There are elite-level hockey names, and then there's Blade Jenkins. Drafted by the NY Islanders in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Draft, the 22-year-old has agreed to a contract with the Isles ECHL affiliate, the Worcester Railers, for the 2023-24 season.
Jenkins split time last season between Worcester and the Bridgeport Islanders, finding much more success with the Railers. Despite playing in just 21 games with the team, Jenkins finished with 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) and was the only player to average over a point per game.
Playing in the Railers' first 14 games of the season, Jenkins was one of the key pieces that led the organization to a 9-0-0 record to start the season - an ECHL record. He then bounced between the AHL and ECHL before ultimately playing the final 22 games in Bridgeport.
“Blade was a massive piece of the record-setting group we started last season with,” Railers Head Coach Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman said. “He is a true professional. He is looking to come back to Worcester and pick up right where he left off. On top of a dominant on-ice presence, as a fourth-year pro, he will bring a lot of knowledge and leadership to our dressing room. We couldn’t be more excited to have a player of this caliber joining us for the upcoming campaign.”
Playing parts of three seasons in Bridgeport, Jenkins hasn't been able to take his game to the next level totaling only 20 points in 89 games. Another brilliant start in Worcester may provide him with the confidence needed if he finds himself back with the B-Islanders.
“I’m hoping to pick up where I left off last year,” Jenkins said. “I want to be a big producer for this team, be a leader, set a good example, and have a winning mentality. That’s what everyone wants, and that’s what we’re excited for coming into this year.”
Jenkins and the Railers open their season on Oct. 21 aganist the Adirondack Thunder.