January 04, 2016

Jason Wiemer

The Tampa Bay Lightning were giddy to land Jason Wiemer with the eighth overall draft pick in the 1994 NHL draft. The six-foot-one, 220 pound center/left winger had just a 45 goal, 96 point and 236 penalty minute season with the WHL's Portland Winterhawks. And Wiemer was billed as the next great power forward.

Though Wiemer enjoyed an 11 year career featuring 726 games played, most notably with Tampa and Calgary, he never did fulfill that billing. The most goals he scored in a season was 11.

Wiemer relished the physical game, as his more than 1400 career penalty minutes attest. He was very strong and he hit to hurt. He crashed the net like a wrecking ball, knocking defenders out of his way. And he certainly was not shy about dropping the gloves or raising his elbows.

Wiemer became a very good role playing cornerman and sometimes enforcer, but lacked the speed and the shot to become a top six power forward. He also lacked much creativity with the puck. There was nothing flashy to his game at all. 

Perhaps Wiemer was rushed to the NHL too early. Just because he was physically capable of competing for a weak Lightning team at the time, did not mean he should have. Perhaps returning to junior hockey as an 18 year old would have allowed him to evolve his skill game. After all, in his rookie season (the lockout shortened 1995 season) he scored only once in 36 NHL games. 

Wiemer continued to bang bodies for the Lightning until 1998 when he was traded to Calgary for a bigger behemoth named Sandy McCarthy and a third round draft choice. The Lightning used that pick to select future franchise stalwart Brad Richards.

Wiemer played parts of five seasons with the Flames before brief stops with the Panthers, Islanders, Wild and Devils.

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