STMA’s first Division I hockey player has had quite a time in his junior hockey career.
As a member of the Minnesota Wilderness, Jake Larson played in the semifinal round of the 2013 Royal Bank Cup, but his team lost to the Brooks Bandits. The Bandits later won the cup for the first time ever. The Wilderness, for comparison’s sake, won the cup in 2012, Larson’s first season.
Over the summer, another team recruited Larson; the Bandits. Larson said he was surprised when he got the call, but it was a no-brainer to accept the offer.
“I knew coming to Brooks would not only give me a great opportunity to play for a great organization, it would give me a lot of exposure with college hockey programs as well,” he said. Larson made an immediate impact, leading the team in points in September to win the player of the month award.
In October, after a visit to the University of Alaska-Anchorage campus, Larson officially became STMA’s first D1 hockey player with his commitment to the Seawolves. He felt surreal knowing he was the first.
“I hope it gives other STMA players confidence that they can do it as well and I definitely think that there will be more division 1 commitments from STMA in years to come.” Back home, The Riverhawks have two D1 recruits; senior captains Emily Achterkirch (Princeton) and Alex LaMere (Ohio State).
Larson said he had the goal of playing college hockey from a young age. His passion for the sport began when he was a little kid and has carried on into his adulthood.
“I think it’s very easy to be dedicated to something if you are passionate about it.”
The STMA graduate is very excited about his commitment to Alaska-Anchorage. He praised the coaching staff and the overall direction he feels the program is going.
“I think something very special is building in Anchorage,” he said.
After college, Larson said he would love to play in the NHL, but since he has not been drafted, a lot more work goes into everything. He hopes success at the junior hockey level and playing college hockey helps him work his way up the ladder.
Overall, Larson has enjoyed his time in junior hockey and looks forward to the future. He attributes his success to hard work, passion, and the people around him who helped him get to where he wanted to be as a hockey player. He said the STMA coaches always felt he could be a D1 hockey player.
“I’ve been very fortunate to get the opportunities I’ve gotten in my hockey career but I also believe that I’ve earned every opportunity through hard work and determination.”
Larson’s tenure with the Seawolves begins next season.