Colorado Springs native, Tigers product Miltko adjusting to junior hockey with USPHL’s Blades
Jake Miltko is a rookie this season with the USPHL’s Steele County Blades, making the jump to junior hockey after several seasons of youth hockey in Colorado.
A Colorado Springs native, Miltko spent the 2020-21 season with the Colorado Springs Tigers’ 18U AAA team, finishing first in their division in NAPHL play and having “a really fun season despite COVID.”
Now a few weeks into the USPHL season, Miltko is enjoying the experience so far.
“The opportunity to play for Steele County arose when coach Darren Banks of the (NAHL’s) Minot Minotauros gave me a call and introduced me to coach Nick Adamek and Steele County’s program,” explained Miltko. “The environment and the standard the team sets themselves to is very appealing. For the league, it’s great exposure to play and develop to try and advance to the next level.
“The speed itself is something to adjust to. The level and IQ you have to have at this level is high. I plan to use my skills as a defensive center to help the team.”
Born in Colorado Springs, Miltko’s family moved to Anchorage, Alaska at a young age. He started playing hockey with the Alaska Allstars at the age of four.
In addition to the Tigers, Miltko also skated for the Colorado Evolution during his youth hockey days.
“I’d say for coaches, Joe Bonnett and Scott Hanson both played huge roles in my advancement as a youth hockey player and as a young man,” Miltko said.
Going forward, Miltko has goals in place to keep advancing up the hockey ladder.
“My short-term goal right now is to be playing in the NAHL next season,” Miltko said. “For long term, eventually I’d like to play at an NCAA Division I program. And wherever I end up, I’d like to study Sports Science and go into a medical field.”
— Matt Mackinder
(October 6, 2021)