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El Segundo native, Jr. Kings grad Modry decides on NCAA D-I Merrimack

 

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Jacob Modry played much of his youth hockey in or near larger cities, including Los Angeles twice, but he’s learned something during the past three seasons in Wenatchee, Wash. – smaller isn’t so bad either.

That played a role in his decision to commit to play NCAA Division I hockey at Merrimack College (Hockey East).

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“I liked the small-school feel,” said Modry, a 1999 birth year who played for the Jr. Kings as a Mite and again at 15U and 16U. “The Merrimack staff is doing a good job rebuilding that program. The guys get along well.

“Once I went on a tour of the school, it felt like a place I could see myself the next four years.”

The 6-foot-5, 185-pound defenseman out of El Segundo was a key cog on the Wenatchee Wild’s successful junior team last season, helping it win the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) title and qualifying for the Royal Bank Cup.

He brought a strong defensive presence to the BCHL’s top-scoring team. This season, he’s already scored a career-high 13 points, is getting some power-play time and serves as an assistant captain.

“Last year, we had a lot of strong players on our power play,” Modry said. “I try to make the most out of what I get now.

“As far as wearing a letter, I haven’t tried to change. I’ve taken a leadership role to help the younger guys coming and try to keep my game the same.”

Modry earned his opportunity through hard work and a genetic assist. His father, Jaroslav, had a 20-year pro career, 13 in the NHL and parts of 11 with the Kings. A current Ontario Reign assistant, he also coached Jacob at 15U and volunteered frequently as his playing career allowed.

“Last summer, I really worked on my offensive game,” Modry said. “But the biggest thing for me is skating. Ever since I was young, my dad has told me always be moving. For a big guy, if you can move well, it’s huge. I feel like it’s improved tremendously.”

Photo/Digital Media Northwest

— Chris Bayee

(Jan. 8. 2019)