by Arch Ecker

The Topeka RoadRunners are pleased to announce that two-year veteran defenseman Jacob Poe will return for his third season in 2010-11. Last season, he was second amongst defenseman on the team in scoring with 28 points and was third overall with a plus +31 rating. He was also selected to play in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Ann Arbor, MI in January 2010 where he scored a goal for Team South.

A native of Texas, Poe was born in Fort Worth and raised in Arlington where he lived his entire life until coming to Topeka. Like many other Texans, the presence of an NHL franchise changed young Jacob’s life. “When the Dallas Stars moved here in 1993 is when I had my first interest in hockey, and I quickly went from playing in the driveway to playing ice hockey as a mini-mite”, Poe recalled. He didn’t exactly start out as a defenseman. “Up until I was 14 I switched back and forth between defense and forward each season. Since then I have only played defense.” The move and commitment to the position paid dividends. As he moved up through the ranks, his growth caught the eye of the RoadRunners Head Scout. “Tom Kelly was my Assistant Coach my last year of Midgets, and that was the year the RoadRunners tendered me." Poe played in 48 games his first season, posting a modest 13 points and a plus +8 rating. In his second season, his production increased to 28 points and a plus +31 rating in 55 games. After coming up short in the Division Finals two years in a row, Poe is more determined than ever. “My goal is to win a National Championship this season and then move on to a Division I school and play hockey”, he said. “First things first, though. We have unfinished BUSINESS!”

To maintain a reasonable level of conditioning over the summer, Poe (like most junior hockey players) gets as much ice time as he can, including playing adult league 4-on-4 hockey with RoadRunner teammate Cory Ramsey.  A steady regimen of weight training keeps Poe focused on the prize. To relax, he enjoys attending Texas Rangers baseball games. When asked if he has any advice for the first year players coming to Topeka, he quips, “Don't pass the puck to Smacks (Head Coach Scott Langer) in Euro, because he won't score!” The term “Euro” refers to a game day tradition “Euro Scrimmage” in which the coaches participate. In two seasons in Topeka, Poe has a lot of fond memories, but most of all he values the friendships forged with “the boys”.

Poe will report to Topeka along with his returning and new teammates in August to prepare to defend their South Division Regular Season Title, and a shot at earning the elusive Robertson Cup.