Jeff began playing hockey in the BCHL Junior A league for the Chiliwack Chiefs in 2000. He only played with them for two seasons (being named to the BCHL All-Star team as well as the BCHL MVP in his last season in 2002) before moving on to play at the collegiate level for the University of Michigan serving as an alternate captain for the team. In his first year playing for the Wolverines (2003), Jeff was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team as well as CCHA Rookie of the Year.
Jeff was the LA Kings' first pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft (27th overall), but continued to play college hockey through the 2004-2005 season foregoing his senior year to become a professional player for the Kings AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs during the 2005-2006. After his first and only season playing for the Kings organization, he was traded to the NY Islanders along with Denis Grebeshkov for Mark Parrish and Brent Sopel on March 8, 2006. Up through the 2007-2008 season, Tambellini shared his time between the Islanders and their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, earning a permanent spot on the Isle's roster in 2008-2009.
He also helped Canada earn the silver medal in the 2004 World Junior Championships.
recorded his first hat trick this season against the Buffalo Sabres on October 31, 2009
played his 100th NHL career game on November 28, 2008 (his 100th career game as an Islander on December 26, 2008)
in the 2006-2007 season, he made the Islanders opening night roster out of training camper
Hockey is in the Tambellini family's blood as both his father and grandfather made hockey a profession. Jeff's father, Steve Tambellini, also played for the NY Islanders and is currently the GM for the Edmonton Oilers (and served as Vancouver's GM prior to that) while his grandfather, Addie Tambellini, was part of the last Canadian amateur hockey team (Trail Smoke Eaters) to win the World Ice Hockey Championships in 1961.
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Holding Out for A Hero Bonnie Tyler (HftL's Theme Song)
Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life
Somewhere after midnight
In my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach
There's someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder end rising with the heat
It's gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet
Up where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I would swear that there's someone somewhere
Through the wind end the chill and the rain
And the storm and the flood
I can feel his approach
Like the fire in my blood
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(Even though I wish it was)
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