Jake Veri will be the answer to a TPH Center of Excellence trivia question in the coming years.
He is the first student-athlete to receive an invitation to a NHL team development camp right out of the CoE.
The long-time Detroit CoE member was invited to the Columbus Blue Jackets development camp last week, and upon his return, he said it was a remarkable experience.
“When I got there, it was kind of surreal,” said Veri, a Northville, Mich., native. “Being one of the younger guys at the camp, and all of the older guys there, guys you look up to, they were all great guys. They helped me along, and they teach you how much the details mean and all the little things and just what it takes. Every day, you have to be putting work in, or somebody’s going to pass you. It really was a reality check in the fact that you think you’re doing enough, and then you go there and you see what these NHL guys who are already in the league and what they do every day just to stay in the league – the skills and the skating was phenomenal and it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Veri, who has signed with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs for the upcoming 2019-2020 season, was a free-agent invite to the camp. Putting on a Blue Jackets jersey and the corresponding red and blue gear was a dream come true, despite one small hang-up for the 5-foot-7 forward.
“There really aren’t words for it. Granted, I’m a little bit of a smaller guy, so the gloves and the pants felt a little big, felt like I was wearing my dad’s gear, but it was an amazing feeling. Nothing like it. It makes you more driven to get there, because you see what it’s like and you’re one step closer to every hockey player’s dream when you put that stuff on.”
The five-year CoE alum learned of his camp invite from a phone call with the Blue Jackets’ player development staff; when he told his family, they were ecstatic.
“Obviously they were extremely happy because they’ve seen the work I put in these last five years, going to TPH and how many times growing up I’ve been passed up on because of my size and everything. Just seeing that I have to keep going – it hasn’t fully paid off, it’s a stepping stone and a pat on the back for what I do every day.”
As far as being the first CoE student-athlete to be invited to a camp right out of school, Veri said he’s just honored to be mentioned alongside some of his former classmates.
“It’s amazing. The guys who have went to the CoE, we’ve had draft picks come out of there and they produce just unbelievable players every year. It’s an amazing feeling – Blade Jenkins, Bode Wilde, Will MacKinnon, they have just produced hockey player after hockey player, and it’s just nice to be a part of that group.”
Veri said he’s very excited to seize his opportunity with Chilliwack in the fall.
“Signing Day was insane, like everything else lately. It’s nice to go somewhere where you’re wanted, somewhere where they understand your style of play. They have an amazing coaching staff, coaches who really care about your development and really care about you as a person. I’m really excited to get out there, it’s a beautiful place to be on top of an awesome place to play. It really is amazing.”
And he said he is incredibly grateful for the help from the TPH staff in Detroit throughout his hockey journey.
“Everything I’ve done, on ice, off ice, mental, physical, they were always there. Anything I needed, and if you put in the time, they’ll be there until your last day on the ice. They truly help you in every way and they’ve helped me in ways I can’t even explain, because just being there at the school, you see their dedication and how much they really want to make hockey players, and not just hockey players but good people. At the end of the day, a huge chunk of anything I’ve ever done in my hockey life is because of them.”
Total Package Hockey is proud to congratulate all of our #TPHTrained players who have received invitations to 2019 NHL team development camps this summer.
Check out the ever-growing list of players who are attending camps either as drafted prospects or free-agent invites below.
Detroit Red Wings
Alec Regula – OHL Cup/8 Week Program
Drew DeRidder – CoE/8 Week Program
Robbie Beydoun – 8 Week Program
Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrick Khodorenko – 8 Week Program
Jake Veri – Detroit CoE/8 Week Program
Derek Daschke – 8 Week Program
Mike Underwood – 8 Week Program
New York Rangers
Hunter Skinner – CoE/8 Week Program/OHL Cup
Nolan Moyle – 8 Week Program
Tony Calderone – 8 Week Program
Joe Cecconi – 8 Week Program
Las Vegas Golden Knights
Wyatt Bongiovanni – 8 Week Program
Arthur Kaliyev – CoE
Skyler Brind’Amour – OHL Cup
Cooper Marody – 8 Week Program
Mitch Eliot – Thunder Hockey
Will Lockwood – 8 Week Program
Nick Boka – 8 Week Program
Cole Krygier – CoE/8 Week Program
New York Islanders
Blade Jenkins – CoE/8 Week Program/OHL Cup
Bode Wilde – CoE
Christian Krygier – CoE/8 Week Program
Will MacKinnon – CoE/8 Week Program
John Gruden – 8 Week Program
Josh Norris – 8 Week Program
Logan Neaton – Michigan Hockey Advancement/8 Week Program
Josh Wilkins – Nashville Jr. Predators/OHL Cup
Dylan Moulton – Nashville Jr. Predators/Nashville CoE
Ben Schultheis – Nashville Jr. Predators/8 Week Program
Griffin Luce – 8 Week Program
Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Robertson – World Selects Invite
Cooper Zech – 8 Week Program
John Beecher – OHL Cup
Filips Buncis – Jr. Predators
Tommy Miller – 8 Week Program
Jerad Rosburg – 8 Week Program/Jr. Predators/OHL Cup
Total Package Hockey is pleased to unveil the first few names of its TPH-Colorado player development staff for the 2019-2020 school year. The following four individuals will join TPH-Colorado Director of Hockey-Operations Jordan Pietrus in mentoring student-athletes at its Center of Excellence starting in August.
When the coaching staff announced the selections for the U.S. Under-17 Men’s Select Team at the conclusion of the Select 16 Camp in New York, they did it in one big room with all the players.
For Ryan Humphrey, that meant containing his excitement out of respect for all his week-long camp teammates and friends.
“Just shocked,” the TPH Center of Excellence Detroit student-athlete said when asked about the moment he heard his name called. “We were all in a room and I just had to bundle it up a bit, but it was the most excited I’ve ever been, honestly.”
Humphrey, a forward with the Honeybaked 16U team, was selected to represent USA Hockey at the upcoming Five Nations Tournament in Germany in August. While he couldn’t celebrate too much around the rest of the group, telling his family was a different story.
“That was probably the coolest part, getting to tell them that I get to put on the USA jersey and go overseas. Their reaction was just great, it was awesome.”
The three-year CoE student-athlete said he can’t wait to head overseas for his first international competition in the Red, White and Blue. He leaves on Aug. 5 with his new team; Team USA will train at the Red Bull facility in Germany for a week before the tournament begins on Aug. 13.
He will have two good friends making the trip alongside him – Michigan natives Will Fox and Austen May also made the squad.
“It’s going to be awesome. I already have those two guys that I’m close with, but hopefully we’ll get close with everyone and it just makes things easier with those two.”
Humphrey said the Select 16 Camp was a great test, and an eye-opener for how much talent there is in his age group from across the country.
“It was awesome. The players there were just unbelievable. Every game was tough. The camp, they took really good care of us. Meals were good and transportation, everything was spot-on, and the coaches I had were really cool. It was really good.
“Just how much talent there is everywhere – Michigan is where I play, and I thought we were good, and then you have kids from Massachusetts, Alaska, Arizona, all just as good as we are and you just have to bring it.”
Humphrey, who is deciding between the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks and OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs for the next step in his hockey career, credited his TPH experience for getting him ready for the national spotlight.
“I mean, I think their training has helped me – it’s second to none,” Humphrey said. “The set-up there is unbelievable and it gets me ready every day. It’s just good to have guys who you can talk to and help you through things and be there for me. It’s the best school in the world, I would say.”