As Ak Bars and the Motormen clashed for the second time this season, Jordan Weal netted his first poker of goals in the KHL — including the game-winner with only twenty seconds to the final horn. The teams were tied at four, when Weal got the puck from Steven Kampfer in the offensive zone. Weal broke in front of the net from the left flank after moving the puck past Avto’s blueliner Jesse Blacker, then exploded a fast wrister that went in top-shelf, right above Vladimir Galkin’s glove. Earlier last week, Weal also assisted Daniil Tarasov’s game-winner in Kazan’s 2:1 win over Avangard on Monday.
Jordan Weal was born in North Vancouver, Canada, on Apr 15, 1992. After playing kids hockey in British Columbia, Weal spent four years (between 2008–2012) of major junior hockey with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, totalling 385 (135+250) points, while earning 186 penalty minutes, in 282 games played. In that period, Weal represented Canada at the 2010 U18 WJC in Belarus, where his team ended in a disappointing seventh place. Weal was an alternate captain for the Canadians, and had 9 (3+6) points in six games.
During his time with the Pats, Weal was selected 70th overall by the Los Angeles Kings during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Moreover, he was recognized for his outstanding play when he was named to the 2011–12 WHL (East) First All-Star Team after a 116-point campaign.
After a successful major junior career with the Pats, Weal signed with the Kings and became a full-time member of LA’s AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. His development went ahead at a great stride with the Monarchs, peaking in 2014-2015, when Weal helped the Manchester side winning the AHL Calder Cup, being the playoff’s top scorer and MVP, and also skating at the league’s All-Star Game.
However, in 2015-2016, after 10 games with the Kings, Weal was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. With the Flyers, he netted his first NHL goal, but he failed to show the production he did while in the AHL. He was then subsequently traded to the Arizona Coyotes. Weal was unable to fully show his offensive skills with the Coyotes, contributing just one goal and one assist in 19 games, and was once again moved, this time to the Montreal Canadiens.
In Montreal, Weal had a strong finish of the 2018-2019 season, where he put together 10 (4+6) points for the Habs in just 16 games. He then renewed his ties with the Canadiens, where he spent the next two years. After playing the 2020-2021 season with the Habs’ AHL affiliates, the Laval Rockets, with a respectable 24 (7+14) points in 34 games, Weal signed a two-year deal with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL.
“Weal is a true playmaker and that’s his top quality,” Ak Bars’ GM Marat Valiullin said commenting on the signing of the Canadian player. “He’s a real weapon with the man advantage and can keep the puck on himself. I’m sure that his skills and speed will help Jordan to adapt fast to the KHL.”
It turned out that Valiullin was right. Weal scored his first KHL goal on his debut game against Jokerit — he led a fast break while killing a penalty and fooled the Jokers’ goalie Anders Lindback with a quick snapshot from the right circle. He contributed 4 (1+3) points in his first two games. He continued his production until Friday’s poker of goals — quite a feat for a KHL debutant.
Ak Bars is currently the fourth seed in the East, and Weal is leading all Ak Bars forward with ten assists and trails only Dmitry Kagarlitsky in the scoring race. Dmitry Kvartalnov will need his top import to score even more after the pause to improve the team’s offensive potential and climb up further in the standings.