Mr. Deeds

Know Your Bobcat – Jared Dedenbach

Throughout the months of August and September, BismarckBobcats.com will be taking a one-by-one look at the players on the Bobcats’ Training Camp Roster. Today’s installment features first-time Bobcat Jared Dedenbach.

Name: Jared Dedenbach

Position: Forward

Hometown: Warren, MI

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 172 lbs.

2012-13 Team: Fargo Force

2012-13 Stats: 46 GP, 5 G, 7 A, 12 PTS, 10 PIM, 1 PPG, 1 GWG

Favorite Hobby: Collecting shoes

Favorite TV Shows: Criminal Minds, CSI
Highlight of 2012-13: “Our second home game after Christmas against Des Moines I scored my first two goals at the junior level and was named first star of the game.”

Pure Michigan

When you look over the Bismarck Bobcats’ roster from the past few seasons, the states you see most often in the “Hometown” category are North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado and Wisconsin. But according to forward Jared Dedenbach, you shouldn’t overlook the home of “Hockeytown.”

“Michigan is one of the top hockey states in the country, for sure,” asserted Dedenbach, who hails from the northern Detroit suburb of Warren. “Every year you see some great talent coming from the state and some top NHL’ers, too.”

Indeed, many major league hockey names call The Mitten their home state, including NAHL legends Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas and Doug Weight. Other NHL notables from Michigan include Ryan Kesler, Justin Abdelkader and future Hall of Famer Mike Modano.

One thing that separates players from the Wolverine State, according to Dedenbach, is attitude.

“Guys from Michigan are in your face, going hard all the time,” illustrated the Bobcat forward. “Coaches are always pushing you to get gritty, get greasy and never back down from anybody.”

Grit is only part of the package he brings, though.

“Jared has great speed and competes hard,” noted Bobcats assistant coach Garrett Roth, who scouted Dedenbach while he played U18 hockey for the Chicago Fury. “He’s always been willing to play whatever role necessary to win.”

Dedenbach thinks that combining skill with that Michigan disposition is his key to success.

“To me, you can’t have one without the other,” he concluded. “When you play with an edge it can only enhance your ability to score and contribute.”

Easy Transition

Jared Dedenbach arrives on the Bobcats’ scene after a season on the other side of the state with the Fargo Force. A year in the Peace Garden State is making his move west all the easier.

“Fargo and Bismarck aren’t all that different, so I’ve been able to get in the groove here pretty easily,” noted Dedenbach. “It’s the same way of life and the people here are just as nice so I’m definitely enjoying my time in Bismarck/Mandan.”

A level of familiarity with some of his new Bobcat teammates has smoothed the transition even further.

“I’ve played with Stanislav Dzakhov and Aaron Nelson before, so it was pretty nice to step into a new locker room but see some familiar faces,” admitted Dedenbach. “But really there’s a great group of guys on this team and everyone was so welcoming the second I got here.

“The returners from last year’s team have made it clear that we need to be close-knit as a group, we need to be a family, and they really showed it by how quickly they made me feel a part of the team.”

One of the toughest adjustments for any new Bobcat to make, of course, is integrating into the team’s intense conditioning program at Healthways. Dedenbach, for one, is ready for the new challenge.

“Playing for the Fury three seasons ago, their training program is pretty demanding,” added the Michigander, who arrived to training camp Friday, “and some of the workouts I did last year are similar to what we go through at Healthways, so I definitely feel prepared to take it on.

“I went through my first workout Monday and it was tough but it’s also exciting to think how adding that component to my game can take things to the next level.”

Great Expectations

With his second full season of juniors in front of him, Jared Dedenbach is eager to unleash more of his potential.

“Last year I’d like to think that I put myself in good situations and worked hard enough to put up points but it never really showed up on the score sheet,” confessed Dedenbach. “Now I’m ready to contribute and score points in whatever role the Bobcats need from me.”

The Bobcat coaches see the same potential in the sixth-round draft pick.

“We expect to be able to put Jared in a lot of different spots this season, and we think he’ll be able excel in any situation,” stated Roth. “We think Jared’s got a great chance to be rewarded with the production he deserves.”

Dedenbach has been working hard to improve his statistical production.

“I’ve been working on my shot, every day,” revealed the veteran. “I take a lot of shots after practice to work on power and accuracy.”

But the big goal for Dedenbach isn’t individually driven.

“We’ve got a pretty strong group of guys on this team, with some high-quality veterans and well-respected coaches,” evaluated Dedenbach. “Our goal right now is nothing less than the Robertson Cup. We won’t accept anything less than that.”

Stay tuned to BismarckBobcats.com over the next month-plus as we take you in-depth with every player on the Training Camp Roster in preparation for the 2013-14 season. This week we’ll also sit down with Tucker Windels, Matt Perry, Dylan Parker, Nick Wallace and Cullen Willox.