- Created: 23 August 2017
The Eugene Generals are proud to announce the signing of forward Alex Clark.
Clark is the team’s thirteenth announced signing of the current offseason. He joins forwards William Wallace, Blaine Krona, Nathan Leach, Griffin Minchin, Broc Friesen, Bradley Maddox and Dillon Foster; defensemen Dayne Cole, Jackson Baughman and Dakota Henn; and goaltenders Sean Leonard and Christopher Alexakis.
Clark will become the thirteenth Alaskan to skate for the Generals since Justin Kern, an Alaskan himself, took over the head coaching duties during the 2014-15 season. He will be joining fellow Wasilla product Dayne Cole in Eugene after the defenseman signed with the Generals earlier this offseason.
"I got a chance to watch [Clark] play when I went up to Alaska for the state's regional tournament back in February," said Generals Head Coach Justin Kern, "and he immediately jumped out to me. I think he's going to be a great asset for us this season. He's got more of a bigger build with a power forward type of style, but he has some pretty good skill to accompany that size, too."
Clark is the latest Alaskan to flock south and join the Generals since Justin Kern took over the head coaching duties.
Clark tallied 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 overall points last year with Wasilla High School, his senior season of play. However, despite suiting up for Wasilla High School throughout the school year, Clark officially attended Mat-Su Career and Technical High School which, according to Frontiersman.com, provides specialized classes for students who want to learn more about a profession that interests them while also allowing students to take classes that aren't normally available at a traditional high school.
"Mat-Su Career and Tech is a public school but you still have to apply for admittance, submit an essay, and go through a pretty rigorous application process," said Clark. "It's a school that really helped prepare me for life beyond high school. I was able to pick a career path that I wanted to pursue, and initially I chose engineering before later transitioning to aviation." Having obtained his degree from Mat-Su Career and Tech, Clark has already been accepted into the Aviation Technology Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage, but walking away from playing competitive hockey was something that the Alaskan wasn't ready to do just yet.
"The idea of being done playing hockey was something that really kept bugging me," recalled Clark. "I talked to my parents about the idea of coming down to Eugene, and they told me that you only get to play hockey once but you can go to school whenever you want."
Clark (above) skates at the 2017 Eugene Generals Training Camp which was held August 18-20 at The Rink Exchange in Eugene, Oregon.
Once he arrived in Eugene for the 2017 Eugene Generals Training Camp, Clark's questions about the franchise and its staff were quickly answered. "Coach Kern reminds me almost exactly of a youth coach that I had for six years, and obviously I wouldn't have stayed with that coach for six years if I didn't like him," Clark recalls with a laugh. "From everyone that I was able to talk to down [in Eugene], I think that every member of the Generals staff is there for each player's best interest."
"Kern is going to be straight up honest with you, and I like that. That was a big thing for me, because there are a lot of coaches out there that are just trying to fill roster spots and that will say one thing but do another, and [Kern] doesn't seem like that at all. I really like his coaching style - how he likes to roll his lines and develop the entire roster, from the first line to the fourth line."
In addition to playing with Wasilla High School last season, Clark also suited up for the Alaska Jr. Avalanche's Tier II 18U team where he posted 10 goals and 5 assists for 15 overall points.
In what is a common trait among Generals recruits, Clark possesses a maturity and demeanor off of the ice that was quickly apparent to Coach Kern. "Alex has a real infectious personality," said Kern. "He's a 'yes sir, no sir' type of guy and I know that he's going to do everything he can for the team this season."