Jarret has his eyes on the future
By John Vessoyan
It’s only fitting that Hamilton Bulldogs rookie forward
Jarret Stoll is playing for a winner.
He’s won a prize of some significance at many levels
of hockey. The native of Melville, Saskatchewan, who grew
up in nearby Yorkton, helped his team win the Bantam AAA
championship out west.
the early years Jarret's family lived in Neudorf and he
played minor hockey in nearby Mellville. Before long they
were off to Yorkton where he attended Sacred Heart High
School and chased visions of following in his brother Kelly's
footsteps and playing for the Terriers.
Kelly, 24, who had a tryout with Red Deer Rebels in the
Western Hockey League played two seasons for Yorkton. Today,
he farms in the area and plays Senior C Hockey for Foam
Lake in the Saskatchewan Hockey Association.
Stoll's family lives in Balcarres, Saskatchewan near Mellville,
where his father, Tim, is District Manager for the Pioneer
Grain Elevators. His mother, Sheri, acts as chauffeur for
her daughter Ashley as she pursues her hockey future with
the Millville midget girls' rep team. The 16-year-old attends
Mellville High School.
Just a year ago, Stoll captained the Kootenay Ice of the
Canadian Hockey League to the Memorial Cup, the biggest
reward for junior hockey superiority.
“Winning the Memorial Cup was awesome,” said
Stoll. “It was a great way to cap off a four year
career in junior.”
“Going into the playoffs (last year) we thought we
had a good team, and we gained a lot of confidence as the
playoffs went on. We peaked at the right time and everyone
played well. It was great how the team came together.”
Stoll was named captain of the Ice in his third year there.
“It was nice to be considered a leader and someone
people looked up to.”
“I took pride in being a captain and a leader.”
Like a number of his teamamates, Jarret is the first one
in his family to enter the world of professional hockey.
This year, the 20-year-old is on the roster of the American
Hockey Leagues top team, poised to make a strong run at
the Calder Cup.
Jarret readily admits that his season would be complete
if his parents could make it to Hamilton once more this
season before the playoffs are over along with his girlfriend.
Morgen, a Yorkton resident is studying for a Degree in Business
and Commerce at the University of Saskatchewan at Sakatoon.
Although he’s a first year pro, Stoll has looked
more like a veteran on the youngest team in the AHL.
He’s a leader, with a goal scorer’s touch and
great vision. Stoll was able to find the net in junior hockey,
scoring 124 goals in 245 games. He hasn’t lost his
map to the net this season, finishing the season with 21
goals in 76 games, tying him for third place on the Bulldog
“I thought it would be harder to score up here in
the AHL, and it is harder,” he said. “There
are top notch goalies up here. In Junior, you might be able
to get away with a couple of soft ones, but not here. It
comes down to burying your chances.”
Stoll got a shot with the Edmonton Oilers of the National
Hockey League this season. He was called up and played in
four games, registering an assist on a goal by former Bulldog
Jason Chimera. Stoll enjoyed his brief stint with the Oilers.
“Hockey is definitely a professional sport in Edmonton,”
he said. “All the guys were really friendly. They’re
so young, just like a bunch of kids. But it was an exciting
atmosphere and it was great to put on the Oilers jersey.”
Stoll ended up in the Edmonton organization almost by chance.
The Calgary Flames originally selected him in the NHL Entry
Draft three years ago.
When the Flames couldn’t sign him, they dealt him
to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stoll and the Leafs agreed to
a deal before the June 1st deadline. Or so they thought.
The Leafs sent a fax in to the NHL head office to make the
deal official, but the fax didn’t make it on time,
thus nullifying the agreement.
He then decided to re-enter the Draft in 2002, and that’s
when the Oilers nabbed him, with their 36th overall pick
in the second round.
“It was up and down,” said Stoll about the
mess. “I was disappointed not being able to sign with
Calgary. I was pumped again when Toronto was interested,
and I was ecstatic to sign that contract. But they it was
another let down when it didn’t go through.”
“I went into the draft with an open mind, Edmonton
took me and I’m in a great situation right now,”
said Jarret, who admits that as a child was inspired by
Canada's exploits in the World Junior Hockey Tournaments,
his brother's career and first and foremost, Hockey Night
“I couldn’t be happier.”
The Edmonton Oilers must feel the same way.