When you’re passed over in the NHL Draft and then remain unsigned coming out of junior, you wouldn’t be faulted for feeling down on yourself.
But Jack Rodewald was determined to not let that hinder him.
After a four year junior career with the WHL’s Regina Pats, where he piled up 166 points, including 76 goals, in 255 games, Rodewald was still looking for his next move.
“Going undrafted and unsigned, it’s been a huge motivation,” Rodewald said. “It’s something I think about a lot. I always knew I was a bit of a later bloomer but I just kept working hard. It’s obviously been in the back of my head being passed over in the draft and unsigned out of junior despite having some good years.
“You just try not to think about it and keep going.”
Finally, the Winnipeg native ended up signing an Amateur Tryout with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies in March 2015 for the rest of the season as well as an AHL deal for the 2015-16 season.
Rodewald wound up playing nine games, tallying one assist, for the Marlies on his ATO contract and only seven AHL games the following year as he wound up spending the bulk of the season with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears where he put up 47 points (18 goals) in 62 games.
“It was difficult being down in the ECHL but I think it was good development for me down there to play some big minutes,” Rodewald said.
It certainly prepared him for a breakout 2016-17 season. The 23-year-old scored 18 goals in his first full AHL season with the Binghamton Senators as he totalled 27 points in 66 games.
“Last year having a bigger role in Binghamton was really enjoyable and helped me build as a player,” Rodewald said. “However, there’s still a lot of work that has to be done and I want to build on last year.”
Rodewald’s season will start a little earlier than others as he will first head to the NHL Rookie Tournament in Toronto Sept. 8-10 before heading into training camp.
“I want to make a good impression there and really then just develop my game,” Rodewald said. “I’ve developed it a lot over the summer and want to build on last season and get some more wins and have a successful season in Belleville.”
The Belleville Senators will open its season on Oct. 6 against the Laval Rocket at Place Bell before playing their home opener at the recently renovated Yardmen Arena on Nov. 1 against the Syracuse Crunch.
Season Tickets are the best way to enjoy the American Hockey League’s debut in Belleville at the best possible price with great seats still available for the inaugural 2017-18 AHL season. For more information head to www.bellevillesens.com
About the Belleville Senators
The Belleville Senators are an American Hockey League franchise set for their inaugural season in 2017-2018. The team serves as the primary professional development affiliate of the Ottawa Senators in the National Hockey League. Upon their relocation to the Bay of Quinte area, the team will play its home games in the newly renovated Yardmen Arena. You can follow the Belleville Senators on our official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages via @BellevilleSens, or visit us at www.bellevillesens.com for more information.