Jared Wescott Commits to Penn State

Jared Westcott has committed to Penn State and is set to hit the ice as a Nittany Lion for the 2020-2021 season. Jared has shown us that he is not only able be a playmaker but also put the puck in the net. Netting two clutch goals in two games that NZ scouts attended; vs Omaha and vs Sioux City

Being a Missouri native, Jared tells us what it was like to grow up and playing hockey there:

“I started playing hockey with my older brothers when I was 3, just at the house or open skates at nearby rinks. It [wasn’t] hard growing up in Missouri [and playing] hockey because it’s a big city with a lot of hockey players and teams. Growing up, you get to play so many different teams and so many different kids that you really must strive and work to make the best teams.”

He talks about his recruiting process and how he landed on his final decision:

“The recruiting process was not very hard for me, I [didn’t] have an advisor so I did all the talking to schools and coaches on my own, which was nice so I could always have my best interest first. I was talking other schools like Ohio State, Minnesota Mankato, St. Lawrence, and a couple others. Deciding [on] Penn State was not very hard for me, Coach Gadowsky and his staff are incredible at what they do and you can see very good results. Also, my dad grew up in Philly so I’ve always loved Pennsylvania and we still have family nearby that I could always see. Furthermore, Penn State was a school I always dreamed to play for.”

Last season Jared played in the NAHL, this season he has made the move to the USHL, we asked about the move:

“The transition was very hard, I only played 4 games in the NAHL but it did help me a lot to see the size, the speed, and the talent that it takes to make it in junior hockey. Last year I played my second year of U18, so coming into the USHL was hard because every player has skill, speed, and the ability to score so it was very tough learning how to play at the pace and skill level of the USHL.”

He tells us how he is able to be competitive and still produce in a tough league:

“I have to give a lot of credit to my line mates Brian Chamber and Ryan Sullivan, they helped me learn how to play together in this league. We like to build off each other and just try to make the simple and hard plays, and its helped us open up time and space to be creative when the opportunity is there.”

Jared still has a full season before heading off to Penn State:

“My plans are to get better everyday on the ice, while trying to build my strength and body to be able to come in and play games in the NCAA. Penn State really wants me to develop my game more, so that’s a big focus.”

We asked Jared about any adversity he has faced and how he got through it:

“The toughest challenge I’ve had to face in hockey is my size. I didn’t hit my growth spurt until I was 16, so it was hard to play some bigger guys in U16 and high school. Also, while playing U16 and U18 I was always one of the smallest on my teams, it’s always been hard for me to build muscle. So it’s been hard having teams believe in you when you aren’t very strong.”

Making lemonade out of lemons, Jared plans to use what he has learned to create a career for a life after hockey:

“I want to study to become a physical therapist or an athletic trainer. I’ve always been interested in the rebuilding of muscles and joints. I would love to be an athletic trainer for a hockey team, I’m always talking to our trainer Joe and hanging out in his room because I love seeing everything he does for us.”

So far, Jared has put up 29 points for the Stampede in 35 games with 10 goals and 19 assists.


Photo credit: Hickling Images