obby Jackson grew his hair long and secretly hoped
to lose his front teeth to emulate San Jose Sharks
power forward Mike Ricci, the player he idolized while
growing up in Northern California.
So, when the Alameda, Calif., native earned a 2015
invitation to participate in the Sharks' developmental
camp prior to his freshman season at St. Cloud State
University and learned Ricci would be one of his
instructors, Jackson felt like a little kid again. And he
had to fight the urge to act like the 3-year-old version
of himself who had photos taken with his heroes at a
Sharks FanFest some 15 years earlier.
"It was kind of a weird feeling. I wasn't intimidated at all by
the first-round draft picks or top prospects I was playing against
in camp, but I was star-struck when Mike Ricci and Bryan
Marchment walked into the room," said Jackson, who occasion-
ally trains with San Jose players during the summer months.
NHL Franchises And USA
Hockey Team Up To Turn
California Dreams Into
JANUARY 2017 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM
By Jim Leitner