 2015-16 with the Nashville Predators. He played in 73 regular season games and appeared in all 14 playoffs games as the Preds reached the second round.
He officially retired from the ice when he signed a one-day contract with the Blues on October 4, 2016. Jackman finished his career with 181 points, or 28 goals and 153 assists. He and Bernie Federko (MSHOF 2002) are the only Blues to play at least 13 seasons with the club.
“It’s a huge honor to be able to stand up there for the old swan song,” he said at his retirement press conference. “It’s just an unbelievable opportunity that the Blues and (team owner) Mr. (Tom) Stillman and (general manager) Doug Armstrong gave me to retire in the same place where my whole career started. This is overwhelming, to have so many alumni and all of the players behind me; I’m happy I didn’t have to stare them in the face. It probably would have been a lot harder if I had to look at those guys the entire time.”
MacInnis had high praise for Jackman upon his retirement.
“No one played the game with probably some of the toughest injuries you can play with, played hard each and every night,” MacInnis said. “That’s just Barret. That’s just the way he is.”
Pronger shared his thoughts.
“When you think of his name, you think of the passion and the toughness that he played with,” Pronger said. “Back then he was still very young. Everybody leads in their own way. I’ve played with a lot of guys that are the strong, silent type. [Jackman] was one of those guys that leads by example, played the game hard, and he wanted you to follow that lead.”
Since retirement, Jackman has remained in the St. Louis area and become a businessman, partnering with former Blues great Kelly Chase and Brett Hull on several ventures.