Jack Skille signed a one-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 6, 2015, after making a good impression on a PTO at training camp. The 28-year-old forward has become a vital asset to the 2015-16 team, skating in every game so far this season and continues to improve his skills with hard work and determination. The Madison, Wisconsin, native was selected seventh overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and has also been a member of the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets organizations during his nine professional seasons.
How do you like Denver?
“I love it. Great people, great area. Everyone’s active. I haven’t met a bad person here yet. Every person I’ve met, I’ve become friends with. It has a community feel as well. I got a dose of that during training camp and before training camp when I was staying with Angelo Ricci, a friend of mine who’s involved with youth hockey. That sense of community [in Ricci’s neighborhood] was pretty cool to witness. It’s definitely old school, and I like it a lot.”
How is it to finally be settled in the area?
“It’s a lot better. I feel a lot more comfortable off the ice. Can’t be comfortable on the ice. I just got to keep working hard. My mentality is to stay here and create a home here in Denver, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get that opportunity.”
What is the best part about playing hockey?
“Just the locker room, the guys, being around the guys on the road, just hanging out and talking to the guys. It’s literally like a brotherhood in here. Even if you don’t end up playing here in the future, you still see them when you play against them. You get a chance to go to dinner with them when they are in town or wherever you play. It’s really just a comradery that is hard to get in any other type of work environment.”
From your early playing days until now, what is your favorite hockey memory?
“I would say winning the national championship with the University of Wisconsin. The way it was set up was regionals were in Green Bay and the Frozen Four was in Milwaukee. Every game we played, the crowd was just awesome and being able to take the trophy back to Madison, being a hometown boy and all, it was a really cool experience.”
What is your favorite NFL team?
“The Green Bay Packers because I’m from Wisconsin. I’d be a tremendous traitor if I didn’t say them, but at the same time I do have a lot of respect for the Denver Broncos. I like them as a team. I don’t like what they did to the Packers (this season), but I had a chance to see that game live and in person and that wasn’t too fun. Packers all the way. I love [Aaron] Rodgers, and I love what they have going on there.”
What is your favorite meal?
What is your favorite vacation destination?
“That’s a tough one, but I’d say Vail. Vail or Park City, Utah. I used to go there every summer when I was a kid so there’s kind of a sentimental thing there in Vail. A lot of memories from my childhood were going to Bob Johnson Hockey School with my family. I haven’t gone this year besides our team-building trip during training camp, and I wasn’t in Vail for about four years before that. Hopefully at the end of the season I’ll have an opportunity to drive up there and just have some fun and enjoy the mountain.”
What occupies your time in the offseason?
“Golf, travel and just seeing my friends and family that I don’t get to see during the season and the eight months I’m gone. I definitely try to take advantage of that time to be home and see family and friends and also enjoy a lot of golf.”
Does your family get to see you play often?
“We have a big homestand coming after Christmas so my parents are planning on coming out for that. It will be their first time coming out to Denver to watch me play hockey. My sister lived here for four years so they know the area a little bit, but I’m going to get a chance to show them what I’m doing every day. I know they are wondering. They are always asking a lot of questions about how things are going so it’s a good chance for them to see my place out here, and I can show them some good restaurants and have some fun.”