USA Hockey Magazine

October 2013

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By Harry Thompson The Athletic Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree The Son Of College Football Phenom Is Determined To Make A Name For Himself In Hockey I t's an annual ritual at the USA Hockey Player Development Camps. The nation's top hockey players are seated in an auditorium and asked to stand up if they have been there before. The ranks thin for those who have been to three camps, and even further for those who have made the cut four years in a row. By USA Hockey's estimation, those left standing in that exclusive club represent only about 20 percent of the overall player pool, which offers dramatic proof to the ever-changing face of American hockey. One of those still standing this summer was Joey Dudek, Jr., or J.D. to family and friends. The highly skilled forward from Auburn, N.H., has been a staple at these summer camps since he was a skinny 14-year-old. "It was just special to be able to stand up and say that I've been there all four years. It was a good moment," said Dudek, who has used the summer camps as both a measuring stick and motivation to keep improving. The camps also offered Dudek the opportunity to represent the United States in international competitions while capturing the attention of Junior and college scouts. 30 October. 2013 "I got all my recognition through the national camps and the Five Nations tournament, so USA Hockey set me up pretty good," said Dudek, who has already committed to Boston College before entering his senior year at the Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H. It's the next step in a journey where J.D. is looking to create his own sporting identity while stepping out of the shadow of his father, who was once at the center of college football universe when Sports Illustrated endorsed him for the Heisman USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM Trophy over the likes of Bo Jackson and Chuck Long. "I was well known for what I was able to do on the football field, so I think he wanted to pursue a sport different than me, which I was comfortable with," said Joe Dudek, who broke Walter Payton's NCAA career touchdown record as a running back at tiny Plymouth State College. "Both my wife and I were athletes and we committed even before we had kids that we were going to support them in anything that they wanted to do, but we would emphasize sports because we feel that it's a great foundation for life." This summer, Dudek added another chapter to his "i was well known for what I was able to do on the football field, so i think [j.d.] wanted to pursue a sport different than me, which i was comfortable with." — Joe Dudek, Former heisman trophy candidate Photos Courtesy of Laco Duracka; Plymouth State College

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