It's not often that someone wins a United States Hockey League Clark Cup, Western Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Year and gets an invite to a NHL team's development camp all in a 14-month span, but Jake Jaremko is an exception.
Attending Predators Development Camp is unchartered territory for Jaremko, but this type of progression for the 21-year-old, however, is not. In his final season in the USHL, while playing for the Chicago Steel, Jaremko tallied 17 goals and 46 points in 59 games, while hoisting the Clark Cup at season's end. It was during this championship season where his ties to the Predators began.
Jaremko found himself playing under the direction of Dan Muse, Chicago's head coach at the time. Just weeks after capturing the title, Muse joined the Predators as an assistant coach. So, when Muse made the call to Jaremko with an invite, the answer was easy.
"It was really cool to win a championship with him, and now to come here and reunite with him and talk to him a little bit, it's great," Jaremko said. "He helped me progress a lot in my junior career and taught me a lot of things."
The soon-to-be sophomore at Minnesota State University, Mankato had a standout season as a freshman in the NCAA. Playing his first year with the Mavericks, Jaremko continued his hockey progression by tallying just under a point-per-game (39 points in 40 contests), while helping his team lift the MacNaughton Cup, the trophy awarded to the club that has accumulated the most points by the regular season's end.
Along with the regular-season trophy, Jaremko was presented with WCHA Rookie of the Week honors four times, named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team and awarded the WCHA Rookie of the Year.
"I have to credit my strength coach a lot; he's gotten me much stronger throughout the summer," Jaremko said. "All of my coaches have done a really good job working on my puck protection skills, getting me stronger on the puck and I think that has really helped me progress along the way in my first year of college. I'll look to improve on that even more going into next year."
As for now, however, his senses are focused on his first taste of professional hockey.
Jaremko understands the context of being a development camp invite, and he's not ignorant to the fact that he currently finds himself in the midst of an elite group of future stars with an elite organization.
With the Predators Development Camp wrapping up with the traditional Future Stars Game on Friday evening, another opportunity exists for him to raise some eyebrows. After all, Muse made that phone call for a reason.