Jack Walters: Average Freshman, or Next West Hockey Varsity Goalie?

Hunter Robertson

Jack Walters is a 15-year-old player that has aspirations of making varsity. Jack plays competitive hockey for the AA u16 Oilers and has a 0.916 save percentage which happens to be better than what Joe Chekan (0.898) had for west last year.

Walters has a good relationship with our West High coaches Nathan Shasby and Sumner, he has such a great relationship with Coach Shasby that he considers him his, “homedog.” He calls Coach Sumner “one of his favorite coaches.”

Jack is super excited for tryouts so he can impress the coaches with his superb skill. Walters bought a new helmet for the upcoming season and he’s hoping to get a lot of puck marks on it because he likes taking headshots.

Jack is an unusual goalie because he catches with his right hand, while most goalies use their left hand to catch with. Some shooters say that this makes it harder for the player and some say it makes it easier.

Dawson Ellingworth, potential varsity captain, said, “as a shooter we are used to shooting to the tight side of the net because it will either go in or cause a rebound. With a right catch goalie they have the advantage if the shooter isn’t paying attention and doesn’t have his head up when they shoot the chances of it going into their glove is higher than a standard goalie.”

Mike Curran, sophomore varsity player, went into great detail when he described why it’s a disadvantage when he said, “It’s awkward and weird.”

Jack is expecting to make varsity and become our starter because he feels he is the best option for the team, but he isn’t the only one who thinks that, Dawson Ellingworth and Mike Curran have gone on record and said they believe he will be our go to guy this year.

Jack has been playing goalie for only five years but due to his ability to learn quickly and adapt his play style to how the game is going he has become one of the better goalies in the state of Alaska.

Walters is practicing super hard to become our goalie, he is playing for a comp team, getting practice on ice, and doing dry land which is off ice training, he is beyond dedicated to become the best.

Jack believes he’ll be so much better than Joe Chekan that we will all “forget about Joe.” This is a bold statement because Joe backed us up to the state championship finals last year. Jack and Joe play completely different styles of goaltending. Joe plays angles a lot more and sometimes rely on the puck to hit him and Jack is more of a reactive goaltender and tries to get in the way of the puck instead of hoping to be in the right spot.

Jack still has to prove himself as our next top goalie, but so far he’s looking pretty good in his comp team, and his best competition is on the same comp team as him playing as his backup. Jack has been playing a bit better than Chris Alexakis, the strongest competitor for the top spot, but anything can happen at tryouts. There is potentially five goalies going to try out for West; Jack Walters, Chris Alexakis, Megan Hunt, Connor Batman, and Hunter Robertson.