|(above) Forward Larkin Jacobson will provide some size for DU at forward next year|
by John Barry
The NAHL’s Showcase Tournament attracts more than 200 college and professional scouts. The event offers scouts a first-hand look at some of the best and brightest hockey talent in North America.
Larkin Jacobson (6'2 200 lbs) made the most of it.
The Janesville Jets’ forward shined at the Showcase Tournament, playing well enough to earn a Division I scholarship offer from University of Denver, a powerhouse in the WCHA.
Jacobson, who is the reigning NAHL North Player of the Week, said the decision to sign with the Pioneers was an easy one.
“When I went out for my official visit to Denver, I really liked everything about the program and what it had to offer me,” Jacobson said. “I came home and talked about it with my family, and we all agreed that I didn’t need to consider going anywhere else.
“I’m excited about the opportunity because my goal all along was to play Division I. That’s why you work so hard and put all the extra time in.”
Denver coach George Gwozdecky and his staff were impressed with Jacobson’s size and skating skills. Jacobson is 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, and a force in front of the net.
Jacobson ranks fourth in scoring this season for the Jets with 36 points. He has 14 goals and 22 assists for a Jets team that is second in the NAHL’s North Division.
Janesville coach Dane Litke said Jacobson has been an integral part of the team’s success.
“Larkin’s a good leader, and although he’s got a bright future ahead of him at Denver, I know he’s going to help this team go as far as it can before he’s done,” Litke said. “He has been battling an ankle injury the last couple weeks, but he has played through it and continues to contribute.
“Larkin has the skills to play Division I, and with his size, that’s a good combination. He just has to make sure he brings it every night.”
Now in his second season with the Jets, Jacobson is playing alongside his older brother, Derek. The Sioux City, Iowa natives get after it—both on and off the ice.
“It’s not really a competition between us, but we do push each other pretty hard,” Larkin said. “I’m never satisfied and I don’t like losing, and I know Derek feels the same way.
“But my experience in Janesville has been great, and I’m glad I could share it with my brother.”
Larkin insists that the Jets and Janesville have been a perfect fit.
“I know the city (Janesville) was down a little bit with the closing of the GM plant, and I feel like we’ve been able to bring it a little life,” Larkin said. “And our fans have been great. They show up at every home game, and their support means a lot to us.”
Larkin and the Jets have nine regular-season games left, including this weekend’s final home series against Port Huron (Mich.). Janesville is second in the NAHL North with 65 points, with Traverse City in third with 61, and Motor City and Michigan tied for fourth with 59. The top four teams in each division make the playoffs.
The Jets have won four of their last six games, but Larkin knows that in order to secure a playoff spot, the team has to continue to improve.
“We can’t be satisfied because there is always room for improvement,” Larkin said. “We just have to make sure that every part of our game is on. Offense, defense and our goaltending. If we can put those three together, we can make the playoffs and do well.”
Larkin Jacobson has a bright future ahead of him. He just wants to take care of some unfinished business in Janesville first.