Meet Jake Hnatiuk
South Island Royals U17 AAA (BCEHL)
“5’7” 141 Pounds
Tell us about your hometown, family and hobbies.
I’ve grown up all over Canada, spending my earliest years in Nanaimo, to growing up as a kid in Saskatchewan and Alberta. I’ve lived my life with my mom and dad and my three siblings. My schedule is typically filled with hockey and training but, whenever I can I try to go out biking in the forest trails.
How did you originally begin playing hockey (what age as well) and what is your favourite memory from when you were younger?
My family is undoubtedly a hockey family. I believe I was 4 when I first put on skates and I used to skate with my brothers on our homemade backyard rink. That was definitely a core memory for me, to be swiping at the puck and barely knowing how to skate surrounded by family.
Who is your favourite NHL player and who do you model your game after? Why?
I play hockey with thought, I like to be the brain behind the game. So, I personally model my game after Crosby and his ability to read the ice and make plays. My favourite player would be the infamous Mcdavid which his speed is something I strive for as well. I’m not the biggest player so I learn to get shifty and sly on the ice, and I’m not afraid to get into my opponent’s face, I think Marchand’s game I have to thank for that.
What team do/did you play for? What was your favorite part from the season?
Last year I moved back to the island and now am currently playing for the South Island Royals U17 in the BCEHL. My favourite part of this season would be the home games we played against the Northwest Hawks. We’ve had history with the team and this particular weekend I saw my team battle. We weren’t playing for ourselves, we were playing for each other and I recognized that we have grown as a family since then.
What are your top goals as a student athlete? Why are they your top goals?
My biggest goal in life and for hockey would be to get into a good college or university. I love the game of hockey and the longer I’m able to play it the better and it would be a huge bonus to keep playing and get a higher education through hockey.
How important is school from your perspective? Why is it that way?
School is more important now than it ever has been. As a society we need degrees in order to unlock lots of things in life and high school is just the start of it. So when it comes to school I try my best because I know how greatly it can affect my future. School also shapes the person and adult you will become when you are tossed out into the real world.
What would it mean to you to play at the NCAA or Pro level?
To play in the NCAA would be a dream come true, it’s something I’ve had on my mind for a very long time. The sky’s the limit and I’m going to work as hard as I can to get there. Hockey has been something I’ve worked very hard on and it is my goal to use it to get farther in life.
What separates you as a player or person? How do you continue to get better?
What separates me from the pack is my mindset, and my work ethic. Every time I’m on the ice whether it’s a practice or a game, I make sure I’m the hardest worker on the ice. No matter the team, no matter the line, no matter the position. I also have a good head on my shoulders and have the ability to read plays very well.
What impact are you looking to have in your sports careers (community, team, success, etc.)
I always want my team to be a family, to build each other and not break down. Where it translates to community I want the same family rules to apply, everywhere I am I carry myself as a South Island Royal. I take pride in who I am and the player I have become. Hockey has done many things for me but most importantly it has built me as a person and if there’s anything in the community that needs work, I’ll always help out.
One fun fact about yourself.
I take music everywhere with me, last year I listened to over 300,000 minutes of music.