2021-22 was a season of adversity for Jacob Dennis, but he has been working tirelessly to get ready to join the Blackfalds Bulldogs this upcoming season. The newly signed defenseman is projected to bring solid work ethic, strong leadership skills and great first-pass ability to the lineup this year.
Making the decision to play in Blackfalds was a fairly easy one for the ‘05 blue-liner, who announced his ‘Letter of Intent’ signing with the Bulldogs earlier this month.
“The whole process was really exciting and it was a quick decision,” Dennis revealed. “I was up there for the rookie camp and I fell in love right away. The arena and the team and the town of Blackfalds, and all it has to offer. So yeah, when it came to signing here, it was a no-brainer.”
Dennis spent his last three seasons (2019-2022) playing for Edge School in Calgary, who competes in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL). Playing prep school hockey is a unique experience, one that Dennis says he really cherished.
“Edge was phenomenal. The way they tie schooling into hockey is like no other,” expressed Dennis. “I absolutely loved it. The biggest thing I found is, when going to school and playing hockey with the same guys, you build an even closer connection. So, when it came to playing on the ice, the chemistry was great and the team was tightly knit.”
Last season offered up its share of challenges for the young D-man last season, however. Dennis suffered a significant Achilles injury early in the season and was expected to miss most, if not all, of his final U18 season. It was a difficult pill to swallow at first but he was able to reset and refocus and immediately began his road to recovery.
“When we first found out the news that I would need to undergo surgery, and given the timeline of a 6-9-month recovery, the first couple days were hard,” Dennis revealed. “Then, I honestly don’t know what it was, but all of a sudden there was this ‘kick’ inside; that I was going to try and prove the doctors and everybody wrong, that I would be able to come back and at least finish the season with the team.”
Dennis began his rehab, working with his trainer at the time, Elie Bouka, who offered plenty of insight and experience with that specific type of injury. According to Dennis, Bouka had tore both of his Achilles in the past, which gave him ample insight on how to approach Dennis’ rehab to create an effective recovery regimen. Acting quickly, the two began the long road to recovery as soon as possible and, in the end, Dennis would lace up for the final games of the regular season for Edge, appearing in 5 playoff games, as well.
Not one to be complacent, Dennis has continued to train hard, focusing on all elements of his health and body, spending 7 days a week in the gym or training to get himself ready for the 2022-23 season with the Bulldogs.