His life was changed by a hockey injury, but he's never lost his pep or positive attitude -- so it's only fitting that Jack Jablonski made his debut in sports talk radio by wishing the hockey coach of the Edina girls' team a speedy recovery.
The 17-year-old has traveled an amazing road to recovery, and it still isn't over. He suffered a spinal cord injury in December 2011, but it hasn't slowed him down. Instead, the teen has established a foundation to help others with similar injuries and is now taking to the airwaves.
"Looking forward is the most important thing," Jablonski said.
On Sports Radio 105 The Ticket on Wednesday, Jablonski proved he can talk hockey with the vets, Bob Sansevere and Mike Morris. Yet, he also took some time during the debut of his new show, Hockey Night in Minnesota, to send words of encouragement to Laura Slominski.
"I feel for her," Jablonski said. "I know what it's like to go through it, and I wish her the best."
Slominski was hurt during a hockey game on Sunday amid a rough crash into the boards, suffering a fracture of the C5 vertebrae in her neck.
In a video posted to her Caring Bridge page, Slominski revealed a positive and cheery outlook as she thanked her doctors at North Memorial before her surgery on Tuesday. The posts and photos since suggest the surgery was a success because she is now able to walk and sit, which is a relief for students, players and supporters like Jablonski.
"Everyone has good days and bad days when they're going through rehab," Jablonski said. "You've just got to hope for the best."
Edina High School issued a statement on Wednesday saying it's too soon to know if Slominski will be able to coach this season; however, they are thrilled to learn her surgery went well and said she's a dedicated woman who will fight hard to return to her math students and the rink.
Speaking from experience, Jablonski also recommended moving on quickly.
"Life always sucks at some point, and we all get that," he said frankly.
That's why Jablonski is so committed to maintaining a positive attitude, and he still firmly believes he will walk again too.
"It is something that truly makes a difference," he said. "If you believe in it, it will become possible and it will happen."
Jablonski's radio show will air every Wednesday from 5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.