The eucalyptus trees that line Pomerado Road in the San Diego suburb of Scripps Ranch don’t conjure up images of ice hockey for most people, but it’s home to twin brothers Ben Ivey and Jack Ivey who have each signed New Recruit forms and will be coming to Wenatchee for the 2021-22 season.
Players find the game in a variety of ways, but most often, someone in the family has played. For the Iveys, it was their cousin Sam, seven years older and with lots of hand-me-down equipment. The Iveys took to the ice at age 4 and were playing mini-mites by the age of 5. They were instantly hooked.
Since hitting the ice, Ben and Jack’s careers have shared the same path. They’ve played not only on the same teams, but also primarily play on a line together, including when they started playing roller hockey as well at the age of 9. In addition to ice and roller hockey, the Ivey brothers have enjoyed both soccer and lacrosse. Their high school roller hockey team has won 2 CIF State Championships the past two years.
It’s natural to expect twin brothers to have a bit of a natural rivalry. Ben says, “There is definitely a mutual ‘bragging right’ system between the two of us. Whether it be competing for who gets more goals during a tournament, or who can get more kills in a game of Fortnite, there has always been a healthy sibling rivalry to see who can do better.” Jack downplays it, saying “I wouldn’t say there’s a huge sibling rivalry. We don’t really have jealousy and we support and encourage each other.”
Wild Associate Head Coach Leigh Mendelson: “While Jack and Ben have good chemistry on the ice when they play together, they both have different individual attributes which will help them transition into Junior hockey. They both possess good intelligence and a very solid work ethic, and it’s been exciting to watch them the past few seasons and look forward to working with them and seeing them continue their path to being excellent NCAA prospects.”
Wenatchee GM Bliss Littler: “We have watched both Ben and Jack the past several years play for the Ducks organization and always come back impressed with the hockey smarts and skill level these two brothers have. They have turned themselves into a couple of the top U16 AAA players in the country. We look forward to working with them the next few years.”
Playing in their fourth season with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks program, the first thing one might notice is their size, with Ben at 6’3” 177 lb. and Jack at 6’2” 175 lb. Another difference becomes immediately apparent: Jack shoots righthanded and Ben’s a lefty. Other differences aren’t as obvious. Jack claims the Anaheim Ducks as his favorite NHL team, while Ben has gravitated to the Chicago Blackhawks. “When I was young, I watched the Blackhawks dynasty with Kane, Toews, and Seabrook. My Grandpa Mort is also a huge fan of the Blackhawks because he grew up in Chicago, and we talk about them together.”
Wenatchee Wild Head Coach Chris Clark: “We are extremely excited to be adding two players like Ben and Jack to our program. Both have skill, size, and an extremely high hockey IQ. Having seen their development the past few seasons with the Jr. Ducks program, we feel they are both ready to make the jump to junior hockey and are thrilled for it to be here in Wenatchee.”
Ben is the older of the twins by about 17 minutes. He identifies plenty of differences between the two brothers. “Such as Jack being a fruit person and I’m a vegetable guy, Jack’s favorite video game is Call of Duty and I enjoy playing Valorant, and Jack likes staying inside whereas I’m more of an outdoor person.” Jack points out they love completely different foods, have different favorites between their two cats, and they listen to different styles of music.
The Ivey’s long-range goals are generally aligned as well. Ben desires to advance to the NHL, get a college degree in Math and use that degree for a post-hockey career as either a sports analyst or statistician. Jack looks to play college hockey and eventually pro. When his playing career ends, he’d like to incorporate hockey in his new line of work.