Jay Christopher Leach is a former professional ice hockey player who is currently coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Jay Leach was born on 2nd September 1979 in Syracuse, New York. With his height of 6ft 4in and a weight of 215 lbs, he was perfectly built to play in defense. His professional playing career spanned the period of 2001 to 2013 during which time he played for 18 different teams.
Jay Leach’s Hockey Playing Career
Drafted in the fifth road by the Phoenix Coyotes (115th overall), Jay Leach spent a number of years in the minor leagues before being signed up as a free agent with the NHL’s Boston Bruins on 26th September 2003. While playing with this team, he appeared during the 2005-2006 season in his first 2 NHL games, during which time he managed to collect no points but did collect 7 penalty minutes. The majority of his time with the Bruins was spent in Providence with their AHL affiliate.
Leach was signed by Tampa Bay Lightning as a free agent on 3rd July 2007, and during the 2007-2008 season, he played in two games for this team however he spent most of that season in the AHL. His time with Tampa Bay Lightning was short as he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks on 26th February 2008 and then rapidly thereafter, in the summer of the same year he was signed up with the New Jersey Devils.
The Montreal Canadians claimed Jay Leach on 6th November 2009 on re-entry waivers from the New Jersey Devils and on 28th November of the same year, instead of playing in his usual defense position, he actually played forward because of an unusually high number of Canadian forwards’ injuries.
On 1st December 2009, Leach was claimed by the San Jose Sharks off waivers and during that season he played no less than 28 games for this team, recording his 1st NHL goal on 11th March 2010 when the team won an 8 to 5 victory over Nashville Predators.
The 2010-2011 season was begun with Leach playing for the Worcester Sharks in the AHL, but he was son traded back on 9th February 2011 to the New Jersey Devils.
Jay Leach’s Hockey Coaching Career
In 2013, Jay Leach hockey playing career came to an end and in 2014 he took on the role of assistant coach with the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. He took an instrumental role in assisting the team in winning their 6th DEL Championship.
On 7th July 2015, Jay Leach became the assistant coach to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, an affiliate of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. In December 2015, he was named the team’s interim head coach but then, following the appointment of current head coach Clark Donatelli, he has settled into the role of associate head coach of the team on a permanent basis.