Committed to strengthening community relations and player development, Aspen Junior Hockey handed the reigns of its 20U junior program to Blake Hull. An active leader in the Roaring Fork Valley for almost two decades, Hull takes over a team entering its third season in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League. As Head Coach and General Manager, Hull will manage all aspects of the Leafs junior program, including the daily operations.
Son of Bobby Hull and older brother of Brett, both NHL Hall of Fame legends, Blake Hull brings a wealth of hockey experience and knowledge to the Leafs players and the RMJHL. Hull played Tier-2 Junior hockey for the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League’s Dixie Beehives, where he led his team in scoring two of three years. With a NCAA Division-1 scholarship offer in hand, Hull instead enrolled at Wilfred Laurier University (Ontario) and pursed an eventual twelve-year professional golf career.
As a coach, Hull emphasizes and teaches skill, speed, agility, quickness and strength throughout the season. Strength and cardiovascular training at high altitude are maximized with daily hikes and mandatory gym time. He is looking for players with character, young men with a strong moral compass, who put the team first and are willing to work together to achieve goals.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to realize the vision of this extremely important program for AJH,” exclaimed Hull. “Our team will be active and visible leaders in the community, while proving fans exciting entertainment throughout the winter. We will start immediately by building a team of young men that lead with character first.”
The RMJHL plays a 40-game schedule in a six-team league, with Breckenridge back in operation for 2017-18. Unlike most sports, hockey players rely on junior hockey to advance to the collegiate level; the average age for a college hockey freshman is 20 years old. The RMJHL is one of only four Tier-3 leagues in the nation sanctioned by USA Hockey. With on and off ice training throughout the week, teams follow the collegiate model by playing a two-game weekend series. The Leafs Tier-3 team provides elite players ages 16-20 a legitimate path to the NCAA, allowing athletes the ability to start and finish their entire youth hockey careers at home in Aspen.
“Aspen Junior Hockey is thrilled to have Blake Hull assume the leadership of our junior program,” stated Shaun Hathaway, AJH Executive Director. “He is the best person to integrate the 20U program into the entire AJH family of teams and the Aspen community. Our goal is to win over our membership and create a legitimate contingent of hockey fans eager to support an exciting product. Coach Hull is the person that can make this happen.” For more about the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League, visit RMJHL.com.