Neither drafted nor signed by a pro team following a solid junior career, the quality of Jordon Cooke’s goaltending continues to command the attention from other domains in the hockey world.
The former Kelowna Rockets and current University of Saskatchewan Huskies stopper was named Tuesday to Canada’s roster for the upcoming Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.
Cooke, a native of Leduc, Alta., will be the first current Canada West player in more than 30 years to join for Canada for the annual international tournament.
Last season’s Canada West outstanding player and CIS goalie of the year, Cooke was given the news this week in Montreal by Hockey Canada’s VP of hockey operations, Scott Salmond.
The 22-year-old Cooke was, to say the least, pleasantly surprised.
“I really just thought he was pulling me aside to see how my season was going and generally have a conversation,” Cooke said. “Then out of the blue he kind of started leading into the Spengler Cup, how there was an open spot and how he wanted me.”
“As soon as he said that my eyes lit up and I kind of shot my head back a bit,” he added. “I was definitely surprised.”
Cooke will become the first active Canada West student-athlete to don the maple leaf in one of hockey’s most storied tournaments since 1984.
Cooke and the Canadian team will open defense of the Spengler Cup on Boxing Day against Dinamo Minsk.
With three goalies on Canada’s roster, Cooke doesn’t know how much he’ll play—if at all—but still plans to make the most of the experience.
“Whether I play or not, it’s an honour to represent your country, no matter what tournament it’s in,” said Cooke, who will be joined Daniel Vukovic (Genève-Servette HC, NLA) and Zach Fucale (Brampton, ECHL) in goal for Canada.
“I’m really just excited to be given the opportunity to be on the roster. Whether I play or not, I’ll deal with the moment when that comes, but right now I’m just ecstatic for the opportunity to go over there.”
Last season with the Huskies, Cooke set a school record with 19 wins as Saskatchewan won the Canada West conference title.
This season, he’s picked up where he left off, leading the conference with 10 wins, while sporting a 1.98 goals against average and .928 save ratio.
Cooke played 149 games over four seasons with the Rockets, winning both the WHL and CHL’s outstanding goaltender of the year awards in 2014.