When Jasen Ferguson showed up to the second set of three tryouts for the club hockey team before this season, he didn’t even have shoulder pads.
“It was something for everybody to laugh at [and] some of his stuff was older,” senior defenseman and captain Ryan Dumbach said.
His equipment appeared older because he is the oldest player on the team at age 29. Ferguson, a junior defenseman, is in his first season with the team after transferring to Temple from Bucks County Community College, where he earned an associate’s degree in engineering in Fall 2016. He is now studying mechanical engineering at Temple.
Ferguson decided to try out for the club team because he wanted to play against his younger brother Mitchell Ferguson, who is a junior forward for Millersville University. Temple opened its season with a 4-3 overtime win against Millersville on Sept. 8.
“I figured I’d go try out and if I made the team at least that far, I’d be able to play against my younger brother, which I don’t think I’ve ever done other than men’s league stuff,” Jasen Ferguson said.
“It was really cool to play against him,” said Mitchell Ferguson, who scored against the Owls. “But…I think we were both just focused on the game.”
Mitchell Ferguson, 26, is in his first year on Millersville’s team. Knowing that his brother made the Owls, Mitchell Ferguson “was happy to not be the oldest guy in the league.”
Jasen Ferguson is by far the Owls’ oldest player, but he doesn’t believe his age has distracted from the team’s main goal -— to “win hockey games.”
“It’s not terribly too different,” Jasen Ferguson said. “But I guess some of the locker room chatter has changed. Some of the things I’ve gotta look up the definitions of these days.”
Teammates like to tease Jasen Ferguson about his age, Dumbach said. But the 29-year-old takes it well and cracks some jokes of his own.
“It’s definitely a different mix,” Dumbach said. “He’s a lot more mature. I think the thing that stands out is he’s very focused. He’s a hard worker. I think there’s a lot to learn from him.”
The Ferguson family is originally from the Toronto area. About 20 years ago, when Jasen Ferguson was 9 years old, his family moved to the United States because of his father’s job.
After high school, Jasen Ferguson entered the workforce as an automotive technician and then worked in construction. He decided to enroll at Temple because he can pay in-state tuition.
Jasen Ferguson’s hockey career started at a very early age. He started skating at 2 years old and started playing organized hockey at 5. He began playing so long ago he doesn’t remember the exact reason he was drawn to the sport.
“Being Canadian, I guess that’s kind of the thing to do,” he said.
On the ice, Jasen Ferguson plays the role of a defensive defenseman. So far in 22 games, he has four points with a goal and three assists.
Jasen Ferguson said his role includes “trying to slow things down,” and he describes his playing style as “methodical.”
“I try to be a stay-at-home defenseman when possible and take my chances when I can,” he said. “I try to be on the defensive side of things just so I’m not letting anything up.”
“He’s one of our more dependent defensemen,” Dumbach said. “He’s good at shutting down the other team. I think he knows his role and understands his role and plays pretty well.”
Dumbach said because Jasen Ferguson is a first-year player, he sometimes is grouped with other first- or second-year players.
“I think he’s been a good role model for everybody,” Dumbach said.