Sunday, June 21, 2009
Born on this day in 1977 in Mannheim, West Germany, Jochen Hecht is one of the few, but growing number of German-born players in the NHL.
Originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, Hecht played two seasons for the Blues, scoring 32 goals before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers where he played in 2000-01. He was then dealt for a pair of second round draft picks to his current club team, the Buffalo Sabres, where he has just completed his sixth season. His best campaign to date saw him score 56 points in 2006-07 and his 22 goals the following season was the first time he reached the 20 goal plateau.
He has also appeared for the German National Team many times, including no less than four times in the World Junior Tournament, six times in the World Championships, the World Cup twice, and the Olympics in both 1998 and 2002. Unfortunately, he was injured in the very last Sabres game before the 2006 Turin Olympics, causing him to miss the tournament, along with Marco Sturm who was also hurt just days before the games, striking a serious blow to the German squad as they went winless in five games (0-3-2) and failed to advance out of the preliminary round.
Hecht was chosen captain of the month for the Sabres in October 2007 and again in February 2008, making him only the second German born player to captain an NHL team after the New York Rangers Walt Tkaczuk.
A quick check of NHL.com shows Chirstian Erhoff, Marcel Goc, Mikhail Grabovski, Jochen Hecht, Olaf Kölzig, Christoph Schubert, Dennis Seidenberg and Marco Sturm as the only regularly active Germans in the NHL, although some may like to point out that Canadian National Team regular Dany Heatley was born in Germany.
Today's jersey is a Nike 1996 German National Team Jochen Hecht road jersey. This was a very difficult jersey to obtain, as we were trying to find one for several years before having to settle for a size medium, purchased form a seller located in that hockey hotbed of England of all places.
We are always attracted to the striking colors of the German National Team jerseys and this one with it's boldly striped arms and waving flag waist stripes is right up there with our favorites. The dynamic look of this jersey is only increased by the unique main crest treatment featuring the player-in-motion effect done in the colors of the German tri-color flag. This jersey is completed with the smaller, 3-inch size 1996 World Cup of Hockey patch which was worn on all the Nike jerseys in the 1996 World Cup.
Slovakia remains the only jersey from the 1996 World Cup we have yet to add to our collection and remains listed in the right hand column of this page in our wantlist section.
Germany finished with a 1-2 record in the European Pool of the 96 World Cup and was defeated in the quarterfinals by Canada by a 4-1 score. Hecht had one goal in Germany's four games played.
Here is a highlight reel of Hecht goals from the 2007-08 season. Apparently the music was chosen from Hecht's personal list of music on Player Tunes, but you just might want to view this one with the sound off...