John Erskine was born June 26, 1980 in Kingston, Ontario. The 2nd choice, 39th overall selection of the Dallas Stars in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, is a graduate of the OHL's London Knights.
The 6'4", 215lbs defenseman was named to the OHL All-Rookie Team in 1999-2000 and spent three seasons on the Knights blue line, accumulating more than 650 penalty minutes. Not known for his offensive prowess, Erskine had a career high 43 points during his final year in London before joining Dallas' IHL affiliate in Utah for the 2000-01 season.
In his first season of professional hockey, the hulking defenseman led all Grizzlies players in penalty minutes with 284 and finished third in the IHL.
Erskine made his NHL debut with the Stars in 2001-02, and went on to split the season with Dallas and Utah. Erskine spent most of the 2002-03 season with the Utah Grizzlies, seeing limited action with Dallas before being sidelined for the better part of the 2003-04 season, recovering from injuries.
Following a lockout year in 2004-05, Erskine returned to the Stars lineup in 2005-06 before being dealt to the New York Islanders in early January for defenseman Janne Niinima.