The Wenatchee Wild are pleased to welcome forward Jason Stefanek to the Wild family. Stefanek has signed his BCHL New Player Recruit form and is expected to join the team for the 2022-23 season.
Listed as a 5’11”, 165 lb. forward Stefanek is a native of the southern California town of Yorba Linda. He played his way up through the Anaheim Jr. Ducks program for three seasons before heading east to skate at Mount Saint Charles Academy in Rhode Island where he’s played the last two seasons.
“My dad played hockey when growing up”, he said. “When I was around 2 years old, my parents took me skating during a public session. After that, I loved skating and would never get off the ice. Soon, it graduated to playing hockey.” He found his natural position to be at center. “When I was little, I switched between playing center and winger, and later I loved center and playing the 200 feet game.”
The transition to playing at Mount Saint Charles was eye-opening. “California hockey and East Coast hockey are very different, and I had to get used to the pace in my first couple of games at Mount. From then on, I realized that I have the ability to play at an advanced level.”
He lists his greatest hockey memory as winning a State Championship in California for the first time. “We came back against the LA Jr. Kings, and I ended up with 2 assists and 4 goals to win the game.” His standout play on the ice and character off the ice helped him land an NCAA Division I college commitment to Dartmouth College. “I have not yet decided what I want to study in college, but I think I want to do something along the lines of business or engineering.”
Wenatchee Wild Director of Scouting and Recruiting Leigh Mendelson: “We are excited to add Jason to our group of talented 2004 born players. Jason has a very competitive nature, which combined with his skills and instincts, will allow him to be a productive player for the Wild while preparing for his NCAA career at Dartmouth College.”
Jason’s main love may be hockey, but he’s enjoyed numerous other sports as well. “I used to play soccer and baseball. Now, I play roller hockey with buddies over summer. When I am home, I always golf with my brothers at least twice a week. Every now and then, I play tennis and lacrosse with my friends.”
He’s excited about the opportunities that await in Wenatchee. “What attracts me about playing at Wenatchee is the ability to develop and become a better hockey player. I know that by playing in Wenatchee, they will give me the opportunity to grow as a player and an individual off the ice. I believe that they will help me get ready for Dartmouth and have a major contributing factor for helping me reach my goal of playing in the NHL. What also excites me to play in Wenatchee is that I can contribute and put all my effort in to help Wenatchee win the Fred Page Cup.”
Wild Head Coach Chris Clark: “We are very excited to have Jason joining us next season. He is someone we are very familiar with and know he is going to fit in well with our style of play. Jason is extremely competitive and has and shown he has great offensive instincts. We look forward to working with Jason and helping develop before he heads to Dartmouth.”
His talents beyond the ice include playing the trumpet, drawing, and art in general. “One thing people might be surprised to learn about me is that I love to learn new things. Whether it’s a new five second trick or something I will use later in life, I am always eager to learn. This goes really well with hockey, as I love to learn new dekes, and different ways to create time and space for myself.”