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Jets goaltending prospect benefits from adding figure skating to training

"It turns out it was great for me and I actually enjoy doing it." -Jared Moe

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

Jared Moe has been working with goaltending coach Dave Rogalski for a while, but the Winnipeg Jets goaltending prospect admits he was a little hesitant to take his instructor's advice last off season.

Rogalski - who served as a goaltending coach for St. Cloud State University for six seasons before moving on to consultant positions with the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede - felt that Moe needed to improve his skating.

The best way to do that - figure skating.

"It's more skating than figure skating, but that helps a lot with my footwork," said Moe, reflecting on the improvements he made during the 2018-19 season.

"It turns out it was great for me and I actually enjoy doing it," he added. "It made me a lot better of a skater."

Even with better skating, it was going to be tough for Moe to improve on his numbers from 2017-18 during the 2018-19 USHL regular season.

During his first season with the Waterloo Blackhawks (in 2017-18), Moe had the league's fourth-best goals against average (2.23) and the seventh-best save percentage (0.919).

While he put up comparable numbers in 2018-19 - the league's seventh-best save percentage (0.907) and the ninth best goals against average (2.79) - it wasn't as smooth of a season as Moe had hoped.

"I had a hard time finding my game for the first month. Then I came around and really found it and went on a really good stretch," Moe said.

That stretch came in January, where Winnipeg's sixth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft was named USHL Goaltender of the Week twice. The first came the week of Jan. 7, when he played in two games, earning his first shutout of the season then beating the Sioux Falls Stampede - who at the time, hadn't lost a game since Dec. 18.

A couple weeks later, the award was bestowed upon Moe again, after he went 3-0-0, recording two shutouts and stopping 69 of the 71 shots he faced that week.

But after 8:31 of action against the Omaha Lancers on Jan. 24, Moe's momentum abruptly stopped.

"I ended up getting hurt and that put me out, set me out for pretty much the rest of the year," Moe said. "It wasn't the year I hoped for, but I think I learned a lot from it."

The 19-year-old Moe believes his ability to handle an up-and-down season like the one he had in 2018-19 was aided by his experience at his first development camp prior to the season.

It was a quick turnaround for Moe at the time. He was selected on the Saturday of the NHL Draft in Dallas, Texas. Then had to hop on a plane and be ready for the first ice session with his fellow Jets prospects on Monday morning.

While it was a whirlwind at the time, Moe benefitted a lot from what he learned off the ice.

"It helped me deal with everything in a more professional way," Moe said. "I learned a lot on how to be a pro and how to find my game throughout the bad times - not changing everything up, trying to stay consistent with what I do and not make any drastic changes."

The 2019-20 season will bring a drastic change in Moe's life, as he will be heading to the NCAA to suit up fro the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. 

But before he puts the pads on for a new squad, he has classes to get to.

"I start summer school there at the start of June," said Moe, who plans to work toward a major in sports marketing or management.

He'll continue to train to get ready for the season - about four to five times a week in the gym, before dropping that to three or four sessions once he gets on the ice.

And Moe guarantees those on-ice sessions will include some figure skating. 

"That's the thing I improved most last summer was my overall skating," he said. "I'm going to do that again."

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