Jack Jablonski has attracted well-wishers from across hockey after an on-ice accident left him paralyzed. (AP)
By Allan Muir
With the final pick in tonight's USHL draft, the Chicago Steel called out a name that brought a lump to a lot of throats: Jack Jablonski.
Jablonski is the 17-year-old who was left paralyzed after suffering spinal cord damage in a Minnesota high school hockey game. He's become famous since the incident, both for his courage in the face of heartbreaking adversity and for the support he's received from hockey stars including Pavel Datsyuk, Wayne Gretzky and Teemu Selanne, as well as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
While Jablonski has worked toward recovery he's remained involved in the game, serving as an assistant coach with his high school team.
Jablonski responded to the news on Twitter Tuesday night: "Best night ever. #steel"
The day before the draft, he had posted an open letter on Twitter that read:
"Dear USHL teams, Just thought I'd let u know I am eligible for tomorrow's draft. Sincerely, Jack Jablonski"
For more on Jablonski, read this outstanding series from the Star-Tribune or watch this video: