By Mark Pukalo
Scott Jackson was headed out to eat with his Norfolk Admirals teammates after what he thought was his final game of the season last April 10 before he was pulled aside and given some great news.
He was going to the NHL.
Jackson, who played in the ECHL with Mississippi in 2008-09, had a 3 a.m. flight to Florida booked, made a few phones calls and then went to meet his Lightning teammates.
“It was a quick turn around,” Jackson said. “I didn’t sleep that night and I was super nervous the whole way down. But as soon as I got to the rink, the guys brought me right in and I was relaxed.”
Jackson, 23, played like he had all season in the American Hockey League. He was in position, physical when needed and made strong plays with his stick in 13:44 during a 3-1 victory.
It was a reward for a solid minor-league season and gave Jackson a taste of the place he wants to make home.
“I was comfortable,” Jackson said. “It was an awesome experience.”