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Jonathan Cheechoo

Jonathan Cheechoo

Moose Cree First Nation

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Year Inducted



Jonathan Cheechoo is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation located at the southern end of James Bay in northern Ontario, Canada. Jonathan first played hockey at the age of four years old but only began playing organized hockey at 14 years old when he played AAA Bantam in Timmins, Ontario. From there Jonathan continued to excel through Midget AAA in Kapuskasing, Ontario to Jr. B with the Kitchener Dutchmen. He caught the eye of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and was drafted 5th overall in 1997 by the Belleville Bulls. Jonathan played with the Bulls for three years and increased his scoring totals each year with 76 points, 82 points, and 92 points respectively. In 1999, Jonathan led the Bulls to the OHL title and scored 5 goals in the deciding game 7 to help his team clinch the championship.

Jonathan’s success in the OHL caught the attention of National Hockey League (NHL) teams. In 1998, Jonathan was drafted 29th overall by the San Jose Sharks. Prior to breaking into the NHL, he played in the American Hockey League (AHL). While in the AHL, Jonathan continued to show his natural talent around the net leading to being called up to the NHL’s Sharks in the 2002-03 season, where he remained for seven seasons.

In 2005-06, Jonathan scored 56 goals and won the Maurice Richard trophy, which is awarded to the player with the most goals in a season. Jonathan joined the Ottawa Senators for one season in 2009-10 and finished his career in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), where he played for four seasons. Jonathan achieved the unique feat of being selected to participate in the All-Star Game of every league in which he has played, including the AHL, NHL and KHL.

Jonathan announced his retirement from professional hockey in 2018. Proud of his roots and Cree heritage, he has maintained strong ties to his home community. Jonathan credits much of his success to the support of his community and supportive, loving family. Jonathan enjoys leading hockey camps in his hometown and speaks to Indigenous youth about the importance of pursuing their dreams.

photo credit: San Jose Sharks

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