Son of Komets’ great back home
When Jackson Leef skates onto the Memorial Coliseum ice with the Brampton Beast tonight, he’ll look toward the corner seats and it’ll undoubtedly conjure up a million memories.
That was the spot where Jackson sat so many nights with his father, Ron, and watched the Komets play. This is the ice that his dad became one of the Komets’ all-time greats from 1981 to 1987 : 57 goals and 120 points in 1982-83 : as he skated toward the team’s Hall of Fame. This is the building in which Jackson watched Colin Chaulk captain the Komets to five championships and now Chaulk is coaching him against the Komets.
“I’m excited,” Leef said Wednesday. “I’d always, obviously, gone to all the games there my whole life. I always sat in the same spot with my dad. It seems kind of surreal at this point. It hasn’t really hit me yet. It should be fun.”
Leef, 26, has three goals and 11 points in 15 games for the Beast in his second full season of professional hockey.
On Wednesday, his parents, Ron and Nancy, opened their home to the entire Brampton team for an early Thanksgiving meal.
Today, friends and family will help fill the Coliseum for the 7:30 p.m. faceoff to see Jackson Leef’s first pro game there.
“My phone has been ringing off the hook and I’ve been trying to keep up with everything, and it’s been pretty overwhelming, but I think that just adds to the excitement,” he said. “I’m just going to embrace that.”
Leef had a successful collegiate career at Westfield State University from 2013 to 2017. As a senior, he was the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year with 19 goals and 40 points in 26 games.
Since then, he’s played 32 games in the Single-A Southern Professional Hockey League, 59 games with Brampton and once with Laval of the American Hockey League.
“When I get out on the ice, I’m a guy who’s looking to create some energy,” Leef said. “I’m just a hard-working guy. If I’m able to get points out of that, then that’s great.”
Leef attended Chaulk’s first hockey camp at old McMillen Ice Arena when he was 11 or 12.
“Getting to play for him has been pretty neat,” Leef said. “He’s pretty intense. It’s not all peaches and cream, or whatever the saying is, but he keeps everybody honest. I think he pushes me and gets a different level out of me than I thought I ever had, so that’s good.”