Jack Randl describes himself as a “gritty, hard-to-play-against kind of guy” on the hockey rink.
The Carpentersville native will have a chance to prove himself with the USA Hockey Under-18 Select Team next month at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Bratislava, Slovakia.
“It’s a great honor to be selected,” Randl said. “It’s going to be just an awesome experience – a lot of fun.”
Randl, who attended Jacobs High School for two years, plays for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League. He is committed to play in college at Michigan.
He was among 22 athletes chosen for the Under-18 Select Team. The Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup is an annual event held each August for Under-18 national teams from around the world. This year’s cup begins Aug. 7.
The 17-year-old Randl is home in Carpentersville for the summer but leaves for Europe in less than a month.
“We have our training camp out there,” Randl said. “We’re going a week before the tournament starts to get some practices in, and we have two exhibition games before the tournament starts.”
Randl is one of four Illinois natives on the Under-18 Select Team. Randl played with Winnetka native Jack Drury when both played for the Chicago Mission Hockey Club. He also played with Michael Ferrandino when both played for Team Illinois hockey club. Also on the team is Philippe Lapointe of Burr Ridge.
Randl played for the Mission for a number of years before joining the Lancers. The club produced Division I players from the area such as Notre Dame’s Tory Dello (Crystal Lake) and Arizona State’s Jack Rowe (Cary). Three former Mission players also play for the Blackhawks: Ryan Hartman, Nick Schmaltz and Vinnie Hinostroza.
To make the Under-18 Select Team, players had to be invited to a week-long tryout in June in Amherst, New York, just outside Buffalo.
“I actually know pretty much all the kids from playing against them throughout the years,” Randl said. “I was really excited to be selected and honored.”
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound left winger played in 59 games for the Lancers this season. He had nine goals and 10 assists.
Randl will play one more season with the Lancers before heading to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to play for the Wolverines in fall 2018. In Omaha, he lives with a host family and attends Gross Catholic High School in nearby Bellevue, Nebraska.
“It was definitely something knew, and I was excited for it,” Randl said. “It was a lot of fun to be out there in a new town and to live with different people and be on the team and play in a pretty elite league with some great players.”
The U.S. Under-18 Select Team last won the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in 2003. The U.S. finished second in last year’s tournament.