Both parties have agreed on a one-year contract until the end of April 2017.
HC SLOVAN Bratislava have been interested in working with Jonathan Cheechoo for the past two years, however the forward with more than 500 NHL games previously opted for a more lucrative offer from Dinamo Minsk.
Jonathan Cheechoo (born on July 15, 1980 in Moose Factory, Ontario, Canada) began his major junior career in the 1997/1998 season when he got drafted by Belleville Bulls of the OHL. He spent three seasons there recording an average of more than one point per game, and helped the team to their first OHL championship.
San Jose Sharks drafted Jonathan 29th overall in 1998 and had enough patience with the young player, letting him improve his skills in the AHL affiliate, Cleveland Barons. Cheechoo made his NHL debut in the 2002/2003 season playing 66 games and registering 16 points. He stayed with Sharks for 6 seasons until 2009 (he played briefly for Swedish team HV71 Jönköping during the 2004/2005 NHL lockout), and his best season has been undoubtedly 2005/2006 in which he scored 56 times and became the first San Jose Sharks player to win the Maurice Richard Trophy, awarded to the NHL player with the most goals in a season. He was paired with another superstar player, Joe Thornton, who knew how to pass the puck to Cheechoo.
While playing for San Jose, the team went to the Stanley Cup playoffs each season. Unfortunately, after he sustained a concussion in the 2006/2007 season, his productivity gradually decreased, and San Jose traded him to Ottawa for another famous forward Danny Heatley in 2009.
Jonathan Cheechoo has played 501 games in NHL, in which he recorded 305 points, of which 170 were goals. In the summer of 2013, after three seasons in the AHL he headed to Europe and joined Medveščak Zagreb in their first year in the KHL. On March 4, 2014, in the last game of the regular season his goal in the first seconds of third period decided the outcome of the game between Slovan and Medveščak in Bratislava.
An excellent season in Zagreb and Cheechoo's presence at the KHL All Star Game in Bratislava drew the attention of wealthier KHL clubs, and Jonathan changed teams right before 2014/2015 season. Choosing between many offers, among which he had the one from Slovan, he eventually decided to sign with Dinamo Minsk. Even there he confirmed his qualities as a forward with a good shot, an excellent instinct for scoring goals and an amazing sense for finding the space to score, either from the wing or in front of the crease. He recorded 124 points in 157 KHL games in three seasons, and he is joining our club with this scorecard.
HC SLOVAN Bratislava is very happy to have secured Jonathan Cheechoo's arrival to the blue jersey. The club believes that Slovan fans will welcome to Bratislava one of the most remarkable NHL players of the first decade of this millennium, and we wish Jonathan and his family a successful year in our city.