Jackson Blake (in red) totaled 19 goals during the Upper Midwest High School Elite League fall season for Twin Cities Orthopedics.
Eden Prairie sophomore Jackson Blake is ineligible to play varsity hockey for the Eagles until Jan. 28, 2020.
The ruling from the Minnesota State High School League maintains that Blake did not enroll at Eden Prairie High School until the second semester after withdrawing from Shattuck-St. Mary's in December of 2018.
"We are disappointed in the decision today for Jackson," Eden Prairie head coach Lee Smith said via text message. "Jackson has been in Eden Prairie Schools for twelve years. He left and returned from Shattuck last year for family reasons. He played bantam hockey last year (upon) returning. (His return) is more than coming here to play high school hockey."
Blake played the bulk of last season for the Eden Prairie Bantam AA team after appearing in 27 games for the Shattuck-St. Mary's Under-15 Midget team. He is verbally committed to North Dakota, where his father Jason starred in the late 1990s before playing 871 games in the National Hockey League.
According to Jason, the Blake family has several options on the table at this time.
"Jackson wants to play hockey with the guys he grew up with," Jason said. "We will explore all options before we decide what's best."
Among those options is skating for the Eagles' junior varsity until he is eligible for varsity action.
The Chicago Steel hold Blake's USHL rights after drafting the forward in the second round of the USHL Phase I Draft last spring.
"If the powers that be in Minnesota would allow it, the Chicago Steel would certainly love to have an elite talent like Jackson Blake join us for some games during this period of time that he is ineligible," Steel General Manager Ryan Hardy said.
"We are heartbroken for him that he won't have a full season to experience playing with his friends and representing his community," Hardy continued. "As an organization, we always try and make decisions through the lens of the player. As such, we are committed to doing whatever is best for Jackson and his long-term development. We certainly don't believe that him playing JV for the next 7-8 weeks is it."
Hardy added that the Steel organization does its best to work with its draft picks to establish a timetable for their joining the club.
"The Chicago Steel have several of the best players in Minnesota on our affiliate list and support their desire to play high school hockey with their friends until we mutually agree that the best step for their development is to make the jump to Chicago full-time," Hardy said.