Team player 

Skjodt earns it with Ice

For a young man playing hockey in Indianapolis, having the last name Skjodt could be a double-edged sword. Jake Skjodt (pronounced SCOTT) is the son of Charlie Skjodt, who was a popular player during his days with the Indianapolis Checkers, 1979-’82 and 1984-’86. And Jake Skjodt’s uncle Paul (who also played for the Checkers) is the CEO of the team he plays for, the Indiana Ice.

But Skjodt said that he ignores the suggestion that he made the team because of his dad and uncle. “I don’t let [that talk] bother me.”

“He doesn’t listen to people who say he got on the team because of his uncle,” Paul Skjodt said. “Jake has been focused on his teammates, his game and listening to his coach. And the team has accepted him.”

“His first step was making the Ice,” Charlie Skjodt pointed out, “because he was on the border, as far as getting onto the team. And with his uncle being the team’s owner, that made it an even harder thing for him to do. Then coach [Bowkus] put him out on some power play [situations] and he scored some goals, so now he’s getting to play more.”

The work ethic that earned Skjodt a spot on the Ice roster and has him among the team leaders in goals appears to be genetic. Charlie Skjodt scored 336 goals and had 494 assists during his 12-year career. At this point, Jake Skjodt has 15 goals and eight assists in 26 games for the Ice this season.

Jack Bowkus was Skjodt’s coach when he played for the Indiana Junior Ice team in Carmel last season, and saw the youngster’s hockey potential. Bowkus is again the young Skjodt’s coach this year, and is impressed with how he has developed his talents.

“I coached him [last year] so we knew what kind of character he had and the kind of team player he was.

“Jake has improved in his own zone, and he’s a much better player defensively. [As for scoring] Jake has put the puck in the net at every level he’s played at.”

The 19-year-old Skjodt said that he enjoys not only his time on the ice but also the opportunity to go on road trips and hang out with his teammates.

“The trips to some of the cities are real long, up to eight hours. But it’s one of my favorite things about being in this league. [My teammates and I] like to hang out together. We do have a 10 p.m. curfew, but still have a good time.”

As for playing in his hometown, Skjodt said, “I like it a lot. My family and friends don’t have to drive a long way to see me play.

“And the home games are a lot more fun when the crowd gets into the game.”

Due to the United States Hockey League rules, Skjodt has one more year of eligibility after this season. And he admitted that he hasn’t made a decision about his future plans.

“There have been four to six schools looking at him,” Charlie Skjodt pointed out, “and two of those schools have made offers just in the last month. One of those schools he could go to next year, the other he would have to wait another year.

“I told Jake that he should consider going to play hockey in Europe as an option. He should have some fun playing the game while he can.”

Bowkus added that the young Skjodt “has had a bit of attention. Whoever gets him will get a good kid and a good team player that will put the puck in the net.”

WHO: Indiana Ice vs. Des Moines Buccaneers
WHERE: Pepsi Coliseum, Indiana State Fairgrounds
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m.

WHO: Indiana Ice vs. Des Moines Buccaneers
WHERE: Conseco Fieldhouse
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m.

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