Brown Bears tender former Kenai star Eubank

In order to have an opportunity to play at home, Kenai’s Jake Eubank had to leave home.

Eubank has been tendered by the Kenai River Brown Bears for next season. The tender does not mean Eubank has the team made, but it does mean the Bears have exclusive North American Hockey League rights to him.

Eubank joins Ross Hanson as a former Kardinals skater tendered by the Bears for next season.

“It’s been a pretty big deal to me,” Eubank said by phone. “It’s been a lifelong goal of mine to play at home, and now I have the opportunity to play at home.

“I’ve still got to try out and make the team.”

Eubank, the son of Terry and Tawni of Kenai, would have been a senior at Kenai Central this school year, except he elected to go play hockey for the Pikes Peak Miners in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Being away from home is difficult,” Eubank said. “There’s a lot of negatives to it. But the billet family I live with here is a good family.”

Eubank said he has been able to develop because his season started in August and could go through March, depending on how the Miners do in the postseason.

The Miners 18U AAA team plays in two leagues. In the Colorado league, Eubank has six goals and four assists in 13 games. In the North American Prospects Hockey League, Eubank has 10 goals and nine assists in 23 games to lead the team in goals and points.

Eubank was a lethal scorer for Kenai Central, but Bears head coach Geoff Beauparlant said Eubank would need to develop more areas of his game for the NAHL.

“We had him out to skate last year and this year, and we really like that he was able to get into a program like Pikes Peak that demands a lot of players,” Beauparlant said. “He’s been able to play competitive hockey nine months out of the year.”

Eubank has used all that time to improve. Beauparlant said Greg Vanover and Bob Nolette with Pikes Peak do a great job developing players. Alec and Evan Butcher played at Pikes Peak, and Hanson also is currently with the Miners.

“I’ve worked on foot speed, and using my body more,” Eubank said. “I’m a bigger guy, so I’ve learned to use my body better driving to the net instead of shooting from the perimeter.”

Eubank, who is 18 and will have two more years of junior eligibility starting next year, said he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of current Bears forward Zack Zulkanycz, another Kenai Central product.

“I’d go to a lot of their games,” Eubank said. “I used to play with Zack in high school, so I’ve kept tabs on him.”

He got to skate for three days of practice over Thanksgiving with the Bears.

“He was solid, but he had some spurts where the pace affected him,” Beauparlant said. “For the most part, he fit in as an affiliate.

“His foot speed increased, and his compete level increased. He still has a little bit of a ways to go. He needs a good offseason to solidify a place on the roster.”

Beauparlant said Eubank could even see time with the Bears this season. He is on the list of affiliate players, and whether he plays with the Bears will be determined by how long the season of Pikes Peak lasts.

More in Sports

Seward's Tommy Cronin competes in the triple jump at the Region 3/Division II meet Friday, May 20, 2022, at Ed Hollier Field at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Area track athletes punch early tickets to state

A few area athletes wrapped up automatic berths to the state track… Continue reading

tease
Kenai baseball rolls past Grace Christian

The visiting Kenai Central baseball team defeated Grace Christian on Friday 18-4… Continue reading

Soldotna's Hamilton Hunt rises above the crowd for a header Friday, May 20, 2022, at the Peninsula Conference soccer tournament at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai girls, boys; SoHi boys; Homer girls soccer earn state berths

The Kenai Central girls and boys, Soldotna boys and Homer girls earned… Continue reading

tease
Homer goes 2-1 in Bash on the Bay

The Homer softball team went 2-1 on the opening day of the… Continue reading

tease
Colony softball nips Homer

The host Homer softball team lost a nonconference contest 4-3 in four… Continue reading

tease
SoHi baseball topples Houston

The visiting Soldotna baseball team cruised past Houston 19-0 in eight innings… Continue reading

Three Girl Scouts from Troop 210 hold their first Bucket Tree after finishing construction with the help of Davis Block employees. (Photo by Leah Eskelin)
Refuge Notebook: A bucket list for summer

There’s a perfect marshmallow just waiting for you this summer at the… Continue reading

A LifeMed helicopter waits on June 10, 2014, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska. The author took a medevac flight in May 2013 in a similar helicopter. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Out of the Office: Planes, trains, automobiles and helicopters

Every new Alaskan has a bucket list of things they want to… Continue reading

tease
Bird Homestead Golf Report: Course rounds into shape

The weather has been great and the course is looking beautiful. It… Continue reading

Most Read