• Ryan Lake

under the ice: a look into my journey

~ Jake Newton [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1496324129775{padding-top: -30px !important;}”]Follow @jake_newton0610 on Instagram for a look into Jake’s life[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]I was angry at everyone, and placed blame everywhere but where it needed to be. As you can imagine, this affected my game big time. With another bad season almost finished, I got sent down to the CHL affiliate of Colorado, the Allen Americans. To make matters worse, it was on roster freeze day, so there was no chance that I could go back up to the AHL for the rest of the season. You might be wondering where my agent was when all of this was transpiring. I wish I knew the answer to that. I called him, emailed and texted him for weeks on end, with no response. He got his cut of my NHL contract and washed his hands of me.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]After this season ended, I felt like I needed to make a change. I was receiving no offers from the AHL. At the end of August, I decided if I was going to continue playing, I needed to go over to Europe and work my way up to a good league. Unfortunately for me, the 2012/2013 hockey season began with a lockout, so, many NHL and AHL players went over to Europe as well. Because their resumes were better than mine, I didn’t really have many options in terms of places I could go. I ended up going to the second Italian league, and we won the championship that year. I was voted the best player in the league and my wife, and I gained friendships and experiences that we will never forget. After the season ended, my wife and I decided that we were going to go back to the US, because my wife just found out she was pregnant and wanted to give birth in North America.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content” content_placement=”bottom” parallax=”content-moving” parallax_image=”5263″ bg_type=”image” parallax_style=”vcpb-vz-jquery” bg_image_repeat=”no-repeat” css=”.vc_custom_1496199992830{padding-top: 200px !important;padding-bottom: 200px !important;}”][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content” content_placement=”bottom” bg_type=”image” parallax_style=”vcpb-vz-jquery” bg_image_repeat=”no-repeat”][vc_column][vc_column_text]The summer brought an AHL tryout, but no contract. I ended up playing near my hometown, in the ECHL for the Ontario Reign. I had a great season, earned a call-up with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, but nothing came from that season in terms of working my way back to the AHL for a one way contract. Extremely frustrated by this, I decided to go back to Europe, determined to play in a good league. My best offer came from the first Italian league, which was frustrating, but I decided to go for it. I had another excellent season in Italy, with over 50 points. Close to the end of the season, I got an offer from the Finnish Liiga. To say I was thrilled is an understatement. I felt like my hard work was finally starting to pay off. Although the money was awful, I knew this would be a great opportunity for my career, playing in one of the best leagues in the world.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]With the Finnish season underway, I signed an extension very early in the season and was loving my team and role on the ice.  Professionally everything was great, but I had some personal struggles with this season.  My wife gave birth to our second child in Finland, and with the winter, came darkness.  I was gone a lot, on the road playing games, and that left my wife at home, with a newborn and a two-year-old, in -20-degree weather, and completely dark outside.  I could see the depression creeping in with every day that passed, and sent her back to America in February of 2016.  After my season ended in Finland, I made the decision to terminate my contract for the next year.  The money I was making was not worth the sacrifice of my family.  I couldn’t put my wife and kids through that winter again.  I knew this would dramatically affect my career, but my number one priority is my family, and I didn’t think twice about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content” content_placement=”bottom” parallax=”content-moving” parallax_image=”5155″ bg_type=”image” parallax_style=”vcpb-vz-jquery” bg_image_repeat=”no-repeat” css=”.vc_custom_1496281055137{padding-top: 200px !important;padding-bottom: 200px !important;}”][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

 After calling numerous NHL General Managers (without any help from an agent) that led nowhere, I decided to take a contract in the ECHL with the Idaho Steelheads, where we quickly found out we wouldn’t be able to make it work monetarily.  I connected with a new agent who quickly found me a great opportunity in the Czech Extraliga, and within a week, I went from Boise to California, to the Czech Republic, where I played this last season and went to the world renowned Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.  With a decent season under my belt, I hope to get a contract in a top league this coming season, where I truly deserve to be. [/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner equal_height=”yes”][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”5270,5271,5272,5273″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]This version of my story is the extremely short and edited version, one without many of the trials and tribulations I have gone through.  If there is one major lesson that I have learned over my 7 years as a professional hockey player, is that hockey is not just a sport.  It is a business that will eat you alive and spit you out.  The best players aren’t necessarily the ones who make it to the NHL, and sometimes the dream you had as a child, is a very different reality.  All of that being said, I have learned more about myself over the last seven years than I ever knew I could.  I have made lifetime friendships, explored different countries and learned how to be tenacious and resilient.  I wouldn’t trade the lessons I’ve learned for an easier path.  Hey, there is still a chance you might see me playing in the NHL one day because I’m not quite done trying…crazier things have happened.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_raw_js]JTNDc3R5bGUlM0UlMEElMjNwcmltYXJ5JTIwJTdCd2lkdGglM0ExMDAlMjUlMjAlMjFpbXBvcnRhbnQlM0JtYXJnaW4lM0FhdXRvJTIwJTIxaW1wb3J0YW50JTdEJTBBJTIzc2Vjb25kYXJ5JTIwJTdCZGlzcGxheSUzQW5vbmUlN0QlMEEuaGVudHJ5JTIwJTdCYm9yZGVyLXJhZGl1cyUzQTAlMjAlMjFpbXBvcnRhbnQlM0IlN0QlMEEud3JhcCUyQyUyMCUyM3BhZ2UlMjAlN0JtYXgtd2lkdGglM0ExMDAlMjUlMjAlMjFpbXBvcnRhbnQlM0IlN0QlMEFhcnRpY2xlJTIwJTdCbWFyZ2luLXJpZ2h0JTNBLTQuNSUyNSUyMCUyMWltcG9ydGFudCUzQiU3RCUwQWJvZHklMjAlN0JvdmVyZmxvdyUzQWhpZGRlbiUzQiU3RCUwQSUzQyUyRnN0eWxlJTNF[/vc_raw_js][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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