Posted 173 days ago ago by David Fine
David Fine/Kearney, Neb. – Defenseman Jack Lagerstrom remembers sitting in a San Jose, CA hotel room last spring, pent up with energy. The Shattuck-St. Mary’s standout was preparing for the Under-16 National Championship Game against Michigan-based Victory Honda.
“We were staying in the hotel the entire day during the tournament,” Lagerstrom remembers. “By the time we got to the ice, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We were just ready to go.”
What followed was a Shattuck victory, a U16 National Championship and another standout game for Lagerstrom, who says he showed off his defensive ability throughout the six-day tournament because of how well the offense played. Now a returning player at the prestigious prep school in Faribault, Minnesota, the 16-year-old Storm affiliate player has continued improving his already-strong offensive tools.
“I used to be more defensive, but now I’m skating with the puck a lot more, joining the rush and playing on the power play,” he explained. “I’ve developed more into a two-way defender.”
The native of Edina, Minnesota has six goals and 18 points in 25 games this season, saying his “shot” is one of his game’s strongest parts. In his third season with the program and second season with the U16s, he’s even received helped from a former USHL Coach; Shattuck-St. Mary’s hired former Sioux City Assistant Coach Mark Abalan in August.
“We have three returners from last season. Coach calls us ‘captains’, but they don’t put the letters on the jerseys here.”
It’s an ironic tradition for a school that helped manufacture Pittsburgh Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby and Chicago Blackhawks “C” Jonathan Toews, plus a number of other NHL alternate captains like Minnesota’s Zach Parise and Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon.
“It’s motivating. The greatest thing about here is everyone wants to work as hard as they can. Our goal is to win another National Championship.”
Getting Drafted, Attending Storm Camp
Lagerstrom was overjoyed when Tri-City drafted him in the fifth round of this summer’s Phase I USHL Draft.
“I was hopeful I would get drafted to a good team. The Storm was everything I wanted. The team that won the Clark Cup last season. The coaches are awesome.”
Next was an appearance at the Storm’s Main Camp in Las Vegas, Nevada, a touch warmer in mid-June than the cold winter days he’s grown accustomed to on Shattuck-St. Mary’s pristine campus. Though Lagerstrom did not make the team out of camp, he impressed Storm coaches and earned a spot on the affiliate roster. The Storm protects his rights so he can make the team in the future.
Lagerstrom says he sees this season as a motivating factor for next June’s Main Camp.
“When I get to camp, I feel like I need to do what I did last season; play to the best of my abilities. I can’t change the way I play. We’ll see how it shakes out.”
Get Storm Tickets
Tri-City is on the road at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, December 9 before hosting the Des Moines Buccaneers for Ugly Sweater Night + $1 Beers on Saturday, December 10 at 7:05 p.m. One of the most popular nights of the season, enjoy the fun by wearing your favorite ugly sweater and enjoying $1 beers and soft drinks.
Coverage begins 15 minutes before puck drop with the Viaero Wireless Pregame Show on The Breeze 94.5 FM.