Parker’s Fiegl making the grade at Cornell
As someone who’s worked his way up from playing Squirt A with the Arapahoe Warriors to becoming a NCAA Division I player and a NHL draft pick, Jared Fiegl admits it’s been a storybook journey.
“It’s a lot to take in,” said Feigl, who will begin his sophomore season at Cornell University this fall.
After his Bantam AA season with Arapahoe, Fiegl, a 19-year-old from Parker, played two years of AAA with the Colorado Rampage program before securing a spot with the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP) from 2012-14.
The Arizona Coyotes selected Fiegl seventh round (191st overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
“To be honest, getting drafted doesn’t mean much right now because you still have to work hard, still have to get better,” said Fiegl. “It’s a huge honor – don’t get me wrong – but you have to keep improving and keep making an impression.
“For me, I’m never satisfied and I’m always hungry to keep getting better.”
On draft day last summer, Fiegl was relaxing at home when his phone rang.
“It was Arizona’s (general manager) – Don Maloney – congratulating me, telling me when camp was, stuff like that,” Fiegl said. “I kind of had the draft in the back of my mind and really didn’t pay any attention – it’s not something you can control – but playing for the NTDP, we get scouted a lot and I always hoped maybe there was a chance I’d get drafted and it happened.”
Last season with the Big Red, Fiegl skated in 26 games – the most among the team’s freshmen forwards – and posted just one goal, but it tied the game against Harvard University on Feb. 14 with less than four minutes remaining.
“We battled hard all season, faced some injuries, but we dealt with adversity and became a tight-knit team, on and off the ice,” Fiegl said. “The ECAC is a tough league and it was a big transition going from junior hockey to college, but the biggest thing for me was learning how to handle classes and getting assignments done before a road trip and just adjusting to the demands of the league.”
Fiegl originally committed to the University of Denver, but re-evaluated his options when head coach George Gwozdecky departed after the 2012-13 season and Jim Montgomery took the reins.
Ryan Bliss, Fiegl’s teammate at the NTDP, had committed to Cornell and helped sell the school to Fiegl, who visited the campus and took to the surroundings immediately.
“Bliss talked to the coaches for me and then I went out there on a visit and it had everything I was looking for,” said Fiegl. “The one thing I really like about Cornell it that it’s a blue-collar team and that’s always been the type of player I am.”
Fiegl says his two-year term with the NTDP was pivotal in molding him into a college-ready player. His seasoning with the Rampage also marked a valuable developmental experience.
“When I made the Rampage, that kind of sparked everything; I started to realize I could do this,” said Fiegl. “(Rampage chairman) Andrew Sherman just does a great job with the program and has definitely been one of the most influential people in my career.
“We had a saying there and it was about being better today than yesterday, and that’s always stuck with me.”
Heading into next season, Fiegl plans to get back to campus in the best shape of his life and hit the ground running.
“It’s a big year for us,” he said. “I just want to continue the tradition we have there, on and off the ice, and just keep improving my skills.
“As a team, we’re ready to turn the corner.”
– Matt Mackinder