Advancing game to USPHL’s Mullets ‘a perfect fit’ for Colorado youth hockey grad Szmul
Jackson Szmul was born in Dallas and moved to Castle Rock when he was seven years old.
Once he arrived in Colorado, Szmul’s involvement and development with hockey took off.
This season, he’s enjoying his inaugural season of junior hockey with the USPHL’s Minnesota Mullets.
“My (Mullets) coach Chris Walby sent me a text and seemed very interested in me,” said Szmul. “From all our conversations over text and calls, he and his team seemed like a great fit for me. One of the biggest things that appealed to me about the team was Coach Walby. He seemed like a great, laid-back coach and has already exceeded those expectations. For the league, it seemed to be a perfect fit for all that I can bring to the ice.”
Szmul said that the league’s track record in moving players on to higher levels of the game was a major appeal as well.
“It’s a good feeling and great motivation to keep pushing for my dream to play college hockey,” he said. “I’m very excited to continue my journey with this group of guys.”
Looking back, Szmul said he started playing hockey because his dad always found the sport super appealing even though he never played.
“He put my brother Connor and I into skates when we first learned to walk in Dallas,” Szmul said. “Even though I was born and lived in Dallas for seven years, my father was always an Avs fan living in Colorado for most of his life, turning me into one as well.”
Once in Colorado, Szmul played for the Littleton Hawks, Colorado Thunderbirds, Foothills Flyers and Colorado Rampage.
“One of the coaches who really made an impact on me was Luke Fulghum,” said Szmul. “I was lucky to have him as a coach at the Rampage for three years in a row. One of the things he really pushes on his players is work ethic. His knowledge of what it takes to win a hockey game and the key components of the game is what sets him apart from any other coach I’ve had. He taught me what it means to have a role on a team and made working my tail off second nature.”
Now with the Mullets, Szmul is joined by several fellow Colorado connections in Brody Sannes (Aurora), Matthew Brooker (Mead) and Jake Stordahl (Centennial).
“It’s been a blast so far getting to play with guys who I grew up playing in the same rinks with, chatting about mutual friends and the overall culture of Colorado hockey,” Szmul said. “Getting to know the other players and talking to them about their youth hockey experience across the nation is also a lot of fun.”
Down the line, Szmul is banking on the game providing with further opportunities.
“My short-term goals for hockey are to contribute as much as possible to the Mullets and to win a championship,” Szmul said. “As for long-term goals, I would love to play college hockey on a scholarship and strive to become an entrepreneur. That has always been my dream.”
— Matt Mackinder
(September 29, 2021)