For Broomfield’s Hargraves, 2022-23 season with NAHL’s Ice Dogs looking to be one of team, personal success
Kayden Hargraves is in his third season with the NAHL’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs and is hoping that 2022-23 is one that brings him not only team success but individual success as well.
The Broomfield native already has earned two Midwest Division Star of the Week awards this season and is 10-5-1 (tied for the league lead in wins) with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage with one shutout.
In looking back on his time in Alaska, Hargraves said he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“What was really appealing to me about Fairbanks was mostly the culture,” said Hargraves. “Fairbanks has always had a winning culture that I wanted to be a part of. And the fans are the best in junior hockey. Being that we are living in a pretty remote place, you spend a ton of time with and around your teammates. This is great because it hekps make you very close.
“Living in Fairbanks is one of the best experiences you could ask for. You get to see all kinds of wildlife (moose, lynx, bears, etc.) and it’s also like we are celebrities up here. Everyone knows who you are. The worst part is that in the winter, it is regularly minus-20 degrees and can get as low as minus-50. We also only get around 2-3 hours of sunlight in the winter per day.”
The Ice Dogs are currently sitting in second place in the Midwest, tied with the Janesville Jets.
Hargraves said that if the victories keep coming, the personal side of the game will take care of itself.
“Committing to a school that I really enjoy is a huge priority for me this year,” Hargraves said. “I think that if we keep winning and I keep playing well that it will all work out.”
Growing up, Hargraves played mostly with the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders, also spending time with the Colorado Thunderbirds. He then went to the NA3HL’s Texas Jr. Brahmas in 2019-20 before being drafted by Fairbanks in the sixth round (160th overall) of the 2020 NAHL Entry Draft.
“My most influential coach and probably favorite coach was Matt Huckins my 14U year (with the RoughRiders),” said Hargraves. “Although, all my coaches were great.”
Looking ahead, Hargraves’ aspirations are simple and attainable.
“My short-term goals for right now would be to commit to an NCAA Division I school and to win a Robertson Cup with Fairbanks,” Hargraves said. “My long-term goals are to play this game as long as possible, be a good person, and to get through college with a degree that I can apply later in life.”
— Matt Mackinder
(November 10, 2022)