Redmond's First NHL Goal
Big Rapids, Mich. - A former Ferris State University men's ice hockey standout continues his amazing recovery from a career-threatening injury as Bulldog alum Zach Redmond (Traverse City) was officially recalled this week by the National Hockey League's (NHL) Winnipeg Jets.
The 24-year-old defenseman sustained a severe injury when his femoral artery was lacerated during a practice session on Feb. 21. It was speculated that he might not be able to ever play again.
Redmond began his rehabilitation back at home in Michigan before returning to Winnipeg for a training program. He was able to return to on-ice work in early April. He was then assigned to the American Hockey League's (AHL) St. John's IceCaps last week on a conditioning assignment where he posted a pair of assists in weekend action.
Earlier this season, after making his NHL debut with the Jets in late January, Redmond appeared in eight games and collected four points on a goal and three assists to go with 12 penalty minutes. The Traverse City native played in his first NHL game on Jan. 31 in Florida and scored his first goal on Feb. 7 versus Toronto.
Redmond was seemingly lost for the year on Feb. 21 when teammate Antti Miettinen skated over his leg during a pregame skate in Carolina and his status has consistently improved in the two months since the injury, marking one of the greatest in-season comebacks in history.
"It's nothing short of a miracle considering what's he's been through," said Jets team physician Dr. Peter McDonald. "We're all aware of what happened. Considering the magnitude of the injury and the insult, not only to the leg but the whole body, it's quite miraculous."
At the time of the incident, the Jets' head athletic therapist said Redmond's laceration was "easily the most grave incident" he's been a part of during his 12-year career.
In addition to his time with the Jets, Redmond has played 38 games with St. John's this season, recording 19 points (8G,11) and 32 penalty minutes. In his AHL career, Redmond has collected 50 points (16G, 34A) and 67 penalty minutes in 113 games with the IceCaps and Chicago Wolves.
Earlier this year, Redmond was named to the 2013 Dunkin' Donuts AHL All-Star Classic in January for his efforts with the IceCaps. The Traverse City native played in 72 games for St. John's a year ago and notched 31 points on eight goals and 23 assists along with a plus 9 rating.
Before turning pro, Redmond played four seasons at Ferris State from 2007-11 and served as the Bulldogs' team captain as a senior in 2010-11. A 2010-11 All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) First-Team performer, Redmond registered a team second-highest 20 points on a career season-best seven goals with 13 assists in 26 contests for the Bulldogs in the 2010-11 season.
Redmond concluded his four seasons (2007-11) as a Bulldog with 90 points on 22 goals and 68 assists in 141 contests. The 2009-10 second-team All-CCHA skater chalked up 12 power-play goals, seven game-winning tallies, one short-handed lamplighter, 217 blocked shots, and a plus 22 efficiency rating.
A 2008 seventh-round NHL Entry Draft pick (184th overall) by the Atlanta Thrashers, Redmond originally inked a contract with Atlanta and began his career skating for their top affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, of the AHL before moving to the IceCaps.
With his NHL debut this season, Redmond officially became the 10th former Bulldog player to play in the NHL for at least one game. Previous players to see action in the NHL have included current Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz, along with past players including wing Dean Clark, defenseman Mike Colman, defenseman Jason Blake, defenseman Dave Karpa, defenseman John Gruden, defenseman Andy Roach, forward Rob Collins and forward Greg Rallo, who most recently made his NHL debut with the Florida Panthers in December of 2011 and was called back up earlier this season.
In addition to the 10 former players who've reached the NHL, a number of former Bulldog hockey players have continued their careers in the professional ranks at various levels across North America and beyond.
The Jets close out the season on Thursday (April 25) night at home against the Montreal Canadiens.