March 29, 2002|
Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
|NHL team (P)|
St. Louis Blues|
Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
26th overall, 2020|
St. Louis Blues
Jake Neighbours (born March 29, 2002) is a Canadian junior ice hockey left winger who currently plays for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL) as a prospect to the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted by the Blues in the 1st round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft with the 26th overall pick.
Neighbours was born on March 29, 2002, in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada. When praised for his maturity, he cites the wide age gap between his half and step-siblings as the reason. In an interview, he said "once you get to the age of 10 or 11 and your brothers are 14 years older than you, your brothers don't want to hang out with you anymore if you're going to be an annoying kid. So I've learned from a young age to be mature and relaxed so my brothers would want me around."
Growing up in Alberta, Neighbours competed with the Calgary Midget AAA Buffaloes of the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League and Airdrie Xtreme in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League. He transferred from the Xtreme to the Kelowna Pursuit of Excellence Bantam Prep team before being drafted fourth overall pick in the 2017 Western Hockey League (WHL) bantam draft by the Edmonton Oil Kings. During his draft-eligible year, Neighbours recorded 68 points in 30 regular-season games and 11 points in the playoffs.
Neighbours joined the Oil Kings for their 2018-19 season, recording 24 points in 47 regular-season games and earning two WHL Rookie of the Month awards. His play helped push the Oil Kings into the post-season, where he was the team's only rookie to score during the playoffs. After returning from a loss with Canada White, Neighbours suffered an upper-body injury during a fight against a Red Deer Rebels player and was forced to sit out for 12 games. Upon returning to the lineup in February, he was given a five-minute major for boarding and game misconduct, followed by a four-game suspension. In his sophomore season with the Oil Kings, Neighbours averaged more than one point per game, tallying 70 points in 64 regular-season games before the WHL season was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pause in the season, he was invited to participate at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and was ranked 30th amongst all North American Skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau's Midterm Draft Rankings. He was also the recipient of teams' Most Improved Player Award and Scholastic Award, having previously named to the league's named to WHL Academic Spotlight for December as a student at Salisbury Composite High School.
Leading up to the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Neighbours was ranked 26th among North American skaters, a boost from his previous rank of 30. He was eventually drafted in the first round, 26th overall, of the 2020 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues. Neighbours began the 2020-21 season with signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Blues on October 17, 2020. He attended the Blues' training camp but was re-assigned to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Utica Comets, to begin the season as he is eligible to be on the AHL roster until his junior season starts.
On October 16, 2018, Neighbours and Oil Kings teammate Sebastian Cossa were two of 66 players selected to represent Canada at the 2018 World U-17 Hockey Challenge. Prior to the start of the tournament, Neighbours named captain of Canada White while Kaiden Guhle of the Prince Albert Raiders was selected to lead Canada Red. The following year, Neighbours was named to the Canada men's national junior ice hockey team for the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where he helped them win a silver medal.
|2017-18||Edmonton Oil Kings||WHL||11||0||4||4||6||--||--||--||--||--|
|2018-19||Edmonton Oil Kings||WHL||47||11||13||24||25||16||4||8||12||10|
|2019-20||Edmonton Oil Kings||WHL||64||23||47||70||39||--||--||--||--||--|
|2020-21||Edmonton Oil Kings||WHL||19||9||24||33||17||--||--||--||--||--|