Senior Brady Yakesh signs to play Junior Hockey next year

Brady+Yakesh+22+isnt+only+good+at+hockey%2C+he+can+also+care+for+children+like+his+Vocations+flour+baby%21

Brook Wenande

Brady Yakesh ’22 isn’t only good at hockey, he can also care for children like his Vocations flour baby!

As the 2021-2022 school year carries on, seniors become more and more certain of the path they will take after high school. Senior Brady Yakesh has confirmed that he will be furthering his hockey career after signing to the Chippewa Steel, a NAHL hockey team.

Yakesh began playing hockey when he was four years old; he chose to play juniors because it is the step before playing college hockey, which is his goal. Yakesh has had a tremendous amount of support from his friends and family while making the decision to play juniors. “My family was very excited because they know I’ve been working really hard for this. It’s something I’ve wanted. My friends are really proud, especially the ones I haven’t talked to in a while about it. They’re kind of just happy to see that it’s coming along well,” Yakesh said.

Yakesh began the process of tendering to a juniors team when he started talking to recruiters and coaches. During the process he also visited some teams that he was considering signing with to get a feel for the way their programs were run. “I went down to Mason City, Iowa for a team before I went to Chippewa. You can talk to as many teams as you want and see which one fits you best. Then you have to sign a letter saying that you’re signing your rights away to that team. So if you’re playing that league, it’s either a one to one or two year agreement,” Yakesh said.

I went down to Mason City, Iowa for a team before I went to Chippewa. You can talk to as many teams as you want and see which one fits you best. Then you have to sign a letter saying that you’re signing your rights away to that team. So if you’re playing that league, it’s either a one to one or two year agreement”

— Yakesh

A unique part of playing juniors is that players reside with a billet family. A player is connected with the billet coordinator, then this coordinator assigns the player to a billet family somewhere in the city close to the rink. “You’ll either stay with a couple guys or just one of the guys on the team. And you’ll do that for the entire year. If people get dropped or traded, you’ll get a new partner,” Yakesh said.

The Chippewa Steel is a NAHL hockey team located in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. There are a multitude of reasons Yakesh chose to play for this team in particular, the most prominent being the location, the coaching staff, and an overall good feeling about the program. “I committed because it just felt right; it was far enough away that it didn’t feel like I was home but also not far. And then the coaches really wanted me, they pursued me really hard. They felt like I’d be a really good fit to lead the team next year when I came in,” Yakesh said.