The Odessa Jackalopes were founded in 1997 and have since become a prominent team in the HL. Over the years, the Jackalopes have produced numerous players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League (NHL) and other professional leagues. This success can be attributed to the team’s strong focus on recruiting high school players.
One of the key factors in the Jackalopes’ recruiting success is their location. Being situated in the heart of Texas, the team has access to a large pool of talented players from cities like Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. This gives them an advantage over teams located in colder climates where hockey may not be as popular. Additionally, the mild Texas weather allows for year-round training and playing, giving these young players more opportunities to improve their skills and catch the attention of scouts.
Another aspect that sets the Odessa Jackalopes apart is their dedicated coaching staff. Led by head coach Jason Fortier, who has been with the team since 2017, the Jackalopes have a strong reputation for developing players and preparing them for the next level. This is evident in the team’s impressive list of alumni who have made it to the NHL, including current players like Tristan Jarry and Zach Aston-Reese of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
To attract top high school talent, the Jackalopes also have a well-established recruiting process in place. The team has a large network of scouts who are constantly on the lookout for promising young players. They attend tournaments and games across the country, identifying potential recruits and building relationships with them and their families. This personal touch and individualized attention make the players feel valued and wanted, which is crucial in today’s highly competitive recruitment landscape.
But the Jackalopes’ recruiting efforts don’t stop there. The team also hosts a yearly pre-draft camp where they bring in top prospects for a week-long evaluation. This is an opportunity for players to showcase their skills and impress the coaching staff. Additionally, the team also offers educational programs for players, including SAT and ACT prep courses, to help them prepare for college and professional hockey.
In addition to their strong recruiting tactics, the Odessa Jackalopes also have a top-notch training facility, the Music City Mall Ice Arena. This state-of-the-art rink offers the team and players access to modern equipment and facilities, including an off-ice training center and a rehabilitation and injury prevention program. This allows the players to focus on their development, knowing that they have the resources and support they need to reach their full potential.
The team also takes a holistic approach to player development, placing a strong emphasis on education and character building. The players not only receive top-level coaching on the ice but are also encouraged to excel academically and develop strong leadership skills. This well-rounded approach has not only produced skilled players but also responsible and respectable young men.
The Odessa Jackalopes have established themselves as a recruiting powerhouse by having a strong location, dedicated coaching staff, and a well-honed recruitment process. They have proven time and again that they are committed to developing players and providing them with the resources and support needed to succeed. With their impressive track record of producing NHL players, the Jackalopes are truly a team to watch out for in the world of junior hockey.