Thornton native, Jaguars graduate Takitani excelling in USPHL, taking game to next level with high-end Spacemen
Noah Takitani was born in Alaska, but once he moved to Colorado when he was eight years old, his hockey career started to blossom.
Now more than 10 years later and residing in Thornton, Takitani is enjoying his third season of junior hockey and second with the USPHL’s Fort Wayne Spacemen. He played the 2020-21 season for the San Diego Sabers.
“Me and (Fort Wayne coach-GM Kaleigh) Schrock got into contact and I went to Fort Wayne for some tryout skates,” Takitani said. “He liked the way I played, and I liked the way he ran his team, so I decided to become a Spaceman.
“This organization has moved players on to where they want to be and is very good at developing players, on and off the ice. From everyone I’ve talked to, I have not heard one bad thing about playing for this team. Luckily, I got placed with a great billet. It is definetly a big change billeting, but my billet makes it feel like home and always welcomes me and does a terrific job.”
Nearing the halfway point of the 2022-23 season, Fort Wayne sits in first place in the USPHL Midwest East Division, three points ahead of the Motor City Gamblers with four games in-hand. Takitani has posted three goals and six points in 15 games.
“So far this year, the team has been on a roll,” said Takitani. “I think the players have high goals for where we should end up this year and everyone seems to be working together to reach that goal. Personally, I think it could end up being one of the best years of juniors I could have so I’ve been working every day to improve because the job is not finished until we reach our goal of USPHL Nationals.”
Being in Fort Wayne has also been beneficial for Takitani away from the rink.
“Fort Wayne is a huge hockey town,” Takitani said. “I love living here. I feel like if you play hockey, you connect with anyone here instantly. It’s really cool how we have skated with guys off the ECHL team and kids off the youth team. It is great seeing hockey bring everyone together like that.”
In Colorado, Takitani skated 8U through 16U for the Hyland Hills Jaguars before heading to San Diego for the 2020-21 season.
“I had a great experience with Hyland Hills,” said Takitani. “I got the chance to play under two great coaches in Tyson Davis and Chance Creger, two great men who always strive to make you better and help you reach your goals by working hard all the way up to the finish.”
Looking ahead, Takitani is hoping to use hockey as a springboard to bigger and better opportunities.
“My short-term goal is probably to have a successful junior career and get into a college with a good hockey atmosphere,” Takitani said. “Long term from hockey, I just want to see where it takes me and how far I go with it because it opens up a lot of doors you never knew existed. As for school I’m hoping to get a degree in business or finance and hopefully always keep hockey in my life in some way.”
— Matt Mackinder
(December 7, 2022)