No matter if they’re playing in the NOJHL or OHL, Junior hockey players pursue their dreams by moving away from home and living with a local family who, initially at least, are strangers. Billeting is a vital, and often overlooked, aspect of the Junior hockey experience, and the success of a good match impacts the player, on and off the ice, long after his playing days are done. Heading into the great unknown, most players don’t know what to expect and can only hope for the best.
The quality of a young hockey player’s situation at his new home often directly affects his performance on the ice. The boys who leave home for the first time to play Junior hockey have to deal with the uncertainty of adjusting to living with a new family - but it is nice having a family that takes care of them and makes them feel like they are living at home. In order to give everything needed in hockey the boys should be in an enjoyable and positive environment. After awhile the routine of practices, hockey games, other activities such as school and extra events sets in.
What age were you when you left home to play hockey? 16
What OHL team were you drafted by? Plymouth Whalers
What was the experience like when you left home to play hockey? It was tough at first having to leave my family and friends and adjusting to a new city. After a couple months I got into a routine and met new people and it started to make it a lot easier.
Where did you play during the 2010/2011 season? Hamilton Red Wings in the Ontario Junior Hockey League
How well did you do during the season, was there any extra pressure living with billets compared to living at home? I thought I had a pretty good season and improved quite a bit. There wasn’t really any extra pressure. My billets were great; they made me feel at home.
What are your plans for the 2011/2012 season? I’ll have to wait and see what my options are.
Would you prefer to play in the OHL or go the college route and try to get in education while playing hockey? I think both the OHL and college are good routes. I’ll have to wait and see where I feel I can improve the most.
What would you recommend to young players and especially goaltenders about chasing their dream? Do whatever it takes to get the next level and just work as hard as you can every day.
Was it your choice to leave Sault Ste Marie and your home to chase your dream, what contributed to this decision? I decided I was going to leave home shortly after my midget season being given the opportunity to play for Hamilton. The league down there (OJHL) is really competitive and there are scouts at every game.
What are your future plans? Hopefully a career in hockey, going to school to be a police officer.
Name: Jake Patterson
School: St. Basil Secondary School
Last Season’s Performance: 8 GP 7W 1L 3.2 GAA .898 SV% 1SO 2A
Career Ambitions: Hockey, Police Officer
Favourite athlete and Why? Marty Turco; great goalie, favourite goalie growing up, from the Soo
If I were a genie and grant one wish, what would it be and why? For Rebecca Black to never record another song, “Friday” was terrible.
Favourite band: Ke$ha
Favourite actor and actress: Actor – Johnny Depp, Actress - Mila Kunis
Favourite movie: The Hangover/I Love You Man
Favourite TV show: That ‘70s Show/Friends
If you could meet anyone in world, dead or alive, who would it be? Ke$ha
If you could ask them one question, what would it be? How does it feel to be famous?
What accomplishment are you most proud of? Being drafted to the OHL
Have you ever had a dream that really scared you? Nothing scarier than a slap shot coming at your head.
Favourite social network site: Facebook
What is your favourite reality show? Survivor
Song most played on your IPod? If I Die Young – The Band Perry, Roger That – Young Money