Long before he became a Stanley Cup Champion with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, Jarret Stoll spent parts of five seasons in the Western Hockey League. The WHL alumni has made his way up through the ranks, also spending time in the AHL, and now – he’s made it.
Stoll, a 30-year-old native of Melville, Saskatchewan, began his junior hockey career at the end of the 1997-98 season with the team then known as the Edmonton Ice. He was drafted first overall in that year’s WHL Bantam Draft by the ice after playing minor hockey in Saskatchewan, including time spent in the Saskatchewan Midget Triple A Hockey League.
He kicked off his WHL career by playing eight games with the Ice at the end of that season, scoring two goals and three assists in that stretch before the team relocated to Kootenay the following season.
His rookie season with Kootenay saw the centerman score 34 points (13-21) in 57 regular season games before going pointless in four playoff games.
Stoll returned to Kootenay for another season – one that would prove more productive than his rookie year. He scored 37 goals and 38 assists in 71 regular season games with Kootenay during the 1999-2000 season, adding 16 points (7-9) during the postseason.
Entering his third year, Stoll was named captain of the Ice – and his offensive production increased impressively. He scored 40 goals and 66 assists for 106 points in 62 regular season games; in addition, he also had 105 penalty minutes that season with Kootenay and added 14 points in 11 playoff games.
His second year as captain – and final season in the WHL – would see Stoll lead the Ice to a Memorial Cup championship. He scored 66 points in 47 regular seasn games, and added 19 points in 22 playoff games, as Kootenay captured the title.
Despite ending his WHL career on a high note, the prospect of moving forward into the NHL appeared to be a tough one for Stoll.
He had been drafted by the Calgary Flames with the 46th overall selection in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, but was unable to come to terms with the team. After a mishap with paperwork failed, Stoll re-entered the draft in 2002.
This time, he was selected 36th overall by the Edmonton Oilers, and it was there that he began his NHL career in 2002-03, tallying one assist and a minus-3 in four games. He made his NHL debut on January 29, 2003 versus Minnesota.
Stoll spent the majority of that season with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, tallying 54 points and 86 penalty minutes in 76 regular season games played.
He made the NHL squad the next season, suiting up in 68 games with the Oilers in 2003-04 and scoring 21 points in that stretch. The next season – an NHL lockout – saw him return to the AHL, playing in 66 games with the Edmonton Roadrunners (defunct, but now resurrected as the Oklahoma City Barons).
Once the NHL returned from lockout, Stoll spent the next three seasons with the Oilers, scoring 49 goals and 94 assists in 214 regular season games.
He was named alternate captain prior to the 2007-08 season; after that season, he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings and signed with the team a short time later.
His first season with the Kings saw Stoll score 18 goals and 23 assists in 74 regular season games; the next season, 47 points in 73 games.
The 2010-11 season was just the second time in his NHL career that he appeared in all 82 games for his team; that season, Stoll scored 20 goals and 23 assists and added 42 penalty minutes in 82 regular season games. He also had three assists in five playoff games.
Stoll’s most recent season with the Kings saw his score six goals and 15 assists in 78 regular season games. He proceeded to score two goals and three assists in 20 playoff games with Los Angeles, including the overtime series-winning goal over the Vancouver Canucks.
Los Angeles – and Stoll – went on to win a Stanley Cup Championship at the end of the 2011-2012 season.
Now that the most recent NHL lockout has ended, the WHL alumni will make his return to Los Angeles for the chance at another championship.
Did you know: Jarret Stoll scored his first NHL goal on November 10, 2003 against the Edmonton Oilers. He added another goal the next day against the Boston Bruins.