Inducted into the Mount St. Charles Hall of Fame in 2016
Jeff Jillson was born on July 24, 1980 in North Smithfield, RI. A star at Mount Saint Charles Academy and the University of Michigan, he was the 1st pick and 14th overall selection of the San Jose Sharks in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
The 6’3″, 220 lb defenseman was named a RI All-Stater in 1998 before joining the University of Michigan. A member of the U.S. World Junior Team in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, Jeff was named to the CCHA All-Rookie team in his freshman season helping lead the Wolverines to the CCHA tournament championship.
The CCHA’s Best Offensive Defenseman during his sophomore year, Jeff went on to finish second in points (34) and assists (26) with the Wolverines, while being named to the All-CCHA 1st Team and selected an NCAA All-American.
Entering his junior year at Michigan, Jillson had compiled an impressive resume of achievements and his junior season would be no different.
Leading all CCHA defensemen in scoring, Jeff helped the Wolverines reach the tournament finals and earn a berth in the NCAA Championships. Named to the CCHA All-Conference 1st Team and its All-Academic Team, Jeff was again selected an NCAA All-American before leaving the Wolverines for a pro career following his junior season.
Jeff made his pro hockey debut in 2001-02, splitting his season with San Jose and the team’s AHL affiliate in Cleveland. He saw action with the Sharks and Cleveland before being acquired by the Boston Bruins in the latter stages of the 2002-03 season.
Upon his arrival with the Bruins organization, Jeff spent the remainder of the 2002-03 season with the Providence Bruins. In 2003-04, the former Spartan was a mainstay on the Bruins blueline up until the trading deadline when he was re-acquired by San Jose. Shortly after, he was traded again to the Buffalo Sabres. Once the Sabres’ season came to an end, Jeff helped the U.S. capture a bronze medal at the 2004 IIHF World Championships.
The following off-season, Jeff signed as a free agent with Eisbären Berlin in Germany. After competing in 30 games with the club in 2007, he was signed by the Colorado Avalanche and returned to North America. He would move back overseas the following season and ended his career after three years starring in the Finnish and Czech Republic Hockey Leagues.