One of the best American-born scorers to play in the NHL, Jeremy Roenick was born in Boston on January 17, 1970. A standout star at Thayer Academy, where he was friends and teammates with fellow future NHL star Tony Amonte, Roenick was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks with the eighth overall pick of the first round of the 1988 NHL Draft. "J.R." became a prolific offensive star with the Chicago Blackhawks and a standout for the Phoenix Coyotes before the six-foot-one, 211-pound Roenick signed with the Flyers as a free agent on July 2, 2001.
In three seasons as a Flyer, Roenick played through injury to record 67 goals, 106 assists, 173 points and a plus-53 rating over 216 regular season games. In the postseason, he produced seven goals and 21 points in 36 games. Most notably, Roenick scored the Game Six overtime goal that ended the Flyers' six-game series with the Toronto Maple Leafs and propelled the team to the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals. That year, Roenick had four goals and 13 points in 18 playoff games.
Noted for his gregarious nature and offbeat sense of humor as well as his skill and tenacity on the ice, Roenick was a fan favorite in Philadelphia during his stint. In one of the most famous episodes of his career, Roenick dressed up as Bobby Clarke for a game on Halloween, wearing a blond curly wig, blacked-out teeth, a number 16 sweater with a captain's C on it and a pair of Cooperall pants on the ice for warmups.
Once a game started, Roenick was among the game's grittiest competitors as well as a high-skill player. He dealt with a variety of ailments during his Flyers career and a had a knack for scoring at key times. On August 4, 2006, in order to make salary cap room for the recently signed Peter Forsberg, the Flyers traded Roenick to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations.
For his NHL career, Roenick played 1,363 regular season games. He scored 513 goals, recorded 703 assists and 1,126 total points with 1,463 penalty minutes. His best seasons were 1991-92 through 1993-94 when Roenick produced three straight 100-plus point seasons and scored 149 goals over that span. For his Stanley Cup playoff career, J.R. posted 53 goals and 122 points in 154 games.